Robert Fernley (Force India), Mike Gascoyne (Lotus), Norbert Haug (Mercedes), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Martin Whitmarsh (Mercedes)
Robert, Paul di Resta seems to be doing a particularly good job with the team, I think you will agree. Tell us how you came to get him and how he is in the team. Of course, he came from a slightly strange background in DTM.
Well, shall we say 'less normal' background.
In 2009 we were talking between Norbert, Martin and myself and we all believed that Paul had been overlooked in the programme for Formula One. Together in 2009 we put a programme for him for 2010 where we all shared a little bit of responsibility to help him though and evaluate him. So, effectively Norbert was committed to help him – not to help him – but committed to him in DTM. We wanted him to keep race sharp there. McLaren
very kindly helped with a little more simulator time and obviously having done DTM for a year or two he needed to be weaned off sportscars and, of course, we provided the FP1 time to evaluate him, which is something that hadn't been done before. We sort of broke ground there. There has been one of those stories about links to monies provided by Mercedes and things like that in order to help him come through and that is absolute nonsense. Paul is there entirely on merit. I think it is credit, to a degree, to Force India
for finding and identifying him and a great help from our partners in bringing him through.
Franz, in China we saw good performance from the drivers particularly in qualifying. Was that a slightly artificial result in comparison to what happened in the race as unfortunately they weren't in the points in the race.
They did a good qualifying. We started from positions seven and nine but then the start was not so good. After the first lap they came back in positions 10 and 13.
Unfortunately Sébastien Buemi damaged his front wing. He got a part against the flap of the front wing and the front wing was damaged. We had to change the front wing, which meant we lost a lot of time and the race afterwards was quite good. He did good lap times. Jaime Alguersuari
was quite competitive until the pit-stop. Unfortunately we made a mistake. He lost a right rear tyre and he had to stop so he could not finish the race.
Was it slightly artificial or do you feel they could have been well within the points?
Let me say maybe position nine or ten would have been possible, but not better.
Is that trend continuing do you feel? Can that trend continue?
It looks like we are close to the points, at least today during the free practice we showed a good performance and I am convinced that we can finish the qualifying tomorrow close to the tenth position, maybe we are in Q3, we will see. But both drivers as well as the team are showing a good performance and therefore I think we can be once more within the points.
Mike, great news for Lotus in that they have taken over Caterham. I realise from a political point of view it probably means more than from an engineering or technical point of view but will things change for you?
Not really for the Formula One team although it is great news for Team Lotus as a group. It was always the plan for the team to diversify and look at the automotive field. I think there will be further expansion in that area coming but it is just good news and it puts the whole group on a firmer financial footing.