Yeah, I must say that I don't think it's a bad idea provided it's clear from the start what the rule is then one can make one's assessment between performances in qualifying and the race. I'm not against it, personally. I also wasn't aware of it being discussed. It's possibly a good thing.
Q: (Alex Oller – Associated Press).
Mr Coughlan, regarding Pastor Maldonado's struggles this season: do you think you might be pressing a little bit, due to a lack of confidence in the car and also, might there be an adjustment due to the change with the personal engineer?
No, I don't think so. It's a fast-moving sport, there's lots of little things. This time last year we had a good balance here and the driver was very confident on the Saturday but not so good on the Friday, so there's a lot of work to do. We have a good team, Pastor's very focused, working hard. It's just going to come down to hard work and small steps.
Q: (Sam Collins – RaceCar Engineering).
Looking at this car and next year's car, some of you guys have got a bit of a challenge of resources, some from the RRA and some from your own team's resources. At what point are you going to switch off development of the 2013 car and switch on to the 2014 fully, and what's going to be the thing that makes that decision happen?
I don't know that there will be an absolute switch off. I think these things... obviously 2014 represents a big change so in terms of resource, everybody's resource-limited, you're just given the level that you work at, so to a greater or lesser extent, I think every team will have been looking at 2014 for a while now. The time at which you switch the majority of resources will be different for all teams because all teams will be facing different challenges in the championship. For us, 2014 is a very significant thing and I suspect that the majority of our resources will have moved over after Barcelona.
Well, in terms of resources, yeah, obviously we are one of the resource-limited teams but that's not to say we don't have big ambitions for 2014, so we've done quite a big change-over to that already, in terms of specifics of wind tunnel times, detailing and even design time, there's a lot going on for 2014 already. It's a tricky one because we still keep where we are in 2013 with one eye on it, more from the point of view of ensuring that if the opportunities are there to move up, then we've still got to keep a development going, so probably similar to what Mark says, it's about that point now where it's all or nothing basically.
It's a hugely difficult problem. In an ideal world, you kind of try briefly to increase your work force to deal with the resources needed for this and then shrink back down but that's neither feasible not practical really. I think that certainly for us, we have to put effort into the '14 car, we can't just ignore it. We are putting effort into it at the moment. This is actually about how that percentage varies throughout the year. Well, to some extent it depends on how our championship programme is.. Clearly, if you're in a tight battle for a championship, you don't want to turn your back on that. Equally... it's a juggling act, there's no magic formula to it.
Q: (Matt Youson – RaceTech).
Nikolas, how does the 2014 power unit dictate the aero of next year's car?
It's a hugely complicated project from a mechanical point of view, the installation of the turbo with all the energy recovery and the completely different looms and also all the other issues my colleagues spoke about - in terms of resource allocation make it very difficult to focus on this project as much as one would like. So one of the challenges is to make sure that apart from the work that the engine people need to do to make sure that they get the most efficiency/power/fuel efficiency etc, is to also make sure that one doesn't take any wrong turnings in terms of the packaging of this new power unit into the car. It would be a big shame if one discovers, from the start of the next season, that one has missed some trick and has to live with a sub-optimally packaged power unit. So a lot of the early aerodynamic work has to do with answering basic fundamental questions about that installation and obviously the engine being so different, there's also a lot of other things that are... one loses points of reference compared to the previous year. For example, the cooling could be one of them, or gearbox or whatever. So there' s a lot of importance in being good at your simulations at this stage so as to be able to not over-design or under-design some particular aspect.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press).
For all six of you: we're coming to the end of this set of regulations after five years. For all of you, which was the most satisfying car you had in this period and why, and what was the car which you felt you could have done a better job with, and again, why?
This car is going to be the most satisfying car, to be honest. It's got all the potential to be and we're really looking forward to this season. I think there are some really strong races ahead. I would say this car, for sure. And the one we could have done more with? Every other one, for sure.