10 May 2013
Friday press conference - Spanish GP - Pt.2
I think to pick out one car is difficult. I think overall I've certainly enjoyed the challenge of the regulation change from 2009. I think we didn't win the championship in 2009 but in some ways I'm most proud of that, as a team, not me personally, but I think as a team we did a good job with that car. We didn't have a double diffuser which is still a matter of contention about the legality of that, which is obviously all history and that, without doubt, to some extent, cost us the championship together with the fact that as a team we just weren't mature enough at the time to know how to operate the car to a championship-winning level really. But I think it's the catalyst that gave everybody in Milton Keynes the confidence to step forwards and out of the ex-Jaguar 'always seventh in the championship' –type position that people felt a bit beaten into and put a spring in their step and launched us into the following cars.
Well, obviously for Ferrari, this set of the regulations, the last five years have been quite difficult. We've had some years that we were very disappointed with and I'm hoping that at the end of the season I will say that this year is one that we are most happy with but clearly we have to wait and see for that.
I think for a number of reasons which generally revolve around the way we're working as a team and the way we are going about our business, I would say that it's the current car.
Obviously last year's car returned Williams to winning ways and we perhaps didn't make as much use of it as we could have done but certainly here last year and that car.
Obviously this year's car for the reasons we've come a long way since we entered in 2010 but I would say this is the biggest step we've made year on year and the most significant one.
Q: (Kate Walker – GP Week).
We've recently had quite a bit of discussion that's since fallen by the wayside about integrating young driver tests into the race weekend. How do you guys feel about that? Do think it's good for bringing on talent or are you wary about these young guns damaging your precious new parts?
It's not exactly the sort of topic I normally think about much. I think the way of testing makes it very difficult for young drivers to really get started so to find a solution to that would be a good idea. Whether that would work at a race weekend I'm not sure, unless it's the Monday after a race or something like that.
I think the first problem actually comes from the lower formulas inasmuch as we seem to be in a situation where now in GP2, for instance, experience counts hugely and quite often it will be drivers in their third or fourth season that win the championship, which seems to me quite an unhealthy way to be. I think also now, with the way the tyres are behaving, then to have junior formulas where the tyres are lasting three or four laps before they've gone off heavily, young drivers need mileage, they need seat time and it concerns me that the way the lower formulae are going they're just not getting that.
Well, from Force India's point of view, we've got a track record of bringing young drivers through and it's something that we're very proud of, something we'd like to have the ability to do more of so we definitely look towards a change in regulations so we can bring young drivers through without compromising the race weekend. We put forward a motion in the meeting yesterday but I'm sure there will be further discussions on it. Hopefully we can come to some agreement because I think it's probably a little bit short-sighted of the sport not to recognise that these young guys do need time in the car.
Do you have a Friday driver in the pipeline?
Yes, there's one coming through. Hopefully we will announce something shortly.
This is something we actively participate in, in using young drivers in an FP1 session but I think tyres is key at the moment. Perhaps one set of tyres in FP1 is not quite enough for these guys and maybe we need to look to giving them a few more sets of tyres.
Tagged as: Ferrari , Williams , Red Bull Racing , Adrian Newey , Barcelona , Spain , press conference , Force India F1 , Smith , Mike Coughlan , marussia , Newey , Caterham , green , Mark Smith
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