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Friday press conference - Chinese GP - Pt.2

John, Jules was able to settle down to a very quick pace, early on in that session and had quite a handy margin over his direct competitors. Was the programme that he was on a reflection of that pace?

John Booth:
Yes, you have to allow so much time for tyre evaluation in P2 now that the schedule tends to be changed around from previous years so we were on a qualifying simulation quite early.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport)
Christian, Mr Mateschitz said that he doesn't want to see team orders any more in his team. Are you afraid that a situation might come up where it's necessary to have a team order, possibly a situation like Ross just described where the two drivers are down on fuel or let's say that one driver has a better chance at the end of the season to win the championship over the other?

Christian Horner:
Of course. It depends what you define as a team order, at the end of the day. During a race, you have a hundred different things that you have to manage, whether it be fuel, whether it be tyres, whether it be reliability, whether it be KERS – so many parameters that you have to manage and that takes very close interaction between the pit wall and the car. Of course, the drivers have to follow those instructions. What Dietrich is keen not to see is a situation where the drivers aren't allowed to race each other. As I said, our concern in Malaysia was not the fact that the drivers were racing each other, it's what the consequence would potentially be on tyre wear and the outcome of the one-two position on circuit that we managed to get ourselves into. From a Red Bull perspective, of course we want to see the drivers race and compete fairly and equally but at the same time, the drivers equally know that they need to respect the requirements from the team, whether it involves any of the elements I just discussed. Team orders are something that aren't new to F1, they've existed in different guises through pretty much every year that the sport has existed, and while you have a team and a drivers' championship, there will be that conflict on occasions between the two championships and the aspirations of a team and an individual driver.

Q: (Peter Stebbings – AFP)
Christian, you said how there was no love lost between the drivers in the past. How would you describe their relationship now, in light of everything? Are they even talking to each other, for example?

Christian Horner:
To be perfectly honest, it's no different to the relationship before Malaysia in many respects. They're both professional guys, they're both very driven, they're both very talented race drivers. Right now, they're sitting in a meeting, debriefing, across from each other about what the car is doing and how they, as a pairing, can improve the car with their team of engineers. Of course they will continue to work professionally, to benefit the team and ultimately obviously themselves. But I doubt very much they will be spending the summer break together or Christmas, but that's not what we pay them for. Why we pay them and employ them is because we believe that they're the best and strongest pairing in F1, as they've demonstrated consistently over the last three or four years.

Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association)
Christian, following on from that, we've seen many times in the past when a driver pairing basically cannot stand the sight of one another – Prost and Senna, Piquet and Mansell – that it just doesn't work. At the end of the day, something has to give. Do you have any confidence whatsoever that your driver pairing this season, will be your driver pairing next season, or are you already casting your net for a potential replacement of either of your two drivers for next year?

Christian Horner:
Well, first of all, Sebastian is on a long term contract so he's committed to the team. Mark's contract has been renewed on an annual basis over the last three or four years and that's something that we tend to address just in the same way again this year. Of course emotions are still fairly raw from the events in Malaysia, but they're still a very effective pairing and we won't make any decisions until later in the summer when Mark and the team will sit down and discuss the future. But after two races, it's far too early to even be contemplating what our driver line-up will be for 2014.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen)
Ross, you have a fairly controversial suspension set-up. It was a couple of years ago here that you had double-decker diffusers etc. At that stage, there was a proper governance procedure in place to look at the matter, investigate it and decide whether it was legal or illegal. How would the procedure work now in the absence of a Concorde Agreement, technical working group etc?

Ross Brawn:
Well, first of all, there's speculation but nobody knows what our suspension system is and from what I know, it's not uncommon throughout F1. The old days of simple rollbars, springs and dampers are long gone, and they've been long gone for several years and I don't think it's controversial, I don't think there are any issues. On the separate matter of what would we do in the case of a dispute, then I think the situation would be exactly as it has been before: somebody would go to the stewards, complain, they'd look into the matter, it would be resolved one way or another. If people weren't happy with that, then it would be appealed and go to an appeal court. The sporting and working groups are continuing as they did before, in the absence of a Concorde Agreement, which I think is showing good spirit from both the F1 teams and the FIA. I know our technical director attends technical working groups, our sporting director attends the sporting working groups and they are following the same voting procedures and approaches which they did before, which, as I say, I think is showing good spirit from the teams and the FIA, and the FIA have advised the teams that's how they intend to continue until the Concorde Agreement is concluded.

Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.04.2013- Press conference, (L-D) Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal, John Booth, Marussia, Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP , Claire Williams, Williams and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
12.04.2013- Press conference, Claire Williams (GBR), Williams
12.04.2013- Press conference, John Booth, Marussia
12.04.2013- Press conference, Claire Williams (GBR), Williams
12.04.2013- Press conference, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
12.04.2013- Press conference, Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP
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Max Verstappen at FIA Prize Giving Gala
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