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Friday press conference - United States GP - Pt.2

The point that Martin was making is very true about the world economics and I think that it's a little bit more complex than that, actually. I don't like the notion of pay driver because I see them more as a commercial element which obviously is crucial when you are at the back of the grid, you don't attract the sort of TV coverage that the other teams attract and that's a reality. We are not complaining. We have to make our way through the grid, up to the (front of) the grid to get more coverage but before that happens, obviously the drivers are as ambassadors, a good commercial vehicle who have a value for any form of sponsors. Just talking in terms of contracts, usually we don't have any drivers who are paying for a seat, actually. It's just that he's introducing some sponsors to us who are helping the team to finance the season and financing their salaries, so actually in reality, there are no paying drivers as such. I don't want to start a polemic but even the best drivers in the world which are in the first row teams, there are some sponsors who are there also because they are there and I don't think you will qualify any of those drivers as pay drivers.

Q: (Carlos Jalife - Fast Mag)
I was talking to Mr Ecclestone yesterday asking about the Mexican Grand Prix and he said that it's hard because Texas has set a new standard. He said that no other country can run a Grand Prix if it has a facility that is less than this one that we see here in Texas. According to the world economic climate I would disagree but I would like to have your opinion on that.

Norbert Haug:
It would be nice if all the Grand Prix race tracks in the future would have a comparable standard to these facilities here, especially the race track is fantastic, the layout is great. It would be nice. I have some doubts whether this standard will be guaranteed for all the race tracks in the future. It does not necessarily need to be the case in my view.

Eric Boullier:
It's not easy to comment on Bernie's ideas, Bernie's comments, but as Norbert just said, it's great for all of us, also for you journalists, to have these kind of facilities, to do all our work in nice conditions, for the mechanics, the engineers and everybody so yes, the standard is good and obviously we would be happy to have the same standard and again, I would be happy to race in Mexico. I've been racing in Mexico in the past and it's a different standard but still we can manage.

Martin Whitmarsh:
Well, I think you've just got to ask the same question this time next week!

Christian Horner:
I'm lost for words after Martin's totally politically incorrect comments about the Brazilian Grand Prix! I think that there's 20 races and there's a lot of competition for those positions on the calendar. There's new circuits that are coming in in the future; there's Sochi in Russia that's coming in. There's an awful lot of interest and where Bernie does an incredible job, he keeps bringing new venues to the calendar, whether it's Singapore, whether it's Abu Dhabi, whether it's here in Texas. Formula One is now out of balance between Europe and the rest of the world, but it just shows how the world and the markets are emerging. It's very healthy for Formula One to have that competition, to host a venue, because what Formula One does bring to that country, to that state is quite significant.

Stefano Domenicali:
Well, I think that for sure that Bernie is pushing towards a high standard in all the places that we have to go to. I think it's the correct policy that he has to apply. Then it's a matter of negotiation, a matter to see what is at the end of the day the complete package in terms of the globality of the product that you're going to bring with a new venue, with a new Grand Prix. As I said, it's correct that we always try to be at the top and then it's a matter to see what we can really do but it's important to go in a place where there is a passion for Formula One, there's the money for Formula One, there's the interest, because in that respect, I have to say Bernie always has a good vision to anticipate certain things and we need to make sure that hopefully also in Mexico this will happen very soon.

Cyril Abiteboul:
I think everything has been said. If there is passion, I'm pretty sure there will be passion in Mexico, so why not? I'm not worried about some sort of standard because I think that passion is much more important. Personally, I remember my first race was in Magny Cours. I know it's a race that has been very much criticised by everyone but that's a race where I lived a fantastic moment and people were very enthusiastic there. Same thing with Canada and Montreal. I don't think this is seen as best in class of standard, but again I think this is one of the favourite races of the paddock and I think the public is again playing a big part because of the passion. I think this is what matters and the mix between the standard that Formula One wants to demonstrate, the statement that Formula One wants to make to its sponsors and to the internal feeling and nostalgia and passion that there is must be the right balance.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.11.2012 - Friday press conference, Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham F1 Team Principal
16.11.2012 - Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Motorsport chief
21.06.2012- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
16.11.2012 - Friday press conference, Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari
16.11.2012 - Friday press conference, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
26.10.2012- Press conference, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
16.11.2012 - Friday Press Conference : Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal; Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director; Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer; Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal; Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director.
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