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Friday press conference - Singapore GP - Pt.2

Team representatives: Riad Asmat (Team Lotus), Jean Francois Caubet (Renault Sport F1), Robert Fernley (Force India), Norbert Haug (Mercedes), Gerard Lopez (Lotus Renault), Sam Michael (Williams)

Questions from the floor

Q: (Joris Fioriti – Agence France Presse)
A question to all of you. What do you think of Sebastian Vettel's performances this year. Don't you think that his domination harmed the sport a little bit and would you want him in your team?

Robert Fernley:
Let's take it a step at a time. I think Sebastian has done a fantastic job this year as have Red Bull and it is up to the rest of the teams to challenge them. I don't think Red Bull should be asked to slow down. We need to get our act together and to be competing with them so hat's off to them and well done. There have been many, many years when a driver has dominated or a team has dominated so I think you have got to look at the overall package this year of racing and I think it's been outstanding across the board. I think the show is probably the best it's been for a long, long time. The fact that one team and one driver has dominated I don't think has detracted from that. Would I like Sebastian in our car? I think we have got two or three rather good drivers. I am quite happy with what we have thank you.

Jean Francois Caubet:
I hope that when Sebastian will have the title, if it is this grand prix or the nest grand prix, he will push a little bit more as I am sure the race will be more interesting at the end. For Renault, it is difficult to ask the engineer to slow down the engine or blow up the engine. I don't think so.

Riad Asmat:
Well he has done a fantastic job again. I think it is also the team that has done their part. Again, their domination I refer to Bob's point. We have seen domination and it is up to us to push ourselves. We are from behind but we hope to achieve some sort of success in the future. On him being a part of our team, I don't think we can afford it, but we have got a good couple of drivers right now and we are happy with what we have and we will push on from there.

Gerard Lopez:
I would concur – not trying to be boring – but I think they have the best car and they have somebody who can use it to the maximum, so he deserves to be where he is. I actually know him quite well for a long time already, so I can pretty much tell you that he deserves to be where he is today. And I will say the same thing as far as the drivers go: we have drivers that we like but he's a great guy.

Sam Michael:
I think he's done a fantastic job for the second year in a row now. It's not the races when Red Bull are dominant, it's the ones when they are not that show that he's really something special. He's won races when perhaps maybe they shouldn't have won and he's managed to drag… although the car's clearly very good, they haven't been dominant at every single circuit and some of the races that I've seen him win this year have been pretty impressive. So definitely hats off, he's deserved it.

Norbert Haug:
Sebastian is certainly a very special guy, very talented guy. I've known him since his early days in Formula BMW ADAC, the supporting races of DTM. Then he was a Formula Three driver with Paul di Resta. He learned a lot, he's a very focused guy, a very intelligent guy, a very demanding guy and an absolutely nice chap. We absolutely have to take our hats off to him. He's great, he deserves every single point he has got, probably more because he was unlucky here and there and he deserves what he has got. I don't think that the World Championship isn't interesting; in fact I think that this is one of the most thrilling seasons ever and I've been around for quite a while. The Pirellis have done a good job, the DRS has done a good job, there have been lots of surprises. There was Jenson Button being last in Canada for example, and then winning, doing lap times two seconds quicker than anybody else all of a sudden. There was Michael's performance there, as an example. I could continue for hours. There were lots of surprises in Formula One this year, which nobody would have expected, even the specialists. There was always a certain dominance in Formula One. There were the Williams days, I remember, the McLaren-Mercedes days, the battles with Ferrari and now it's the Red Bull days with Sebastian and also Mark doing a good job. But for sure, no dominance will last forever. We know that from the past. Everybody else will work very hard. We have a good relationship with Sebastian, friendship, I respect him very much and I think it's the same the other way around. We are, as I pointed out, very satisfied with the drivers we have. We want to climb up the ladder with the combination that we have, make another step next year and then we will see where we are.

Q: (Mat Coch – pitpass.com)
Now that you've had a couple of weeks to reflect on the Sky - BBC TV deals, how do you guys see it affecting your businesses in relation to marketing and sponsorship?

Robert Fernley:
I think we need a little bit of time for it to evolve with Sky. I think we're going to see a different format and a lot more depth and it's very difficult, at this point, to really appreciate what they are going to do. If you listen to the plans, they are very, very exciting. I understand it from a UK point of view that the free-to-air is challenged a little bit but I think there will be different levels of the sport now and different elements that Sky will bring to it which should be very, very exciting. I think we need to give them a little time. I don't think it's fair to judge until we've seen the sort of product that they're coming out with.

Norbert Haug:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director
31.01.2011 Valencia, Spain,  Robert Kubica (POL), Lotus Renault GP, Gerard Lopez (FRA), Lotus Renault GP owner and Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Principal, Lotus Renault GP  - Lotus Renault GP R31 Launch - Formula 1 World Championship
31.07.2011 Norbert Haug (GER), Sporting Director Mercedes-Benz
28.04.2017 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Otmar Szafnauer (USA) Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer
28.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
28.04.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, The steering wheel of Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.04.2017 - Free Practice 2, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40

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