7 May 2011
Friday press conference - Turkish GP - Pt.1
Norbert, I was going to ask about China where you led. Was that a true performance or slightly artificial but we have seen today that it was almost certainly a true performance. Are you feeling pretty satisfied here?
Yeah, I think China was certainly much, much better than the first two races. They have been very bad indeed, but China was better. Having said that if you look at the two-stop strategy in Sebastian Vettel's case, for example, of course the cars have been a little bit slower as they had longer stints, so it was probably not quite a true picture. But as the race went we would have been in a very good position with the right amount of fuel. But just to clarify that as well, it is very easy if you go so much faster than you anticipated, if you are in free air, then it is about three or four kilos. Everybody needs to save fuel during the course of the race because you are not volunteering and carrying three, four, five kilos more fuel than you basically need as that is lap time as well. In our case it was not a huge amount, but certainly enough after the braking manoeuvre of Nico [Rosberg] and not being in a position to push hard at the end. So it was fifth instead of probably a podium finish, whatever podium finish it would have been, that is speculation. But, yes, a better performance than the races before for both Nico and Michael [Schumacher].
Martin, we don't know where you are in comparison to Red Bull at the moment but pretty close, very close, maybe ahead, maybe behind. But how much do you fear the comeback of Mercedes and even the comeback of Ferrari. Nicolas Tombazis has said earlier on this week that McLaren have actually shown that you can come back in quite a big way and it is almost as though you have had the template of how to come back and now everybody else is going to follow it.
No I think we have said from the outset that Adrian [Newey] and Red Bull were doing a great job and they are tough competition. Everyone will start to say it was up to McLaren to beat Red Bull but we were very clear all along that Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault were all capable of raising their game and are a serious threat. They are good
teams. They have got good resources, good people, good drivers so we don't take anything for granted. We have to keep pushing to improve. Red Bull will and so will all of our other colleagues. That's the great thing about Formula One. It is a race every fortnight but it is a race between each race to develop the car and whichever of the teams that are here or even those that aren't here that develop the car the most this year they will win the championship. It is as simple as that. Christian knows that, but at Red Bull they are doing a great job but they are not standing still and waiting for us.
Christian, it has been suggested that KERS was the great concentration between the last race and this race. To get it right, to get it working properly. Is that the case? How much concentration has there been?
Obviously there has been quite a bit of focus on KERS but that only involves a select group of people. As Martin says development continues on all areas of the car and in this business you cannot afford to stand still. We have been looking to try and enhance the performance of the car, bringing a few smallish upgrades here but in the
meantime also trying to get on top of the niggles that we have had with the KERS system. As our understanding has grown we have made more and more headway with the system in a pretty short space of time.
Bob, we have talked about this development race. Can Force India be the equal if not more than those around it? How difficult is it for Force India to maintain a development race?
I think the key thing, as Martin says, is the race between races effectively. Force India isn't standing still. There is no question that we lost direction in the last quarter of 2010 and we had to take stock of where we were, where the issues were and we had to understand what those problems were. I think we identified them over the winter. We are running an evolved 2010 package at the moment, which is trying to correct some of those areas. Today we ran and evaluated the new front end of our aero package and hopefully in Spain and Monaco we will launch what we believe to be the 2011 package or the evolved one, whichever way you want to look at it. That will come out and hopefully it will keep us in line or slightly ahead of our competitors.
Tagged as: Mercedes , Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Martin Whitmarsh , Toro Rosso , Norbert Haug , Franz Tost , press conference , Force India F1 , Friday , Lotus , Mike Gascoyne , robert fernley
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