9 June 2012
Friday press conference - Canadian GP -
I would agree with Jonathan. It is a very difficult problem and it's interlinked with the whole car/vehicle dynamics, the aerodynamics of the package, the drivers' styles and the driver is obviously an incredibly important part of the tyre management. So tyre management this year is key, and it's not just about the long runs, it's also about qualifying position because it has become more difficult and managing the tyres through the weekend, so the link between the driver, the car and understanding of the tyres is really crucial this year, and a lot of effort from all the teams will be going into that.
I agree with the front row. I would just add that just when you think you're beginning to understand them they go and do something differently.
I think this is not just technical but it is good for the show that different teams can sometimes strike the maximum in some conditions and in other conditions, completely different, other teams can strike better. That, I think has been proved to be good for the show. Technically we all like to understand everything but the proof is that all the teams didn't manage to understand things at the same time.
The tyres have really created a fascinating problem and that's what Formula One is all about. This is the ultimately team game. The drivers are the heroes but you can't run the team with just two drivers, it takes an awful lot of technical knowledge and as you said as well, intuition, as well as all of that data. You can be swamped with data and go down blind alleys and that kind of thing. I think what we're seeing now is all the teams are presented with exactly the same problem, and this is what this team sport is all about: who can solve it with the resources that they have and come out on top on Sunday, on race day.
Q: (Jeff Pappone – The Globe and Mail)
To follow up on that, I'm just wondering if there's going to be a point in this season where you figure out the tyres and there's going to be a definite pecking order like there has been in previous seasons, or do you think this is going to continue all year?
Well that's the plan. Of course, every one of us – Mark, Graeme, the guys here – we'd love to be the first to figure it out and get some kind of advantage. I don't think it is going to quite solve itself like that. It's still a meritocracy. All the wins so far have been well-earned. The guys at Williams did a fantastic job getting a win there and other teams as well, but I don't think it's just suddenly going to snap and come good, because it's not as if we're trying to solve something that's inherently an issue with the tyre, it's tyre/car/package/circuit/ambient temperature and driver, so it puts us in a different position. I think that's what makes it exciting so I think it will keep things lively all year. As much as I would love to get it sorted out tomorrow, I don't think we will.
I would just say that it's an incredibly complex problem. The tyres are very non-linear and something that we're all chasing so you go from track to track, even with the same compounds and you have to be very careful not to assume anything and collect all the data, so the Friday running becomes a very important part of the data analysis.
I think we're all trying to solve the same problem, but I think every team will probably end up with the same solution.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Association Press)
Jonathan, you discussed Jenson's problems with the car in some detail earlier on. However, Gary Anderson who, I'm sure you know well, is the BBC's technical analyst, has had a right pop at the team saying that you're a World Championship-winning team with World Championship-winning drivers taking four hours to fix a gearbox issue; that's not just good enough, to use his words. What would you say back to him?
Well, he's entitled to his opinion. I think it helps if you're standing a bit nearer the problem. He's right, though. In terms of these things we don't want to happen, they're not designed to happen, but Formula One cars are designed to be right on the edge. We're all pushing very hard which is why the grid is very close. From time to time there will be a technical problem. It certainly wasn't trivial, and having been back over it this afternoon, I don't think that we missed anything in our first diagnosis that would have led us to believe that we were going to have the problem that we did after lunch. He's entitled to his view.
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