Team representatives: Andrew Green (Force India), Nick Chester (Lotus), Jean-Michel Jalinier (Renault Sport), Tom McCullough (Sauber), Pat Symonds (Williams) and James Key (Toro Rosso).

Press conference

Q:
James, if I could start with you. I want to talk about the engineering challenges today, of developing new technologies, such as we have for 2014, but in a resource-restricted environment in Formula One, as we have at the moment. What are the key points in your mind?

James Key:
That's the secret to it in many ways, isn't it, because we have a lot of new technologies and new things we have to do for next year. Fundamentally, it's a case of getting the priorities right and understanding how best to pitch what technologies are going to be important and which aren't, or which are going to be less important let's say. Certainly when you have a limited budget as a team, you can't iterate through everything. It's very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly, so you have to circumvent certain things by kind of iterating and then take your best guess and move on from there. So to certain extent there's a bit of knowledge you have to go on and in other respects it's a case of setting priorities.

Q:
Obviously you're switching from Ferrari to the Renault for next year. Do you get the gearbox from Red Bull, presumably as part of all that package. Can you talk a little bit about how big a boost that is in terms of your efforts to move yourselves forward up the grid.

James Key:
I think certainly it makes a huge amount of sense for us to have a few more synergies where possible with Red Bull - we fundamentally have the same ownership. I think that's good for both teams. We will take the same engine as well. We're working extremely well with our engine partners at Renault, who are doing a good job of supporting us. It's a new experience for us, we haven't worked with them in the past. In that respect it's good. We'll have to see for next year, there are so many unknowns still right now. But to move towards similar powertrain solutions to Red Bull Racing is a very obvious thing to do and can only be of benefit to both sides I think.

Q:
Jean-Michel, at this stage, with just a few months to go before the end of this season and with testing starting in January, do you have any sense of where Renault is in terms of power and efficiency compared with your rivals Ferrari and Mercedes?

Jean-Michel Jalinier:
I cannot compare ourselves to our competitors but what I can say is that we have set very aggressive targets for all the parameters of the new engine and that we are achieving the targets one after one because today according to our plans we have some engines on benches, the results are now coming and they are in line with our targets.

Q:
What is the first order of priority? Is it power? Is it efficiency? What do you see as the key for next year?

Jean-Michel Jalinier:
I think that for next year the two keys are going to be reliability, because it's a brand new engine with high tech engine inside - internal combustion engine but also the two electrical engines, all the energy recovery systems - so reliability for this new technology will be key. The second key will be energy management for the race.

Q:
Just finally, the latest on a deal with Lotus? Is there any more business to be done in terms of the teams you will supply next year?

Jean-Michel Jalinier:
We're going to supply four teams. We have already a deal with Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing obviously and the two other teams it's just a matter of time to finish the contracts.

Q:
Pat, great to see you back, welcome, in your new colour scheme. Mid-1990s, I remember you and Michael Schumacher at Benetton racing against Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve at Williams, they then were the arch enemies in many, many ways. How does it feel to walk to walk through the doors [of Williams] nowadays and be part of that team?

Pat Symonds:
Oh, realty great actually. Williams does have that incredible heritage and it's a heritage I respect a lot. But we can't live in the past. They were great times, of course they were, but my job now is to make the team today as successful as it was then. It's quite a challenge but it's a very enjoyable challenge. The fundamentals of the team are there. It's a very well equipped team, it has some very good people in it. An analogy I often use is it's like being the conductor of an orchestra. I think we have some very good instrumentalists in our orchestra. And now we just really need to get them timed together, playing the same tune and bring the success back.

Q:
You said that the technical changes for 2014 are the biggest you've encountered in your long career. On the theme of technical developments in a resource-restricted environment, you've obviously worked for top teams, recently you worked for Marussia, a small team. Can you give us an overview of the impact of dealing with this change for the field in Formula One?

Pat Symonds:
It is huge and I think James summed it up very well, because you've got to decide where to put your priorities. When we have reasonably stable regulations you iterate to those priorities. Arguably if you have very stable regulations, everyone iterates towards a very similar design. You also iterate to similar processes. Now when the rule book is ripped up and you start again, you really have to think about what processes are important - what's going to bring you performance. And of course while everyone is focused on the powertrain and there are a lot of things to do there - cooling's a huge challenger, energy management is a huge challenge - but of course we must not forget that it's a reasonably significant aerodynamic change we're making to the cars. It may not sound much - moving the front wing in a little bit, losing the beam wing at the rear and small changes like that - but in actual fact the aerodynamics of the cars are so inter-related now that it really is something you need to think about a lot. And, of course, we never 'un-invent' anything, we never forget what we've already done. So we're not dropping any of our technologies in order to bring the new ones in, we're just adding to the job.

Q:
Thanks for that. Moving to Nick Chester from Lotus. Welcome, Nick. There's a lot going on at Lotus at the moment. You've got the double DRS running this weekend. You've got a long wheelbase car, apparently, for Monza. Can you shed a bit of light on your thinking for this final part of 2013 and what kind of statement that makes?

Nick Chester:
Well, we're still trying to develop very hard to give ourselves a very competitive run until the end of the year. The passive drag reduction system we've been working on for a while. We targeted it for Spa and we've run it through P1 and we've learned some more with it. I don't think we'll carry on through this weekend with it as we didn't get enough dry running to get where we wanted in P1. We are targeting this strong development until the end of the year and the long wheelbase for Monza is part of that. So we are going to keep bringing developments through Monza and then the following races as well. There are certainly developments also planned for Singapore and Korea.

Q:
Like everyone else here, you're obviously juggling the requirements of 2014. Do you have what you need to build a winning car in 2014?

Nick Chester:
Yeah, we do. We started the design very early, we've been designing for over 18 months on the 2014 car. So that's given us a good head start and in a way that's meant that we could develop our 2013 car for longer through the year because we're in such good shape with next year's car. As Pat said it's going to be a very interesting year in 2014. It's the biggest rule change I've seen while I've been in the sport. Trying to optimise a car around what's a very different power plant with very different cooling, it's quite a big challenge. It is going to be interesting.

Q:
Andrew, coming to you now. You're in a tight battle in the Constructors' Championship with McLaren. Fifty-nine points to you at the moment, 57 for them, battling for fifth. What's the strategy then? Are you going to try to hold on to that fifth place, even if it costs you some performance in 2014?

Andrew Green:
Obviously we're going to battle as hard as we can. The strategy at the moment is to extract as much as we can out of this car and take each race as it comes and try not to makes mistakes. That's one of the things we have been guilty of in a few races this season. We haven't really harvested the points we should have, we should be much further up. Now is the time to get our heads down and just not make mistakes, extract what we can, and not make mistakes and see where we end up. McLaren is... it's going to be very difficult top keep McLaren behind us, they're a huge team with huge resources and can carry on developing two cars simultaneously. We're a much smaller outfit; it's not something we can do. Our focus really has to be on next year, otherwise we won't have a car next year, it's as simple as that.

Q:
On the subject of balancing the technological development with budgets, how are you existing arrangements in terms of powertrain? How are you existing arrangements in terms of powertrain for next year and how will that go forward?

Andrew Green:
Well, it's nice to obviously keep the same engine partners. That does help. It is a massive change next year, there's no doubt about it. Reiterating what the other guys have said, it's the biggest change I've ever seen. And it is a challenge. We're a small team, so it's an even bigger challenge. There are lots of things we'd like to do. Lots of experiments we'd like to do, lots of information we'd like to take before we make some key decisions and we can't do them all. It's as simple as that. We have to make some best guesses and we don't really want to be [doing that]. It's a difficult place to be in and it can be very frustrating but it's a challenge and we'll see where we end up.

Q:
Tom, the same theme really. It's no secret that Sauber has had some issues on the financial side. You've obviously got some new investment coming in - so where are you as a technical group in terms of how you plotted out your development of 2014 and how it's actually unfolding as we go forward?

Tom McCullough:
Like the rest of the guys said, we started work on our car pretty early for 2014, mainly aerodynamically and then more and more during the year, working closely with our powertrain partner, developing that car. So, the two cars are simultaneously being developed still, at the moment. The current car is coming to an end at the factory. At the track we'll still get bits later on this year. But it's just a matter of splitting resources really.

Q:
Obviously the 2013 car hasn't worked out the way you would have hoped. Does that push you towards an earlier switchover to 2014? Considering where you are in the constructors', some way behind Toro Rosso, does that push you towards thinking you're not going to catch them and focussing your attention on next year?

Tom McCullough:
The start of this year wasn't as competitive as we wanted. Understanding that is key to making a good car next year, so a lot of the work we've been doing on the car is in conjunction with next year's car. So we couldn't just stop designing this year's car. We've worked very hard and we have made some good improvements. The update package we bought to Budapest, we were very happy with. We feel we're understanding the car a lot better now. The wind tunnel programmes and the CFD programmes between the two cars help each other - and that process is still ongoing, especially with CFD. Overall that should give us a more competitive car next year.

Q:
So you have grounds for optimism?

Tom McCullough:
Yeah! For sure. This year's car, even though from a points point of view we were not scoring points and saw some of our direct competitors taking those points, in lap time we often weren't far away. A small difference in lap time, different competitiveness from track to track, bringing improvements to the car... all of a sudden the points can come your way. I wish we'd started the year as we are now but we feel confident for the second half of this season.

 

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