20 September 2013
Singapore Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.2
Friday FIA press conference from Singapore with Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Bob Fearnley (Force India), Tony Fernandes (Caterham), Claire Williams (Williams) and Eric Boullier (Lotus).
Team representatives: Franz Tost (Toro Rosso), Bob Fearnley (Force India), Tony Fernandes (Caterham), Claire Williams (Williams) and Eric Boullier (Lotus).
Questions from the floor
Q: (Chris Lyons – AP).
Eric, Kimi said yesterday that one of the reasons he left was that he wasn't being paid his salary. Can you clarify the details of that and does the fact that this has come out damage the brand of the team?
I don't think it's damaging the brand of the team to be honest. The truth is that yes, we owe him money so that's true. He's going to be paid, that's true too and if you want to have a little bit more of the story, last year in the same period it was the same story: we were owing him some money but at the end of the year he was fully paid. It's just the way we manage our cash flow. Unfortunately we are not as rich as some other teams on the grid. You can also understand that a team capable of winning this year and fighting for some podiums may not be as sustainable as it should be. We have obviously favoured our people working in Enstone which is understandable I think, obviously the car development because this is the essence of F1 if you want to keep competing. So there is nothing else behind this story.
Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special)
Just to lighten it up a bit, in two or words or in the case of Franz, three, can you say who's going to be driving for you next year or who do you think will be driving for you next year? Tony?
I have two: no comment.
We will see. The season's not finished yet. There are some races to go and then Red Bull will sit together and then we will decide.
It's Vijay's decision.
If I could re-phrase the question, do you all have in your own mind an idea of who you would like to be driving for you, or is your mind still wide open as to what your final pairing would be?
I would have one pretty clear and one open.
Yes, in one word.
Of course the Red Bull drivers - da Costa, Sainz and Kvyat – and then we will see where we end up.
No, ours is a process, we can't make those decisions at this point. It's something we do after the Indian Grand Prix.
Q: (Mat Coch – pitpass.com).
Eric, with Kimi leaving and the state of the team at the moment, are you after a driver to come in on a salary or are you looking for someone to bring funding?
We keep the same strategy that we've had for many months. Geni helped us to bring the team to where it is today. We now want to have more finance, more sponsors because we need to step up and guarantee some stability over a few years. That's part of the strategy, this is what we are still working on and we need to deliver on that point. We see the timing was not the right one for Kimi but we still have to deliver this. That would then allow us to chose drivers on merit which is obviously the first choice.
Q: (Kate Walker – GP Week).
Claire, you mentioned earlier about the difficulties of ensuring that you have enough budget, the way that it's an annual process. We've been reading in the papers recently about troubles with the Venezuelan economy. I was wondering if that was going to have an impact on your operating budget next year.
Tagged as: Williams , Toro Rosso , Singapore , Franz Tost , press conference , Force India F1 , Friday , Tost , Lotus , Tony Fernandes , fernandes , Eric Boullier , Caterham , Boullier , Claire Williams
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