13 April 2012
Chinese GP – Friday press conference – Pt.1
TEAM REPRESENTATIVES – Matt Morris (Sauber), Antonio Cuquerella (HRT), Dave Greenwood (Marussia), James Allison (Lotus), Paddy Lowe (McLaren), Pat Fry (Ferrari)
A question to you all. If you'd like to give a swift appraisal of where you feel you are in the pecking order after two grands prix, and what you think the potential is, where you think you can be?
I think it's very difficult to tell. I think there are five or six teams that are all very close, and I think we're one of those teams, but exactly where we stand, we probably need another couple of races.
What about potential?
Yeah, I think we've clearly shown that we've got a competitive car, but we also need to keep our feet on the ground, remember who we are and who we're competing against. But, for sure, we feel we can be scoring points on a regular basis.
Toni, a very difficult start to the season for you.
Yes, it was indeed. For us we came later, we started later than the others and it's a race to catch up for us. We are just trying to bring the car to the performance it was supposed to have in the first race, so that's where we are. It's quite clear, everyone can see that, we are at the back, we are the last ones. So we are just trying to get closer to the rest.
And the others?
A similar situation to Toni for us, a late start to the year, which is not what we wanted. Again, we're towards the back end, which is fairly obvious, and we're just working hard to catch up to the guys in front. I think there's a fairly big gap between us and the front, there's no disputing that, but our main job is to close that gap and we've already seen from last race to this we've closed that slightly and we've just got to keep going like that.
I think the first couple of races would suggest we're Q3 material. I would hope that we're towards the front of Q3 but, as everyone will say, it's very tight this year, the gaps in the grid are very small and the tiniest error makes a lot of grid places at the moment.
We're obviously over the moon to have had the qualifying results we've had in the first two races, front row in both races. That's what you dream of really, with all the work you do on a new car that starts early the year before. It's a great result for the whole team. A bit less satisfied with what we've delivered from the races but in terms of overall performance – very pleased.
I think our performance here is likely to mirror the first two races. We've got a few small upgrades here that should improve it a fair amount but then I think this track suits us less favourably than the last one really, so I expect the gaps are going to be similar. We have a lot of work to do to catch the others, particularly in qualifying.
Matt, a more specific question to you. Now you're very close in that midfield and one of the teams that perhaps can improve by using a Mercedes-type device, they cal it a DDRS. Have you got the time; have you got the money and the budget to do that?
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