Team principals: Flavio Briatore (Renault), John Howett (Toyota), Colin Kolles (Spyker), Jean Todt (Ferrari)

Q:
John, first of all, a couple of good times during Silverstone testing. Are you expecting those good times to be reflected here?

John Howett:
We hope so. There's still a gap, obviously, between us and the top teams, but we're making steady progress and we hope to see that progress reflected this weekend.

Q:
Was that a jump forward more than you expected, because obviously everybody else was developing and bringing out new bits?

JH:
I still don't think it's a jump forward. Basically we're evolving the car, we have a lot more to come for the rest of the season but we hope we'll be back more to the competitive position of Barcelona here and at Silverstone.

Q:
What's been the basic problem for Ralf Schumacher, he has a problem with the car, what is that problem?

JH:
Really, you have to ask him but the fundamental issue is the front end of the car and the tyre grip at the front and getting the car balanced and giving enough front potential to give him something he can use with the style he has. We are gradually improving that.

Q:
And it affects him more than Jarno?

JH:
Yes, I think he has probably less acceptance of an understeering car and therefore we need to get more front performance and more potential onto the front of the car for him.

Q:
We had Franck Montagny in here yesterday, and obviously the French are interested in whether he has any chance of a race drive.

JH:
That probably depends on next year. We have two race drivers and he's the test driver and third driver in the team and that's the status that we support. The issue really is whether we continue the contract with Ralf next year, which we are discussing with him and obviously then, if not, what we would do in the future. But the priority at the moment is to focus on this year, improving the performance and giving Ralf the maximum opportunity with the car.

Q:
Colin, there's a report that you're not happy with the updates on the Super Aguri cars; or maybe just not happy with the Super Aguri cars full stop. What is the situation with customer cars at the moment?

Colin Kolles:
Well, actually I already said everything in this respect. There is nothing new. Arbitration is on-going and there's nothing more to say.

Q:
So you haven't said anything more on the recent updates on the Aguri Hondas?

CK:
It was just information to all the teams, informing them of what's going on.

Q:
Is there a timescale when something might happen?

CK:
I don't know. It's a legal issue, so I cannot give you any detail. As you know, the court is setting up dates, so I cannot tell you.

Q:
But you haven't got any dates yet?

CK:
No.

Q:
What about your situation with regard to drivers: we saw them doing a fair amount of auto-crossing today. I guess it's not an easy car to drive, that doesn't help. But Adrian Sutil has out-qualified Christijan six-to-one which I would have thought was a bit of a surprise given Christijan's experience.

CK:
Yes, it's for sure a surprise, and today was not the best day to be honest and I'm not very happy today. I cannot hide it, obviously. One monocoque is broken so it's not very good.

Q:
What's the cure?

CK:
A better car.

Q:
And when is that coming?

CK:
In Turkey.

Q:
Is that a complete redesign? What sort of modifications?

CK:
On the mechanical side, it's basically a complete new car. It will be the basis for the 2008 car and, aerodynamically, it will be a complete new update - basically new engine cover, side pods, front wings, rear wings. It's basically a complete new car.

Q:
I guess it can't come quick enough.

CK:
For sure, yes. I hope it's also quick enough, which is a big question mark.

Q:
Will it be tested before the Turkish Grand Prix?

CK:
No, I don't think so, there is no time for it.

Q:
Flavio, were you encouraged by testing at Silverstone last week?

Flavio Briatore:
I don't know. Testing is testing. It's greater encouragement when you have a podium after a race. To be quick in the test I don't think makes a big difference.

Q:
So what about today, then?

FB:
On Fridays everybody has different strategies. We are quite happy. If you see the numbers not (very good) but really we have some fuel (load) and we are quite happy. We have recovered a little bit in respect to the beginning of the season.

Q:
It was said that you weren't particularly happy with Heikki Kovalainen's performances round about Monaco time. Since then, the two North American races, are you happier?

FB:
Our problem is not with Heikki, our problem is the car. We are late and we are not happy because this year we are not... we have not done the job properly. This is our problem. We developed the 2006 car to the end for obvious reasons and now we are late and this winter we did the normal job which Renault does normally and now... In this job, if you make a mistake, you pay and now we are paying. We are recovering, that's for sure, and I hope we are competitive here. Competitive means being behind Ferrari and McLaren. Our fight is with BMW. This is what we are doing. We try to have something new at every race because now, finally, something is happening at the factory and we believe we are in good shape, maybe after Silverstone. But really it's the normal process. When you're late with these pieces it's very difficult to catch up because everybody is so good and everybody's improving.

Q:
So what's the goal in the championship?

FB:
The goal in the championship is quite easy, I think. It's very difficult to achieve but it's easy [to say] - to finish third in the constructors' championship. We are not dreaming. McLaren and Ferrari are stronger than us this year and we need to make sure we finish in the first three.

Q:
Jean, improvement in testing at Silverstone. You were four-tenths ahead in testing; are we seeing that reflected here today?

Jean Todt:
I think we had less fuel in the car, you know. As Flavio said, ten kilos is between three to four tenths so what is important is the race, the qualifying day. You have a good idea about the fuel level, particularly in Q2, because everybody is with low fuel, and then during the race. At the beginning [of the season], we were in front, then since three races we are behind, so we will see where we are from race number eight.

Q:
Tomorrow and over the weekend, you are involved with the ICM Foundation and you have Michael Schumacher and Zinedine Zidane as well. Can you give some indication of what all that is about?

JT:
ICM is a foundation of which I am one of the founders. It's a medical foundation for research on the brain and spinal cord. It's going to start building by the end of the year a 25,000 square meter (department) inside one of the most important hospitals in Paris: eight floors, a thousand doctors and to do that, because it's a private initiative, we need to find money and every action we can do - all those here are welcome to give some money. I know some of you are doing so and that's a way to let people know about it and again to get some finance. We get some State finance and we need some private finance so that's the aim of the initiative. Flavio promised he was going to contribute very highly, thank-you Flavio.

FB:
You're welcome.

JH:
He's not signed it yet.

Q:
Going back to Ferrari, there were reports after the last Grand Prix that there had been a breakage in your wind tunnel. How has that affected development over the last few races?

JT:
Yes, that's true, we had a problem with the carpet [rolling road], the metallic carpet and we lost about two weeks' development, but that's not an excuse.

Q:
But it must have hurt the team a little bit?

JT:
Okay, but it's up to us to have a wind tunnel that doesn't break.

 

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