17 November 2012
Friday press conference - United States GP - Pt.2
Team representatives: Cyril Abiteboul (Caterham), Norbert Haug (Mercedes), Eric Boullier (Lotus), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari)
Questions from the floor:
Q: (Tom Richter - TV Nova)
I have a question for Stefano and Christian. Obviously this is a great event but we have the championship situation: two races to go, if you can please describe the moods in your respective teams and what prospects you see for the remaining two races.
You want to go first?
I have no problem, on that I should be quicker! For sure we know it is a difficult situation because we are behind but as I said to my people there is nothing to lose apart from doing the best job that we can and at the end of the day we will see where we will land. But we know we have a Sebastian that is very strong with a fantastic car and we need to make sure that we provide to Fernando the best car that we can and doing the best job that we can on the track. We have seen in the past that everything can happen so we need to believe on this up to the end. As we always said, the numbers will be done at the end.
Our approach is to treat this race very much like any other. We've come here to try to get the best out of the weekend. To try to get the best out of ourselves as a team and the championships will then hopefully look after themselves. We've worked hard to get ourselves into a strong position in the Constructors' Championship and obviously Sebastian has done a tremendous job to haul himself back into the Drivers' Championship after the summer break – we were close to 40 points behind Fernando. With 50 points still available in the Drivers' Championship, you can take nothing for granted. We've seen how quickly things can change. We know that Fernando is a formidable competitor and Ferrari as a team. We've just got to focus on ourselves and look to get the best out of our package here this weekend.
Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer)
Charlie spoke to us yesterday about the prospect of adding points to super licenses instead of or in addition to the existing reprimand system. Could I please have your thoughts on whether you think offences both driving and non-driving should be treated on a points scale.
I don't know what Charlie said yesterday, to be honest.
Charlie said there's going to be points on your license now – is that it? Right, 12 points…
Team principal included…
I've got nine so… Martin, I'm surprised you've still got a license…
I haven't always. I think at the moment you're meant to receive three reprimands and then you get something so I think it's just presumably a further elaboration on that point. Like all things, any penalty system, providing it's administered in a correct, consistent manner then why should we have any problem with it? It's the same for all drivers and the same for all teams.
Q: (Julien Febreau - L'Equipe)
To all of you: regarding this season, in what way has Sebastian Vettel impressed you the most and do you think that now Sebastian is a better driver than in previous seasons?
Sebastian is a remarkable young man. He's continued to evolve as a driver and as a person. He's never given up this year. He's driven with great determination. It's been a tough year for him and the team, but he's fought hard to get himself back into this championship and he's driven extremely well. It's a halcyon period for Formula One at the moment; there are some formidable drivers on the grid at the moment. Any driver, either Fernando or Sebastian, if they prevail in this year's championship they will be fully deserving of that title. I think he's continued as an individual to evolve. It's only his hundredth Grand Prix this weekend and to have won 26 of those races, to have had more than 30 pole positions, to be a double World Champion at the age of 25 is something quite remarkable. But he carries that extremely well. I think he's a good ambassador for the sport He applies himself in an extremely focused way to the job in hand. That's my summary.
Well again, I think none of us were as qualified as Christian to answer this one really, but I think what you can say is that if you contrast this with last year... then Sebastian had an incredible start to the season and had great momentum and I guess you've got to say that it's impressive how he's come back this year and fought back into the position that he's in. Obviously the team's done a good job as well, but I think it's been a more difficult year for him to get into a championship-winning position than he's experienced before and you've got to give a lot of credit to him and to the team for being able to do that, so he's done a good job. He's learned some more languages as well, hasn't he?
Yes! From the mechanics!
Maybe I can just say a word, because I've lived a part of the season at Renault and as Renault obviously Sebastian is one of our customers. Obviously there's been a couple of failures that he's had to live with and I think that he's shown - even at the difficult moments - he's shown a great respect for everyone and all the parties involved, and I think that as such he has demonstrated his stature that he's clearly a grown-up.
Tagged as: Mclaren , Mercedes , Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Martin Whitmarsh , Norbert Haug , Stefano Domenicali , Lotus , Eric Boullier , Caterham , Cyril Abiteboul , Ferrari)
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