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Friday press conference – Italian GP - Pt.2

Team principals: Ross Brawn (Brawn GP), Aldo Costa (Ferrari), Vijay Mallya (Force India) and Franz Tost (Toro Rosso).


Questions from the floor.


Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association).
Ross, quite a few respected people – Felipe Massa, Nigel Mansell, Stirling Moss – have remarked on Jenson's mental state over the past couple of weeks, that perhaps he's a man now under pressure given the position he's in in the championship. I'm just wondering whether you've noticed any particular difference in him, in his character, his mentality, in particular since the start of the season when everything was easier and he was winning races?

Ross Brawn:
Well, I think there's naturally been a change, because he's now leading the World Championship which I don't think he's done before, and that's a new experience for him. Undoubtedly that does influence your everyday thinking. When you're a driver who turns up to every race and if you can do well it's great but if you don't, so what: that's different to building a championship year and I've seen it in every driver I've worked with that if you're in a year when you don't have a chance to win the championship, the drivers try as hard, they're just as committed but it has a different flavour, a difficult character to when you're having to build points, even in different situations. So I do see a change in Jenson, but I see it as a positive change, I see it as something where he's diligently thinking about how he puts together a championship year, and how he works on trying to maintain his position. But I don't see anything negative in his approach or his attitude, and just to repeat, I've been fortunate enough to experience this many times and even with Michael (Schumacher), who did it seven times, the seventh time was just as tense as the first time. Yeah, sometimes being out in front in a championship is the most difficult position, because the cars behind have a lot to lose. The guy in the front is the one who has everything to lose and it's the same with a motor race: when you're leading the motor race, it's more difficult than the guy who's behind, who's trying to have a go and can maybe be a bit more adventurous in his strategy or his driving. That's the way it is. It's ten years since Jenson fought for a championship or more, so he's having to re-engage his thoughts on fighting for a World Championship and what I see is perfectly normal and I don't see anything negative about it for sure.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters).
Ross, there have been a lot of reports out of Germany in the last week about Mercedes buying a stake in the team. Could you comment on that?

RB:
We've got our plans in place for next year and we're happy with where the team's going. I'm not going to comment on our specific plans, they'll all be announced in due course: drivers, sponsors, so we're very comfortable with where we're going to be next year. That's as much as I would like to say.

Q: (Eliahu Ayldiz – Sports Channel, Israel).
About half an hour ago, Kimi (Räikkönen) said that even though he's quite happy with the car, he said that the Ferrari has had the same problem for the last few years here. Could you be more specific about why the car is not quick enough at Monza?

Aldo Costa:
To be honest, I didn't listen to his comments. Yeah, there are cars that perform better or worse on a whole range of circuits, depending on the basic choices that you have made in designing your car. Normally, when we design the car, we try to design the car for the circuits which are more frequent during the championship, so sometimes on the extremely different circuits we would suffer in terms of performance. This is our philosophy really, which has gone very well in the last few years. This year, for some specific problems, maybe the double diffuser at the beginning, it's not so evident. I think that if you invest a lot of time, a lot of money in designing a car for a specific circuit - all of us work with a fixed amount of money and a fixed amount of resources – you will not reach the optimum results that you can reach, on the contrary, being more focussed on the races which are more frequent during the championship. I know the driver may be pointing out this element but it's part of the philosophy of the team.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vijay Mallya (IND) Managing Director, Force India F1, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 14-16th, March, 2008
Franz Tost (AUT) Toro Rosso Sporting Director, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
Ross Brawn (GBR) Team Principal, Brawn GP, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 5th-7th June, 2009
Ross Brawn (GBR) Team Principal, Brawn GP, Alan Donnelly (GBR) FIA

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