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Spanish GP – Friday press conference – Pt.2

Paul, Michael Schumacher, as I'm sure you're aware, was particularly critical of Pirelli post-Bahrain. I just wondered if, as far as you know, he's a lone voice in the wilderness, first of all? What did you make of his comments? Secondly, he mentioned yesterday that he held a meeting with Pirelli in Mugello. I just wondered if he came away from that with a better understanding of what you guys are trying to achieve this season?

Paul Hembery:
Yeah, he had a meeting with some of our engineers – to be honest, it was a little bit more general than just talking about Bahrain, it was trying to understand what we're doing with testing, future development, the way we're going forward and maybe hearing from ourselves of some of the constraints we have. Michael's obviously a great champion, he's been the most successful Formula One driver so of course we listen to the comments, but we also have lots of comments from other drivers and until they all say the same thing… We were given an input when we started our adventure in Formula One and we're still following that, so while we obviously respect it, it's one of a number and we carry on doing our work.

Q: (Daniel Ortelli – AFP)
Question for McLaren: there were a lot of comments about the nose of the car at the beginning of the season. Now you've changed it. How much of a marketing tool was it and how much of a technical advantage can it be now?

Sam Michael:
The change that we've made here for this weekend is part of the normal development of the car. Obviously we haven't changed our chassis and we wouldn't plan to do that during the season but you're always exploring things like that, whether it's the nose, bodywork or wings, all over the car, regardless of what other teams are doing. It's definitely not a marketing tool. The only reason why we change the car is to improve the aerodynamic efficiency. Here we do have a new nose to evaluate but I would not call it a first order or barely even a second order factor in car performance.

Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer)
A question on the young driver test; you have the option of Silverstone or Abu Dhabi. There seems to have been some criticism of late about the plans to run in Silverstone, so I was wondering if the five team figures could let me know how they feel about Silverstone, and separately, Paul, for Pirelli, you're going to have two costs now. How do you feel about that?

Paul Hembery:
I think it's probably easier for me to start. To be honest, officially, we've only had indications from the teams testing in Abu Dhabi. Formally, we haven't had any indication about Silverstone yet, although verbally we did have a conversation, so we would be keen to know if Silverstone is going to happen or not.

Giorgio Ascanelli:
We have budgeted our resources to support 15 days of testing and we were counting on the fact that eventually the young driver test would occur at the end of the year, so that we could sustain it with the engine mileage which was left over from the races, so a second test in the middle of the season which wasn't planned, for us, is half a million? We don't have it.

Adrian Newey:
To be honest, I think, if you go back to the essence of what the test is meant to be for, which is to develop young drivers, it's down to: are you best off evaluating prospective new young drivers in the middle of the season or at the end of the season. Personally, I would have thought at the end of the season because they're not at a junior formula they've been competing in, they've finished their championship, you can see how they've gone, they've got a bit more experience. To drop them into a Formula One car in the middle of the season and then hoof them out again and tell them to wait until another eight months before you drive it again - I'm not sure of the value of that.

Sam Michael:
I've got exactly the same view as Giorgio and Adrian. Our plan at McLaren at the moment is to test in Abu Dhabi. We're not testing at Silverstone for all those reasons. Engines is a significant factor, as Giorgio said. If you want to test at the end of the year, you have so many part-mileage engines with the race team that all have a little bit of mileage on them so you can effectively do it for free, in terms of your race engines. If you try and do that in the middle of the year, you can't use your race engines so you have to prepare a special test engine. And also the point that Adrian made is very important, I think, because if you try and have it in the middle of the year, and run your young drivers, then you are running them in the middle of their championship year so you to be at the end, so that they have finished their Formula Three or Formula Two or whatever they're doing and they have the capacity to concentrate on their Formula One test.

Pierre Wache:
For us it's quite different. The better compromise in terms of cost would be to test at Silverstone for plenty of reasons: for logistics and costs. It would be better to test at Silverstone.

Mark Smith:
It's the same for us: logistically and cost-wise, Silverstone sits better for us.

Q: (Miran Alisic– RTV Slovenia)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.04.2012 - Free practice 2, Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorspor Director and Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari SF15-T
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari SF15-T
Ferrari team with new SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Gutierrez with Ferrari SF15-T
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
Kevin Magnussen - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Jenson Button - McLaren Honda
Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda
McLaren Honda MP4-30
McLaren Honda MP4-30
The McLaren-Honda MP4-30

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