7 May 2011
Friday press conference - Turkish GP - Pt.2
Speaking of FOTA, F1 and the future – I'm happy for anyone to answer this if you want to – is it important that F1, as you renegotiate the Concorde Agreement, remains on free-to-air television? Or, could it thrive on a pay-per-view platform?
No, I think it's clear that the business model of all the teams relies on free-to-air. We're selling a large, broad, media exposure. That's the business model and I'm sure that that's the business model of all the Formula One teams will require going forward.
Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters)
I'll ask Martin this but if anybody else wants to chip in... We still don't know whether there are 19 or 20 races this year. The decision on Bahrain was delayed until next month. How much do you feel that as teams, your views are being listened to, because after all, it's your guys who are going to be on the ground if the race is re-scheduled?
Again, I think the FIA and the commercial rights holder decide the calendar; we turn up and race. I think at the moment there's obviously an evolving situation there. I don't think any of the teams are being consulted, in particular. It is always difficult balancing the calendar. There are some sensitive issues there. I think we've got to wait until we're informed of what that decision is.
Q: (Gary Meenaghan – The National)
Two part question: I would just like to gauge your thoughts on what makes a track good for overtaking and what makes a driver good at overtaking?
I think that it's an interesting question and one that is difficult to fully understand. You've got circuits like Brazil, which always delivers good races. There are certain circuits, like Monte Carlo, that don't lend themselves to good overtaking but always, again, have the habit of throwing up good races. I think the interesting thing really is the tools that we have this year, with the KERS system – when it works – and the DRS, the moveable rear wing. They're two elements that have really helped the drivers. I think, in the last two races Mark Webber has passed about 20 cars, which is probably more than he's done in the last five years. It's certainly assisted the drivers, and I think historically, the last two races that we've seen in China and Malaysia, have been quite static races. There's been more of a strategic element, whereas strategy is a crucial part, part of that strategy is that you've got to overtake and certainly the tools that we now have have encouraged that. I'm not quite sure if that fully answers your question, but I hope it gives a bit of an insight.
There are always races where you never get any overtaking – Valencia – and I think that with the changes that we've made on the tyres and the type of racing that's now giving us, I think we need to wait and see and look at some of those circuits that traditionally have been very processional races. And if we get overtaking at those circuits, I think we've shown... Many times we've tried to change the cars to promote overtaking. It's proved to be very, very difficult, almost impossible. Certainly we need to look at circuit design, but also with the tyres operating in the way they are, it provides a very cost-effective way to get very exciting racing, rather than very expensive car changes. In the past, we were guilty of bowling ourselves a bit of a googly too often and spending lots of money and not really getting any improvement in the racing. The tyres this year have shown us a very clear direction.
Q: (Marco degl'Innocenti – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Question for Christian about Sebastian's accident: I can imagine that in the accident there has been some damage to some new aero parts updated for this race. Will it be okay to change them for tomorrow and for the race, or are you concerned that you have to take a step back?
I think we're reasonably well-equipped because you need to look at the data, look at the parts that have been consumed in the incident. But the information that I have so far shows that we are in reasonable shape but obviously need to understand the configuration the guys want to run the cars in tomorrow.
Q: (Cem Nadiran – Power FM)
This weekend is actually a very sad weekend for us, because as residents of Istanbul, this is supposed to be the last race in Istanbul. I just want to know how you guys feel about this and how you felt about the seven years that you've been coming here and racing in Istanbul? How was it for you? Is it a hassle to be racing here in Istanbul or is it something nice for you? How do you feel about Istanbul Park? And what can you do to help us fix this situation?
Tagged as: Mercedes , Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Martin Whitmarsh , Toro Rosso , Norbert Haug , Franz Tost , Force India F1 , Friday , Lotus , Mike Gascoyne , istanbul park , robert fernley
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