Team representatives: Giorgio Ascanelli (Toro Rosso), Eric Boullier (Renault), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Tim Goss (McLaren), Peter Sauber (Sauber).

Press conference

Q:
Eric, first of all, Bruno Senna had a fantastic start in Spa with a great qualifying performance. What has he brought to the team and we will come to the commercial side of that in a moment?

Eric Boullier:
Nothing.

Q:
But in terms of his presence?

Eric Boullier:
I don't know. I think his eagerness and freshness is clearly a good asset, a good new value for the team, which we didn't have during the summer and were struggling a little bit with the development of the car. Now it looks like we are back a little bit and are in a good shape and clearly Bruno brought with him his enthusiasm. He knows the team very well as he was working very closely with the team since January.

Q:
Presumably, that presence since January had made him popular and that is why people are pleased to see him in the car?

Eric Boullier:
Yeah, exactly. He has spent a lot of time in the back of the garage, in the trucks, with the engineers and the mechanics and he was very helpful as well for the race drivers as he was clearly committed and dedicated to help and pushing for the team so the team knew him and was pleased to see him doing well in qualifying.

Q:
You have four new commercial partnerships, two of which have Brazilian connections. Just talk about those.

Eric Boullier:
Everybody thinks Bruno came with a bunch of money, which is wrong, obviously. The only link was Embratel. Yes, Embratel was a personal sponsor of Bruno and this is clearly linked to Bruno. This is clear, nothing to hide. The two others, or the three others actually, are not related to Bruno. We were talking to them for a long time and the opportunity when we told them Bruno would be racing they just decided to do an 'mediatic shot' and use the opportunity to have this 'mediatisation' and just go for it.

Q:
What are your plans for Romain Grosjean, as there were thoughts he might be in the car, though may be not from you?

Eric Boullier:
Some people were thinking for me, which is good. I appreciate sometimes, sometimes not. Romain had a job to do to be a GP2 Champion. He is now officially the third driver and we will see what happens to him but there is no plan for him.

Q:
So he will come to all the remaining races?

Eric Boullier:
Yep, definitely. As the third driver.

Q:
Peter, looking at your team which direction would you like it to go in from now? Is it a financial direction? Where would you like improvement? Financial, technical, resources, where do you see the effort being applied now?

Peter Sauber:
Forward.

Q: Just forward?

Peter Sauber:
Just forward. I think the infrastructure is excellent and, of course, with more money we can be faster. In our case it is very easy.

Q:
Do you want more staff?

Peter Sauber:
Yes, it is possible to have more. We have about 280 and it is an advantage to have more staff.

Q:
Just tell us about the performance today. We saw Kamui Kobayashi pull off right at the end of practice, but up until then the performance was possibly better than you thought it was going to be?

Peter Sauber:
It is better than we expected, yes. Kamui, I think was a transmission problem. But the speed was good today, especially the long runs.

Q:
Why did you think you were not going to be particularly good here?

Peter Sauber:
I think our problem is the hot-blowing diffuser, the hot-blowing exhaust. That's our problem. The system doesn't work very well and then we stopped the whole development around Barcelona as in this time, not only us, we had the opinion that it will be forbidden from Silverstone onwards.

Q:
Talk about the Mexican connection you have with Sergio P?rez and Esteban Gutierrez. How is that coming along?

Peter Sauber:
The relationship with Telmex is excellent. We are very happy with P?rez. Don't forget he is a rookie and he is a part of the Telmex family. We are also happy with Telmex as they opened the door to different and other companies in this region.

Q:
Do you see that going a bit further next year?

Peter Sauber:
Sure.

Q:
Further, as in my first question, so you will have the few more staff that you require?

Peter Sauber:
We hope so. Believe me, it's not easy.

Q:
Tim, looking back at the last race, at Spa, what sort of indicators did you get from Spa in terms of the set-up of the car and the specification of the car for this race?.

Tim Goss:
The pace of the car has been very good over recent races and we have been pushing Red Bull quite hard. Clearly going to Spa it was a lower downforce and we brought a sort of new breed of rear wing. We have abandoned the concept we were working on. Well not necessarily abandoned it but we have switched to a different concept for the lower downforce wings and we are quite pleased with our pace. Obviously we would have liked to come out of Spa with a better result in the race. We felt that we were very strong during the race and could have challenged for a win. Certainly we were looking good for a podium. Car pace was very good. Had we avoided the mistakes we made in qualifying then Jenson (Button) should have been up there rather than having to do the 20-30 overtakes to get to third place. We have discovered a bit of a sweet spot with the car. Those themes that we know work well with our car we are pushing now and looking forward to taking those further similar developments on this season.

Q:
In terms of Spa to here was there much change?

Tim Goss:
Yeah, I mean it is a lower downforce circuit again so we have brought further developments to this circuit as well as just the Monza specific package so today's pace looked very good and we are confident that the changes we've made have actually brought us that little performance step that we are after.

Q:
The actual challenge of this circuit seems remarkable. Obviously, you have got to go for low drag, low drag, low drag and yet at the same time you have got the kerbs and everything else. Then at the same time you have now got this business of DRS, which you can use for something like 74 per cent of the circuit but during the race itself you have only got two DRS zones. How do you tune the car?

Tim Goss:
Yeah, it is a very complex optimisation exercise. Clearly you have got DRS all the time in qualifying but then in the race you have only got it when you are behind another car. We are looking for the best compromise of both raw speed in terms of lap time and tactical advantage to either defend or overtake other cars. I think you will see out there that there are a variety of solutions. We have put an awful lot of simulation effort into trying to pitch ours about right and I think we have got it right. Sunday will tell us whether we have or not but it is more than just chasing end of straight speed these days. It is about other things. As I said, tactical advantage, protecting tyres and qualifying pace, so it is a difficult job. We think we have got it right but Sunday will tell us one way or another.

Q:
Stefano, it is a very important race for you. Tell us about how the cars went today and the performance of the cars. Were you happy with them today?

Stefano Domenicali:
Well, when we come to Monza you know that for us that this is a very important race, but I don't want to really put more pressure on top of the normal one as that is part of the game. In terms of performance this morning we were struggling. We did a lot of different tests, also in the afternoon, of different components but we were struggling to find the right grip and to find the right balance with the car. The situation improved this afternoon. There are a lot of things still to do and I am sure the night will be a long night for the engineers to make sure that all what Tim was saying before about the right balance between the speed and downforce will be considered appropriately. One thing is the qualifying but the most important thing is the race. We may have two different scenario where you really need to make sure that you fine tune to make sure to be fast in qualifying but much stronger during the race.

Q:
There was a difference of 22 degrees track temperature between the start of FP1 and FP2 when it was 41 degrees; did that manifest itself in the performance of the car, because you've had so many problems with track temperatures?

Stefano Domenicali:
I think that yes, it's a factor that helped us to improve at least at the beginning of the first run; we were the only ones to improve our lap time. For sure it's a factor. I don't think that's the only one but for sure an important one.

Q:
If you had a magic wand what would you change at Ferrari?

Stefano Domenicali:
Let's keep that for other stuff. There are more important things around the world.

Q:
Is there one particular thing that you would like to change though?

Stefano Domenicali:
Yes, but I will keep it for myself.

Q:
Giorgio, sorry to keep you waiting...

Giorgio Ascancelli:
"dulcis in fundo"

Q:
Sorry?

Giorgio Ascancelli:
Its Latin, it means: The sweetest at the last moment!

Q:
We've heard that the team has invested quite a lot over the year and there is a three year development plan now. How has that manifested itself for you; a huge rise in staff it would seem?

Giorgio Ascancelli:
Yeah, I have to say that since the new Concorde Agreement, that imposed on us to become manufacturers and adjusted the rules, we had a nice riddle which was how to find a wind tunnel, how to calibrate it, how to buy a cfd cluster, how to hire sixty engineers in four months. I think we've been lucky because something has happened. Now we are learning to use our tools and I have to say we are a happy team.

Q:
Now Spa was your best qualifying - not the best race of course - but you could see that there had been a lot of progress for that...

Giorgio Ascancelli:
Ah, it's overrated. I think Spa was a good result but at the end of the day, I have to be objective and recognise that Fernando, Jenson, Adrian, Paul, Michael would have been ahead of us if they didn't have a sort of misunderstanding either within their teams or within the circuit, so at the end of the day we were sixth and eleventh. I think that we would have been happy to be eleventh and twelfth and that's probably our value, which is much better than seventeenth and eighteenth as we had been in the past and it's probably better than how we're going to end up here.

Q: So could you see that progress continuing for the rest of the season, or are you now winding... what's the balance now?

Giorgio Ascancelli:
We have now stopped the development of the concept of the STR6 and we are focusing on STR7 but as we are a small team, we will introduce something new in the next Grands Prix because there's something in the pipeline. I would say the strongest part of a Formula One team nowadays is the time to market, and the strongest guys have got a very small, a very short time to market. We're not that clever yet but we're trying. This has the consequences that probably we will feed something in the latter part of the season, because we have not been able to do as much as to translate into facts the concepts and ideas of our studies.