John Booth (Marussia), Ross Brawn (Mercedes), Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Claire Williams
Questions from the floor
(Ian Parkes – Press Association)
Christian, coming to you first. Obviously Sebastian has apologized, as you've mentioned, but yesterday his remarks were basically as if that apology never existed. As Bob has mentioned he said he would probably do the same again under the circumstances, that he'd effectively undermined you as team principal and that it was indirectly, quote-unquote, payback for what Mark had done previously in not helping either himself or the team. On that basis, has your authority been shattered and do you have a driver who, when he sticks two fingers up to you and the team, is uncontrollable?
First of all, the drivers need the team. They're an essential part of the team and one element of 500 or 600 people. Has my authority been undermined? In that race he didn't do what I asked. Was I happy about it? Of course I wasn't. Did we discuss it? Yes, we did. Did he apologise? Yes. Has he learned from it? I'm sure he has. Would he do it again? I think he'd think twice but I think as he explained yesterday there is an awful of history between those drivers. It's something that isn't new. It's something that's been there between the two of them for the past four or five years. Let's not forget they are one of the most successful pairings that the sport has ever seen. They have won three successive Constructors' World Championships for the team and Sebastian, of course, has become the youngest ever triple world champion. Is my leadership undermined? I don't think so. I've led the team from the time that Red Bull
entered the sport to those 35 victories, to those world championships. Of course there have been lumps and bumps along the way, there have been incidents between the two drivers. But we retain them because they are both fiercely competitive individuals, they drive each other forward and they bring the best out of each other and at some points of course it's uncomfortable for the team. But I think it's a healthy rivalry, even though they took things into their own hands. They gave each other just enough room and whilst it was uncomfortable for us on the pit wall to watch, it was spectacular driving, just giving each other room to work with, as they've done on numerous occasions. What's happened has happened. We can't change it, we can't go back and it's a question of looking forward and focusing on this event and obviously the next 16 events after this. As a team we're working as closely as we've ever done, as in both drivers to work closely together, to continue to improve, to continue to give their feedback to the team to keep moving forward because our competitors aren't far away. Sebastian hasn't achieved the success that he has in his career by being submissive. He saw and opportunity, he took it into his own hands, he'd saved a set of tyres from the previous day and he wanted that victory more than anything else. I think he justified to himself that previous events that had taken was part of his judgement on what he chose to do that day.
(Dan Knutson – Auto Action/National Speedsport News)
John, Jules has been doing a good job; what has impressed you most about him and what do you think his potential is?
His calmness has impressed me immensely. Very likeable guy, we thought he may have been disappointed to lose out on the Force India
drive, but he's just been positive from day one. As for his ultimate potential, it's very early to say. I've worked with him for two races and one and a half test days so it's a bit too early to see, but the potential certainly looks very good.
(Dieter Rencken – The Citizen)
I believe the president of the Federation circulated a letter last week to all team principals regarding its role in the cost-cutting process or cost control process and that it no longer intends playing a regulatory role in the process. This seems to be an about face after last year having called various meetings about this issue. How do you feel about this?
I think it would be inappropriate to comment because it's a letter between the teams and the FIA. It's a private letter, I don't see there's any reason to comment in public about it.
Well, we support the RRA (Resource Restriction Agreement) for instance, or we support a means of controlling costs in F1 and we have to find a way forward, so we support whatever can be done to try and control costs or contribute towards controlling costs in the future.
I'm not sure that F1 is sustainable, the way it's heading, so the Resource Restriction is very important and we fully support it going forward. But I wouldn't want to discuss it, it's a private letter.
The Resource Restriction Agreement – there were numerous meetings. We have the Resource Restriction Agreement for the chassis which is not so important because we more or less have the chassis costs under control. We didn't manage to come up with a power train Resource Restriction Agreement which would have been much much more important because next year the costs will increase by eight to one hundred percent regarding the power train, and there we should have worked and should have come up with something but the manufacturers, as usual, had some meetings, pushed a little bit but brought nothing to paper because everybody is doing his development and is thinking of getting an advantage over the others. The teams, the customers have to pay, they bill them at the end. This is reality and as I mentioned just before, next year will become very very expensive.