22 July 2011
Friday press conference - German GP - Pt.1
Team personnel: James Allison (Renault), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Mark Gallagher (Cosworth), Norbert Haug (Mercedes), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber)
Mark, how much of a loss has the Williams team been and apparently you are confident of replacing them with another manufacturer?
Yeah, it has been an interesting few weeks as the decision Williams has taken to go with Renault starting next season is, from a human point of view inside Cosworth, disappointing. From a business point of view it doesn't change anything for us because we had always planned our comeback into Formula One as an engine supplier based around supplying new teams with engines. It was actually very fortuitous that a team as famous and successful as Williams came along and asked us for an engine supply. Disappointing on a human level, on a business level we understand the decision and we are just looking to the future now. We have got two new teams that have recently announced big changes. The Marussia Virgin Racing deal with McLaren Applied Technologies is a very interesting one, particularly for us to work with McLaren and Marussia Virgin from next season. Then with the recent changes at Hispania Racing in terms of investment in the team, fresh investment, I think everyone can see HRT has made some good steps this season. Business continues. I think we have been quoted as saying and quite rightly that since 1963 Cosworth has supplied 67 different teams with engines. Actually 10 of the teams on the grid today in some form or other have used our engines in Formula One so I am confident that we will have many good days ahead. The quest for us really is to secure long-term contracts, certainly beyond the V8 era, and with the exciting news of the arrival of the V6 engines for 2014, that's more of a focus for us at the moment so onwards and upwards.
And the teams want you as well. The teams' organisation wants to keep you as well.
Yeah, I have to say that although Formula One can often be portrayed as being highly political and there is no doubt that politics does play a part in the sport, Cosworth's experience over the last couple of years has been a very positive one. Working indeed with our competitors in terms of the engine working group technically and the work that I am currently involved in with our competitors on the resource restriction agreement covering the V6 engines which is coming along. There is actually really a good sense of everyone working together to try and secure the long-term stability of Formula One, technically and commercially, and of course that is important for us all. You are quite right, we have had some very positive statements made to us by even our competitors as well as teams that comprise FOTA and we are very confident for the future. We are a company with huge experience and a significant capability technically and an impressive track record and we believe that will stand the test of time.
I guess the V6 regulations mean a fresh start for you as well, but obviously a huge investment?
It is a significant investment but maybe in the mists of time people have overlooked the fact that the current engine, the CA, which started life in 2006 was created by Cosworth as an independent company in the post-Ford era. We have invested significant sums in the past on new Formula One engines and we will invest again for the future. The question has never been can Cosworth invest in new engines or do we have the capability to invest in new engines. The question has been does the sport want new engines and do the customer teams want to pay for the new technologies that are coming through and how is that going to be structured? We have got, I think, great clarity now and for us the V6 engine has got a lot of people in Northampton smiling because we have very talented people who quite frankly live for the day when they can get out of bed and design new racing engines and particularly when we are taking on some of the giants of the sport. It is part of the tradition of Cosworth and long may it continue.
Monisha, both your drivers set personal records, one for qualifying and the other for their race performance at the last race, so you must be very pleased with that and also the very fact that you are competitive at this stage of the season?
Yes, we are quite pleased actually with this season. At the beginning of the season we set the target that we wanted to have a reliable car and fast car and regularly score points. If you look at the performance so far we have managed, with one exception until now, to at least finish the race in ranks where you can score points. We didn't quite manage that on the first race so we are very happy with our performance. We are happy with our drivers. Where we do see room to improve is on our efficiency because we could have scored more points looking at our performance so we have to work on that still.
How important is it to be competitive at this stage of the season where we have got a double-header plus then the summer break, plus then another grand prix?
This season is extremely important because there has been so much development going on during the season so you really have to keep it up at each and every race event to stay within your group and catch up on the ones in front of you and I think it is especially very important in this particular season with what's been going on.
You are in a battle really with Scuderia Toro Rosso and Force India, the three of you?
It is the three of us and the gaps are not that big and it doesn't take much and you can find yourself in a very different position after two or three races. You really have to keep this momentum going of your development.
So those are the aims are they at the moment, to get ahead of those two?
The aim is clearly to improve our position significantly from last year and we will see where we end up.
James, how much has it meant upgrading the wind tunnel from 50 to 60 per cent?
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