Questions from the floor:

Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) We have a regulation for engines for 2013 and yet you lot are having meetings all the time about engines for the future. Can you tell us what's going on on that count?

Ross Brawn:
Well, we're designing an engine for 2013. There's a set of regulations and we're designing an engine to them. As always there's a lot of debate going on but that's the regulations the FIA have issued, so unless the FIA change their position, that's what we will be racing in 2013. Colin Kolles:
We will see. Eric Boullier:
Yes, we are working on designing a new engine following the regulations that have been released for 2013. That's it. CK:
We are no engine manufacturers. Christian Horner:
Renault are focused on the 2013 regulations as they currently stand. Monisha Kaltenborn:
Same for us here. We know Ferrari is working on it. For us, it's important that whatever engine we have, we have to make sure that financially independent teams can afford it, so that's the biggest issue for us, and of course we also have to make sure that we have innovative technologies coming in, so we have to make sure a balance is created.
Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) Monisha, you were talking about ten points; what are those ten points worth?

MK:
That I will tell you at the end of the season.

Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) It's an awful lot of money, isn't it?

MK:
It could be, but we are still confident that we can manage to make that up again.
Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) Ross and Colin, can you just have a little chat about your wind tunnel deal that you have between you?

CK:
This is a commercial Mercedes issue. RB:
We have two wind tunnels. Because of the FOTA constraint regulations we only use one of them for our own Formula One programme so the other one is let out to customers and Colin, along with a number of other activities, is renting some time in the tunnel. It's really as simple as that. We have a tunnel which we don't use, (that) we used to use before the constraints came in - it's the original tunnel that was built at Brackley - and we rent it out to whoever wants to buy time in it. It's really as simple as that. I didn't know it was Colin until my commercial manager told us he was buying some time in it, which is great, if we can help, but it's just rent on normal commercial terms.
Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) Christian, can you talk about KERS a little bit. In Australia you didn't appear to have it on the cars, are you running it here? What was the problem in Australia?

CH:
In Australia we ran the system on the Friday. We felt that there was a potential reliability risk and the benefit of KERS in Australia is arguably less than (at) other venues, so we decided not to take that risk and remove the system from both cars on Friday evening, with a view to running the system here again, which we've done today. The system has run well and obviously reliably, so a decision will be made on it no doubt later this evening.

Q:
Could you just clarify: is it your own KERS system or is it a Renault KERS system?

CH:
It's a system that has commonality with Renault. It's been designed in conjunction with them. Obviously, the installation of the system tends to be more personalised to each team, but there's a great deal of commonality, certainly between the two Renault-powered teams that are running KERS.
Q:
(Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) For the team bosses: it doesn't make much sense that the drivers can use the movable rear wing any time they want during Friday and Saturday and then only once a lap during the race. Should the rule be changed, how soon should it be changed, what you can you do to change the rule?

CH:
I think we probably need a few more samples. In Melbourne, the wing obviously wasn't that powerful.
Arguably, it put a few cars in a position to make an overtaking manoeuvre but it is one of the shortest straights. We will have a much better view on the impact that the DRS has here this weekend with the length of the straights. Certainly the FIA seems open-minded as to the activation points. We probably just need to gather a few more samples before becoming able to judge it effectively. It's an interesting question. I think, in many respects, it might be easier to have consistency of use but it's a little bit of a voyage of discovery that we're learning about as we go. EB:
I think it's common sense as well to run it even if it's - let say - when we want, so when the driver wants, during the free session and qualifying, at least for reliability issues and to get the driver used to the top speed, rather than the inverse. RB:
I think we have to run it in practice, for sure, to get the thing set up, it's all about ratios, getting the drivers into using it. Qualifying is an open point. In the race, the reason it's used is to enhance overtaking so there are particular parts of the track where you want to make it available to one car and not the car they're trying to overtake, so that's why it's triggered by proximity systems. I think this will be a race where we will see the true value of it. It's a system which is very easy to turn off or increase the usage of and we want to see how it develops and see if it's really a benefit to the show of Formula One.
Q:
(Julien Febreau - L'Equipe) Question to all of you, except Mr. Horner and Mr. Hembery: what is your opinion of the Red Bull front wing and are you working on or do you plan to work on a similar system?

MK:
We, of course, we had another issue we had to sort out regarding wings, so we focused on that and not Red Bull's front wing. Red Bull's car has been checked, and if the FIA think it is legal, it is alright. We will keep on looking at it, of course, Red Bull knows that, but I think we should focus more on our own car than looking at other cars that much. CK:
I think I have little bit different issues than the Red Bull's front wing at the moment. I'm focusing more on my issues. I think Ross can maybe say more. RB:
There's a regulation which says that the bodywork should be rigid. We all know that's impossible because everything moves. It's a question of degrees, so the FIA has a series of tests to measure the degree to which bodywork moves and as long as you pass those tests then your car is to all intents and purposes legal. Those tests can change, in fact they changed over the winter because, as they do in a lot of areas, the FIA try and improve those tests. There's a new test this year. Red Bull obviously pass it so that's all there is to say about it. They've got a philosophy of their car and approach and teams have got to decide if that's the reason - or one of the reasons - for their level of performance. If it is, then you need to consider going that route yourself, or make sure it's not an excuse for the fact they're winning everything at the moment.
It's a philosophy. It ties in a lot with the whole car concept. It's fair to say that probably, over the winter, a lot of teams assumed with the new test that the situation was going to change and it hasn't so we're faced with what we have and we have to make sure we produce as competitive a car as we can and comply to the FIA tests. EB:
I'm not going to repeat what Ross said but obviously I agree with what he said. There is a regulation in place, there are some tests done by the FIA, especially regarding the flexibility of the bodywork parts and if Red Bull is complying with the rule then there is nothing much to say. Back to the question: again it's a philosophy. As Christian said, they are running a different set-up with more rake and we also went a different way, with a different philosophy, so we keep an eye on them, obviously, because you also look at the fastest cars on the track, especially when it's constantly fastest. But we don't know if we will go this way or not.
Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) Paul, have you had any nasty surprises this season or has it all gone pretty much according to plan?

Paul Hembery:
No nasty surprises, no. Surprises, yes, but no nasty ones. I guess it's very different for us to be on the track with 24 cars as I mentioned earlier. The lack of testing facilities or ability for us is tough and would be tough for anyone coming into the sport. That's been interesting. We're going to keep learning. I'm quite sure that it's going to be a season of learning for us, as each track is different, has a different challenge. I think at the end of the season we will then have enough data for everything we need to do.
Q:
(Joe Saward - GP Plus) When the teams are doing all their simulation work back in their factories, can you tell us about Pirelli's simulation? How does that work and can you learn an awful lot from that?

PH:
Well, going forward, with the lack of testing, ultimately we will want to have our own simulator or means of simulating vehicle and tyre inter-reactions and that's something we will work on going forward. At the moment, of course, we're just supplying data to allow the teams to run their own work, but going forward we want to use simulation, and we do it for road cars in reality, simulations to allow us to make our product development without going testing, or at least do a screening to get to a point where you can arrive at a solution without having to go on the track. But a lot of our performance is obviously related to the surface and weather and there are still a lot of unknowns in our business in that area.

 

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