Flavio BRIATORE (Renault), Ron DENNIS (McLaren Mercedes), Stefano DOMENICALI (Ferrari), Mario THEISSEN (BMW Sauber)
A question to all four of you. Can you give us a summary of your season and for the two championship contenders, an emphasis on this weekend.
I can say I am very happy about the season, about the results, the performance. We had two targets for this year. Number one to join, or to transfer the battle of two into a battle of three and that, if I look at the points' standings, has been achieved. Number two was to win our first race and that has been achieved as well with the one-two in Canada. We have been on the podium 11 times so far, as opposed to twice in the past season, so the team has done a very good job. I am proud of the guys and I think together with the superb reliability we have had so far, a good race strategy, a good pit work, this is a very good foundation for the next year.
We are happy for the last part of the season. We had the victories and the podium but it was very disappointing in the first part of the season. The car was not ready in the beginning and we worked very hard to improve the car. Fernando gave a lot of motivation to everybody. It would be nice if the season started now but unfortunately this is the last race. For me it is mixed feelings. It is better to finish strong in the end and this I hope is good for next season. It looked like we found a way to improve the car. We don't have the crisis like we had in 2006. We are happy as we finished the season very well and I hope we start the season in the same way.
We have had a reasonably competitive season. Obviously there have been some ups and downs but generally our results speak for themselves. We are still in contention for both championships. Obviously a stronger position with the Drivers' championship and we are being, right now, very focused, very disciplined, not taking any risks and just concentrating on what we have to do to win the Drivers' world championship. We have made no secret of the fact that as a consequence of doing that, if we are less focused on the Constructors', that's the way it will be but generally we are very happy. It is a very highly motivated team this year and we have every reason to believe that we will be very competitive again next year as well.
I think I can cut and paste almost 90 per cent of what Ron has said. The only thing, for sure, is that we are very focused on the Constructors' championship and we will try to do whatever we can to do the maximum for Felipe, fighting with Lewis after a great season. I think that this season shows what we have always said at the beginning, that is the competitiveness of the teams that are around this table that was predicted at the beginning of the season. I think that the result that we had you could always say we could be better, we could be worse. But as a general point I would say that we are here once again to fight for the championship in the last race. This is an incredible result if you look back at the history of F1. We have almost always been here, so this is a very positive point.
Another question for you all. A lot has been talked about cost cutting. How are the teams approaching this and how vital is cost cutting?
Well, as you know this is a top priority for FOTA. We are working quite hard and very constructive on preparing a proposal which will be supported by all the teams from the biggest to the smallest. We are addressing all the needs and I am really very confident that we will have a proposal on all the issues, technical regulations and sporting regulations, very soon.
Flavio, you have been quoted as saying you would like to see a reduction in testing?
I am in the same position as Mario. Everybody wants a reduction in costs but we are working together. All the teams are maybe unanimous to decide the technical side and the sporting side what we need to do to cut costs but surely it is a priority. The financial situation worldwide, we are part of this game and we are working very hard together to achieve as soon as possible a solution. Already the position of FOTA is unanimous and we have the next meeting on November 4th in London and I believe everybody is concerned about that and are working hard to achieve as soon as possible a proposal to put to the FIA.
Ron, your feelings?
First of all I think the word we will all use is unity. We are very unified in our objectives. We take our position as teams very seriously and the economics of grand prix racing. Cost saving is of course directly to the benefit of the teams. All of the teams have to work together and we have seen unprecedented levels of co-operation between the teams. We are focused on 2009 which is something that requires absolute unanimous agreement to implement any changes in 2009 and we are focused on that and have tabled very significant cost cutting for all of the teams, especially the smaller teams. We are now focused on having a unanimous position on future years which address everything from engines to chassis. As Flavio and Mario pointed out our objective is to put forward constructive and concrete proposals that are supported by everybody.
For sure I think that in the sporting and technical commission that we have created to discuss all the points, I think the approach is the right one. Of course it is the right place where you can discuss and have different opinions but at the end of the day it is a constructive discussion and so far it is the way we want to keep doing. That is the right place where we can confront our position but I would say once again, and to stress the fact, that we are in a position where really historically speaking we are working together considering that we have different situations – a small team, big constructor, medium constructor – and everyone is sharing the same view. At the end of the day we want to keep the fundamentals of Formula One in this new context and this is one of the objectives that all the teams want to achieve together.