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Friday press conference - Brazilian GP - Pt.2

Question for Mr Whitmarsh and Mr Domenicali: 2013 might be a very special year because you have to be prepared for the rule changes coming up for 2014, but at the same time you want to be successful. Maybe you can give us a general view on what you expect for 2013?

Stefano Domenicali:
I think that 2013, as you quite rightly said, in terms of regulations, will be a stability, so I'm expecting to see the situation that we are facing now in terms of performance of the team. What I believe will happen during the season, depending on how the season will go, is that some teams will start to dedicate more and more resources to the 2014 project because it's a project that will be totally, totally different and at least on our side, we already have, at the moment, a small group of people that is working on this project, and of course, on our side, we also have the duty - being a constructor - to work on the new powertrain. For us it's a massive job next year. This is maybe the most difficult in that respect because there are so many new things that we have to do at the same moment where we need to make sure that we are fighting for another season and championship. So for me, the 2014 season could be a year where we can see once again a split between the group of the cars in terms of pure performance. If you remember, at the beginning of this year, we had so many cars that were very very close. I'm expecting a different scenario for 2014 because all these changes which will come into place very, very soon.

Martin Whitmarsh:
Well, not much to add to that. I think, as Stefano alluded, I think it will be quite interesting. It will probably be two or three of the teams sat before you today who are underperforming at the halfway stage of next year's championship and the decision that they might take to then give up on the '13 championship and apply all of their resources to '14 makes it quite an intriguing process. It's a difficult one. If you're competitive as we all aim to be next year, you'll want to win the races, you'll want to win the championship next year but knowing that in doing so and in applying the resources to do so, you're actually robbing 2014. I think it's an interesting second half of the year and as Stefano said, undoubtedly a very interesting start of 2014.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint).
As you may be aware, Honda has shown some interest in the new engine technology coming up in 2014. I would like to know whether a possible comeback by them fits the frame of the new regulations. If so, how much will you welcome Honda back in Formula One?

Martin Whitmarsh:
As we just said, 2014 we've got, as far as I know, only three manufacturers committed to the sport. I imagine there will be a greater level of technical diversity than we currently have in powertrains just as there will be in the aerodynamic solutions that run with it. Normally, when you have a new regulation that encourages a certain amount of creativity, and then over a period of years you get a convergence onto very similar technology and very similar approach.

Ross Brawn:
I think this is the sort of challenge they relish, they quite like. I know from my time with them they like to have fresh technical challenges. They very much look upon Formula One as a research and development exercise and I think the new regulations appeal to them. But there's no concrete signs they're doing anything at the moment. I gather, as a company, they're improving after some difficult years and I think there are lots of engineers there who would love to get involved. Whether there will be a strategic decision high up to do it, there's no signs of that yet. But we would welcome Honda in as well. I think the more manufacturers, the more engines we have in Formula One the better.

Q: (Vanessa Ruiz - ESPN Radio).
Christian, how do you see the possibility of maybe having another drink company joining Formula One as a title sponsor? Would it be bad for Red Bull? Is it a difficult or easy business model to follow? What are your thoughts?

Christian Horner:
I don't think it will be bad. I don't think it would be bad for Formula One. I think that Red Bull welcomes competition and that's the way it is in the market place. Red Bull's positioning is quite unique, not only what it's achieved as an energy drink but in terms of what it's done and the way it carries itself in Formula One. There would certainly be no concerns from our side. I think it would be welcomed within Formula One. I have no idea what their business model is. The Red Bull one works OK.

Q: (Kate Walker - Girl Racer).
Ross, happy birthday; for next year, obviously you have Lewis Hamilton signed up to drive with you. Now Lewis is something of a free spirit and the Daimler brand is not associated with free spiritedness. I was wondering if you have any plans to try and curtail Lewis's free spirit, or if you're just going to let him be Lewis?

Ross Brawn:
I think that's going to be taken on a race-by-race, day-by-day, week-by-week basis. I think it's impossible to predict those sort of things. I know Lewis. Obviously I've had a lot of conversations with him. He's an intelligent guy, he understands Formula One, he understand the exposure Formula One gets. He understands the positioning of Daimler and an understanding of all those things, I think, will avoid any issues in the future. But I think Formula One needs characters. I think Formula One needs individuals, so we're not going to suppress is too much. I don't anticipate any major issues.

Q: (Ted Kravitz - Sky TV).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
05.10.2012- Press conference, Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP
26.10.2012- Press conference, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team and Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
26.10.2012- Press conference, Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
05.10.2012- Free Practice 2, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
16.11.2012 - Friday press conference, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director

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