Team principals: Bob Bell (Renault), Christian Horner (Red Bull), John Howett (Toyota) and Hiroshi Yasukawa (Bridgestone).

Press conference

Q:
John, I know you have been asked this question many times. Do you expect to be here next year? Is it rather late for your budget.

John Howett:
No, I just can't get my head around that. We plan much further ahead than others. If you run a company you get a budget reduction half-way through the year. We are just professionals and we manage it. We have got alternative scenarios and I expect to be back at Suzuka hopefully without the rain next year.

Q:
Do we read into the driver situation that both drivers are free to negotiate their own deals elsewhere if they want to?

JH:
I think the market is very fluid. I think we have tried to be fair to the drivers to say that we may not have seats for them and therefore I think it is fair and transparent to do that. We remain in contact with both of them, particularly Timo (Glock). But I do feel there will be movements in the driver market, some movements even that people aren't speculating about at the moment and therefore we want to be free to consider the best option for the team for next year. We think we will have a strong car and we want good results.

Q:
Is (Robert) Kubica on that list?

JH:
Yes, definitely we would be interested. I guess we are probably fighting with our friends here on the right (Renault). But we have to see what happens. Hopefully we can manage but if not then there are alternatives.

Q:
Has Timo, after an excellent second place in Singapore, strengthened his case?

JH:
I think you have to say yes, but on the other hand we would have liked to have seen that result more consistently. His race pace is outstanding. It always has been and sometimes in qualifying he has struggled and makes life extremely hard for himself. We still have a great affinity for Timo and we are still talking and he may well be in the car next year but it is too early to confirm our situation.

Q:
Is he definitely going to be in the car tomorrow?

JH:
Well, I hope so. He had a temperature of 39.1 this morning. It has dropped now and I hope he will be in the car tomorrow.

Q:
It is not necessarily definite? He is still unwell?

JH:
Yeah, we think based on the information we have tonight he should be in the car tomorrow. I don't think he missed that much today to be honest, so I think it was best to keep him out of the wet and in good condition for tomorrow.

Q:
Bob, new jobs. Tell us about how life has changed for you and how easy it has been to step into Flavio's (Briatore) shoes?

Bob Bell:
Well, first of all, no intention to step into his shoes. Housekeeping a few of his responsibilities over the coming months but I am no Flavio Briatore and I have no intention to be. It is extra work but it is not just extra work for me, it is extra work for a lot of people in the team. Some of the responsibilities are filtered down the chain. We are set up to deal with that and we are all getting on with it. It has been a bit of a baptism of fire, back to back races on top of other things, so not much time to think about it.

Q:
Are you likely to remain team principal or is that not a job that you want to do on a permanent basis?

BB:
Quite honestly, it is not a job I am considering whether I do long term or not at the minute. I think actually Renault are probably in the same position. We need to get through these next four races in good shape and do some restructuring in the team and sort out some major issues in good time for next year. I think once we have done that we will take stock of the situation and decide what is best for the team in the long term.

Q:
How crucial has it been to lose (Fernando) Alonso for next year?

BB:
Fernando has been such a huge part of our team for many years. It is sad to see him go but we wish him well. People move on at all levels of the sport and we have to deal with it and we will hopefully put together a good driver line-up for next year that will see us not suffer too badly for his departure.

Q:
What do you think he is going to be like at Ferrari?

BB:
I don't honestly know. There is no doubting his driving abilities. I think he will get on alright there. I think they will accommodate him as an individual and I think he will do a fine job. I think it will work well there for him.

Q:
Hiroshi, can I have a comment about the tyre philosophy of compounds? Having compounds one and two removed. How has that gone this year?

Hiroshi Yasukawa:
Actually, last year when we were using two specifications, that time between each specification gap everybody said it was too small. This time we have to provide just one specification. Anyhow if we are concerned about teams and ourselves, some teams we know very well and they know us very well. We thought it better to supply two specifications. Then this year we discussed with the FIA, and the FIA also said it is better to provide two different specifications. Then we supplied sometimes too big a gap. I think this is good as if just one team has a big gap and a different team has a small gap, this is a bit unfair. But our philosophy is that we are going to supply fair treatment, so then always even with different characteristics, different specifications, we are going to supply the same tyres for each team.

Q:
Is it going to be the same next year and how is it going to work with the fact there is no refuelling, so the cars are going to be much heavier at the start?

HY:
We are going to discuss with the FIA. The front tyre is going to be narrower and the wet tyre, the intermediate, is also going to have narrower front tyres.

Q:
Coming back to this grand prix. How much homework have you had to do with the resurfacing here, given that people have already lost one practice day?

HY:
Yeah, actually very interesting. But of course we cannot do any tests. Fortunately we supply our tyres for Formula Nippon and GT cars and our engineer has quite a big experience especially here in Suzuka. We are going to transfer this knowledge to .... (becomes inaudible).

Q:
Do you think it is going to be different? Are they quite different characteristics the two types of circuits?

HY:
I don't think so. We can manage.

Q:
You have been official tyre supplier for quite some time. This is the second year of your current three-year agreement. How important is Formula One to Bridgestone?

HY:
For us it is very, very important. You remember, before, we were not in Formula One. In this case now many people realise our company name. The Formula One impact is very strong. Each grand prix I understand, 188 countries broadcast the race. This impact is very strong and fortunately we have the rights for signage. This is great. Hopefully we can keep going.

Q:
Christian, engine situation inevitably. We saw Sebastian (Vettel) doing quite a few laps today. But obviously it is not so tough on the engine. How many races has this current engine got to do?

Christian Horner:
The race engines are in reasonable shape. The race engine we will use this weekend had its first race in Monza. The race engine we used last weekend had its first race in Spa. We will alternate those engines in the remaining races. The test engines we have been a little bit more limited on, as obviously Sebastian is in to all eight of his engines. But with the help of Renault we have exceeded their target kilometres, especially in Singapore, by some margin to ensure that he is getting the mileage. Hopefully, it will continue as we have and the lack of mileage today because of the weather only helps us for Brazil, so hopefully without any issues we should be able to get through to the end of the year without a penalty.

Q:
What is the situation about your engines in the future? When are you going to make a decision on that?

CH:
Well, inevitably the design team are fairly enthusiastic to know what they are supposed to be designing their gearbox and chassis around. Adrian (Newey) does not have a habit of releasing chassis early. But, inevitably, we are getting to a point where we do need to make a decision, so in the next few weeks we will have to hone in on a final position.

Q:
It is a few weeks, not days?

CH:
It depends who you speak to. But Ross Brawn did it in December which demonstrates where there is a will there is a way. But it is not ideal, so ideally we would like to come up with a final solution in the near future.

Q:
What as team principal are your views of the World Championship at the moment? Has it completely gone as far as Red Bull is concerned? Mathematically it is still possible.

CH:
I mean we have got a mountain to climb and the odds are stacked against us being able to win either the Constructors' or the Drivers' but we are in both championships. Sebastian is still in contention for the drivers' and the constructors' is still doable. We need a fair bit of good fortune to achieve that but to be honest we are not focussed on the championships. We are thinking about the individual races. We will do our best at each of the remaining three races, try and win all three of them, and the championships will take care of themselves. Kimi (R?ikk?nen) a couple of years ago came from quite a way behind.