Press conference

Q:
Rob, about the engine rules. Just exactly what does that mean to you, the new engine rules for 2014.

Rob White:
I think the first thing to say is that we are pleased now to have a fairly clear view of where we are going and the most important thing about the 2014 rules is that there are enough people who now understand them and know what we are getting into so that we can go ahead and do the work to deliver these engines in a sort of timely fashion and get all the cars on the grid prepared to go racing for the first race The fact that we made a bit of an adjustment from four cylinders in-line to six cylinders is, on one hand, a pretty major change. On the other hand it's a relatively modest change. The fundamentals of the rules stay as we had in mind with a double limitation on fuel consumption with a fixed amount of fuel for the race, a fuel flow limit, a big contribution from energy recovery systems, electric only traction in the pit lane. We have got many of the same fundamental building blocks, albeit with a different engine architecture and a programme timing that I think suits more people better than the original programme timing.
Q:
Can you give us some sort of idea of what happens now from your point of view. How do you go about building those engines, designing them, what happens now? Has the programme already started?

Rob White:
The first thing to say perhaps is that we were well underway with the previous programme, so substantial amounts of work from that go straight in the bin. Not all of it, thankfully. We try to recover what we can and re-orientate it to the new programme. As ever we may need to structure the engineering programme counting backwards from the first race in order to arrive in the most competitive possible state. Important to recognise that this is a massive technological change for the engine people in F1. Clean sheet of paper, new engine, fundamentally very different to its predecessor, hasn't happened really since we made a switch in the opposite sense from turbo to normally aspirated engines way back at the end of the 1980s.
Q:
So the strategy from Renault's point of view: can you give some indication of that? Presumably you almost welcome this engine change as well, as you were a little frustrated with the V8?

Rob White:
I think one of the conditions necessary for Renault to remain present in F1 was that F1 should move on and the family of, I prefer to say power unit, rather than engine, towards which we are now headed is something that creates a much clearer resonance with the products and the processes that we use for the cars that we sell to our customers in, I think it is, 118 markets worldwide.
Q:
Graeme, quite a lot of announcements of late, particularly the McLaren tie-up. How is that coming along? Has it already started?

Graeme Lowdon:
Yes, it has already started. We've known McLaren for a long time. We've worked with them in the past in Formula Three actually, with the Young Driver Programme, going right the way back to Lewis (Hamilton), so we know the people at McLaren really well and it's not been difficult at all to engage the project. It is quite a big project and it is one that obviously we are hoping will move the team forward in a short space of time so that project has already begun and it is going very well.

Q:
What about your own Formula One technology centre? Tell us about building that up?

Graeme Lowdon:
Yes, Banbury is a site that we have been using for some time with our previous technical partner and so we are now building that facility up and obviously using some experience from both within the team and our partners to do that. We will still run the race team from Dinnington for the rest of this season. It is exciting times for the team. A lot of steps moving forward and these aren't things you just cannot make up overnight. They have been well thought through and well planned and there is a real air of excitement within the team. We have always had a very strong team spirit as I think most people know, but I think now we have got really a good technical direction and there was a vote of confidence from Timo Glock. He has committed to the team now for a long term and he has seen from inside the steps we are making so that was an important announcement for us as well that Timo is staying with us.
Q:
We have had some interesting news from the UK today about the TV deal that is going to happen. What is your initial reaction to that, as I know it is very early stages?

Graeme Lowdon:
Yes, it is early stages. Obviously, like most people we found out about it this morning. I think it is going to be interesting to see how it unravels. There are different sides to this. I have read that Sky has said it is good news for fans and they have said there will be an unparalleled experience for them and that sounds very exciting. To be perfectly honest I think it is up to the fans whether they think it is good news or not and that is something that remains to be seen. Obviously, we hope that it is. I think that will unravel over time. For a team like us, we actually get very little of our revenue from TV rights and it is very, very important for our entire commercial strategy that we maximise the global fan base and the number of people who watch our team in action, so obviously there are concerns there but equally we are entering a new era potentially for a commercial model for Formula One as well.
Q:
Adrian, interesting performance in the last few races and here as well. Was N?rburgring a blip for you? Maybe a downward blip slightly, but you have been so dominant so far this year.

Adrian Newey:
Difficult to tell. Obviously the competition is extremely tough. As we all know, what marks Formula One out over the last 10 years or so is just the pace of development through the year, so exactly where everyone is is difficult to know. There are bound to be variations from circuit to circuit.
Q:
Yesterday, Mark Webber said there would be no knee-jerk reaction from Red Bull Racing and he explained a little bit about how you basically have a programme. But is that the case, do you just run through a programme of development or is that fairly flexible?

Adrian Newey:
We try to keep the development programme flexible, but equally what drives our development programme is exactly that. It is not reacting to what's going on around us. I think as soon as you start doing that you get yourself in a muddle.
Q:
And what about today? We saw this morning both drivers having slight incidents on the circuit. Mark hitting the barrier. How's the car been performing today?

Adrian Newey:
Yeah, normal Friday.
Q: No it's not! We saw Sebastian Vettel make two mistakes. He never makes two mistakes!

Adrian Newey:
I think if memory serves me well then in Turkey he made a fairly spectacular mistake early on, so it happens. He had, I cannot remember, he had one spin. I cannot remember what the other mistake was but if you say there was another one.
Q:
He went over a chicane as well.

Adrian Newey:
Okay, but that's hardly a mistake is it.
Q:
So you are feeling fairly confident then here?

Adrian Newey:
Who knows. It's a normal Friday, we don't know what fuel load people were on et cetera, et cetera, so we are just trying to get on with our programme.
Q:
Jonathan, was it a blip upwards for you do you feel at the N?rburgring or can you maintain that? It certainly looks as though you were good enough today.

Jonathan Neale:
I would echo what Adrian says about Fridays. When you are at the top of the pile it feels very good and you convince yourself that it is a good omen for the weekend and when you are not you remind yourself that Fridays don't really matter. Certainly we were pleased with the race at the N?rburgring. The two previous races were quite painful for us. It was nice to return to form there and we have been successful at the German Grand Prix on multiple occasions so that was good. Fantastic drive for Lewis on that particular occasion and, I think, well deserved, and a good tonic for him and the team. We look forward to this weekend. I think we have got our work cut out. These guys are pushing very hard and so are Ferrari so we don't expect anybody to take this one easily, but we will see what happens tomorrow morning.
Q:
How's it working with Virgin? That side of things.

Jonathan Neale:
Well, for us you have to remember the deal is with McLaren Applied Technologies, not with McLaren Racing that I am Managing Director for, so I am not deeply involved with it. But we are very excited about having the guys come and work with us. It's small steps at the moment. We have got some trackside software running with them this weekend but later on in the year we will see them starting to use the McLaren wind tunnel, so exciting times but as I say early days.
Q:
Also a question to you about the TV deal in the UK. You were nodding your head just now about the fans to decide.

Jonathan Neale:
Well, I think the views and needs of the fans are of prime importance to Formula One. It has been very pleasing during the course of this year that the exciting racing that we have had has been matched by a growth in the audiences throughout the UK and across the globe. Some of that certainly is that the BBC has done a fantastic job in promoting that. I think we would welcome interest from other forms of media. The devil, of course, is in the detail. Mindful that there is a lot of heat in the air about that at the moment but we just don't know the detail so it would be improper to comment beyond that. But what the fans need and want and a mass audience is something we need to pay attention to.
Q:
Is it true that your drivers have been banned from talking to Niki Lauda?

Jonathan Neale:
No, not at all.
Q:
Eric, your thoughts on the 2014 regulations?

Eric Boullier:
I think Rob described very well the Renault position. As a team we are happy that now we found a consensus which pleases everybody.
Q:
We have read a certain amount about your thoughts on the electric engine as well.

Eric Boullier:
I just made a comment. There is clearly in the published rule on the FIA website, there was a statement saying the car should not be moved by an electric mode in the pit-lane and, obviously, I just made a comment that I could raise a safety concern about the lack of noise in the pit-lane which could be dangerous.
Q:
Today you used Bruno Senna as the third driver. And I think you have mentioned that you might use Romain Grosjean, is that the case?

Eric Boullier:
No, I didn't.
Q:
You said he was ready for F1?

Eric Boullier:
Yes, but I didn't say when.
Q:
So is he under consideration for later on in the season.

Eric Boullier:
No, it is too early to say this, obviously. We wanted to give a little bit of track time to Bruno as the reserve driver and we are happy so far to keep Nick (Heidfeld) in the car. Yes, I think Romain is on our radar maybe for next year but there is absolutely no consideration to give him some track time now.
Q:
Are there any plans for other third drivers later in the year?

Eric Boullier:
Maybe.