Questions from the floor
Q: (Mathias Brunner - Speedweek)
Seb, you mentioned yesterday that the pit entry will be an issue in the drivers' briefing, so what was the outcome of that?
Some drivers felt that it is unnecessary to do 100 km/h. We had the chance now and I have to see it's possible but it's not really comfortably, particularly with some drops [of rain] it was quite scary. But the majority said nothing so we stick with 100 km/h.
Q: (Niki Takeda – Formula PA)
What we used to see, until now, was you negotiating Copse and then a mad dash to Stowe and now we are in a completely different part of the circuit, you have a completely different layout ahead of you. How different is the start dynamics for all of you?
In a way, it's a different circuit. Traditionally, I think you were used to starting a lap and then you had a massive corner straight away into Copse and then the first sector – after that it was, you know, to get your head straight again. Now it's different, now you have a quick corner initially but then a rather slow start into the lap and it just feels wrong when you arrive at Copse and it's halfway round the lap, so you exit onto the Hangar Straight, then after the fast section and your lap is nearly over. In the end, you get used to it I guess but I think there was a lot of tradition on the old layout, the old track. I really liked it. I still like it because I think the character is still there but of course you give away some parts to get some new bits.
I think it's a good question, actually, because it has changed and Seb explains it well, but Copse, Becketts, the first sector was very, very quick, not too dissimilar to Suzuka but at Suzuka you have a bit more of a tighter corner in turn two but the flow is different, but turn three here you obviously have heavy braking not long after the start. It's a different track on the first lap but that's it.
For me it changes nothing, very similar to last year. Only the start will maybe change a little bit. Instead of having the first corner flat out, now we will have the first two corners and then heavy braking, so we will have different lines there, probably more action so it will be better for the show.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Fernando, you said that you are just one tenth away from Red Bull at this Grand Prix. Do you feel that is just because of the new parts on the car or also because of the new regulations?
Difficult question to answer. I'm not a technician but I guess it's just because of the new parts that we have on the car. About the exhaust and diffuser and all this talk, we repeat a hundred times: we all lose performance with the new rules and we all lose more or less the same performance, maybe from three tenths to five tenths but I don't think that one team can lose 1.5secs, one team can lose a tenth. This is not possible so I guess because we are third and fourth now means that the whole team did a very good job, bringing the new parts here and we are more competitive, not because of the thing.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo)
Sebastian and Mark, you were 0.117secs fastest in qualifying on a circuit very favourable to your team. Do you think this is an indication for the rest of the season, because qualifying was mainly your big advantage in comparison to your competitors?
I think we are still very, very, very good but the red cars might have done a little bit, to come closer today so the rest of the competition – if you look at just today, not tomorrow, but just today – we look like we're still performing at a very, very high level. Ferrari haven't been slow today so there might be a bit of form card starting to build for the future, but we obviously need more events to see if that's possible, but it's completely fair for you to ask that. Normally we are here – Barcelona, Silverstone, whatever - then you expect us to be down the road but we are, on most people. Obviously these guys [Ferrari] are a bit closer. The cars are very sensitive to lap time at the moment, the tyres, all that sort of stuff, and it wasn't a normal preparation for qualifying in some ways so let's see how we are in the next two events to see if your question is right.