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Friday press conference - Abu Dhabi GP - Pt.1

Team principals: Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Adam Parr (Williams), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren).

Press conference

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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.

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

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.

And confident after today's sessions?

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.

Stefano, confident after today's sessions?


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Adam Parr, Chief Executive Officer, Williams F1 Team
Friday Practice 1, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes
Friday, Press conference, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Head of the Gestione Sportiva
Friday, Press conference, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Head of the Gestione Sportiva

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