27 July 2012
Hungarian GP - Friday press conference - Pt.2
Are you sure you would like me to comment? My only boss is my wife! My partner is Frank (Williams) so I can live with that situation.
For me that's very easy: I ask and they don't give! No, we are close, we are quite close. We know that it's a long term commitment and we know that we need time and they understand that, even if we sometimes only take one place - like in Hockenheim, we overtook one car. For us it makes all the team happy. Sometimes it's very easy, it's even better than for some other teams to get third position or fourth position.
Q: (Christian Nimmervoll - Motorsport - Total.com)
Martin and Toto, in recent years it has become more and more difficult to predict driver performance on a long term basis because of tyres, because of regulation changes and so on, yet there is a trend that driver contracts are signed more and more long term. Isn't there a contradiction in that?
I think that if you don't sign long term contracts with drivers it becomes a big point of discussion and distraction for most of the season. I think the driver is still an important component fortunately in this sport and I think people like to have some stability there. I don't think there's a contradiction. I think that the drivers have to manage tyres, probably much more so than they have done for a long period of time. They've got to work in the team, they've got to work with the drivers, they've got to motivate those people around them. They make a big contribution. We don't always tell them that when we're negotiating with them but that happens to be the case.
The driver is an essential part, I think, today, probably you can't really see the performance of the car because of the driver. If you look at junior formulae on equal formats there's big differences and the development we have seen in Formula One, with economics playing a larger role, we are probably having a similar situation, so it's all about developing your own drivers and trying to keep the ones who are good in your car, so it's as challenging as building a good car and getting a good engine to keep a good driver in the car, and build the best ones for the future.
Q: (Matt Coch - pitpass.com)
Martin, there's been this Tooned cartoon happening. Has there been a measurable difference; are you deliberately going after the younger demographic with that one? I know it's Ron's baby.
Again, I think McLaren has changed a little bit over the last few years and I'm sure some things are not so good and hopefully we do some other things... I think Formula One is, as Toto said... there are two great world sports: soccer and Formula One. We are investing in the future. We see that it's important to try and bring younger demographics, as you put it; I think also for McLaren to demonstrate that we're not taking ourselves so seriously. We're still very serious about motor racing, we still want to win and we do everything we can, but I think you also have to show a slightly lighter side. We've shown two episodes, as you may know, there's going to be an episode accompanying every Grand Prix this year and hopefully people enjoy it, it's a little bit of a light-hearted moment for three minutes before each Grand Prix and I think we've had a tremendously positive response to it. I think the followers, after only two episodes have exceeded our expectations. I think it's not just good for McLaren, it's good for the sport. I think it just lightens it up, makes it something that... We've got to buy more people into the sport. This sport is fundamentally a great great sport. The more you understand, the more you get involved in it, the greater it is. We've got to now try and sell that proposition to as broad an audience as we can and Tooned, the McLaren animation, is part of that process.
Q: (Dieter Rencken - The Citizen)
According to the sporting regulations, the closing date for entries to the 2013 championship was the 30th of June. Did your teams all enter? And what happened to those entries?
I believe all teams entered but the FIA has re-defined the entry time at the moment, so I presume all of the teams will re-enter within the new time frame.
Q: (Vanessa Ruiz - ESPN Radio)
Toto, as soon as your position was confirmed or you got your new title at Williams, speculation started about the driver line- up because of your work with Valtteri Bottas. How do you see his situation at the moment - also because we are approaching August, so do you understand that he's ready to occupy a seat at Williams or is it not yet time. And also, do you see a conflict of interest because of your new title and the fact that you work with him as a manager?
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