8 September 2012
Friday press conference - Italian GP - Pt.2
From the arithmetical point of view, it's Michael Schumacher because he won seven titles and then Fangio, Prost, Senna and because these drivers have done the best job or did the best job during their career and to compare drivers within different periods of time is simply not possible.
As it has been said, each time was so different that it is indeed so difficult to compare, but I think it's highly impressive in a season that despite all the different winners and things like that, Fernando has been so consistent, always just bringing the car home and getting all those points. It's extremely impressive, the way he's doing it.
Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer)
Going back to the 2014 engines, in addition to the actual spec change, we're going to see a reduction in the number of engines available to each driver from eight down to five, that at a time with no real track testing. Are you concerned that the 2014 championship may be determined by engine reliability rather than driver skill?
Yeah. The concern is when you have a big change in the regulations is that you don't want an engine reliability issue, especially when you are limited to five engines per driver. You don't want to have an engine powertrain dominating compared with the others so there's a lot of question marks which I think have been raised by the Technical Working Group and even different groups working with the FIA. We have to rely if possible on the regulator in the governing body to make sure that everything will be in place, to make sure that reliability of such issues are fixed for the beginning of the season, even if it's not going to be easy to challenge for the engine manufacturers, but we have to believe everything has been planned at least.
I think Eric has summed it up very well. I think the other key thing to remember is that technology will be very new. Basically 50 percent of the power will come mechanically and fifty percent of the power will come electronically and I think the technology will be very immature and then you're talking about homologation of engines as well at the beginning of the season and I think it would be very easy to freeze in an advantage or a disadvantage which would be unhealthy for the sport, I think, so hopefully there will be some constructive discussion in the coming weeks to ensure that a performance advantage or disadvantage for a manufacturer of which potentially there will only be three, will be able to be addressed if somebody undershoots, particularly in the early years. It will all converge over time but as the technology is particularly immature there could be quite large variances, certainly in the first year or two.
Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer)
Is that a discussion that is currently ongoing?
I'm sure that in the Technical Working Group they are talking about it but it's a challenging topic. It's a difficult time to be introducing a new engine, obviously, under the financial climate that we currently have but that's where we are and hopefully in the time between now and when the engine is introduced, measures can be made to ensure that not only costs but competitiveness of a power plant can be measured and controlled accordingly.
Well, the risk is absolutely there and maybe we then have to also... or the engine manufacturers allow them certain activities next year regarding the reliability and maybe that could also have cost implications, positive ones, for us, so I think we have to be open to discuss that and look into that.
The 2014 powertrain package will become a great great challenge from the technical side, because there are so many new factors which have to be taken into consideration. It's not only the engine, it's the air system, the batteries and it's not only the reliability, it's also the cooling. I personally fear that the field will not be as close as it is currently. I think that maybe one engine manufacturer will come up with a special solution and those cars will be far in front, as we saw in the turbo years. I
just hope that the three manufacturers will come up with similar solutions and that the output of the powertrain will be at a similar level, that we also will see in 2014 a nice and interesting Formula One season as is currently the case.
I think the 2014 power unit is a very interesting technical challenge, lots of complication, and the drive to improve performance and efficiency is going to be massive. Dealing with reliability is certainly not an insignificant problem. There were certain teams which want to run an engine in an old F1 car. That has been discussed at the TWG - I was keen to do that because I think it will help improve the reliability, running it in a proper car with all proper G-loading and everything. That was vetoed or voted out, whatever the right term is, so we're left trying to answer the questions on the dyno. We will answer some of the questions but we certainly won't answer all of them. There will be an element of risk when you go into the February testing, when you're going to have three tests to sort it out. If you've got a major problem, you're in a bit of trouble. Best we get our design right to start with, I suppose.
Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters)
Red Bull Racing
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