Press conference

Q:
First question to you all. We have had a fantastic World Championship this year with four drivers in contention at the end of the series. What do you think has been a major contribution to the excitement of the championship? Is it the rules, new circuits? Adam, what do you think it is?

Adam Parr:
I am very honoured to be here with the championship contenders. I think it is Formula One. The thing about Formula One unlike most sports is there are so many variables. There's the car, there's the drivers and there's the way the car develops during the year. There is each of the different circuits, the weather and then there is strategy and so forth. You have got so many variables that when you have got very many excellent teams like those sitting around me it is very hard for anybody to really dominate. It is just Formula One at its best.

Q:
One of the variables was taken away with refuelling, so might it have been even better. Stefano, what do you think?

Stefano Domenicali:
It is always difficult to say something when you put all these elements on the table. For sure we have an incredible level of drivers, that really makes a big difference. The teams in this new change of regulations I would say have done quite an interesting job in order to try to be closer together. Then of course all the factors that have happened this year have basically involved all the teams and has brought something unique to the championship itself. It seems a real long time that we don't have many drivers and many teams that are fighting for something, so this is the main thing of the season. It is a really unique championship in that respect even if I have to say, once again, congratulations to Red Bull for winning the Constructors' title. They totally deserved it, so that is one thing that is already out of the equation unfortunately for Sunday.

Q:
Martin, your thoughts?

Martin Whitmarsh:
A lot has been said already. I think the teams have done a great job. We have got some great World Champions competing in this year's championship and it really has been an epic season. I think Red Bull have had a very quick car all year. I think we have had moments of being quick. Ferrari have made, staged, a fantastic recovery from mid-year and I think that has made it move around. The form of the drivers and the teams has changed from circuit to circuit. I think it really has been an epic season, certainly not just for us involved in it. We have had our thrills and disappointments as you normally do but I think as a season for the fans this has been absolutely epic and I am sure we will have a really exciting weekend here.

Q:
Christian?

Christian Horner:
I think the guys have really summed it up. From a Red Bull point of view we have done our best to keep it interesting. But you have also got to look at the regulations. We have still got relatively newer regulations and the pace of developments has been relentless. With the regulations being reasonably mature the gains the teams have seen have been significant. The pendulum has swung between the three main teams here circuit to circuit, so it has been a fantastic year for Formula One. It has been an exciting one to be involved in and here we are at the 19th race with four drivers who are still competing for this championship.

Q:
At this stage after two practice sessions how confident are you of your driver winning the World Championship? Christian, one of your two anyway?

CH:
Well, we have come here with two guys in contention. Mark (Webber) is obviously that bit closer than Sebastian (Vettel) but they have both driven fantastically well this year. To get to this point and have two guys still in contention is testimony to the way they have performed and delivered at the previous 18 events. With the way that the points are this year it is a deceptive number, you know 15 points to Seb, eight points to Mark. As we have seen this year things can change pretty rapidly, so it is going to be an exciting race. Looking at the four of them again they are right there in the two sessions today. I expect tomorrow to be tight and I expect Sunday to be very close. I don't think this championship will be settled. I think it will go down to the last lap. It is a fascinating prospect and what a great venue to finish at.

Q:
Martin, after today's practice with Lewis ending up fastest?

MW:
Well, it is easy for Lewis. Lewis has to win on Sunday. We will try our best to do that and then we need a bit of help from my friends around me. But all we can do is focus on trying to win the race and see what happens thereafter. On the face of it we have got a bit of a challenge but we will be fighting to the last lap. We have seen before and we have won World Championships in the last few corners a few times over the years and you have got to be pushing. Again that is going to be tremendously exciting for sure on Sunday.

Q:
And confident after today's sessions?

MW:
Well, confident. As you say, I think we are not too bad. I think you should not read too much into it. It is always a nice feeling on a Friday to come away the quickest and certainly Lewis was relatively happy with the balance of the car but we don't underestimate our friends at Red Bull and Ferrari. I am sure they are going to be quick tomorrow afternoon but there is no reason why we cannot be competitive in the qualifying session and see how we race. Thereafter we need a bit of co-operation from those around me.

Q:
Stefano, confident after today's sessions?

SD:
Well, it is not a matter of confidence. It is to check what is going on. As expected we have Red Bull and McLaren very, very fast and then we know today you need to know exactly what was the programme that we run in comparison to the programmes Christian and Martin ran with their cars. I think it would be exciting but I am expecting tomorrow, as Martin said, a very interesting qualifying. At the end of the day it will be a matter of a lot of factors during the race. You need to be lucky, you need to be reliable, you need to be head on the shoulder up until the last moment. As we have seen in the past if you react emotionally at the wrong moment, in the wrong way during the race if something happens that is not really going to the right directions, then if you do mistakes it is finished. We need to be very, very concentrated to the end, so confident we will see.

Q:
Looking at your drivers, do you see them slightly changed for this race and how can you handle those drivers? Is there anything you can do to control or manage them as they go towards this vital race? Is there anything you see with Fernando in particular, Stefano?

SD:
I think on our side we need to do the normal things that we normally do in a racing weekend. We do not have to make calculations or think of too many strategies otherwise you get lost. We need to be focused on the best performance that we can and that's it. Really focus on ourselves as always.

Q:
Do you see any change in Fernando?

SD:
Well, at the moment not really. Everyone of us is trying to control the emotions that he has inside. This is part of the role of every person but so far everything is okay.

Q:
Martin?

MW:
I think for Lewis it is a bit simpler than the other guys. Lewis really just has to focus on winning the race and thereafter if he wins the championship it is in the hands of others. When you are coming to try and defend a position and make sure you control the points you get or a competitor gets I think it can become more complicated. I think for Lewis, in answer to your question do I see something different? I think he is relaxed but focused. He wants to try and win it and it's simpler for him. That is what he is going to try and do. Whether we can we will start to understand tomorrow afternoon.

Q:
Christian, quite a task for you in many ways with both drivers in contention?

CH:
Yes, it is a different situation for us as we have got two guys competing against each other for the biggest prize in motorsport, but I don't see any difference in them this weekend. They are both focused on the job in hand. They both know to beat Fernando they have got to finish and have got to finish ahead of him. The rules are pretty clear. It is pretty straightforward what they have got to achieve. They are just going about the weekend as they have the previous 18 and they are very focused on getting the most out of themselves, the most out of the car and we will see how things pan out in the race.

Q:
Is there anything you can do with either driver?

CH:
I think that my role, not just with the drivers, but with the engineers, the guys in the garage and throughout the team is just to keep everyone focused and calm. Obviously we had an unbelievable weekend last weekend which was a huge thing for the whole team. That's quite nice to have got that out of the way, so there is not the distraction of thinking about the permutations of a Constructors' Championship. It is pure focus on giving both drivers the best possible support we can going into Sunday's race.

Q:
Adam, last weekend a great pole position for Nico H?lkenberg. How do you see his season in this his rookie year?

AP:
Well, it was a great and a very exciting moment for the whole team. We don't sadly get those very often, but the taste of it has got everyone rather excited about what is possible in the future. I think it is enormously difficult for a driver coming into Formula One now with almost no testing, even someone with a track record like his before Formula One. It has clearly been challenging at times, but what we have seen is him make great progress through the year in terms of consistency and performances. His race pace is excellent and he is bringing the cars home in spite of punctures and many other challengers. We are very proud of what he achieved this year and he gave us a great moment last weekend.

Q:
The team is allegedly losing a number of sponsors this year and finance is important for a team. The rumour is you are going to cover that finance elsewhere with another driver. How difficult is it to balance having a driver like Nico perhaps against somebody who is bringing a lot of money?

AP:
Well, we haven't made any decisions about the driver line-up for next year. I have missed the last two races as I have been making sure we have the finances we need for next year and we do. We have replaced all the sponsorship we have lost and we are in great shape for next year. I actually feel more positive about the future now than I have done for the a long time even though, funnily enough, we actually turned a profit as a company every year for the last three years and we will this year and we will next year. Financially I think we are in very good shape. It is not something we like to talk about very often but sometimes you do have to say something positive about the future even though Frank (Williams) and Patrick (Head) thoroughly disapprove of that approach to life. We are very positive about the future. We haven't made a decision about our driver line-up next year and that is partly because we need to see the whole season in its context. When we make those decisions we will announce them.