QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Fulvio Solms - Corriere dello Sport)
Christian, Red Bull won one title - or is it better to say one-and-three-quarter - and your drivers used at the moment six engines of the available eight. Are they going to close the year with seven?

Christian Horner:
Well Renault don't give us a refund so we are planning to use all of the engines between now and the end of the year. It is testimony to the reliability, touching wood, that we have had throughout the season that we are in that situation so I think there will be a plan to utilise, probably, one of those engines here and the remaining engine at possibly Abu Dhabi. That's for the engineers to decide. It's at their disposal and we will see. Renault have done a great job this year and it is very different to the situation we were in 12 months ago.

Q: (Dieter Renken - The Citizen)
Martin, as chairman of FOTA you have been fairly upbeat about the RRA. That it is working, that it's not broken, and the teams are adhering to it. Yet there continue to be allegations that certain teams, more particularly Red Bull and Mercedes have been pushing the bounds of the RRA. I wonder whether each of the four team principals could give us your views of the RRA, whether it is working and how to go forward on this thorny subject.

Martin Whitmarsh:
I think, firstly, we have achieved quite a lot with RRA. We are pretty good at focussing on issues and concerns but I think RRA has in the way we've restricted testing, the way we have restricted the number of operational personnel we have at the circuit, wind tunnel time, CFD time... I know that within our business the spirit and nature of conversations between engineers now, talking about efficiency, the need to do things with a finite level of discourse, I think that is a very healthy level of discussion, very healthy debate, and undeniably RRA has saved money and had been to the benefit of Formula One. Is it perfect? Will it ever be without contention, challenge, suspicion and paranoia? Almost certainly no. Just as technical regulations, sporting regulations, particularly if a team is doing very well or doing a good job it is always a more comfortable assumption to assume they have got a dodgy wing or they have got something else. I think that is the nature and spirit of Formula One. I think we have got to continue to work hard together as teams to see that we can make, improve and refine the RRA. I think it would be a shame for the teams to say this is so difficult, we'll walk away from it and we'll turn to a spend-what-you-like culture or spend-what-you-canlay- your-hands-on culture within Formula One. It is not perfect, there are concerns. What I can say is that I have been reasonably involved with the process, there has been no evidence other than, if you like, the normal paddock gossip or accusation, but there has been no evidence of a breach of the RRA. Each of the teams and team principals continue to assure FOTA that they are abiding by the limitations that are contained within the Resource Restriction Agreement. Bear in mind that although, clearly, there is a lot of media interest we are doing this for one reason. We are doing it for ourselves. We are doing it for the sustainability of Formula One. It is not intended to be part of the show or the spectacle of Formula One. It is an internal process, but I understand people are interested in it and like to speculate if there is some controversy behind it, but certainly my view is it isn't perfect, there will always be challenge. I think we have got to improve it, I think we have got to work together to enhance trust and mutual respect in the process. Will we ever reach a stage where everyone is very comfortable, has no concern, no accusation? I doubt [that], just as there isn't with technical regulations in my experience. But I think it has been the right thing for the sport and I think we have got to continue to persevere with it.

Christian Horner:
I think Martin sums it up very well, in reality. I think that RRA has been a positive thing for Formula One, or a positive thing for our business. It's saved genuine cost, taking out testing cost, reducing engine costs to affordable levels, to all of the independent teams. Restrictions on personnel coming to the circuit, the ratio between CFD and wind tunnel time have all been hugely beneficial to driving costs down within the sport. Certainly for Red Bull to compete with teams such as Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, RRA is important with that. Now, inevitably there has probably been more speculation about our team than others, inevitably with performance does come paranoia. Red Bull does favour the RRA being around, but in a way that's clear, tangible, policeable and encompasses all of what Formula One is rather than cherry-picking elements of it. I think that all of the teams would agree that the RRA, which came out of the back of the financial crisis at the end of 2008, beginning of 2009, has been the responsible thing to do for the sport and I think that the stage now is that, as the first agreement draws to a close next year, we focus on a new more workable, more transparent agreement for a longer duration potentially, that is clear for all to understand and that doesn't involve commenting or politicking. That's the most fundamental thing for us and hopefully in the latter months of this year, the teams will be able to achieve that.

Ross Brawn:
I think for us, we're respecting the RRA but I think it's at a crossroads, I think it's at a crossroads because it's now starting to bite to those three or four teams who have to control their resource to comply. I think there's seven or eight teams for whom RRA means nothing because they're always going to be below the limit. Now we're at a stage where the targets that were set are starting to bite into the three or four teams and this is where it starts to get contentious and we haven't structured it well enough yet to have the controls and checks and reassurances in place that gives everybody comfort and [that] leads to the innuendo and accusations that get thrown around. We're total supporters of the idea of RRA, but for us, it has to be much more robust in how it's controlled, how it's monitored, how it's policed, because it is a performance differentiator. You can't deny that a team spending five million more each year will have an advantage over a team that doesn't do that, and therefore it has to be very well controlled, very strongly audited and it has to be done by a reference which is the same for all teams, otherwise we have no guarantee of parity, and I think for us, RRA is at a crossroads. We support it totally, but the teams have to come together to find a solution to make sure that we're all comfortable with the way we go forward or else we will have a continuation of the problems that we're having at the moment, all the comments, the rumour, the innuendo, the distrust that we have. Christian commented, quite rightly, that the agreement's coming to an end. Well, we're working on an agreement that we thought we already had, which doesn't end for several years, and that's the problem that we have at the moment. We don't have complete unity on RRA and we have to have it, because Mercedes are total supporters of the concept of RRA but it has to be a fair and proper, correctly policed, correctly monitored, correctly audited system which is the same for everybody.

John Booth:
The RRA is very, very important to us. Remember we gave up a lot, together with the other new teams, we gave up a lot in the entry to the sport. We gave up the option B and we gave up the price cap and bought into the RRA wholeheartedly and it's very, very important to us that it continues and we work towards the agreement. I think a spending formula where three or maybe four teams could thrive is not what people want and we must work very hard to avoid that.

Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters)
I just wondered if Christian, Ross and Martin could talk about the pit lane exit; we saw Nico going into Alguersuari this afternoon. Obviously it's not a problem that can be resolved in the space of a weekend but does something need to be fixed on the track, is it safe at the moment?

Ross Brawn:
Well, we're obviously the ones that got involved in that - I don't know what's happened, but our driver and our team manager are up with the stewards at the moment, presumably having to explain the circumstances behind it. I have to say that it's a little frustrating that we have that problem on a brand new circuit like this, because if you look at the number of cars that went off at turn one during practice and of course, when we have wet conditions, difficult conditions, I think 20 or 30 cars went off. It was neither driver's fault, neither Alguersuari nor Rosberg's fault, but that is the consequence of that pit lane exit. That's what we will live with. Obviously, we will try and help the drivers, particularly during the race. It's a little more difficult during practice because cars stop and do practice starts from the end of the pit lane. You can't always anticipate where they are going to be, but we will try and help the drivers during the race but it's not ideal.

Christian Horner:
I guess, as we saw today, as Ross has said, it's an unfortunate incident and a lot of cars will run wide into turn one and unfortunately when you exit the pit lane and it filters back in at that point, it was a law of averages that an accident was going to happen. It's a shame that that one hasn't been addressed. It's good to see that the visibility at the pit lane entry - the wall has been moved back so there's better visibility coming in to the pit lane or pit lane entry. It's probably impossible to do anything, certainly for this weekend.

Martin Whitmarsh:
Well it can be improved upon and hopefully it will be by the time we come here next time.

Q: (Joe Saward - Grand Prix Special)
Ross, you were talking about there being two levels of team; that's also true in name changing. You have a bit of a problem going on at the moment with some teams wanting to change the names and others not wanting it to happen. How many brands do you think are essential to Formula One and how many teams should be allowed to change their names just to survive?

Ross Brawn:
We've been fairly ambivalent about the name change. Obviously, we're a team that has changed its name a number of times over the last 10 to 15 years. In fact - I know it's a slightly debatable point - but we are also one of the oldest teams in Formula One, because we started as Tyrrell and that is the same company all the way through to now, with some variations of our name. So we don't have any strong views. I think it would obviously be very very disappointing if a brand of the strength of Ferrari changed its name, but we know that's never going to happen and if it suits the commercial purposes of teams to change their name and it helps them survive, helps them prosper, then we should consider it. So we don't have any strong views and we wouldn't stand in the way of a sensible proposal. We don't want anything that's perhaps derogatory to Formula One. We wouldn't want someone naming their team... I shan't make any suggestions as to what you could call it but we don't want that sort of thing going on but otherwise we have no strong views.

Christian Horner:
I think the situation is a tricky one in many respects because there are two sides to it. On one side, it doesn't make any sense for a team to be called Renault when it isn't Renault, therefore a name change in a situation like that makes sense. I think that where Formula One needs to be a little bit careful is that the teams are brands and when the promoter is selling Formula One around the world, can sell Ferrari, can sell McLaren and now sell Red Bull Racing and Mercedes - they are all strong brand names. I think it's something to perhaps consider for the future, that there needs to be more careful consideration given to the names of teams and the mechanism by which they can be changed. As Ross says, if there's a logical, sensible reason then why not, but I think we also have to be careful that it just doesn't end up in a merry-go-round and companies that have the same company number just change effectively [the] entrant name on a yearly or biannual basis.

Ross Brawn:
One thing I'd add that is unfortunate about Formula One is that if this becomes a judgement call, people start to make judgements on the merit then that's fine, you're entitled to a judgement. Unfortunately, if it becomes a trading position and I guarantee those teams that are trying to change their name will have had approaches from other teams who want different favours paid in order to agree to the name change, and that's not correct. I know that happened to us when we wanted to change our name. People sought to get favours from that decision. That's what we mustn't have. If there's a genuine reason why a team shouldn't change its name, because it's not in the interests of Formula One, that's correct, there should be a proper debate. It needs to be done in an adult way and not used in a divisive way.

Martin Whitmarsh:
I agree with what Ross has just said. Philosophically, I can understand the desire to retain names and Ferrari, McLaren hopefully, proud brands, are not going to plan to change, so I understand that but I think also that we've got to recognise that we're in a commercial environment, I think it makes a lot of sense that for there to be two Lotus teams in the sport doesn't seem very sensible. The issue that Ross that just raised... I recall, within the last couple of years, when there was a desire to change the team name to Mercedes Benz, how a number of people conspired against that, which was a ridiculous position to take and very damaging to the sport. Hopefully, the established brands are just that, and they would have no motivation to change. I think if it was a small team and it's going to help them commercially... there are a lot of teams there whom we talked about there being two tiers, obviously it's not quite that simple but there are a number of teams for whom it's a reasonable struggle, to stay in Formula One, it's a reasonable struggle to generate the budgets to go racing. I think we should encourage them to remain in the sport. As we mentioned earlier, this is the 700th Grand Prix of McLaren, but in that time 107 teams have failed. Now that's a sobering thought. I think we should be doing, as a Formula One community, everything we can to help and facilitate teams and as Ross said, if they come up with a clearly silly, divisive name or a name that's damaging to Formula One, then we should be able to use good judgement to prevent it, but if it's clear that the name change facilitates the funding and the retention of that team within Formula One, then we shouldn't use the polemics and politics of Formula One to prevent it.

John Booth:
Yeah, we are a team that has changed our name this year for commercial reasons, and it was very important for us to have that flexibility, so in general, we are in support of it.

Q: (Gary Meenaghan - The National)
Christian, Red Bull have obviously come a long way since 2005; I was just hoping that maybe you could just speak a little bit about that journey and some of the struggles and highlights, also the importance of Abu Dhabi in that journey. In 2009, you won there, to set yourself up for a successful 2010 season and then you obviously won there again last year, to get Seb's title.

Christian Horner:
It's been an incredible journey in a relatively short space of time. I think McLaren have done 700 Grands Prix, we've done about 120 odd. This is only our seventh car. When Red Bull bought what was the Jaguar team at the end of 2004, Dietrich Mateschitz had a vision of what he wanted to achieve and he set that out and spelled that out at a very early stage, internally, and it was a question of getting the right people in place, the right structures, empowering the right people and taking what was there already and developing that, and I think the first few years were building years for the team as we put the right infrastructure, the right facilities into place. Obviously Adrian was a key recruitment, together with other key placements within the team. When the 2009 regulations came along, which were probably the biggest regulation changes in the past 20 years, it was a perfect opportunity for the design team with a clean sheet of paper to demonstrate what they were capable of. Obviously 2009 was a strong year for the team, certainly the second half of the year was a tremendously strong period for the team and we managed to carry that momentum through into 2010 and at the same time saw the emergence of Sebastian, who had joined the team from Toro Rosso in 2009 into '10 and last year was a classic year in the sport, I think. For it to go down the wire on that evening in Abu Dhabi with potentially four drivers that could have won the World Championship that evening was phenomenal and our expectation, to win it with Sebastian, was quite low going into that race. It was quite a long shot, it was Fernando's championship to lose but it all panned out and Sebastian won the race, the results went his way and he became the youngest World Champion. And then obviously again, with more regulation changes, with the introduction of a new tyre supplier, with double diffusers being banned, with F-ducts going, with DRS being introduced, you've got some challenges to incorporate into a new car and what I'm especially proud of what the team has achieved is the continuity that it managed from the end of 2010 into 2011 and then throughout this season, to deliver at a consistent level. It's been a phenomenal journey so far, and a very exciting one and one that is testimony really to the people behind the scenes, the level of commitment, the level of effort. The super-human efforts that have gone in from each member of the team, men and women alike, has just been phenomenal to achieve the kind of results that we have. Obviously we're keen to build on that, not only in the remaining races of this year but obviously into 2012 and beyond.

Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association) We're all aware of the culinary dangers of going to India - Delhi belly doesn't get its name for nothing. I was just wondering what you were all doing, health and safety-wise, above and beyond what you would normally do for a Grand Prix, what you are doing food and drink preparation-wise for that particular race. We hear that you're all taking your own produce rather than using local stuff, which you would normally do.

Paul Hembery:
I don't know what the Italian chefs have done but they seem to conjure up some sort of Italian food wherever we've been around the world so far. I think it's a bit of a mix: sometimes we do take some things with us and then the rest of it is sourced locally. It's a bit of a mix.

John Booth:
I took (cricketer) Freddy Flintoff's advice at Silverstone. He's done 15 tours of the subcontinent: eat street curry and drink lots of beer was his advice so maybe we will follow that.

Martin Whitmarsh:
We shouldn't overstate the issues there. I think there's a logistics challenge for the team to go anywhere in the world. I'm sure we're enjoying local supplies and there will be some taken, but that's very normal. I don't think we should single out India as a particular challenge in that regard.

Christian Horner:
We've had a running show car team out in India for the past couple of weeks now. They've done show runs in Delhi and then they've gone off to the Himalayas where they drove up the highest road in the world, up to 18,000 feet. We've only had one incident of an upset tummy, but I don't think that had anything to do with the food, probably more to do with the beverage. No, we're not taking any additional precautions. We'll be buying local produce and obviously as a British team, curry is a relatively popular dish. Page 9 of 9

Ross Brawn:
I think the same as Christian's just described. We'll be using local supplies, really the same as every other race. We'll be relying on local produce.