2 October 2009
Friday press conference - Japanese GP - Pt.1
Team principals: Bob Bell (Renault), Christian Horner (Red Bull), John Howett (Toyota) and Hiroshi Yasukawa (Bridgestone).
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.
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.
Do we read into the driver situation that both drivers are free to negotiate their own deals elsewhere if they want to?
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.
Is (Robert) Kubica on that list?
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.
Has Timo, after an excellent second place in Singapore, strengthened his case?
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.
Is he definitely going to be in the car tomorrow?
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.
It is not necessarily definite? He is still unwell?
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.
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?
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.
Are you likely to remain team principal or is that not a job that you want to do on a permanent basis?
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.
How crucial has it been to lose (Fernando) Alonso for next year?
Tagged as: Toyota , Red Bull Racing , Renault , Christian Horner , Horner , John Howett , Suzuka , press conference , Bridgestone , Bell , Howett , Bob Bell , Yasukawa , Hiroshi Yasukawa
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