5 July 2013
German Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.2
Friday FIA press conference from the Nurburgring in Germany with Sam Michael (McLaren), Tom McCullough (Sauber), Pat Fry (Ferrari), Paul Hembery (Pirelli) and Paddy Lowe (Mercedes)
Team representatives: Sam Michael (McLaren), Tom McCullough (Sauber), Pat Fry (Ferrari), Paul Hembery (Pirelli) and Paddy Lowe (Mercedes)
Questions from the floor
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action / National Speedsport News).
To the four team guys, was there ever a point during the race at Silverstone when you considered withdrawing your cars – and reasons for leaving them in.
From our side we monitored the data very closely during the race. We knew the operating limits we were working within, and how we were using the tyres. We speak quite closely with our Pirelli engineer and he was giving us some feedback as well. So, from our side, everything was good.
Yes, it was discussed on our pitwall. It was more a discussion focussed around what we thought the FIA may do or may not do, rather than us actually making a decision to pull McLaren cars out by themselves. It was more a discussion about what we should do in between that time. Just in case that happened.
What was the discussion at Ferrari Pat?
I think in that type of situation it's always tricky and you've got to try to work out the best way to contain it. Silverstone is now the highest loaded circuit that we go to – it obviously used to be Indianapolis – and the type of failure, if you see it, was likely to be structural fatigue failure. So the first thing you do is look at where people were getting to. I think Lewis broke on lap nine or eight, we failed on lap 10, someone got to lap 14. So instantly we were thinking 'well, you've got to minimise stint length.' We were advised by Pirelli to increase the pressures, which we did, and you try as much as you can to contain that situation. So I think from around the first round of tyre failures, we were always going to three-stop because that was a less risky way. To try and two-stop from there you would be well past the mileage that the tyres were obviously failing at. We tried to contain it that way. And then obviously, after the second failures, there was another request to go up on the pressures again – and you can see our pace drop off as we increased the tyre pressures.
But not a thought of pulling out?
I think we were thinking of how we could contain it and make it as safe as we could rather than pulling out. There was some conversation with the FIA on the intercom about the tyre pressures we were running behind the safety car but in the end we just have to manage it.
And finally Paddy?
Very similar to Pat's reply. We were keeping a close eye on what the FIA might do in terms of a decision but for our point of view it was more a matter of management. Whether through pressure or instructions to the driver about certain corners and kerbs and so on.
Q: (Kate Walker – GP Week).
We learnt last night that the GPDA members have considered withdrawing from this race. I was wondering what discussions you'd had from your drivers about potential withdrawals and how you felt about that?
It's not something we go involved in, no.
I haven't discussed it with either of the drivers. We've obviously gone through the changes here, why we think things will be an improvement but we've left it at that.
Tagged as: FIA , Ferrari , Mclaren , Mercedes , Nürburgring , Sam Michael , Germany , press conference , Pirelli , Paddy Lowe , Friday , Sauber , Michael , Fry , Pat Fry
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