Korean GP - Friday press conference - Pt.1

Team Representatives - Graham Watson (Caterham), Andy Stevenson (Force India), Beat Zehnder (Sauber), Ron Meadows (Mercedes), Massimo Rivola (Ferrari), Dickie Stanford (Williams)
04.10.2013- Friday Press Conference, Top to Bottom L to R Beat Zehnder (SUI) Sauber F1 Team Manager;
04.10.2013- Friday Press Conference, Top to Bottom L to R Beat Zehnder …
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PRESS CONFERENCE

Q:
Greetings gentlemen, and it's nice to have you at your first FIA press conference. A question for a number of you, first of all: the team manager role, what does it mean, what does it consist of? Perhaps we could start with you Graham?

Graham Watson:
The team manager is basically the orchestrator of the weekend for the logistics side of the team. Obviously directly working with the engineering group to get the desired result by the end of the weekend. It's a fairly full on position, sometimes can be a bit slow, but generally flat chat.

Q:
Andy, anything more to add to that?

Andy Stevenson:
Yeah, it's a very similar role, I think, in all the teams. I always look at myself, as well, as a person that gets landed with the jobs nobody else wants to do. When things go wrong I'm at fault and when everything goes right, the team's done a good job.

Q:
Beat, I think you're a stickler for the rules as well. You have to know the rule book I think.

Beat Zehnder:
Yeah of course, this is part of our job, but besides what Andy and Graham said, we're trouble shooters as well. So if everything goes wrong on a weekend we're the first person to contact and we're the ones to solve any problems.

Q:
Now, here, Ron, of course you don't have the benefit of the motor homes, the benefit of your trucks. Tell us about how different this sort of race is, these 'flyaways' are, logistically speaking.

Ron Meadows:
The actual flyaways, the more recent ones are some of the best races we go to for facilities. We have magnificent garages, big hospitality areas. It's really easy compared to a Monaco where you're all compressed and the motor home is half a mile down the road. These races are really quite easy to service.

Q:
Massimo, for you?

Massimo Rivola:
I think the same. It's a different scenario, moving trucks and hospitality in particular Europe is pretty demanding, so I would say that I like Ron's idea that flyaways are actually easier to manage.

Q:
And for you Dickie?

Dickie Stanford:
Similar thing for me. The flyaway races, everything's here, so you just literally move in. You're not moving the trucks or anything around Europe. It's quite straightforward to come to a flyaway race.

Q:
But actually moving the equipment and stuff such as fuel and that sort of thing?

Dickie Stanford:
Well, we move the fuel around Europe, so it's very similar coming to a flyaway race.

Q:
Graham, coming back to you. The management of the crews. How do you manage to look after the mechanics and keep them in top-flight trim all the way through?

Graham Watson:
Yeah, it's a very long season, so it's important that we look after our people. Clearly we are a resource-limited team so we have to be quite clever and wise about how we do that. We try to rotate a few of the guys in and out where possible, Yeah, just keep your health in mind and then over the course of the year, with the help of my support team, just manage the guys as best we can.

Q:
Andy?

Andy Stevenson:
As the calendars do get longer, with the extra flyaways, the strain on the crew is quite intense. We certainly focus at Sahara Force India focus on fitness and wellbeing. We work very hard on the diets of the guys when we're away travelling and their general fitness. And we've seen this year it has paid off. We've had a lot less injuries this year and the crew are just generally in better shape. So they're able to cope with the job. Also along that we make sure they're comfortable. We try to arrange all their travel schedules and hotels and everything to the best of our ability so that they are comfortable and happy in their work.

Q:
Beat?

Beat Zehnder:
This is one of the most important things - that people are feeling well. The good thing in a Formula Team is that all these guys are kind of self-motivating, so you don't have to do an extra bit for that. But, as Andy said, the most important is that they have decent flights and hotels and wellbeing. People tend to get ill towards the end of the season, especially the last two or three races, because travelling through so many time and climate zones is demanding on the body and physics.

Q:
Final question from me, to the front row. We're going to see in-season testing next year. How are you going to manage that? What do you envisage having to do for that?

Ron Meadows:
We had a team meeting yesterday, with all the teams involved, and we came up with a schedule and I don't think it's going to be too difficult. We used to have eight filming days, which was an awful lot of arranging for 100kms, where now at least we're going to be in the same venue where we raced and we'll just leave one crew behind and we'll rotate it, so I don't think it will be too bad.

Q:
How much equipment do you think you're going to have Massimo?

Massimo Rivola:
Well, Ferrari is normally one of ones with the most - more than 40,000 I would say. I agree with Ron. You know that Ferrari is the teams that pushed the most to get in-season testing back and to be honest I think that at the end it will be not so much more expensive than what we had in the past, with aero days and filming days, so everything will be much more organised for sure. So for us the job it will be, I would say, easier.

Q:
Dickie?

Dickie Stanford:
You'll use you race equipment and just bring down to the test as little as possible, just trying to keep the cost down.

Q: And personnel?

Dickie Stanford:
Personnel? Probably like Ron we'll rotate the crews.

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