26 October 2012
Friday press conference - India GP - Pt.1
Friday FIA press conference from India with Eric Boullier, Monisha Kaltenborn, Cyril Abiteboul, Martin Whitmarsh, Christian Horner and Stefano Domenicali
Team representatives: Eric Boullier (Lotus), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber), Cyril Abiteboul (Caterham), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing) and Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari).
First a question to all of you: I believe you have had several occasions to discuss your team's future in Formula One. How do you feel those discussions have gone with regard to your individual interests and concerns? Eric, would you start?
Obviously, as you said in your question if you look at the personal interests there are always some concerns and issues, but I think we had positive and constructive meetings all together with Bernie and the FIA and even if we are still far let's say from closing and signing any Concorde Agreement, even if I think it should not take long now, we, with a global vision for Formula One we all believe there are some positives.
Monisha, your concerns?
My concerns straight away! I agree with Eric that it was good that the teams were invited to this kind of meeting to get the status on the negotiations between the commercial rights holder and the FIA and what for us is important is that we come to a conclusion which is good for Formula One. We know that each team has its own position in Formula One – you have the bigger ones and the ones who are in the middle and further back – but we need to have something which is good for the sport, the stability of the sport.
Pretty much the same thing here as Monisha. Obviously, it looks like the last corner of a long negotiation and as always there are last-minute adjustments and last-minute compromises. Not everyone can be equally happy but you just need to make sure that not everyone is particularly unsatisfied, which is certainly not our case. We're making sure to protect our key interests, because obviously smaller teams are fragile and we need to make sure not to be unnecessarily exposed, so that's what we are making sure of but we are on a good track.
I think in the short term we've all got our own self-interests, but in the longer terms we've all the same interests and I think that's the sport is successful, that it's buoyant, it's exciting and that it's also viable. As a few of the others have said in front of me I think you've got to recognize that there's a lot of challenge for quite a lot of teams and it's important for all of us to reach for compromise, find a way forward that's going to make sure that we can sustain all those teams. The good thing is this isn't the old era, which was I think very confrontational and probably good for the media but less good for the sport. I think people here are recognising that now is not the time to have wars, now's he time to be constructive, where necessary compromise and find a way forward for the sport.
I think the guys have done a tremendous job of telling exactly what wasn't discussed at the meeting, which is obviously confidential between the parties. So I'll follow the party line and say, yes, it was a very constructive meeting and we're getting close to a conclusion but I think that's really all there is to say at the moment.
Well, the last thing I can say in this spirit is that it's clear that there was something discussed between the teams and the relevant parties – the FIA President and Bernie Ecclestone, who represented the commercial rights holder. The thing is that at the end of the meeting it was the President of the FIA that left room for discussion for future points that the teams may suggest to improve what we are discussing. But I believe it is the right thing to say that here it's important to speak about the division of the future of Formula One and I believe that we are starting from good grounds and we need to make sure that we finalise this as soon as possible.
Okay, thank you. I'm sure there will be some more questions for all on that subject. Now, some individual questions to each of you. Eric, starting with you, if I may. Obviously you've done a fair amount of development over the last couple of races, but looking back at the whole season, have you exceeded expectations this year, given that you've also lost quite a few points as well? And looking forward, do you think you can make the top three or top four?
Tagged as: FIA , Mclaren , Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Whitmarsh , Horner , Martin Whitmarsh , press conference , Sauber , Lotus , India , Eric Boullier , Kaltenborn , Boullier , Monisha Kaltenborn
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