Pat, yesterday Michael Schumacher said that covered cockpits were necessary, they will be introduced in the future for sure. Do you agree with that or are there other
options on the table from the Technical Working Group?
Looking back at the start of last weekend's race, it was a lucky situation. It could have gone very badly, so I think the whole of Formula One was very lucky. A flying car or a large piece of car flying in the air is still the one thing that we struggle to protect the drivers against. There's obviously been quite a lot of research by the FIA which is still continuing. They've looked at the covered cockpits and then different roll cages as well, so I think that research just needs to continue really, as quickly as it can.
(Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
What is your opinion of the projected increase in fees paid to the FIA for next year?
Well, as you said, it's a potential increase. We have not been officially informed yet about this change by the FIA. If that's the case, we obviously will need to understand why and what will be the justification for such an increase, because there is a massive difference, as you can understand, between the current level [and the future one].
I think it's important to understand what's involved in the increase, what's included within it, what we pay that's external from the current entry, for example. There's only been a brief discussion about it at the moment. I'm sure there'll be further talks in the coming weeks.
As Eric said, we've only been learning about this from the media. The FIA has not really got in touch with us so we have to wait and see what they really propose and what their intentions are but apart from that, I think the FIA is fully aware that there are many teams out there which are already in a financially challenging situation and if you put further burden on them like this - depending on the package - you should be careful about the situation.
It doesn't match so much with the cost reduction but we have to find out what is the reason behind this and we have to know more details and then we will sit together with the FIA and then we will see where we end up.
(Naoise Holohan - Manipe F1)
Given the successes of Fernando Alonso
during the course of his career and how he's driving this year, can I get the opinion of everybody on the question of him being the greatest driver of his generation?
I think it's always very difficult to compare drivers across generations. You have to look at the equipment at their disposal, who their competitors were at that time. Fernando, for sure, is one of the all-time great drivers in Formula One but I personally find it very hard to judge where and how you compare different generations. There are generations which we didn't even see which only people as old as [conference moderator] Bob [Constanduros] would remember and I think it's very difficult to judge drivers from different generations.
I do share what my colleague next to me has said. It's clear that it's difficult to judge and compare different generations. What we can say today is that in the career of a driver you have different phases and I would say that Fernando is at the top of his form today.
He's obviously an outstanding driver, isn't he? I had the pleasure of working with him in 2007 and again now. I think I would agree that it's hard to actually compare even drivers in different cars. What is the actual performance of the car? The only driver you can really compare to is your teammate because you have like-for-like tools. He's certainly at the top of his game this year.