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Friday press conference - Abu Dhabi GP - Pt.2

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

Questions from the floor.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat).
Stefano, you have been around winning Drivers' Championships with Ferrari before. Christian has not. Does that give any type of advantage for you in this moment?

Stefano Domenicali:
To me. I don't think so.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To Ferrari.

Well, you are very kind but I don't think so. I think in this moment you really get out from yourself all the qualities that you have and try to keep the problems or the bad things under a certain level of control. But the advice that I can give to Christian is he has already won a championship this year, so he has already covered that, so he is bullet-proof on that.

Stefano, Dietrich Mateschitz was quoted as saying that he would prefer to come second rather than do what Ferrari did in Hockenheim. I think that deserves some reply from you.

Not from me. I congratulate Mr Mateschitz on the title and honestly, I always said that I speak about Ferrari and apart from congratulating Red Bull on their title, there is nothing to add from me.

Q: (Ralf Bach – R&B).
We are nearly at the end of the season, so a question to all of you: in the end, how do you rate Michael Schumacher's comeback so far?

Adam Parr:
Where's Norbert (Haug) when you need him? You know I've done two press conferences with Norbert and he gets asked this question… how long are you going to stick with him? Everyone has an opinion but I don't think my opinion means anything. I think it's completely up to Mercedes and Michael Schumacher to determine how they see his career and how he's done. Clearly he's a seven time World Champion, he's an exceptionally talented brilliant driver without any question at all. And nothing that he's done this year changes his incredible achievements.

I agree on the last part of Adam's quote. Michael is a friend, and I have such respect for him that we discussed between us, at the end of last year, because he was in our team and we have discussed these things internally and we keep it between us. But I agree with him: seven times World Champion is an achievement that I don't think anyone else will do, will achieve at least in the short term.

Martin Whitmarsh:
As a seven time World Champion he will be disappointed. Let's be frank, he will be disappointed with this season. He's a winner, he's won many, many races. But, it's a driver, a team, a car. We all play a role in our end success and lack of success, so I think anyone who writes Michael off and believes that he can't be more competitive next year will be foolish. Mercedes have a great heritage, they are still strong partners of us and Mercedes GP were the heroes this time last year. They've had a tough year but there's good people there, it's a good team and they've got two good drivers, one of whom has had a disappointing year. But I think none of us here underestimate what they are capable of doing together next year. He will have been disappointed, of that I'm quite sure. People like Stefano know him much better than I do but there's no reason why he can't come back very strongly in the following season.

Christian Horner:
When you've won seven World Championships and over 90 grand's prix, it's a hell of a ballsy thing at 40 years of age to say 'OK, I'll come back and take on the current best of the crop.' You've got to admire the guy for taking that decision in coming back. He's not been in the best car. I'm sure he won't be satisfied with his season but he's a determined competitor and I think it's good to have him back in Formula One. It would be nice to see him in a quicker car, so long as it was just behind us, and I'm pleased he's around again next year. It makes me feel young.

Q: (Mat Coch – pitpass.com).

Related Pictures

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

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