9 July 2011
Friday press conference - British GP - Pt.2
Team personnel: John Booth (Virgin), Tony Fernandes (Team Lotus), Christian Horner (Red Bull), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Frank Williams (Williams)
Questions from the floor
Q: (Mike Doodson – Honorary)
This question is for Christian and Martin as you have different engine suppliers. There are some mischievous scare stories in circulation about the noise the new engines will or will not make in 2014. What do you hear from your engine suppliers about this? Are the engines likely to be so anaemic as we hear that the fans will be repelled?
No, I don't think they will. I think clearly there has been a lot of discussion about the future of engines and I think it is healthy now for Formula One to point forward to 2014 having all parties agreed to the new regulations. I think there was some care, clearly, the increase the number of cylinders, to increase the RPM, to stipulate a single turbo and all of those measures were about enhancing the sound. Everyone is aware and we have made sure that the engineers that are developing these regulations are aware that the very visceral engine notes are very important to Formula One. They are important to us. We all still love the sound of Formula One engines. They still send tingles down most of our spines. I think we will continue to work hard with the engineers and manufacturers to make sure that we have got great sounding engines in 2014.
I agree with everything that Martin said. I think Formula One actually ended up making the right decision. The V6 is a far better engine to install into a Formula One car. It should sound good. I think there was some concern about the straightforward engine but I think all the engine manufactures have got together and agreed on this with the Commercial Rights Holder and then passed it through the various channels to get it approved. I think it is the right move and hopefully they will sound great.
Q: (Sean McGreevy - CSMA Magazine)
If I can direct this question at Sir Frank and Christian. What are the major challenges facing F1 in the future?
The demise, which will certainly take place, of Mr [Bernie] Ecclestone, that's my opinion.
I think that will be a huge challenge but hopefully that will be in another 80 years at the rate Bernie is currently going. I think Formula One is in good health at the moment. I think the racing has been fantastic this year. I think the best advertisement has been the racing itself, despite the fact that we have had a driver that has been dominant every single grand prix so far this year, has been pretty exciting. I think the regulation changes that have been introduced this season have proved successful but inevitably there will be challenges ahead but I think it is a bright future at the moment. I don't think there is anything that any of us should be fearful of.
(Inaudible follow up)
Whenever you change technology it costs money, so I think stability is crucial and stability of technical regulations is crucial. One of our biggest cost drivers are technical regulations so moving forward, working with the various stakeholders in Formula One, we need to ensure that we continue to keep costs under control.
Q: (Marc Surer – Sky TV)
I have a question for Martin: you tried the new wing on Lewis's car this morning and on both cars this afternoon. Did you get the correct data in the conditions today to decide which one you're going to use?
Inevitably in these conditions the data gets a little bit compromised. You're not going as quickly as you'd like. Various pressure tappings that you put on the wings and around the wing don't function if it's too wet but we got reasonable data and the engineers are going through that. I think we've got enough information; whether it's a quick enough wing, that's another story but I think it's doing what we thought it would.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Question for Martin as president of FOTA; today we lost a lot of action on the track because there are just eight sets of wet tyres. Are you discussing with the FIA to change the rules, to have more sets of wet tyres?
In fact this weekend we had already spoken to Pirelli and the FIA about our concerns about such a weekend. We've got an extra set of intermediate tyres here this weekend that have to be given back. Had that rule change and the tyres not been available, then I think we would all agree that there would be very little running. So we've made one step better. I think the engineers and the drivers would always like as many tyres as possible and we'll keep pressing to have more tyres available but it has in fact improved this weekend, otherwise I think we would have had a very quiet couple of sessions.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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