Alain, every year someone says that Monaco is too dangerous. This week's hero was Ralf Schumacher. I wonder, it hasn't really changed much since your day. Do you think it is too dangerous? Do you think it's still a relevant place for a F1 to be held?
I wouldn't say that. It's as dangerous as another race track can be dangerous. It's different, for sure. You have to be a little bit careful, especially in the traffic with all the cars. Being alone is not being more dangerous than with another car. I must also say that the passive safety, what they do with the marshals and all the work they have done in the last thirty/forty years, is exceptional and yeah, there are some conditions... when it's wet in some places where it could be a bit tough but it's such a fantastic race for everybody, especially for the drivers obviously. That is part of the tradition and you should accept it, even if it was a little bit dangerous, obviously. You should accept that.
On the pit wall, is that a bit of a worry when you send the cars out?
I think that Monaco represents the ultimate of the man and machine around a very difficult circuit and if I was a driver, I would relish the thought of it and I'm sure most drivers do. From a team point of view, it's wonderful to see the cars on the limit so close to the barriers. It's what we should be doing.
Yeah, Romain came close to the barriers too. On another race track we would have gotten away with it, just overbraked and instead of trying to go straight on, decided he could take the corner and just took off a little bit of the left front of the car. I think the drivers love it. It's a different track, they love it for the atmosphere, they love it for the excitement. If you talk to the drivers it's quite an amazing experience. I've driven it myself actually, it's quite an amazing experience if you get really close. I remember one of Robert's laps, he probably thought it was one of the best laps he ever did and it was here in Monaco, so I think drivers love it.
Q: (Rodrigo Franca - VIP Magazine).
Speaking of 2014, what do you think about the improvement of the F1 show and also, what is the biggest challenge for the teams and Pirelli for the new regulations of the V6?
First of all, the new regulation is a big challenge from the technical side, because it's a new engine, new air system, the complete car will be new and then it's a challenge also from the financial side because everything is much more expensive. Whether the show will be improved or not I can't say yet because it depends how good the different engine manufacturers work. If there's one of them finding a special solution then we will not have such interesting races as we have now because these cars will be in front. If they are all nearly equal as is the case in the current races then I'm sure we will also have very interesting races in the future. Nevertheless, this is a new regulation and we have to get the best out of it.
Challenge for Pirelli?
A contract? A contract is probably the first one. If you follow the regulations, on the first of September we're meant to define the specification for next year but as yet we don't really have a full picture of what the cars are going to be like, so you can imagine there's a certain element of shooting in the dark. Having said that, it's a probably a year where we will probably step back, be cautious. There's going to be enough going on for the teams next year as you just heard from Franz, all those changes. So I think it's a year where we'll be stepping back: zero degradation, no pit stops and they can do all the talking.
It's difficult to say. It's a massive change, probably the biggest change F1's seen for probably the last 25 years, I would have thought. It's hellishly expensive, especially with trying to develop a car this year and design and produce a car for next year with the changes that have been introduced, the timing of which probably isn't ideal for some of the teams further down the grid. It's a big regulation change. I think you'll probably see significant differences between the teams early on but that will then converge and engineers will undoubtedly be very creative with the solutions that they come up with. It's going to represent a different challenge, a different type of racing as fuel economy will suddenly become a premium point. We're yet to see what affect that will have on the racing. At the moment, we've very much got an open mind.
I would agree, the timing is... I don't know if it's well chosen. It's certainly odd. We can understand the engine manufacturers who are trying to have a product that is closer to what people are buying out on the streets. At the same time, there comes a point where F1 was doing really well in terms of excitement, in terms of cars being matched, in terms of races being open, so let's hope that it doesn't reshuffle the cards in a way that is... unexpected would be good but unexpected with huge gaps would be really bad. I don't think any of us can really say today what the effect is going to be, so that's it, a little bit of an unknown for everybody.
Yeah, I think that we won't be having discussions about tyres next year, it will be a completely different programme.
Q: (Ian Parkes - Press Association).
Paul, you've talked about changing or tweaking the tyres from a safety perspective yet when we discussed the matter in Barcelona, you said that there had been no more failures this year than in previous seasons, so are you genuinely changing the tyres for safety aspects or are external pressures being brought to bear from other more powerful teams?