11 November 2011
Friday press conference - Abu Dhabi GP - Pt.1
Abu Dhabi GP Friday FIA press conference with John Booth (Virgin), Ross Brawn (Mercedes), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Saul Ruiz de Marcos (HRT), Frank Williams (Williams) and Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren).
Team representatives: John Booth (Virgin), Ross Brawn (Mercedes), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Saul Ruiz de Marcos (HRT), Frank Williams (Williams) and Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren).
A first question for all of you. To go back to your Geneva meeting and the talk about third cars. There seemed to be a certain amount of difference between teams about third cars. What was your view about third cars, Ross?
I don't think third cars are out of the question, but I think what we mustn't do is create a situation that harms the financial and sporting environment for the smaller constructors because if we do something that makes their situation far more difficult then what have we achieved? We have achieved a smaller group of manufacturers and I don't think that's good. It can be a solution if we are getting short of cars, but I would far rather see a healthy group of constructors and as many as we can, that's my personal view.
First of all, we didn't discuss it in Geneva, as it wasn't on the agenda. Just to clarify that point. As Ross mentioned, it is a point of discussion for the future of F1 but, as always, I think it is very important to understand the pros and cons of all these things and it is fundamental to discuss with all the stakeholders, the constructors and the teams that are involved in F1. But, at the moment, I cannot say more than that. This is, for sure, something that we need to put on the table and if it a solution for a better F1 we will go for it. Otherwise we will see.
The (Ferrari) president seemed to be in favour of it?
Yeah, absolutely. He has stated that and, for sure, this is an element for discussion.
I think there are some interesting ideas about a third car. We would all be excited to have (Valentino) Rossi or Sebastien Loeb or someone in a Formula One car. It would be great but, as Ross said, I think we have got to act responsibly. I think the DNA, the structure of F1, requires the variety of teams and we have got some new teams and we have got some smaller teams and we recognise that it is very, very challenging to get the budget to compete in F1. If, today, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes all fielded third cars then I think, in my view, it would be damaging for the sport. There are pros and cons and I think it is right to have the debate and people have different views but at the moment I think what we should be concentrating on is ensuring that we have got a viable and sustainable model for all of the teams in F1
I think first of all we have a very healthy grid of cars at the moment. I don't really see any need to change the formula. From our point of view it is important that every entrant is a constructor.
Saul, I don't know if you have ever thought about third cars?
Saul Ruiz de Marcos:
Yes, us being a small team it has pros and cons. In abstract, we cannot say if we are in favour or deny it. I think there will be a discussion and let's see an actual proposal to see if we are against or in favour.
Well today we see a number of very fine car manufacturers in F1, but the men who run them run them for a profit and if sales are down costs are slashed. All I can say is that as long as we have money in the bank Williams will always be racing in F1. I hope for many, many years to come. I am not so certain than some of my brethren here can control their own destinies as much as they would like. There may be someone above them who has less of an emotion regarding F1 as some people here.
Ross, it was interesting to hear from Nico (Rosberg), who you have re-signed for an indefinite amount of time. He says how he is pleased with your future plans. Is Michael (Schumacher) equally pleased with your future plans as well?
Tagged as: Ferrari , Williams , Mclaren , Mercedes , Brawn , Martin Whitmarsh , Domenicali , Ross Brawn , Virgin , Stefano Domenicali , Abu Dhabi , press conference , HRT , Frank Williams , John Booth
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