Q. What are your feelings on the world championship now as we start the second half of the season?
Rubens Barrichello: Well, it is time to react -- time to have a better end of season. Although the team has been closed for a long period, we have been talking a lot over the phone to see what have caused the mishaps in the last two races and we have an idea and a plan for Friday. There are some back-to-backs to be done and we are quite optimistic that the car will perform quite well.
Q. So do you see yourself fighting for the championship itself?
RB: I think that is a simple question with a simple answer - yes. It has to be.
Q. What are your views about Michael Schumacher's near comeback? Do you think he would have been quick?
RB: I feel sorry that he is not racing, to be honest. I would have loved to have raced him in a different car.
Q. Do you think he could have got in the points or come close to a podium?
RB: I think so. I think that the problem in getting back to F1 is that it is a physical problem. For sure he did not lose any of his speed, so I would say he would have been quite quick.
Q. Do you get the feeling that he wants to do F1 again?
RB: Yeah, I felt like that. When he stopped he was always at the top of his game. Pele stopped at the top of his game but he always felt sorry that he didn't keep on. I think that people do that, and they have that. I feel that he wants to do that again, and I am sorry that he didn't do it.
Q. Would it be easy though?
RB: No, I don't think it would be easy, and that is probably one of the answers for why he is not here. I am sure he had a neck problem, but this could also be a factor as well.
Q. BMW announced its withdrawal over the summer break, and you had the same experience with Honda. What is your comment on that?
RB: I feel sorry again for the sport. I felt sorry to see Honda going, and now BMW. I guess the fact that they have not been competitive, it may not have been good for the decision, but all in all we want to see more new people coming in, not going away from us.
Q. Can there be any comparison between the Valencia street circuit and Monaco?
RB: No, it is very difficult. I think you reach more speed here, the level of downforce is a lot less as well, not a lot but it is less. You can compare the walls but you have more escape here. This place, not in terms of grip but it terms of characteristic, is like a Melbourne one.
Q. What is the best spot to overtake here?
RB: Well, there are not plenty of them because it is hard to follow people. I feel there is one at the end of the braking zone for Turn 8, maybe for the last corner where if someone is going to open the door you can jump in. But it is still not easy to overtake in F1, and this is not an easy track to overtake. It is just a bit easier than Budapest.
Q. You spent one day with Felipe Massa over the break. How is he?
RB: Felipe is well. He is the same man. I was worried that I would get there and not see Felipe in the same way. For me he was exactly the same. There was a common friend of ours in the house, we were talking about things and I asked, 'before Budapest, what race were we at?' And Felipe answered 'Germany!' So his memory is really well.
I don't remember my accident from 1994, so he doesn't remember his of course. And that is actually a better thing because at the end of the day you don't want to remember that.
From a friend's point of view, he is ready to race. He has some stitches on his head, but he is ready to race. But from a medical point of view I think he has to stay calm and wait for that answer. With all the X-rays that he showed me, there is some good recovery to make.
He cannot exercise still, so it will take a little while before he can do that. Then I am sure he will drive a go-kart before he comes back to F1, and I am not so sure there is enough time for him to do that. I hope he is back in Brazil, but I would not hurry up to get back.
He has a safe place at Ferrari, and in the same way I wanted to see him as the same Felipe, I want to see the same Felipe driving when he comes back.
Q. Was it quite emotional for you seeing him?
RB: I was in Orlando at one of the parks. My phone rang and I missed the call. It said 'Massinha', Little Massa. I thought maybe it was his brother, but I called the number back and he answered. So for me it was kind of emotional. Not because I have ever felt I needed to do something for him because the spring jumped out of my car - as for that you are not going to talk to me, you will talk to Ross or somebody else.
I never felt sorry for myself that that thing hit him, but I felt sorry that I had a friend like that. In the days that I spent at the hospital, someone went inside and came back with an answer; then someone else went inside and came back with an answer. So you never knew what was the real truth. So I was apprehensive and I felt so good when he called me, it was such a relief.
That was emotional I can tell you. My kids were all there playing, but I left them for 20 minutes and had to come back after � as for me it was a good relief. I felt good after that.
Q. You are racing Luca Badoer now in a Ferrari. What are your feelings on him coming back?
RB: Luca is a great guy. We actually started in 1993 at Kyalami at the same time. He was starting his career there. I hope he has a fantastic weekend, enjoying himself. Sometimes he puts pressure on himself, but I hope he does not. I hope he enjoys the fact of being an Italian racing for Ferrari. I think it is going to be very special, and I truly believe he is capable of doing a good job.
So the only question mark is always the physical conditions because he has not been in F1 for a long period. I wish him all the best and I actually sent a message to him, that if he needs anything I will be able to give him some of my experience on the racing track. I like him quite a lot.
Q. This weekend looks like it might be quite warm. How do you think it will be for Brawn GP?
RB: This weekend, we are going to have a good answer on what we have been doing right or wrong. In the past we did not have such a problem with the cold temperatures and we should not have that. I am expecting a good race fight.
Q. After such a good start to the season for Brawn, the last three grands prix have been quite disappointing. Is it now urgent you do something to turn things around?
RB: Yeah, there is a little pressure on us to perform well. All in all, if it wasn't for my problems: we got the wrong strategy at the Nurburgring otherwise we might have finished second in my view. Then, with my problems in the car in the last race in qualifying, we never had a chance to race and Jenson was always behind people as well.
So it is not that we are that bad. We are just behind the Red Bulls, and of course in Hungary we were behind the Ferraris and McLarens. It is up to us to get better. We had a nice little break where we could think a bit and hopefully now we are going to be better.