19 April 2013
Friday press conference - Bahrain GP - Pt.2
Friday FIA press conference from Bahrain with Stefano Domenicali, Monisha Kaltenborn, Martin Whitmarsh, Paul Hembery and Eric Boullier.
Team representatives: Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari), Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber), Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren), Paul Hembery (Pirelli) and Eric Boullier (Lotus).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Kate Walker – Girl Racer).
Monisha, we've heard recently in the last week or so talk of Pirelli bringing an extra set of slightly harder tyres for teams running a young driver on Fridays. Given your comments earlier, is this an initiative you support? To give rookies and developing drivers more opportunities on track? Do you think it's a good idea, will it be better for the show, and so on…?
I think it's a good idea because it gives you first of all a good reason to really get in these drivers. And I think it also should be done in such a way that it should be not just an option. Maybe as a regulatory thing coming in that really you have to this, otherwise not many teams would really make use of this kind of an option. We see it with ourselves: if you have already a rookie driver who is one of your regular race drivers, do you really want to take away time from them to still get another one in? So, I think if it just comes in as an option we really would have to think about it: do we make use of it or not? But on the other hand it's extremely important as we can see with such drivers that, if they have more opportunities they're simply better prepared. It will be a difficult call for us if it's just an option. I'd prefer if actually it went down somewhere in the rules that you have to do this. And apart from all of this is the show element that you mentioned. You are maybe make it more exciting and maybe you could also get more cars to run. If you look at the sessions on a Friday, you have the first half an hour fundamentally, nothing going on. It could have overall a very good impact and also for the tyre supply I guess it would have a lot of positive effect: always getting someone new in, something exciting, new information, new faces coming in.
Just to clarify, what would you prefer? Two cars running on the track or a third car being run for a rookie with the extra tyres?
I think it's too early to say that right now but what would be good for a team like ours is that you simply have to do this. If it's just with one car, it would be fine for us – but not just as an option. Because if it were an option, like in our situation, we'd really have to think about it. If you have even two new drivers coming in one season, do you really want to make use of that or not? If we tend to say 'no' it's got us nowhere with this rule.
Stefano, if I can bring you in on this. Would Ferrari be wanting to run rookie drivers, drivers from your Young Driver Development programme?
Just to answer to your question about the tyres: yes, extra set on Friday to be used in the morning. Not only for rookies - but for everyone. It would be difficult to explain to the people that are on the grandstand that Mr X has an extra set of tyres to run and Alonso, Hamilton, whoever is not running because that extra set of tyres is just for the rookie. If we have to do something then I believe it is a good idea, to be honest, that we should do it for everyone in order to increase the number of running on Friday morning.
Martin, don't run a rookie driver?
Well, I think similar opinions to Stefano. It was originally discussed that there should be an extra set of tyres for rookie drivers but I think that's quite difficult. At the end of the day, if the people who we're thinking about in the grandstands, I think they come to see Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkönen, Button – that's who they want to see. I think if we all put out rookie drivers they've not heard of, I think they feel cheated in some way.
Eric, your theory?
I have to say I do share the opinion of my colleagues in the front. An extra set of tyres, yes. We need to just make sure that we could maybe run it for everybody and not only for rookie drivers.
Q: (Mike Casey – Associated Press).
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