Questions from the floor:

Q: (Chris Lines - AP) Can I ask both the team principals about this statement from the FIA? When did you first know that they were going to ask for tenders and do you think that maybe this is an ambit claim trying to push the teams in the right direction rather than a serious commitment that there will be customer drive-trains?

Gerhard Berger:
Well, first of all, I saw it ten minutes ago for the first time. Secondly, I am very happy that somebody has made the first step to push the matter. It doesn't say that the decision has been made and I'm sure if FOTA is doing a good job next week, maybe the right solution can be found with the FIA. If it's this one or another one, it doesn't matter. I think it's just important that something happens quickly.

Vijay Mallya:
I would endorse what Gerhard just said. I also got to know about this ten minutes ago, prior to the start of this press conference. As I said before, I welcome any initiative to drastically reduce costs. I am aware that FOTA has a meeting next week and if, together with the FIA, a solution can be found to address the subject and actually make sure it happens and doesn't remain one of those everlasting discussions, then it's good for all of us: good for the sport and certainly good for the independent teams.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Dr Mallya, can you please tell us where you are in your negotiations with Mercedes Benz? You talk about being an independent team, if you get too close to Mercedes, might you not be an independent team anymore?

VM:
It depends on how you define an independent team. Force India Formula One is owned by two private shareholders and no manufacturer is involved and I think that makes us truly independent because we write the cheques. The second point is that I have been in discussion with Mercedes as well as with my current suppliers, Ferrari, because I have decided that we want a complete drive-train which includes the most important KERS package. So that's our requirement and we can't do without any one component. So negotiations continue and I'm hoping that we will be able to finalise something sooner rather than later because we need to finish this season, get on with testing and be prepared for significantly improved performance by the team in 2009.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint)
Again to Gerhard and Dr Mallya: it's again on the KERS issue. How does this enter the picture in view of what the FIA just proposed with the engine and transmission? And can you quantify the amount of resources devoted into buying the KERS system and possible development in terms of your total budget?

VM:
As far as Force India is concerned, we are negotiating for a complete package which includes the engine, the gearbox and the KERS system. We are not splitting it up into three different components. I know of teams that are spending enormous sums of money trying to develop the KERS system. We have said from the very start that we are not capable of developing this system, we don't have the in-house resources to develop the KERS system and that we would buy it as part of the drive-train package. And so that's precisely where we are.

GB:
Well, it's the same for us. In our case, it's not the drive-train but the engine and KERS together as one package. And that's what we are getting from Ferrari as we decided a couple of months ago. We are not involved in the direct development, we are just going to get what Ferrari are going to develop. I generally think it's a typical issue where different teams and manufacturers are going to have different views. For an independent team it's an extra cost factor which hurts but sometimes you maybe have to see a bigger picture and I know when I spoke to some other manufacturers like BMW or Honda, they see it as an extremely important tool for the future. The downside is extra costs which we have to deal with.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Gerhard, can you update us on the future of S?bastien Bourdais and the other driver in your second seat next year?

GB:
We don't really have news at this stage. We are collecting names and data and trying to understand what could be the best solution for us. Obviously S?bastien Bourdais is on top of the list. He especially drove a very good race last weekend, he did well today, he is struggling to score a result for different reasons: sometimes his own mistake, sometimes because of a similar decision to last week. But generally, we see that there is some good potential but we are not ready yet to make our decision. Obviously we also have to see how we replace Sebastian (Vettel), so we are still in this process.

Q:
Perhaps we can carry that over to Dr Mallya, what is your situation with the drivers?

VM:
I have made it really clear that I am quite happy with Adrian and Giancarlo and they will continue with us in 2009.

Q: (Chris Lines - AP)
May I ask both the team principals, aside from the matter about the common engine supplier, what are the major issues you want addressed by FOTA at the meeting next week?

GB:
I think what is very important... we are talking about drive-trains a lot at the moment which I think is one of the big cost issues, no question about it, and I think it really has to be dramatically reduced but at the same time, it's very important to see to the rest of the car. We are incurring cost on the aerodynamic side and electronics and other areas which have to be faced in a similar way to the drive-train and I think there are going to be different issues at next week's meeting.

VM:
Yes, as Gerhard said, apart from the drive-train which is obviously a very important component of the whole package, aerodynamic costs are also obviously quite large. That's why sharing of resources, sharing of components, parts, even a bit of aerodynamics, would help bring down costs. It all depends as to what extent you can go to but arguably, if Bernie's proposal of permitting teams who have been in Formula One for ten years or more to share as much as they like between themselves actually goes through, I think it will be excellent for all independent teams and bring down costs substantially.

Q: (Marco Degl'Innocenti - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
To both drivers: of course you're drivers, not team principals but you are an important part of Formula One. So I don't want to ask you what is your opinion about the common engine because maybe it's too early but in any case I would like to ask if you could suggest something to change Formula One in the future, what would be your main idea, what would you suggest?

Sebastian Vettel:
Difficult question, I don't really know. Obviously as you said when you started your question, I think the drivers are not in a position to decide and that's why we are not thinking about it, honestly. Obviously all I care about is driving the car. I think no matter what you can change in the future, introduction of the KERS system or reducing aero or whatever it is, we will still be trying to do the best on the circuit and fighting with understeer, oversteer, traction, whatever. Maybe we should consider...

GB:
What about increasing drivers' salaries?

SV:
That's a good point, I don't know really. As I said, I never thought about it because it's simply not in my hands, so I have no opinion.

Adrian Sutil:
For me, at the moment, in a smaller team, for sure I am thinking that the teams should be more similar, everybody should have a better chance at the moment. For example for us it's very hard to make another step because the factories are just investing so much money and we don't have this, so we can never really catch up and it's really hard for us drivers because we give our best in the cars but the result is always the back row. So maybe there we can find a solution to bring the field a little bit closer together. I think we already did quite a good job in the last few years, the field is very close together but it's maybe important to reduce the costs a little bit. Finally, maybe a slightly different weekend programme. Maybe free practice over a whole day, a little bit a combination of testing together with a race event, so there we could also save some costs. It makes more sense because you can set up your car and then you race straight away with the same track conditions and everything. Maybe something like this would be more attractive for fans, the cars would be out on the circuit a lot more, maybe two races like in GP2, a sprint race and a main race, so lots of suggestions. I think we can always improve it.

Q: (Daniel - Oriental Auto)
Sebastian, last year you did a very good job in Shanghai; do you think this will give you good luck? My other question is, have you tested the KERS system and how do you feel about it?

SV:
Well, the first question: obviously last year was a very good race for us; we came from Japan and we didn't finish the race, even though we were in a very good position because of my mistake under the safety car. If this place gives me good luck or not, maybe we will need a couple more races or I need a couple of races here to judge. I believe that this year, especially, we have a strong package, so no matter the conditions, if it's dry or wet, we should be competitive, so we will see. If it rains on Sunday, the rain is always welcome. It seemed to help us in the past, so why shouldn't it in the future. The second question, if I have ever tested the KERS system? No. Obviously we are a customer team and a private team, so as Gerhard explained, we are not in a position to develop this system. Obviously it will be introduced next year but as far as it concerns our team, we have had no tests yet.