Eric, there have been a couple of stories about Robert Kubica
getting back into a rally car and trying that out. Has there been any kind of contact with you over the last few months? If he were to get in touch with you, would you be at all interested in giving him a ride in one of your older cars for old times' sake?
It's a long time that we haven't been talking about this. No, I did read in the press, like you, that he was doing some rally and actually he's supposed to do a rally next weekend or something like this, but we don't have much contact. I have contact with his management but nothing else. I've not been updated about his current state for a long time.
(Gary Meenaghan - The National)
Eric and maybe all of you; in this era of no end of season testing, how important is the simulator?
You know the simulator has now reached a very good level of detail, to get the drivers familiar, to bring out the real use of a simulator which is not related to the driver. It's true that in the position today, where some drivers are stepping into F1 in the last three or four years with thousands of kilometers of testing, to generally get used to the team with the process of F1, with the procedure of the car, with everything, it's easy, obviously, to step into F1. With the current format, now, most of the drivers now have to step in with zero miles under their belts which is a bit tricky. But there is an economic reality as well. Testing costs a lot of money, a lot of resources as well, because not only money, we are already having a busy calendar during the season and we have set up - Lotus F1 are set up to have one crew for the whole season, so adding extra testing would obviously have consequences on the resources, so the question is up in the air, let's say. Is the balance today good enough with simulator and with a few test days at the end of the year? I don't know, I don't have the answer. I know that the balance today is working but is it fair or not?
Testing is very very expensive. If you want to go out for a test, you need your own test team. We cancelled the test team because of the costs three years ago. I think this was the correct decision. Regarding the young drivers, as Toro Rosso
is a young drivers' team, normally we do it in this way that young drivers which are coming into Formula One get the possibility to run on Fridays in the morning, and I think this is a good possibility to step into F1, to learn everything. And every team can do this. It's not only restricted to young driver teams and therefore I think the current balance which we have from the regulation side is a good one.
(Christian Nimmervoll - Motorsport-total.com)
Christian, you mentioned before a potential freeze of an engine advantage when the engines come in in 2014. Is that one of the reasons why Red Bull
is so keen for an engine RRA to be introduced with a chassis RRA, possibly in 2013?
Er, no. The reason that we said that there should be... if an RRA is to come in in full force and policed by the FIA it should encompass all aspects of the car of which
the engine and power unit is a significant part, because some teams in F1 belong to automotive or are automotive subsidiaries that produce both chassis and engines and obviously some resource will come between chassis and engine and it's impossible with a chassis-orientated RRA to eliminate elements and treat, in our opinion, all parties transparently and fairly. Our view is that if you're going to look at a resource restriction of any form, you've got to look at the formula in its entirety rather than cherry picking certain elements, and obviously the engine is a key cost driver and therefore should be included within any overall package rather than just, as I say, looking to cherry pick certain items and cost drivers.
(Dieter Rencken - The Citizen)
Christian, your colleague Helmut Marko, if he was reported correctly, stated that he felt that the Sauber was the fastest car out there. Given that it's a James Key car, given that James is going across to Toro Rosso, are you concerned that possibly Toro Rosso
will produce a faster car than you next year? And would you invoke drink orders in that case?
I think the Sauber has been a very good car this year. I think it's been clear at different races that they've had very good pace, including less than a week ago in Belgium. The changes in the regulations this year were significant and it seems to have concertina-ed the field significantly and that also includes the likes of Williams, Lotus have made a big step as well this year, so you turn up to a grand prix not knowing who is actually going to be competitive, how competitive your own outfit is going to be. I think James Key has done a good job previously, not just at Sauber but the teams that he's been at prior to that and I think it was an obvious choice for Toro Rosso
when they were looking to restructure, to include James within their line-up. I think as far as the future is concerned, I'm sure he is going to be looking to make his mark there and the teams are open to race. Sebastian Vettel
won his first race here in 2008 in a car that was designed in Milton Keynes and run by Toro Rosso, but the teams were free to race each other and that will continue to be the case.
(Dieter Rencken - The Citizen)
Franz when I visited you in May, you were speaking about your expansion plans and you were going to move into new factories etc during the shutdown. What sort of progress was made there?