F1 » 15 November 2013
United States Grand Prix: Friday press conference - Pt.1
Team representatives: Sam Michael (McLaren), Rob White (Renault Sport F1), Nick Chester (Lotus), Paddy Lowe (Mercedes), Adrian Newey (Red Bull Racing) and James Allison (Ferrari)
Three of the gentlemen here are, of course, in new roles, one within the same team, in Nick's case, but in Paddy and James within different teams, so plenty to talk about. James, can I start with you? How big is the job you've taken on at Ferrari and what's it going to take to get back to winning ways?
I think technical director at any F1 team is a very big job, it certainly doesn't leave room for much else than the job in your life, Ferrari is an extremely prestigious F1 team with a lot of resource and an extremely high level of expectation. There is really no result other than winning that is good enough at Ferrari. So there is a lot of pressure to make sure I play my part in achieving that, but it is a wholly realistic ambition. It's a team with the kit, with the resource, with the people and with the drivers to get the job done, so looking forward to being there when it happens.
You've been in the post for a few months now, what's your assessment of what you've seen so far? Have you seen where changes need to be made and have you already started making those changes?
I've, first of all, been very fortunate to arrive at Ferrari at a point in their cycle when a lot of the changes necessary to return to the front rank – I mean right at the front rank, i.e. winning championships – a lot of the changes necessary to do that have been put in place by Pat Fry. I think I'm particularly lucky to have arrived and been able to benefit from those investments rather than having to start them from scratch. There is much more to be done but I'm a lucky chap to be picking up where I am.
Thanks for the moment. Coming to you Nick. Obviously we have to start with Heikki Kovalainen and his performance this afternoon – fifth fastest in the free practice session. Was that as impressive within the team as it looked from the outside?
Yes, it was. We feel he's done a brilliant job today, particularly with all the procedures and getting used to driving a new car. We felt it might take a little bit of time. But actually straight away in P1 he was already looking after the car very well and in P2 he was fifth quickest and good long runs, I think he's done a great job today.
Like James, you've been in your role for a little bit of time now, taking over from James at the Lotus team. What's your route forward? Are you going to continue the path he had set or have you got some changes you want to make in the technical structure?
There are a few changes. There are a couple of areas where we felt things could be moved on. Those are going into place now. Most of it's a good baseline. It's a very good team and there are a lot of good guys there. But there are always chances to look at things you could do better and you have to move those things on when you can.
Thank you for that. Paddy, coming to you. Like these other two gentlemen, you're a few months into your position at Mercedes. What excites you about the role you have and how do you see it evolving over the next period of time?
Tagged as: FIA , Ferrari , Mclaren , Mercedes , Red Bull Racing , Adrian Newey , Sam Michael , United States , press conference , Paddy Lowe , Lotus , Rob White , James Allison , Austin , United States Grand Prix
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