9 July 2011
Friday press conference - British GP - Pt.1
Christian, today very mixed weather conditions. How much did you learn, particularly about the diffuser effect or lack of off-throttle diffuser effect?
In reality very little with the way the weather has been. It's been a typically English summer's day where we seem to have three seasons in one day. We have run on the inters. We nearly got to the slicks, didn't quite and then it seems that every other category has had a run on the dry tyres apart from Formula One. But we have learnt a bit about the pit-lane, tried out the new garage. Turned up and thought we were in John's garage, not ours. It has been a restrictive day in terms of what we managed to learn on track.
Are you happy being that end of the pit-lane?
I was quite surprised, as I thought we were going to be up this end of the pit-lane. There is some nice grass up here and so on, but all the garages are the same size at the end of the day. But we are down the other end, which probably isn't great for the spectators as they are not going to see many Red Bull or McLaren pit-stops this weekend, but there you go.
But you could be in the position that you are in the pits and a column of cars come past you as happened in the GT race and there is nothing you can do?
I don't know about that. We will have to see. It's a short pit-lane here, which adds another element to the race. Obviously the entry is a bit tight, so that is going to be interesting for the drivers. It's a very fast run-in to the pit-lane, and obviously if it is wet on the way out we have seen a few cars down at our end of the pit-lane having a few moments on the way out. But I am sure it will be fine. But you have to say, other than being the wrong end of the pit-lane it is a great facility.
Fernando Alonso has been quoted as saying he is going to wait for Sebastian Vettel to make mistakes, which will give him a chance in the championship.
I think at the end of the day we are focused on our own performance. Sebastian has had an unbelievable first half of the year. In reality, I think he is 14 points off the maximum score, so he has not made too many mistakes so far. He has driven impeccably well and deserves to be in that position.
So it could be a long wait?
You know it's a long season. We are not quite at the half-way stage. Eleven races to go. As we all know, with 25 points for a win now, leads can quickly diminish but it's obviously a very useful lead. We hope we can be competitive in the upcoming races.
Martin, to go back to that pit-lane choice. How does that pan out? Who decides which end you are going to be?
I am not sure who decides that. I think it is a shame, as Christian mentioned, that we are slightly subterranean where we are. I don't think it materially really affects us but clearly those in the grandstand cannot see pit-stops, which is a bit of a shame. But I have got to say that we can all turn up with opinions, but it is an incredible facility and I am sure a lot of people have put a massive amount of effort to be ready here this weekend, so for us to turn up and be critical I think would be the wrong thing to do. We have got to congratulate the BRDC and Silverstone for a fantastic set of facilities.
Just going back also to the diffuser effect. How much did you learn today?
Well we learnt half-way through the session that Christian hadn't lost as much as we expected as obviously the rules are slightly fluid and appear to change by the hour at the moment, so we are still learning is the answer.
Is that what the conversation with Stefano [Domenicali] was about?
Tagged as: Mclaren , Silverstone , Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Martin Whitmarsh , Virgin , press conference , Frank Williams , Tony Fernandes , John Booth , Team Lotus
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