Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Paul Hembery (Pirelli), Gerard Lopez (Lotus), Robert Fearnley (Force India), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Alain Prost (Renault Sport).
Alain, it's been a while since we last saw you in an FIA press conference, welcome. Explain a little bit about your role with Renault
Well, my role is mainly is an ambassador for Renault, the brand Renault, since last year. Even if I have done many things with Renault
in the last few years, for different things. Also this year I'm advisor for the strategy, being part of the executive committee.
In terms of 2014, how far advanced is Renault's programme?
Everything goes well. The engine should run in June on the dyno, the final version. But everything is belonging to the programme.
And when do you think that Renault
Sport will be finalising its teams for 2014?
I'm not myself negotiating with the teams but we all know that it's going to be accelerating during this weekend. I don't know. I cannot say all the dates for all the teams but I hope very quickly.
Paul, if I could turn to you next. An awful lot of debate and opinion in F1 at the moment regarding the Pirelli tyres this year, some pro, some anti. What is your opinion on the way that the Pirelli tyres are influencing the racing, and also what changes will we see to the tyres from Canada onwards?
Well, obviously there's a lot of different opinion, quite divided, among fans, commentators, teams and you're never going to please everyone. That's one of the challenges you have but from our point of view it's the same for everybody, they have exactly the same tyres to work with and somebody's going to end up winning on a Sunday. From Canada? Well, we're still finalising the ultimate details for Canada. We're trying to minimise the changes, for sporting equity reasons of course. We want to resolve the delaminations that we've seen, that have occurred when we've picked up debris. That, from a tyre maker of course is something that we've wanted to solve. It doesn't look good. The tyres have stayed inflated but it still doesn't look good from an image point of view. So that's where we're at. We're trying to finalise that, working with the teams. We've had good collaboration. Of course, some people might want something different and again you're not going to please everybody but we have to do what's correct for the sport and what's correct for Pirelli.
While we're talking tyres I think it would be nice to get the reaction of the team principals and chairmen here on the panel. Christian, can I start with you. What's your opinion on the Pirelli tyres and the racing this year?
I think we've been pretty consistent throughout the year really. The tyres, on occasion, have been a bit too marginal. That includes races we've won at in Malaysia and Bahrain. I think it's good that Pirelli are looking at it. I think the most important and most fundamental thing is from a safety perspective, if you do have a delamination, if you have a big chunk of rubber, you don't want that to hit a car component or worst case a driver. So, there are safety issues that I know some of the drivers are concerned about. Hopefully, Pirelli are a very capable company. I think they know what they need to do and hopefully that can be resolved very quickly.
Gerard, is that an opinion your share - that the tyres have been too marginal this year?