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Italian Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.2

Actually one thing really does not have anything to do with the idea to look at… We started our relationship with Esteban much before we actually got into contact with Telmex, because he came into the Formula BMW programme and from there he progressed with the team. So there are two different issues. As far as generally our driver line-up is concerned, we know that we would like to have Sergey next year as our driver but he still needs a super-licence and that's something which you should take seriously. People shouldn't think that we just feel that he's just going to get it like that. We are convinced he can do it, we will do our best to prepare him and there still is a big step. If that all works out we will see what options we have and announce that in due course.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
To all team principals and Graeme – I believe you're sporting director, is that your official title?

Graeme Lowdon:
President and sporting director

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
To all six, the resource restriction agreement (RRA) would have expired at the end of 2012. It was then extended by the so-called Singapore agreement which I believe extended it by another five years to the end of 2017. What are your individual views on this document? Is it legally enforceable, are you going to be providing all the documentation required at the end of the season to the correct authorities?

Graeme Lowdon:
Well, yes to all of the above. My understanding is that the Singapore agreement extended the RRA and modified some of the terms and extended it to 2017. I think that's well documented and we're certainly operating our business in accordance with that agreement. It was an agreement that everybody signed and we'll report accordingly. Whether there is a different mechanism that all the teams agree prior to 2017, which has mutual agreement, then I guess that's a different question but as far as we're concerned we're adhering to it and will continue to do so.

Monisha Kaltenborn:
Well, we are working to that as well and as far as I know, everybody is. More important is to see that in all this time we could identify the flaws it had which was natural, because you just realise with the experience you have with this kind of agreement and we all know we should take steps into cost-cutting directions so more important for me is: what can we make of this experience and how can we improve that to maybe have something which is then really again supported by everyone and we end all these discussions about it?

Ross Brawn:
We're operating to the RRA. I think we're part of the group - as I think most of the teams are, if not all the teams – part of the group to see how we can go forward with an improved RRA, how we can operate more effectively in the future. This is a very competitive business, so interpretations are very important. We see it in all the sporting regs, we see it in all the technical regs and we need to have an improved system to make sure the interpretations of the RRA are also debated and discussed and we have a proper forum for resolving those issues, because that appears to be where some of the disagreements come between the teams. But we do need to have a system, we need to have a system in the future, that controls the costs, that controls the amount the teams can spend. We as Mercedes, are supportive of any correct initiatives to achieve that.

Christian Horner:
What was the question again?

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
The Singapore agreement, in your opinion, is it a legally enforceable document, will you be submitting all your documents at the end of the season?

Christian Horner:
Is it legally enforceable? Probably not in reality. There are things in that agreement that committed things like KERS for one and a half million and so on that didn't actually happen. Will we work to it, in accordance with it? Yes. Will we submit our figures? I would have thought so. Is it effective? Not really. Have there been other things introduced into sporting and technical regulations that will have a genuine effect on costs next year? Yes they have. I think the reduction in wind tunnel usage, in getting rid of aerodynamic testing and so on will again have a significant impact on costs for next year. Of course, it depends where your cost drivers are but I think we still have a responsibility as a group to not ignore costs and certainly 2014 looks to be a very, very expensive year.

Stefano Domenicali:
As everyone has said, I would say we are sticking to these figures but I think that the most important thing is to look ahead because for sure this is an element of a lot of discussion, debate that we all had together in different ways, in a very competitive world. Everyone is trying to maximise his situation because it's part of the game. It is true that we need to find a solution that has to be clear to avoid any strange interpretation but so far, that is in terms of numbers, in terms of presenting the data, nothing has changed.

Martin Whitmarsh:
Yes to all the questions but I think that as someone has said, I think it's very clear we will probably do more than we've already done. I think some of the things that have now gone into the technical regulations, sporting regulations have effectively migrated there from the original RRA and that's positive, I think. As Christian's observed, I think the control of aerodynamic resources - this is track testing, this is CFD, wind tunnel time – has been effective, I think and I think as Christian also mentioned, despite our best efforts, the costs next year are very stiff, I think, particularly for the smaller teams. I think those teams who have a strong association with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) have a good degree of financial stability but I think it's very clear that we need to work hard to ensure... we should be fighting for all eleven teams that we've got on the grid now, we should be fighting for their survival and making sure that they've got sustainable business models because if we don't, at some point there will be a crisis, there will be the domino effect and we've got to... we act sometimes better under crisis, but generally it's better to avert the crisis and work together beforehand.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters).
We've seen the draft calendar for next year: 21 races. We all know you've got views on expanding the calendar. I just wondered if you could say how likely it will be that you think there will actually be 21 races next year and if you think there's any chance of New Jersey making it even though it's not on the draft calendar at the present?

Martin Whitmars:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Graeme Lowdon (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Chief Executive Officer.
28.06.2013- Press Conference, Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP
Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT) Sauber Team Principal.
06.07.2013- Free Practice 3, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
15.03.2013- Stefano Domenicali (ITA), Team Principal
19.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
07.06.2013- Friday Press Conference,  Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren

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