Questions from the floor

Q: Andrea Cremonesi (La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Two questions for Aldo Costa: the first is about the drivers. You talked before that there is some difference understanding the tyres between the two drivers. I would like to
know which is the driver who understands the tyres better, between Fernando and Felipe. The second question is: today Fernando had new parts on the car, new front wing, new brake ducts. It was slower than Felipe; what does that mean when choosing these parts for the race or not?

Aldo Costa:
Regarding Fernando and Felipe understanding the tyres; I think both are doing quite a lot for the team to give feedback, information, comments. At this moment there isn't a big difference between the two in terms of how they wear the tyres in the last race. Maybe Felipe is a bit more in difficulty in cold conditions with the harder tyres, so we are trying to understand that and trying to help him in that respect.

In terms of the development that we have done today; yes, we have tested aerodynamic components. If it was so easy to decide, just looking at the lap time, we wouldn't be here because we can stay at home and look at the lap times and then decide from there. Fortunately, there are, as Paddy said, tons of data. It's very difficult to test during a Friday with a limited amount of tyres and also tyres which are not in constant condition. So there is a lot of data to analyse and we will be busy all this afternoon, trying to understand which configuration has got more potential and then make a decision for tomorrow.

Q: (Joe Saward - Grand Prix Special)
After the last Grand Prix in Malaysia, the fastest lap list had Sebastian Vettel sixth, one second behind Mark Webber, which suggests that in the course of the race he might have gone a lot faster. Do you think that is a realistic reading of how far ahead the Red Bull is at the moment, or do you think the qualifying numbers are more
realistic?

Paddy Lowe:
That's a difficult question, you know that. Impossible to know exactly where any of your competitors are, but particularly if the guy's in the lead, you don't know how much margin he's left. I don't know that Sebastian was really being chased particularly hard throughout the whole race and perhaps if he had been, we would know more. Certainly, we felt that if Lewis had managed to keep P2 on the first lap, he could have put him under more pressure potentially and we may have seen a very different race. I certainly don't think that Red Bull are cruising. I think they're feeling the pressure, we saw that in qualifying, in particular, in Malaysia.

Q: (Ted Kravitz - BBC Sport)
This is for Aldo and James. James, you're running essentially the back end of a Ferrari - minus the rear wing - the engine, the gearbox, the KERS. Do you understand why the Ferrari seems to be essentially a quicker car and Aldo, do you understand why the Sauber can do one stop less than you in races?

James Key:
I think that what we get from Ferrari... obviously the KERS and engine, which are units which we build into the car. There are some architectural differences or let's say some influences architecturally that they have but fundamentally they are units that we put in the car. The gearbox is probably the biggest part of what we're supplied which influences the way in which we have to deal with the car, so the rear suspension obviously picks up off the gearbox, it's our design but the pick-up points are pre-determined although we worked closely with Ferrari and where they were headed with the 'box for this year and that works out as a pretty good process. I think that the rest of the car is really down to the philosophy that's supplied by the team and I think we would expect Ferrari to be a bit quicker than us, because they are, traditionally, a championship-winning team ultimately and we're not quite in that league yet. I think we picked up what we were given, we had some decent discussions at an early stage with Ferrari, but then it's really down to us to put the rest of the package together, and obviously that's the mechanical side. The aero side clearly plays a huge role in this and you've got to match your mechanical and your aero together to get the car to work properly and so on, and the front suspension needs to work in tune with the
way the rear of the car is so the philosophy is that it's the whole car and the parts we get supplied play a part in that, but not a huge part.

Aldo Costa:
Yeah, not a lot to add. We supply the power train, all the rest is different, so in terms of tyre management, for example, you can have different suspension geometry, even if, as James said, starting with the pick-up points on the gearbox have to be the same so you can have different suspension geometry, different set-up as well as different aerodynamic development, so you may have a car that is easier on the tyres, thanks to the good job they have done. So it's very possible.

Q: (Joe Saward - Grand Prix Special)
I want an answer from all of you this time: how many teams do you think will win races this year?

Paddy Lowe:
At least two. Is that good enough?

Aldo Costa:
Let's hope three!

James Key:
I guess to follow on from that, about five, isn't it? We will see. It's the first couple of races of a long season. And just going back to your other point, Joe, what Paddy said before about the number of tyres you run dictates a lot about how quick your car looks. We did two stops with Kamui, for example, we never really shone with our lap times because we had to string the stints out whereas Webber did four stops or something, I think, so he was able to push a little bit more, so there may be something in that.

Geoff Willis:
I'm a little bit between two or four, the reason being that I think there are four possible contenders but sometimes the way seasons end up, two get shut out fighting each other for that opportunity. I think you can guess which.

Naoki Takunaga:
I think I would chose on the higher side, so four and the reason being that this year there are a lot of factors which add uncertainty to the races such as tyres, DRS and KERS. I think all of these combined will increase the volatility during the race, so I would expect four teams at least and of course I hope Renault is one of them.

Q: Andrea Cremonesi (La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Mr Lowe, we know that McLaren made a big effort to catch up the Red Bulls. I would like to know if you can describe to us how big this effort was, something that might be obvious to you but not for us?

Paddy Lowe:
I think this has been written about a fair deal in the press, but we had a philosophy that we followed in conceiving the car through the winter testing. I think that quite honestly, our ambitions exceed our ability to deliver, so fairly late on, through the winter testing, we realised we needed to regroup and consider a different design, something that we would actually know how to make and get on the car reliably. I think it's also worth pointing out that the car was desperately unreliable, actually, through the tests in February but not all as a consequence of this subject that we're talking about, so we had a range of issues which we fortunately managed to sort out. On the exhaust philosophy, we jumped ship, effectively, to a new design concept. I think it's a great credit to the team that they were able to learn how to exploit that in such a short space of time because I think one of the features of Formula One and the development amongst the teams is that we work together as a team, we follow
philosophies. It's not always easy to look at what other people are doing and say 'OK, he's quick, let me just copy what he's doing', because a lot of these things are a consequence of actually, at times, years of development and a philosophy that gets you performance that's unique to the style of your team. I think that's one of the things that makes Formula One very interesting. Aldo's car is very very different to my car and yet the lap times in the end are very very similar as a consequence of many many years of building up an approach in each team, completely separately. So I think great credit to our team that we can take a completely different design and literally, in a matter of days, turn that into something that was competitive for Australia and then great that the drivers were able to exploit that and we got some reasonable results.

Q: (Julien Febreau - l'Equipe)
Mr Costa, we know how important it is to find the same results on the track as in the wind tunnel. Is it a concern for you at the moment and could it explain your problems a bit?

Aldo Costa:
In the winter development, in the last test, we have tested a lot of new components and as I already said, some of them are not delivering the performance expected, so we started an investigation so we are doing correlation job between the track and the wind tunnel, trying to understand why that should be. An F1 car, these days, is a very very complex aerodynamic machine so there are a lot of vortices that can interfere one with the other. It's not only happened to us, it's happened from time to time that developments are not bringing the expected performance. So we are doing this investigation and we think that by Turkey we should be able to answer all our questions.

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