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Friday press conference - Malaysian GP - Pt.2

It just seems that with that kind of approach, it's not just in Melbourne, we did see it in 2012 as well, that it will give one driver the opportunity to finish really well and the other less so. Not that you're favouring one over the other, it was an even split. I was just wondering what the thinking behind that approach was?

Bob Fearnley:
Well, I think in 2012 you've got a slightly different process there because obviously we were defending – not defending, actually we were attacking and trying to get our position back from Sauber, so what you're trying to do is maximising the opportunities for optimum points and that would be the reason for the main split of the strategies. But where possible, you're always going to go for an optimum strategy for both drivers and we would do that. I think in Melbourne that was an optimum strategy for both drivers.

Speaking of two different drivers, James, what's the situation with Romain Grosjean? He's not been quite on Kimi's pace in the first Grand Prix and obviously again today he seems to be a bit behind; what's your analysis?

James Allison:
Romain showed us over and over again last year that he is a driver with a lot of pace. That's the one really valuable commodity that a race driver has and he's got that. He's not had an easy weekend either here or there, because we haven't been able to provide two cars in exactly the same configuration on either occasions so in Melbourne on Friday he was running a step behind Kimi in terms of his aero package, and then he had the upgrade for Saturday morning but then Saturday was disturbed by the weather as we all know. Here, once again, we only have one set of kit and we've chosen to run that with Kimi and Romain is disadvantaged for that. It's a feature of not having in-season testing that you try to upgrade the cars as fast as you can and generally speaking, that means that you're always going to have one set of kit ahead of the second set and that almost inevitably means that one driver gets to try it before there is a second one available. We will always try to get two sets available but not always possible. So he's had a difficult set of circumstances and he's also up against a teammate who is really firing on all cylinders so those are the two things.

Q: (Alex Popov – RTR).
Cyril, can you clarify the story of a possible merger with Marussia?

Cyril Abiteboul:
Yeah. I think we provided a comment – both Marussia and ourselves – regarding the fact that there have been some discussions over the Christmas period but clearly I think we all know that business, we all know Formula One, we know that it's quite a fluid and versatile environment. To be honest, I'm not that old and since I've been in F1 I think I've maybe heard ten times about mergers, including four big names, so there is nothing very big in that. We looked at that, we looked at whether it was making any sense, it didn't make any sense, it didn't happen. End of story.

Q: (Luigi Perna - La Gazzetta dello Sport).
Pat, are you confident you can have the same pace as Lotus or even better in this race compared to Melbourne?

Pat Fry:
I think our race pace should be OK here, similar to Melbourne. In terms of tyre degradation I'm not sure yet. We need to go and look at the numbers. Obviously today's running was a little bit mixed up. When everyone was doing their long runs this afternoon, there was rain in turns six and seven, so we need to see. Hopefully we will be able to get the degradation under control as well.

Is it likely to be another race where doing one less stop than your rivals is one of the keys to success, do you think?

Pat Fry:
I'm not sure how close we are to a three to four changeover or a two to three changeover. We need to have a look through the data and see really. I'd like to see James try and two stop here on Sunday.

James, do you fancy it?

James Allison:
Generally speaking this track is one stop more than Melbourne, so I think that might be a bit brave.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.03.2013- James Allison (GBR) Lotus F1 Team Technical Director
Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Caterham F1 Team Principal. 01.03.2013.
Sam Michael (AUS), McLaren
16.11.2012 - Free practice 2, Pat Fry (GBR), Technical Director (Chassis), Scuderia Ferrari
20.09.2012 - Pat Fry (GBR), Technical Director (Chassis), Scuderia Ferrari

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