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Chinese GP - Friday press conference - Pt.2.


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 Sébastien 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 Sébastien 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)


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vijay Mallya (IND) Managing Director, Force India F1, Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal, 6th-8th, June, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
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27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
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27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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