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Thursday press conference - Monaco GP - Pt.2

Team principals: John Booth (Virgin), Tony Fernandes (Lotus), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren).
Questions from the floor.

Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special).
You had a meeting about tyres in Spain. Can you name some names and tell us who is offering what and why it's taking so long to get a decision?

Martin Whitmarsh:
I think, if you go back a few weeks, Joe, it looked like there wasn't really anyone who wanted to provide tyres, so the good news is that there appears to be several companies that are interested in supplying tyres to Formula One. I think those names have been widely speculated, I don't think you need me to confirm them, and out of respect to those suppliers, we should wait until we've got a decision. A decision is necessary for everyone; it's necessary for the teams because clearly we are designing our cars. We need technical information and the information – or the selection – is necessary for the tyre company because we need to make sure that they can get ready, particularly if they are new to the game.

Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special).
Without naming names, can you say what the benefits and the options are? One is expensive, one is cheap?

Yeah, I think as you would imagine, established players with more technical capability cost more than the newcomers. So there's a balance here and I think the teams will approach it in a responsible manner. Inevitably, in this climate, for all of the teams, having the lowest cost tyres is important. But at the same time, we mustn't compromise on the technical information and the integrity of those tyres, so there's a balance. I think the teams together have got to assess all of the new offerings and they're changing on a daily basis. Once we've got the best offers then the teams need to come together, we need to make sure that the FIA is also happy with the route that we go forward with.

Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special).
Tony, from your point of view, what usually happens when you have big tyre manufacturers coming in is that you have the teams up the front not paying and the teams down the back paying. How would you feel about that?

Tony Fernandes:
I think in my short period at FOTA, there is a pretty strong togetherness there to be honest. I think the will is that everyone will have a fair and equal deal. Certainly I've seen a lot of transparency under Martin, and I think it will be a pretty fair deal throughout for all teams.

Q: (Andrew Frankl – Forza).
As far as the weather this weekend is concerned, it seems a bit iffy. How long does it take to alter suspensions and moving from a wet race to a dry race? It looks as though it could be playing havoc and I'm wondering how you all feel about it.

Christian Horner:
I think the problem is that you have got to have a bit of a crystal ball because your set-up on Saturday dictates… with parc ferme regulations, the only variable you've got for the race is your front wing. Putting on wet tyres, obviously you have a deeper gauge, it raises the ride height, so basically I'm sure that the weather conditions tomorrow (Saturday) will principally dictate what set-ups people are going to end up on Sunday with. Grid position is extremely important here, but to be honest, these days the difference between a wet set-up and a dry set-up isn't that great and especially with the driver controls that are available to the drivers, such as the moveable front wing, they are able to have a degree of tuning within the cockpit.

As Christian said, you have to be very brave to work towards a wet set-up 24 hours before the race, so unless it's raining during qualifying, I'm sure everyone will have dry set-ups for the race.

Q: (Ian Parkes – The Press Association).
John, for a man from very humble beginnings, are you still pinching yourself that you're in Formula One, particularly when you come to a venue like this?

John Booth:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, John Booth, Virgin Racing Sporting Director - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
18.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, Tony Fernandes, Lotus F1 Team, Team Principal - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
Friday, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer
Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

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cknopp - Unregistered

May 13, 2010 9:51 PM

@rob01 You still haven't answered my earlier question. Will you publicly admit that you were wrong when the ban on the DDD for 2011 does NOTHING to increase the overtaking in F1? Or are you just going to continue with your rhetoric and arm-chair engineering by blaming something else? When the cars line up fastest-to-slowest, especially loaded with race distance fuel, there will NEVER be more overtaking than 2009, even if they were regulated to tube frames, tyres, and engine. It is a fact of physics.

cknopp - Unregistered

May 13, 2010 9:47 PM

@rob01 There is a reason that the fans do nothing but watch, and that is the fact they are not educated enough to participate let alone make demands. With drivers blaming aero for poor performances, and pundits trying to keep their views of drivers consistant, the "overtaking" banner has been beaten to death. The DDD was banned by FOTA, and FOTA only requires a 70% majority to make such a ban. In a cost cutting regime, changing more rules at this time is idiotic. They should have simply frozen the spec at the end of the year. That way the teams could benefit without investing even MORE into loopholes to get the same benefits.

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