26 July 2013
Hungarian Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.2
I think cost control is the most important thing, isn't it. But then we're looking at an escalation in engine costs next year which, for a team like Williams is always difficult but we've always found a budget which we need to go racing. Our costs over the past couple of seasons at least, have remained relatively stable but obviously those are escalating next year but it's our responsibility to ensure that we find the budget that we need in order to keep us racing at a competitive level.
You know we can't close ourselves out from the real world and it's pretty tough out there at the moment so on one side we want to be competitive and successful on track because this is the reason why we're here but on the other side there is an economical reality which we must respect. So for us at Mercedes it's all about being efficient, about not spending money where it's not necessary but staying competitive – or being competitive.
Our costs have increased year on year but that's mainly due to us being a very young and very small team that has a planned expansion programme for every year. That's the main reason for our cost increases.
Yeah, the same thing obviously. I tend to believe that it's going to be extremely... it's human nature to spend whatever people have to spend so I guess that limiting expense is difficult. I think the only time that F1 did a fairly good job limiting costs was by putting some cap on engine costs and also limiting the number of engines used so I think it's only by policing the product that is on the track, therefore the car, that you will have a more direct influence on the overall costs, rather than looking at what's happening in the factory. That's my belief.
Q: (Abhishek Tackle – Midday).
Franz, Christian Horner seems to have ruled out Jean-Eric Vergne for the Red Bull seat, so what can you tell us about his future at Toro Rosso, because Chrstian Horner says that he still deserves to be in F1. Will the ultimate decision on his future rest with Dr Helmut Marko?
I'm convinced that Jean-Eric Vergne will race next year for Toro Rosso. We must not forget that Jean-Eric came later into F1 (than Daniel) and why Red Bull Racing is thinking about racing with Daniel Ricciardo next year, it's simply because he is more experienced, he showed very good performance in the first half of the season but Jean-Eric Vergne is quite close to him. It's not that Jean-Eric is out of the team. As far as I'm thinking, next year he is with Toro Rosso.
Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
I don't know who can answer this question but we spoke about the future of the German Grand Prix, I believe at 1pm there was a meeting with Mr Ecclestone about the future of another Grand Prix, namely the Indian Grand Prix which has certain tax issues. Earlier this week, Sochi announced their date for the 19th of October next year and I have spoken to representatives here who have confirmed the date. What is the future of the Indian Grand Prix and why could it possibly fall away, please?
It was a private meeting so it's not for public discussion. As far as I'm aware, the Indian Grand Prix is on the schedule and we'll be going.
Well, I think you know that the calendar is in the hands of the promoter and we have a great promoter, so wherever we need to go, we will go.
Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special).
Franz said something about reality; is the reality sensible and is reality sustainable in regard to the budgets of F1?
As long as the cars are on the starting grid, as long as we are racing, this is the reality of F1, yeah? Nevertheless, we should think how we could come down with the costs but if I look at next year, what has been decided is we get a new power unit package, which is more expensive than the current one and we've brought back testing, which costs even more money. That means we are discussing different directions. The most efficient cost-cutting was from 2009, 2010 when we said 'OK, we don't do any more testing' and when the engines were frozen, no development on this side, that meant that engine costs came down and during the last years everything was quite stable. But next year, I'm worried about the costs because they are simply running away.
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