13 April 2012
Chinese GP – Friday press conference – Pt.1
We're looking into the system to try and assess it fully, to work out the lap time, or qualifying lap time gain, versus costs. I think at the moment for us it doesn't balance out. We're probably better off spending our money on more conventional lap time.
A question related to last year, when perhaps you're exhaust-blown diffuser didn't work. Was there any advantage in that this year?
It's not really been an advantage; I think we've just lost less than some of the other teams maybe, because, by our own admission, we didn't have the best exhaust blown diffuser last year, so for sure we had more to lose.
Has that had something to do with the performance do you think?
I think it's brought us closer to some of the other teams, yes.
Toni, it's an uphill struggle for you. Just give us some indication of the sort of facilities you have at the moment, the staff you have etc?
It's clear that we are changing. From last year to this year there has been a big changing hands in the management of the team and we are even relocating to a different country in Europe. Our car has been designed by different clusters around Europe, with not everybody in the same room. Now we are trying to centralize everything and work as a team, which has not been the case in the last two years. The main goal then… we still need to get organised and that will bring performance and the development we want on the car.
That sounds like the sort of think that will take an awful long time to do, like a whole year almost, a whole season.
Of course we are making some appointments and we are trying to hire more people to reinforce ourselves but it is not going to be something we expect to be working in two or three months. It going be, as you say, probably more thinking of next year but some results need to show this year, in the second half of the season.
Dave Greenwood, to some extent you've been doing the same thing because the whole factory has relocated as well. Where are you in that process?
I think we're basically in the process where we now have a solid design team and an aerodynamic group that's expanded rapidly over the last six months. We're in a process now where we're using a wind tunnel on a regular basis, matching that in with the CFD, so if you like we're further along that process. We're still very much at the start of it but I think it's bringing improvements to the car much better than we've seen before in the previous two years of how we worked. So all in all a positive.
And the development is on course? Is there a programme for that?
Like every team you have a development programme and ours has been perhaps a little bit delayed in how it started from winter testing but we've hit the ground running now we're racing and we've brought developments to the last two races and today we ran new developments as well and we're happy with how they're progressing.
James, yesterday you took a protest to the stewards. How disappointed were you with the outcome of that?
It's been no secret that our team has had some disagreements with what we saw Mercedes to be running. We thought there were strong arguments against such a thing. That's been rumbling along gently in the background, as everyone knows. We made what we hoped were strong arguments both to Mercedes and to the FIA but didn't prevail and so with some regret we decided it was worth bringing it before the stewards to settle the matter one way or the other. I have to say we got a very fair hearing yesterday. The stewards took a lot of time to listen to our arguments and what I hoped were very strong arguments didn't prevail – but that's the process and it's fair enough, just get on with it and accept that we were wrong in our earlier view.
What is the reaction to that? What do you do now? Are you doing to do the same thing?
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