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Singapore Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.2

We have a long term relationship with our friends in Venezuela so no, I don't really have a concern about that at the moment.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
Lady and gentlemen, you're constantly going on about cost-cutting in F1, how costs must be reduced but as any housewife knows, there are two ways of keeping the household going: one is to reduce costs and the other one is to maximise income. Claire, you said earlier on that your source of income is sponsorship but I would have thought that the commercial rights holder also pays you something, and the commercial rights holder is obviously recording record profits. Is it not easier for the teams to club together to go and get more money out of the commercial rights holder than it is to constantly bang on about reducing costs and not reach agreement?

Tony Fernandes:
I think the team didn't get together. The teams had a wonderful opportunity to try and create a fair, equitable split so that the sport is sustainable. I'm obviously in another sport where I think the difference between the top and the bottom is not as great as between the top and the bottom in F1. If you look at the Premier League, the winner of the Premier League share of prize versus the team at the bottom is not as spread out. I think teams had an opportunity but I go back to my very first point: that teams looked at things on an individual basis as opposed to working together in FOTA and trying to find a win-win situation for everyone and create a very healthy environment in a sustainable sport. We screwed it up, it's as simple as that.

Bob Fearnley:
I tend to agree with Tony. I think we've had wonderful opportunities and we've collectively failed to be able to bring the deals together. There's a certain amount of greed comes in from the top teams as well and I think they have to take some of the responsibility for that but it is F1, it's not something that's new, there's never been any equality in F1 so you have to go out there and make sure it happens for yourself.

Franz Tost:
Each team has got the Concorde Agreement, at least from a financial side and if teams do not accept it, they don't need to sign it. It's as easy as that. And if they sign it, they have to accept it. There's nothing to complain of from this side. I think first of all the teams should try to come down with the costs. It's easy to say yes, we should get more money but give the engineers one million and they ask for two. Give them four million and they ask for eight million. It's something about the discipline within the teams and as I mentioned before, we decide by ourselves to spend the money for nothing as I explain with the testing. If the teams get more money, they go testing even more and in my opinion that's wrong.

Claire Wiliams:
I think everyone's said it all really. In my experience, this is the way F1 has always been so unless you have a seismic change in the future, then I imagine it will remain this way but as people have said, the teams may have had an opportunity but unfortunately they didn't take it.

Eric Boullier:
Well, I think it's been debated and it's true that I share the view of the other team principals that we may have missed an opportunity to just sit down with the commercial rights holder and re-negotiate something which could have been more in favour of the teams but we failed. I think on top of this it's not one more or less costs, I think it should be both of them to be honest, because, as Franz said, the more money you get, the more money we will spend if you don't have any safeguards around you. Your engineers will always try to find out the best way to be competitive and this is why we are paying them to be like this, but at the same time, the more open the regulations are, the more we will spend money and waste money. So it's true that we need both.

Q: (Joe Saward – Grand Prix Special).
On the question of testing, can anyone of you think of a good argument this time next year when Bernie says 'look, you've gone to four tests, you haven't earned any money, why don't we have four more races in 2015?'

Eric Boullier:
Four is not enough. Ten more is better.

Q:
Could you race more, is that possible?

Franz Tost:
This is what I always request. I prefer to have more races where we gain money instead of spending money for nothing, therefore I would prefer to maybe have two races more or three or four races more – I don't care – instead of going testing for eight days where we go out to do some laps for nothing in the end, because reliability – as we can see – is no longer an issue. Ten, 15, 20 years ago we could say OK, we need to do some tests so that the cars become more reliable. That's no longer the case. What we are doing now is to create a new test team, because the theory that the race team will do the tests on Tuesday and Wednesday is absolutely wrong because they have to go home to prepare the cars for the next race. That means that on Sunday, the test team will fly in, then we do the test on Tuesday, Wednesday, then they go back. It's not only testing, it means bringing new parts, because the development will be increase and these are the costs.

Claire Williams:
I think there are so many considerations. Like Franz said, the major one for bringing testing in is that you've got to create a new support team. A few years ago, Williams disbanded - whatever the word would be – our designated test team so now we're looking at additional costs to create a new test team because you can't have your race mechanics and engineers working that amount of time but then there are other considerations. Could you use those days for a young driver development programme, for example, that could bring in revenue for the teams? So it's definitely conversations that we're having internally at the moment to see which would be better whereas I don't know whether... you bring in four more races a year or... Eric wanting ten more races. You're going to have to bring in more personnel to support that as well, so I think again, it's all about costs isn't it?

Eric Boullier:




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.06.2013- Press Conference, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Renault F1 Team
16.03.2013- Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal
05.07.2013- Free Practice 1,Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal.
24.03.2012- Saturday Practice, Tony Fernandes, Caterham F1 Team , Team Principal
Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal.
22.03.2013 - Press Conference, Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team

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