Questions from the floor.

Q: (Gaetan Vigneron - RTBF).
Question to all of you regarding the decision for tyres for next year. Jean Todt has said that it's a decision of the FIA and of Bernie Ecclestone. What's your opinion about that? It seems to be quite urgent, so when could we have a final decision?

Martin Whitmarsh:
I think what Jean's reflecting is that current regulations require the FIA to go out to tender and clearly that is something we all have a vested interest in concluding. I think teams, the FIA, the commercial rights holder have been working hard to reach a conclusion and I'm sure they will be able to shortly.

Christian Horner:
I think the only thing to add is that the sole supplier situation that we have in Formula One has enabled independent teams such as ourselves to be competitive with automotive-owned teams and larger organisations. I think the most fundamental thing going forward is that we have equality of tyre supply. In the situation that we have at the moment, we have a good tyre supplier who unfortunately won't be with us in 2011. I think the teams are clear where they want to go with the options that are on the table and hopefully the FIA together with Bernie Ecclestone can come to a similar conclusion.

I think it's urgent for whoever comes in. They need to get the tyres designed, developed and work out the logistics of manufacturing the number of tyres required and servicing Formula One next year and for the teams, we need it very urgently, so that we can design next year's car, because clearly the tyre characteristics are a fundament starting point for the layout of next year's car. So it's pretty urgent really, for the tyre companies and for the teams.

Q: (MC)
And are you going to want to test those tyres before the end of this season?

I think the two companies that have been expressing an interest have got views on how they would test, whether they would test with teams or by other means but again, the quicker and earlier we can test and validate the design characteristics have been met and the things are safe the better. It's going to be difficult. All of the teams, over the last couple of years, have now stood down their test teams, so none of us, frankly, are equipped to go out there testing and tyre testing as we did before. There have been a lot of initiatives in Formula One to reduce costs and I think we've got to be careful we don't creep back in the wrong direction in dealing with this change, but I'm sure it's something that together we will work through satisfactorily.

Q: (Daniel Bastien - FM 103.3).
Parallel to the tyre question there's also the issue of KERS for next year and beyond. Where's that now, is it multiple choice, single supplier?

KERS is permissible under the regulations and of course, during the economic crisis there was an agreement amongst the teams not to run KERS this year. We were a team which benefitted greatly from a great and competitive KERS system last year. Certainly we haven't been at the forefront of campaigning for its re-introduction but I think it would seem that there is sufficient interest from a number of the teams to be running KERS again, so it now seems likely that a proportion - I don't know if all of them - but a good number of teams will run KERS next year.

Eric Boullier:
We are definitely a very strong supporter of KERS. I think we have said already many, many times that we would like KERS back. We have different technology, let's say, to my neighbour Mercedes and this is maybe where we have some discussions to find a compromise but nothing else, just discussions. We hope that KERS will be back.

Norbert Haug:
Yeah, frankly we are very well equipped if KERS is needed. We had the historic first victory, as Martin pointed out, last year, just a little bit less than a year ago, with Lewis Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix. We won two races with KERS last year, KERS helped us in Hungary. Without KERS, I think it would have been very difficult to overtake Mark Webber at that stage. If we need KERS we are prepared. We need to be aware that this will cost money for all the teams. Should only some teams run KERS and have a benefit, then it's probably difficult but I think we all need to sit together and make the right decision, but Mercedes Benz is a pioneer, if you like to express it like that, in hybrid. In principal, we have a similar system in our Mercedes S-class which is a very successful car, interestingly very successful in China, this hybrid car. So it suits us basically; our point was just that we have to be aware that it costs money and we have to be aware that the new engine formula which is planned for 2013 will cost money and we should define limits, because Mercedes needs limits and money spending and I think Renault, whoever, I don't think the other gentlemen here will see it differently. I don't think anybody wants to spend more money than is necessary.

Q: (MC).
Christian, would Red Bull develop their own or would they go with Renault's?

First of all, KERS is a very interesting technology, it's something that Formula One needs to be responsible and look at. I think the problem that we have is that with the current regulations we find ourselves a little bit in no-man's land concerning the performance advantage of running KERS, integrating it into the car, the weight, the system. Is it just going to be a benefit for the first 500 meters of the race, as we saw so often last year? Is it actually going to add anything to the spectacle, the sporting spectacle of racing? Unfortunately, with the current regulation it's arguable as to whether it will. I think each team is going to have to make a decision, whether they optimise their car with a KERS system or without a KERS system and I think it is very, very tight as to whether you would or wouldn't run a system. Then there's obviously a cost element on top of that. It's an interesting question that we have to make decisions on in the relatively near future, because the architecture of next year's car... one has to decide fairly shortly, are you going to incorporate a KERS? You've also got to think about the size of your drivers, the weight limit has been increased to accommodate that to a degree. Weight distribution is affected by running KERS, there's a knock-on effect - adapting that system into your car is quite significant and of course there are gains and losses. You've just got to weigh up: does the system earn its place as a performance differentiator on your car?

Q: (Ted Kravitz - BBC).
Much of what was key to the Turkish Grand Prix were radio transmissions, especially between the McLaren drivers and the Red Bull drivers and the fact that they were delayed or never broadcast just added to the confusion of the controversy that's rumbled on into this week. Would it not help people's understanding of the race - and Martin, you spoke about the entertainment that you're here to provide - if those transmissions were made open and accessible to broadcasters, not just to the FIA and FOM?

Well, the radio transmissions are made available by all the teams to the commercial rights holder at all times. They then have the rights to use that in any way that they choose to. I guess the issue is how much can you process and refine and give to the outside broadcasters. That's probably a discussion you need to have with FOM, not with us.

From our point of view, all radio transmissions should be available and open. Certainly all our transmissions seem to be played, there was nothing that wasn't played, because there was no communication given other than standard communications about managing fuel mixtures etc during the course of the race. But I think it's something that Formula One has opened up much more in recent years. We never used to hear Ferrari transmissions, we never used to hear McLaren transmissions. We do hear that now and I think that adds to the spectacle, it adds to the show that is Formula One.

Q: (Ed Straw - Autosport).
Christian and Martin, there's a ban on team orders in Formula One that was brought in after Austria to stop things like that farcical race finish with drivers switching around. Is there an argument for maybe re-evaluating the ban on team orders, both to allow people in your position to manage what your drivers are doing on the circuit, and also to prevent conspiracy theories rightly or wrongly being generated from what we do hear of radio transmissions?

I think team orders are wrong. I think we've got two guys who we back equally and it's down to what they do on the track. You employ professional drivers and we shouldn't dictate how they drive the car. I think it would be wrong to deny the public from what a Grand Prix should be about which is man and machine competing with each other, and that's a philosophy which we've always had and so I think it would be wrong to reintroduce the ability to dictate that one car should absolutely win from the first corner onwards.

I think we're happy with the regulations as they are. We haven't been operating team orders and that's been something in McLaren for many, many years. I know some teams have but I guess historically Formula One teams could run as a team. I don't mind if other teams want to do something and that's up to them, but within our team, we've tried to treat all of our drivers with respect. We try to treat them as fairly as we can at all times in preparing for a race and throughout a race. Having said that, you'll never eliminate conspiracy theories; there will be a conspiracy theory on something else. I think it's fine as it is.

Q: (Daniel Bastien - FM 103.3).
What do you think of Jean Todt's suggestion that drivers should be sanctioned in the championship for behaving badly on public roads?

I completely agree with it. I thought that used to be the case anyway. It certainly used to be the case that you had to have a valid road licence to hold a competition licence. The drivers are ambassadors for driving safely on the road. Certainly, I don't think we would have any problem if that was reinstated.

Yes, I agree with that, but we wouldn't want to extend it to team members!

Yes, it's perfectly OK.

Yes, definitely the drivers are ambassadors for safety and I don't know how you can handle penalising them on track when they are doing something bad on the road. But they definitely need to behave because they have ambassador status.


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