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Friday press conference - British GP - Pt.2

Why is it any more of a performance benefit than fired overrun? At the end of the day, Renault is allowed to fired overrun for reliability purposes. If you can operate your engine in the same way as the Renault, then you are welcome to do it. The secondary effect I think it is wrong to suggest that there is a benefit beyond that.

Martin Whitmarsh:
No, but clearly if you've got, under braking, your throttles are open 50 per cent then it's a reasonable benefit. There's a lot of gas going through and I imagine that all engines will end up doing that, which I think isn't what was envisaged when it was said we're going to stop engine blowing.

Christian Horner:
Where is the difference between firing on overrun and creating so Mercedes engines aren't firing on overrun?

Martin Whitmarsh:
They've been constrained. As you know.

Christian Horner:
As have Renault.

Martin Whitmarsh:
So I think, providing the constraints are the same for everyone, but I think that it is clearly, the fact that we are having this discussion, it's messy and I think the intention people believed was that we were going to stop exhaust blowing when the driver didn't have his foot on the throttle. I think that was the simple concept but that concept has been deflected and therefore it hasn't been clear and the fact that these things were only coming out during the course of today is fairly extraordinary. But nonetheless, I'm sure we will remain calm and pick our way through, but I think it's probably better to make changes to the regulations between seasons, not in-season and also make changes to regulations that are clear and unambiguous. I think, at the moment, a lot of people are clearly getting emotional about the situation and I can understand why: it's frustrating for the engineers not to know what it is that we're allowed to do, because these changes by cold blowing you're getting 30, 40 points of extra rear downforce in braking and that's quite an attractive thing, so if you can do it, then you're going to try to do it, aren't you?

Christian Horner:
But you also get that. Let's not make any mistake here, that firing on overrun, the thrust that that generates through the exhaust creates a bigger effect, so let's just be absolutely clear on that.

Martin Whitmarsh:
And that's why it's been largely contained, and a lot of those strategies, as you know, are not permissible now. At least, it wasn't when I came in here. Maybe it's emerged as I've been sat here that maybe we can do it. Maybe you know more about it than I do, Christian.

Christian Horner:
I don't know. I read the technical directive that said four-cylinder fired overrun was permissible for certain competitors and that, I think, includes your engine. As far as we understood, before Renault were allowed their parameters, obviously there was a significant advantage going to any Mercedes-powered team. As you can see, it's a massively complex subject. I think the one thing that Martin and I will agree on is that it should have been addressed at the end of the year, but unfortunately, here we are.

Tony Fernandes:
I've been focusing on these two in front of me. Could I just say something on that, as someone who is very new to the sport, in that I think it's a little bit of a shambles that we're having these kind of discussions, I think you don't have that in many other sports. The rules should be very clear, everyone should understand them and they should be pretty black and white. It costs the sport a lot of money. I think that one of the dangers of the sport is changing the interpretations, it's really got to be black and white and I think it can be. If you look at GP2, it's very clear. I run a GP2 team, we don't have these kind of situations. Of course Formula One is technologically advanced and you need all that sort of thing but I think the regulators of the sport need to make things clear so we don't have this 10 per cent blowing, 50 per cent blowing, hot, cold, in between etc, and teams and engineers have clarity. Even over the last few months we've heard of all the controversy in football but the rules in football are clear, it's black and white, it's easy for the spectators to understand and I think that's a really big challenge for the sport because a man in the stand – I don't understand anything that these two have just said, God knows about all the spectators over there, so that's just something I wanted to add, as someone relatively new to the sport. I think it needs to be simpler, and I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference to the people who are watching it.

Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat)
Tony, have you been thinking of who will drive your cars next year and if you have, when are we able to hear of your decision?

Tony Fernandes:
No, we haven't, it's still very early days. It depends whether we have hot, cold, how our drivers react to it, but I echo what Frank said, it's early days for us to decide where the drivers are next year.

Q: (Nick Westby – Yorkshire Post)
Martin, the link-up to Virgin Racing, what benefits does that bring to McLaren?

Martin Whitmarsh:
II think you're aware that McLaren is a group of companies now and we have an electronics business which, I'm glad to say, all of the teams in Formula One are customers, as are all the teams in IRL, as now are all the teams in NASCAR. We have a company called McLaren Applied Technologies which is working with some teams to help them and develop them, and I think it's early days. As John said, they've now acquired some assets and some people and our business McLaren Applied Technology will try and accelerate them up a learning curve to make sure that they've got a competitive car next year. Exactly how we do that is something that's got to be resolved, it's fairly fluid as we look at what resources, what capability, what knowledge that they have and obviously we've got a range of experience and facilities within our group that we hope will bring benefit to Virgin.

Q: (Andrew Frankl – Forza)
Frank, do you miss Max Mosley, especially at times like this?

Frank Williams:




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