Ross Brawn (Brawn GP), Flavio Briatore (Renault), Mario Theissen (BMW-Sauber) and Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren-Mercedes)
To start with, a couple of questions to you all. What is the situation coming here? What upgrades do you have on the car? How much are you working on this year's and next year's car? Mario
We have brought an upgrade package here to Valencia. Two major issues: one is aero, including a new diffuser, and the other one is a lightweight chassis. It didn't look bad today. The drivers especially think it is a significant step forward. I hope we can turn that into results tomorrow and on Sunday. On the future, obviously we are looking for investors to take over and continue with the team and as long as we are doing so, we will continue with next year's car, F1 10, so the development programme is ongoing as planned.
Flavio, any developments here?
The normal step. We had a big step at the last race but unfortunately we had this accident and it was not possible for us to have a good result and we continue every race to add a little bit. It is not a big step every race. We have another development the next race just for Monza and obviously after that we are thinking about the new car and we will push very hard for the 2010 car. What we try to do is have a podium in the next two or three races. That is our goal for this year and maybe a victory as well. We try very hard to improve the car and we believe the car is much better in the last six or seven races. But for some reason we did not have any result. It is a frustrating situation, especially for the people working in the factory and for everybody at Renault, for us, for the sponsors. This is what happened this year. We try every race to do something but everybody is doing the same.
We have a reasonable aerodynamic upgrade package here. We had one in Hungary. The last couple of races have been a bit messy for us. We did have some quite good upgrades in those races and hopefully today and this weekend we can take the benefit of those upgrades as we have not had some good races recently. Primarily another aerodynamic upgrade here. We are working hard on the 2010 car. I think we had a good FIA technical meeting on Wednesday which clarified some open issues to enable us to proceed properly with the new cars and we have got a balanced approach between what we are doing for 2010 and what we are doing still for this year. We will be working hard this year all the way up to the last race.
Like everyone we have had a shut-down between the last race and this race, so that has given an extra challenge to everyone at all the factories. Everyone has been working hard, I am sure in all the teams, certainly in ours. We have got a series of upgrade packages as evident from today, though maybe not a sufficient number of those parts. But we had a new front wing package here that we tried with Heikki (Kovalainen) this morning. We have had some floor modifications which we tried with Lewis (Hamilton) and we were running a shorter wheel-base version of the car with Lewis today, really something that we are looking for the higher speed circuits, probably frankly for the benefit of Spa and beyond. We are still pushing hard on this year's car. I think everyone is. That is just how competitive Formula One is today. You have to continue to improve every race but clearly we are in a slightly different position from Ross and Red Bull
as we have got to concentrate and make sure that we come out of the box next year with a quick car. There is a tremendous amount of effort to do that as well.
We spoke with some of your drivers yesterday and there was a certain lack of clarity as to what their plans were for next year. Perhaps you could give some indication as to what the situation is with your drivers next year.
The only thing I can say is there is a lack of clarity because we don't know what we can pull off for next year. We are working on it and apparently it will affect the drivers as well.
Flavio, your drivers for next year? Do you have anybody under contract?
Work in progress.
Do you have neither of them under contract?
You have asked me this from the first race in 2008. When we are ready to announce the names of the drivers we will announce it.
But you are not saying if one is under contract?
I just told you. We are a work in progress. We are working on that.
Ross, what is the situation with your drivers?