19 June 2009
British GP – Friday press conference – Pt.1
Team principals: Ross Brawn (Brawn GP), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Adam Parr (Williams F1), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren-Mercedes)
Just one question from me. What is your position regarding the current situation in Formula One? Christian, can I start with you please.
Right. It has obviously been a busy 24 hours but I think it obviously dates back well beyond that. We have effectively reached a position of stalemate between FOTA and the FIA. I think a huge amount of effort has been made by the teams to try and find a compromise because at the end of the day we do have a duty of care to the people that we sit here and represent, the employees, to the fans, to the sponsors and to the public. The intention and effort was to try and find a compromise, a solution.
As I say we find ourselves in a position of stalemate and the decisions that were made that resulted in the press release that you all saw this morning weren't taken lightly and after a lot of deliberation that was the position that collectively the teams arrived at. Whilst it was a difficult decision to make I think unfortunately we have found ourselves in a situation that the conditions of the entries that we looked to put in have been effectively rejected and I think the teams reached the stage where they felt they could go no further. Therefore, as I say, we have effectively reached a stalemate and we are faced with the situation where we either stop or we look at something else.
Certainly from a Red Bull perspective we want to race against the best teams, against the best drivers, with the best sponsors in the world. If that cannot be Formula One then we will have to consider what the alternative is but being ever the optimist I think we have gone as far as we can.
We have reached this position and that is where we are today. Situations can change but that is certainly where we are.
Well, I think after the shock of Honda leaving Formula One there was a lot of concern that we reacted in a correct way and we started with the correct initiatives or intensified those initiatives as in fairness there were a lot of initiatives already started by the teams I think with general support from the FIA. The engine manufacturers within FOTA had introduced the eight million Euro engine and next year it is five million Euros, so for my team that is a godsend. There were a lot of initiatives already underway and perhaps with the economic environment there was a need to review those initiatives and see if we could intensify them but in a structured way and a balance needed to be kept because there were many reasons whey Honda left Formula One but it was not only an economic argument.
There was a strategic argument as well and the reaction needed to be the correct reaction. In our view it did not need to be as dramatic as occurred and that is really where the differences of opinion have come in the dramatic reaction the FIA felt was necessary in the circumstances to protect Formula One. I think the balance between the opinion of the teams and the FIA has been different and it has been difficult to reconcile those differences and in trying to reconcile those differences the relationships have suffered.
At the present time there is a very difficult relationship between the teams whose, I think, genuine ambition is not to take over Formula One but the teams have a massive investment in Formula One and they want their investment respected. Formula One doesn't belong to the teams. I don't believe it belongs to Formula One. It belongs to the people. Formula One belongs to all of us. It is not something which is owned by anybody. It is like the Olympic Games, the World Cup.
It is an entity in itself. It needs respecting and nurturing and it needs to be developed. Really the teams do not share the same opinion as the FIA in the way that it needs to be developed and we have ended up with a situation where some teams have now entered Formula One with a different set of regulations to what the other teams wish to race under, with in fairness a proposal from the FIA to change those regulations again but no guarantee that those regulations can change.
Red Bull Racing
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