Vijay Mallya (Force India), Jean-Francois Caubet (Renault Sport F1), Frank Williams
(Williams), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber) and Ross Brawn (Mercedes).
Questions from the floor.
(Sam Collins – Racecar Engineer).
Question for Jean-Francois, can you update us on the progress of your new engine, and also with the ACO changing the Le Mans prototype regulations to allow complete Formula One powertrains from 2014, is that a new area you can use for testing, with the testing ban in Formula One?
I think today for the new engine, for '14 we are now on schedule. We need to respect also the budget from Renault. We will be on time. Is it very high technology so it is quite tough development. We have big help from Renault, I think more than 45 people coming from Renault
to help us on the electrics side, the electronics and turbo side. I think we will be ready, in the same philosophy that we have for the future, around November or December next year, so we are not asking for testing before.
(Sam Collins – Racecar Engineer) And for Le Mans? The ACO has announced they are going to accept a full Formula One powertrain, including gearbox, engine, everything from 2014 onwards for Le Mans prototypes – so is that another market you could move into and is it something you are looking to do?
I don't think so.
(Ignacio Naya – DPA).
A question for Monisha Kaltenborn, one year ago Sergio Pérez had here a very serious accident. I would like to know which memories do you have from this moment and how the team faced this situation and how Sergio Pérez is handling this situation, coming back to Monaco?
Well the memories are, of course, very much there because it is just a year ago and it was a very bad accident. It's thanks to the safety rules in Formula One and, I guess, also luck, that the driver remained in the situation, so he wasn't really injured. You don't forget these kind of things but at the same time you have to get on and concentrate on the future and I think Sergio has done a great job there. He took it very well, we can see how mature he handled the situation, even at the next race when he himself said he was not really there 100 per cent to take part in the race. But it's not an issue anymore, we've ticked that off, and he's actually taken it quite well.
(Ian Parkes – PA).
Vijay, you talked about your passion for cricket earlier. Do you still retain the same passion as you once did for your Formula One team? And, in particular, given the financial difficulties we read about regarding Kingfisher, do you still have the same financial commitment to Force India? Will Force India
continue for this season and beyond?
I don't quite understand the correlation between sporting interests, which are personal in nature, and my business interests. I have several large public companies, most of which, with the exception of the airline, are doing very well. The airline is a victim of extraordinarily high oil prices and excessive taxation. Now, what you read and what you gather from what you read, is something that I don't care to comment on. I have sporting interests and I am passionately involved in all these sporting interests, I think I said it earlier. Sahara Force India
is independent, fully funded. It's a joint venture between the Sahara Group and myself, there has been a significant capital infusion at the end of 2011, another significant capital infusion from the Sahara Group is due in 2012 and going beyond to 2013. So, Sahara Force India
is extremely well taken care of and set. My other sporting interests, well, I was at every IPL cricket game, as any passionate Indian would be, and the team performed well. A little disappointing at the end because we've been semi-finalists for four years running, we were fifth this time and got knocked off the last game before the playoffs, but such things happen in sport. That's going fine. So, life carries on and passions carry on too.
(Alan Baldwin – Reuters).
Vijay, on the same subject, if you had to make a choice between your airline and your Formula One team, which one would you chose?