23 May 2013
Thursday press conference - Monaco GP - Pt.2
Thursday FIA press conference from Monaco with Christian Horner, Paul Hembery, Gerard Lopez, Robert Fearnley, Franz Tost and Alain Prost.
Team representatives: Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing), Paul Hembery (Pirelli), Gerard Lopez (Lotus), Robert Fearnley (Force India), Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Alain Prost (Renault Sport).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Kate Walker - GP Week).
Question for everyone except Monsieur Prost. Going on the subject of the tyres, one of the things, one of the theories that we've had in the press room is that the part of the difficulty has been the lack of a more modern test car. You know we haven't got the DRS, the KERS, the… everything's a bit different. Have the teams considered investing in a Dallara machine - or similar - that Pirelli might be able to use that you can all agree on? Then that way no one team would have an advantage. Christian?
I guess the fundamental thing is we can never agree. Everybody agreed for Lotus to do the testing when they weren't so competitive. Now they're competitive and probably there's a few teams that aren't so happy that they're not doing the testing. So, it's a difficult one. It's a difficult one for Pirelli, it's a difficult one for the teams but at the end of the day we don't need to make it too complicated. I think the way things are at the moment is too complicated for the fans. It's too difficult to follow races where you've got four stops, going on. It's hard enough when you're in the race. I think we need to just wind that back a little bit and more than anything make sure we eliminate any safety issues.
Q: (Kate Walker - GP Week).
That isn't really what I asked. I was wondering what sort of things you guys as a group could do going forward to try and make sure the focus of the… wasn't necessary criticisms of the tyres but how you could actually improve them as a group so that everybody was happy with what they were running on?
Well, I don't think you're ever going to get everybody happy. You know, that's the fundamental issue and unless you open testing up again, where everybody tests, it's probably very difficult because people's cars behave in different ways. So I can't see a situation where the teams will say 'yes, we'll jointly fund and run a car for a tyre supplier.' I'd be surprised.
No, we should use Friday morning, the first session or the first half-hour for testing new tyres - not sitting around like today, doing nothing. People in the grandstands, no cars out there. We just could use this - it was half an hour or 35 minutes as usually - to test new tyres. This is what I suggest since two years.
Gerard, your thoughts?
My thoughts are… I would agree with Christian on the fact that it's really difficult to get everybody to agree on anything in F1 - be it tyres or be it anything else. And I think it's going to stay that way just because it's competitive both on and off the track and so on. I remember when, indeed, when we were asked to propose a car - and by the way, that car has nothing in common with what we're running now - everybody agreed and now suddenly everybody thinks that's the mystery to knowing how to use those tyres. And as I said, both cars are completely unrelated. So it's very difficult to get anything done that everybody accepts. Maybe a solution like running Friday tests, I don't know - but even that requires everybody to agree and some will and some won't. And so I think that's always going to be part of F1: The fact that this is agreement and disagreement and that's the way forward I guess.
I think Franz's idea's got a certain amount of merit. I'd love to endorse that with the element of having young drivers in there as well, just so that it ticks two boxes. But I think that Pirelli have a great deal of resource, as we all do outside of actually track testing. And for instance, even with the incidents that we've had with the delamination, a lot of it can be done on rigs and everything else - and I think that's where most of it will be done in the long term.
So Paul, how difficult is the job that Pirelli have without the facilities to test in the way that was traditional in Formula One?
Tagged as: Red Bull Racing , Christian Horner , Horner , Toro Rosso , Monaco , Franz Tost , press conference , Pirelli , Force India F1 , Tost , Lotus , alain prost , Prost , Lopez , Gerard Lopez
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