Questions from the floor

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Aldo, you were talking before about the lack of grip at Hockenheim. We were talking with your drivers today, and the feeling is that the problem is not solved completely because the soft tyres have developed some problems. Could you explain exactly how it has been today?

Aldo Costa:
The problem at Hockenheim, for us it is very clear what our problem was, and again, most of the teams' problems. Compounds were very hard, mainly the hard compound and the soft compound was probably on the limit to be the hard one. So we were suffering from a lack of grip, to make the tyre work properly during the race, to get a temperature from it, finding good grip from it. Here, the situation is - in terms of tyre grip, tyre management - it's a typical Budapest track situation on the first day. The track is very green at the start, you have graining issues and then little by little the track gets rubbered in and the grip comes, so there are no particular issues from that side.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Willy, can you explain exactly what happened at the Jerez test and what is the most worrying aspect of the KERS?

Willy Rampf:
Okay, what happened last week in Jerez... as you saw, when the car was coming in after its second outing, the mechanic touched the car and he got an electric shock. We took the car back to Munich and we are currently investigating what was the reason. Up to now, we don't know 100 per cent what happened but we are still investigating it and until we can really reproduce the problem and be sure that okay, it was exactly this or this component, we cannot say exactly what the problem is. But we continue... as soon as we know what happened, as it is a critical safety issue, we will also inform the FIA and speak with them regarding what could be done in the future to avoid something like this.

Q: (Fr?deric Ferret - l'Equipe)
Question to Mr Costa: the sharkfin engine cover is part of the development of the car. Can you tell us how you decided to use it on your car and how important it is to catch up in performance with McLaren?

AC:
I think it's a pretty normal aerodynamic development which we tested a few times in the wind tunnel, then we decided to test on the track for certain reasons, and for us there was a small performance advantage and we had it here, so just a normal performance development like other teams have done already.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Question for Aldo: both your drivers are very fast, but they reach that speed in different ways. Can you describe the difference in the set-up and driving style of Kimi and Felipe please?

AC:
To be honest, in terms of set-up development, there is not a huge difference between the drivers. Our two drivers have different characteristics in terms of driving style, in terms of attitude, qualifying to race. Sometimes, like every driver, like some specific tracks compared to others, they are quite different in terms of that but in terms of mechanical set-up, there are no major differences. So we can work with both in a parallel direction and then use what we learn from one driver to the other car and vice versa.

Q: (Thomas Richtr - TV Nova)
Aldo, I have a question regarding engine freeze rules. Renault personnel are complaining that they stopped their development according to the rules while other teams are changing parts of engines on reliability grounds. How can we explain this situation to Formula One fans when there is a horsepower difference between teams - at least, that's what they say? There is about 20 or 30 horsepower difference between engines, at least, that's what Renault say.

AC:
Yeah, you have to listen to their opinion, but you also have to listen to the opinion of all the other competitors. Rules are frozen on the engine but you are allowed to change components for reliability reasons and also, if you demonstrate that you are implementing a more economic, a cheaper component, you can also ask permission. The information gets circulated and all the teams have to express an opinion. So if they want to say no, they say no. And having listened to all the competitors, the FIA can decide not to allow these modifications. So I think it's a very good process. There are very clear limitations and very clear possibilities.

Pascal Vasselon:
From the Toyota side, we have obviously had the same approach as Renault: that means more legal than legal. It was an engine freeze, our engine has been frozen.

WR:
I think overall the process is quite transparent because all modifications get sent around to all the teams and if they don't agree, the modification cannot be introduced.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Moto und Sport)
Pascal, you said that the suspension or the track rod of Timo Glock's car had taken some extensive loads at Silverstone. Why didn't you just change the part? I don't think the track rod is the most expensive part on the car. You could have put on a new one if there were any doubts.

PV:
No, it's a very normal process to re-use parts after a race. It's a very normal process. All teams do that. You just have to make sure that you have a screening process which detects faulty parts, and again, in this case, our process has detected pushrods. Pushrods have been changed but the analysis has not been deep enough to detect or evaluate that an overload had been seen in other parts, so that's what we have improved. But obviously as soon as you have a doubt about a part, you change it, of course. In this case, we had no doubt about the part which went on the car for Hockenheim.

Q: (Jerome Bourret - l'Equipe)
Mr Rampf, you are now one of the few teams not using this famous shark engine cover. Could you explain why, and do you plan to test it?

WR:
We have not introduced it because it doesn't give us enough performance.

Q: (Fr?deric Ferret - l'Equipe)
Question to Mr Costa: you are the only one to use the nose with the hole that you are using this weekend. Can you tell us when you are using it, on which type of circuit? AC:
Yeah, I think it's pretty clear when we have used it or not. On this kind of circuit, on high downforce circuits, it is something that has been designed for that. On other circuits you have seen the car without it, so I leave you to make a decision, a comment.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Question for all four of you: you all talked about the tight timetable for KERS. Given that safety of the mechanics, the marshals should be a priority, are we pushing things too fast? And a second question is, at what time would you decide not to use KERS in the first race?

AC:
Yeah, I think all the Formula One teams are taking the safety aspect very, very seriously. You have to remember that first the system has to be managed on the bench, in-house, in testing, so the safety aspect is the first priority. You cannot use a system in-house, on the test bench, a system that you believe is not safe enough or in testing. Safety, of course, is the first aspect, I don't think anyone would use a system in the race that they don't believe is safe. And in terms of when it should be decided whether to use the KERS or not in a race, this is still very early days. We think there is potential, we think we can have a performance advantage, so we will push in that direction and at the very last moment, if the whole package is faster, we will use it. Otherwise not.

WR:
It's very similar to us. Regarding safety, we are doing everything to make sure that the system is safe. The car that we used in Jerez, we also used it for a shakedown, just to run it for a few kilometres to be safe that everything is working. But it seems that not everything was perfect, so we are investigating it with a lot of experts to find out what happened. Regarding using KERS or not: first we have to see in the car what is the actual performance gain because there is this extra power from the KERS systems but there's also more weight or less ballast on this car, so it will always be a trade-off but the plan is to race this system.

PV:
The safety of the marshals, of the public, of the drivers is of course the first priority of the KERS and we will all have to go through a fail of mode analysis which is a very strict procedure which will be co-ordinated by the FIA and I'm sure that, through the technical working group, we will be able to share the different experiences of the teams, to accelerate the improvement of the safety level of the system, but for sure, safety will be the first priority of this system.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Aldo, coming back to today: do you feel that you are in the position where you expected to be yesterday or will it be difficult to fight with McLaren?

AC:
As usual on Friday you don't know the fuel level of your competitors, so you have got this big question mark in your head. We think we are developing the car set-up as in a normal weekend. We think we have, as I said before, a normal grip variation during the day, so nothing unusual. Last year it was a difficult race for us but we think that on some types of circuit this year we have made an improvement. So we are pretty much - with our feet on the ground - looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday, but I cannot tell you anything more.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
For everybody, there are a lot of rumours about the problems with the KERS: fire, battery explosions. Could you explain to us exactly what range of dangerous things there are around this new system please?

PV:
Going through the possible failure modes of the KERS system is just what we have to do. We will all be trying to over-heat or over-charge batteries. We will all be trying to crash flywheels for those who will use flywheels. We just have to do that, in order to make sure that we keep these failures under control, so it will be all about making sure that we keep these failures under control on the test bench, and later on the track. So for sure, yes, you will hear about battery fires and things like that, simply because we will have to gain experience in this direction.

Mike Gascoyne:
I think the safety issue is one that's being stressed but it's just an engineering problem and an engineering challenge. At the end of the day, we carry 70 kilos of fuel around at 200mph and go round corners. It's just a similar engineering safety issue to address. We have to go through it and be rigorous but it's just like numerous other challenges on the car.

AC:
I agree with that. Each of us has it clear in our minds what the risks are of carrying fuel in the car but in terms of batteries, generally, we don't have a lot of common experience, so we are looking at these things as they can have all sorts of problems or risks but as Mike said, it will be common engineering practice to be sure that we put safe things on the car, so it will be hard work but we are confident that we can do the job.