Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Paul Hembery (Pirelli) and Eric Boullier (Lotus).
Stefano, I have no previous experience but I'm sure the role of team principal at Ferrari
is not the easiest job in the world, but it has seemed – apart from the front wing on Fernando's car in Malaysia – a fairly straightforward and happy start to the season for you all at Maranello.
Well of course, above all in China it was a great weekend for us. It was a reward for the team and also for Fernando after the difficult race we had in Malaysia. But we have done only three races, so we have done nothing. Our experience and my personal experience tell me that every Sunday could be something different, so we need to keep the feet on the ground and work hard, knowing that things can change significantly, quickly. Therefore, it's important to try to keep this momentum also here in Bahrain; try to maximise the situation of the performance of the car we have now; improve because we are not really at the level we should be, but at least it's important to see that we are starting from a relatively good base to try to keep the development of the car as quick as possible because I'm sure that not only the teams that are represented here but also the others will do a big push already from the first race in Europe. So happy, but very focused.
Where do you think that the progress has been made with the competitiveness of your car? Where has the strength has come from? What have you put right over the winter that wasn't necessarily going so right this time last year?
Difficult to say for sure. We have done some modifications to our methodology. We have chosen to go towards the Eurozone in one wind tunnel. Without doing a lot of comparison then sometimes in these conditions you may get lost. So I believe that is the main thing. For sure, the speed of the change that you do during the season you cannot see immediately, so it takes time and I'm pleased to see that the improvement is there but, as I said not, enough as I'd like to see.
Well, we'll see what happens over the rest of the weekend. Monisha, good afternoon and welcome to the first team principals' press conference you've been involved in this season. Two new drivers, an all-new driver line-up at Sauber. How would you gauge the progress of the rookie and of the experienced driver you have this year?
Well, I think they've really integrated well into the team. With Nico it's less of an issue because he does have more experience now. Of course he has been changing a couple of teams in the last few years, so it's tough for him as well. But as far as I can see he's well integrated. People are happy, he's happy and we're going in the right direction. We can see that with the last steps we introduced in China – because we know we have issues on performance – and we're getting very good from him. On Esteban's side, we have been very convinced, and still are, of his talent, so it's for us now to make sure that he has the surrounding that he can develop that, because clearly neither he nor we can be happy so far with the results that he's shown.
It's part of your job, almost, reassuring Esteban that you believe in the talent he has.
Oh, I don't think I really need to reassure him that much because he's quite confident and he also knows why these mistakes have happened but it's important that you talk a lot to him and you try to support him in getting used to the situation in Formula One and the pressure, because actually drivers like him, rookie drivers, it's quite a dilemma, because they hardly have any opportunity to drive the car, especially in Esteban's case, because he never go any Friday sessions from us. At the same time when he comes in as a race driver the expectations are so high, from the team's side and from his side as well, and there are so few opportunities to actually make points, so it's a difficult situation to handle.
And the situation you have in terms of the budget this year: Nico Hulkenberg
has been urging the team on to push, you need to develop the car. You have excellent facilities at Hinwil, but do you have the resources you need to use those facilities to their optimum?