F1 » 22 June 2012
Friday press conference - European GP - Pt.1
We're only a third of the way through the season, do you think Nico can win the world championship. Do you think Mercedes can be a world championship-winning team?
Well, I think that whatever we did in the past, we have had at the last race the 300th race together with our partner McLaren-Mercedes and they won 73 grand's prix. So we have been here for quite a while but what I think we never did is make any predictions or announcement saying 'we are going to win the next race or fight for this or that'. We do our best job and we are doing it in a focused and concentrated manner. I think if you see that we have had two difficult at the beginning, Nico being on the last lap in Australia eighth and then he had a coming together with another car and lost points eight points and was 35 points down to the leader and now he's 21 points down, so this is certainly the right direction. But we need to score points on a regular basis, we need to hopefully win more races and we are working, again… very focused on the direction. I think if you look at today, Nico did the fastest time on the prime tyre and then he was on the option. But he had this handicap of a yellow flag. Whatever Friday times mean, he would have been in a position to probably post the quickest time. And then the long runs look quite good. I do not know what that means compared to the others because you obviously do not know the fuel loads but our lap times were consistent. I think they have been in Canada. We have been very competitive in Monaco and we won in China. So the last five races I think we had three times good and convincing speed to be at the top or to mix with the top guys. Hopefully we can continue that trend. I would never go so far as to say we are definitely fighting for the world championship but of course it has to be the ultimate target. If we can achieve it, it would be fantastic and it would our ultimate goal for sure.
Luis, first of all, brake problems in Canada. Have you got them beat here, do you feel – as this is quite a tough circuit on brakes as well.
Yes, we knew from the beginning, from Melbourne, that our brake ducts were not perfect. We knew that Montreal was the biggest, maybe most difficult track for the brakes and here is one as well, one of the tracks were you can have problems with the brakes. But the data that we have this morning suggests we are going to be close to the limit but inside the limit.
Yesterday Pedro [de la Rosa] said how much he was enjoying bringing the team up, advancing the team. How much are you enjoying it?
Ha-ha! Really, I'm struggling a lot! But what is for me the worst thing of F1 is that you have to travel a lot and be abroad from your house and far from the family. But this is a world that I like and I'm happy to be here and I try to push, to keep pushing, to try to get the team better and better each day.
Eric, many times we've been told that Lotus is ready to win. The question is which driver? Who would you put your money on?
I never put money on anything or anybody. I just wish one of my two drivers is going to be the eighth man, maybe this weekend. But rather than focussing on who will be the eighth man winning, I think it's in our philosophy just to improve ourselves, to work hard, to clearly look at ourselves, to be better, to improve our weaknesses to make sure that we keep this consistency first – and if we can score podiums as well it is very important for the championship. And if we can have a win obviously I will be the most delighted guy.
Are you able to keep on top of development? Are you happy with the rate of development?
Yeah, definitely. In 2010 we had a very strong rate of development, last year we had a strong rate but not as successful as we would have expected. This year is still good development: we have some good parts and good improvement in performance package that we bring not every race but nearly.
Tagged as: Mercedes , Toro Rosso , Haug , Norbert Haug , Franz Tost , press conference , HRT , Tost , Lotus , riad asmat , Eric Boullier , Caterham , Boullier , Asmat , Perez-Sala
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