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Friday press conference - Turkish GP - Pt.2

Firstly, I'm not aware that any formal decision has been made that it's the last time we're here and I, for one, hope that it isn't. Istanbul is a great city, I think people like coming here and of the modern circuits, this, actually, is one of the good ones. It's a good circuit, it's a great city, we enjoy coming here and I think all the teams are of that mind. There are lots of rumours about the future of this grand prix. Maybe some of my colleagues are better equipped than me but I certainly haven't any definitive information to suggest that this is the last time we're here. I very much hope that it isn't.

Franz Tost:
It would be a shame if it's the last race here because now the infrastructure has really been built quite well and it's beautiful to come here, to the track. The streets, everything has been finished now. As everything is finished, it looks like we don't come any more, but it's totally easy: give Bernie more money and we come.

Norbert Haug:
I think this is an exceptional race track. Martin already pointed out that, of the new race tracks, this is certainly a very good one, a special one. Turn eight, I think we saw fantastic television pictures today. Okay, the bumps are probably not what you want, but they are delivering spectacular pictures and so it's a great track. The city is fantastic. It's very good, you will probably never be caught speeding in Istanbul, which is also a positive in a way. We like being here, but it's not in our hands. Arrangements must be the right ones, but I think the guys here and the teams – they really like it, absolutely. We have been with here with DTM as well. We have been here with our partners, McLaren and we have good memories. I think we won three times in total with our engine, with our partners. It's a great venue and a great track of course. We could do with some more spectators, but it needs to be developed in the right way, and as Martin pointed out, I'm sure there can be a future.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen)
Martin, I would like to revisit the issue of free-to-air and pay-per-view television. How does one really define free-to-air because arguably the BBC annual licence fee is a pay-per-view and in this instance… If you look at internet, for example, that could be free-to-air if we go in that direction and is it not really the business models that are possibly at fault as opposed to the broadcast medium? One of your members said to me that they got 42 seconds of TV out of China. That's not really free-to-air stuff, is it?

Martin Whitmarsh:
Okay. You're right, it's a much more complicated issue than terrestrial free-to-air versus pay-per-view but I think that what we require in Formula One is a mass audience to television, mass audience to the pictures we produce, whether that's internet, whatever the means. I was trying to answer that question, but inevitably, nowadays, media is much more complex than the polarised debate about pay-per-view and free-to-air terrestrial, but we certainly need a mass audience.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen)
Wouldn't it be true to say that the future is now more business-to-business in terms of sponsorship rather than stickers?

Martin Whitmarsh:
I think Formula One remains the third largest sporting spectacle, the most powerful sporting media for creating media exposure, brand differentiation and media exposure is one of the most powerful driving forces of this sport at the moment and I think it will be for the foreseeable future, so I think all of the brands or primarily all of the brands that are involved in Formula One expect to see a very, very broad exposure of their brands, as a consequence of investing in Formula One.

Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse)
Christian, after a hard end to his 2010 season and a rather disappointing beginning to 2011 – at least if you compare his performances to his teammate's – is Mark Webber in an awkward position in your team, regarding his contract for next year? So my question is: is it true he's in danger? Secondly, he said yesterday he has his own destiny in his hands, which means that if he's good and he's sure he will perform well this year, he will stay at Red Bull. Is that true? And thirdly, if you had to change him, would you rather take a driver from Toro Rosso or any other driver?

Christian Horner:
Wow. That was a big question! Mark has had a difficult start to the year, or certainly up to the race in China and he drove an absolutely phenomenal race there. He's had some bad luck but he's still delivering at a massively high level and I think that the dynamics that we have between the two drivers, the combination of the two, is really very positive. They bring the best out of each other, they push each other hard. Mark, who is 34 years of age, 35 later this year... it was inevitable that we would, at a certain stage in his career, start to take things one year at a time which was a mutual thing. It was agreed between Mark and the team that we would take things, at this stage in his career, one season at a time and we're only three races in [to this season]. It's way too early to be focusing on 2012 at this point in time. We're very happy with Mark. He's a very popular member of our team. He enjoys driving for us, we enjoy having him there. He's delivering at a fantastically high level, he's probably one of the most dedicated grand prix drivers out there. But at this stage, it's certainly too early to be talking about the future. There will be a private discussion that we have with Mark and not something to be conducted through the media. When the time's right we will sit down and discuss it.

Toro Rosso are doing a great job of developing young drivers. Sebastian Vettel came through the Red Bull Junior programme and as a graduate from Toro Rosso, so, of course, we keep an eye on how the Toro Rosso drivers are developing and it's great to see not just the current drivers but the future drivers as well, further down the ladder: Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, even Carlos Sainz Jnr in Formula Renault. Red Bull has invested in some real talent but it's way too premature to be speculating on whether or not any of those will sit in a Red Bull racing car. We're happy with our current line-up and that's what we're focused on.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.05.2011- Press conference, Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 1, Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal
19.02.2011- Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Friday, Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer, Lotus Racing
17.04.2011- Celebration, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
Christian Fittipaldi in the Minardi M192, 1992
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 Reserve Driver.
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Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 Reserve Driver.
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Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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