Enrique Bernoldi Q&A

Enrique Bernoldi hit the headlines in Monaco when he successfully stayed in front of David Coulthard for half the race, although ultimately he probably didn't cost the Scot any points. But DC and his team were furious, and after the race Ron Dennis and Mercedes boss Norbert Haug vented their feelings on the young Brazilian. While their frustration was understandable, the majority of observers took Bernoldi's side, agreeing that he was racing for a position, and it was up to DC to find a way by. If nothing else the race has given Enrique some welcome media exposure. Not a great deal was expected from him this year, after Peter Sauber rejected him, but he's plugged away and done a respectable job with Arrows. Adam Cooper asked him for the inside story on the battle with Coulthard

Enrique Bernoldi Q&A

"I'm happy that from my point of view I did a good race, and my team was happy for me. There are 300 people who work day and night, and I think that they wouldn't be proud if I would wave somebody past who was fighting with me for a position, just because he has a quicker car than mine. I was just racing, I didn't make anything unfair. Monaco is for sure a very difficult circuit to overtake. I didn't block anyone, I just did my own speeds, which was not so good I have to say, I was not so quick there. And Coulthard couldn't get past. I feel sorry that he stalled on the grid, but that's not my problem. If he lost the race it was not because of me, I think. I did my own race, and I did what I'm here to do; to push, to try to improve myself, and to do the best that I can."

"My start was good. We went almost side by side, Jos and me, and I went to the outside on the first corner, so I could brake a little bit later, so I overtook him. At Monaco there's a lot of confusion, and then I damaged my front wing a little bit behind Heidfeld under braking. I went on the inside and he went in front of me to close the door. Jos came on the outside and took both of us again, but he crashed with Heidfeld, and I got past! I was together with the cars ahead, and I was faster than Alonso. Then I had something like a misfire, and Jos was behind me. I had to change my fuel map, and Jos got past me. The problem was that it was like a safe fuel map, so I was a little bit slower, and I lost the cars ahead. I started with new tyres, and I think the pressures came up too high. Then Coulthard was behind me."

"At Monaco it's difficult to overtake, but maybe I could have overtaken Alonso if I didn't lose any performance. It's hard, but Jos overtook somebody, and he was not three seconds faster than the cars in front of him. I heard that Coulthard said that I was turning a little bit, and sometimes closing the door too late. But if I don't go in the corner I hit the wall! There is all the rubber on the outside of the track, and at some stage I have to turn, if there is nobody on my side. If he would be on my side, he would pass me. I was not impatient to block him, I was just doing my race."

"I knew all the time, because my team instructed me that the leaders were coming. They told me, 'Now is coming Schumacher', 'Now is coming Barrichello,' or, 'Now is coming Ralf.' So I knew who was coming behind, and I didn't cost any time for them. When there was a real blue flag, I let them past."

"Yes, because maybe the marshals didn't know what an Arrows was doing in front of a McLaren! Yes, I saw them a few times. But I knew that was a misunderstanding. At one stage Raikkonen caught me towards the end, and he was still some laps behind me. And they waved blue flags for Raikkonen as well. So I think they didn't really know what was going on in the race."

"I was not in parc ferme, because my car stopped on the track because of the fuel problems I had. I still had 6kgs of fuel in the car, which I couldn't pick up. I stopped just before the tunnel, and then I got a ride with the safety car, and I went to the scales [in scrutineering]. You know, you pass 78 laps in the tunnel, so your ears are a little bit strange!"

"They came straight away. They were a little bit, I would say, not happy with me. I didn't see anyone from my team. The first two people I spoke to was them, when I was passing in front of their pit, which is the second one after the scales."

"They said something not so good, actually..."

"I think it's not up to them, if just because I have a slower car, I shouldn't be racing. I don't know what this is about. An Arrows, a Minardi, we are F1 as well, so we are racing in the same race. If we shouldn't race against any other car, what should we do then? Leave Ferrari and McLaren to pass all the time? I think it was good for me to be under pressure and not make a mistake. The first thing also was that my team was happy with me. They were proud about the work they are doing. I was doing my best, and they did their best for me as well."

"They said that I should a change a little bit my... They said they are racing for the championship, and I understand, I don't want to change the championship, it's up to them who will be the champion, it's not up to me. If I get just one point this year I'll be happy. I'm learning, I'm just in my first year in F1, and I'm racing for my career, I'm trying to do the best. I didn't make anything wrong, and I don't regret what I did. They said something first, and then after I saw in an interview they denied it. But they said it..."

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