Saturday, 5 September 2015

FIA Post-Qualifying Conference - TRANSCRIPT

Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton as well as Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel attended Saturday's post-qualifying press conference at Monza.

Lewis, seven in a row this season, not been done before by you and two laps good enough for pole in the end. So you felt you had everybody at arms length and was it good to spoil Ferrari’s party today?

Lewis HAMILTON: Firstly, the weather’s been good so. No, these guys did a very good job; they were very close. So it’s nice to see we have a good fight. But today, the car has been feeling good all weekend and the engineers and mechanics have done a fantastic job on both sides of the garage. Big thanks to the guys back at the factory who made improvements to the reliability of the engine and then to bring that here, that’s a good step for us there. Just really happy, obviously. I don’t really know what to say… my Spa lap was better!

OK. Coming to you Kimi, fantastic second in qualifying and quite a turnaround, it has to be said, from 12 months ago for you and Ferrari, very close to Mercedes, as Lewis said. You’ve got to be pleased with your own performance and that of your team?

Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Yeah, I think if we look now we probably surprised ourselves a little bit. We expected a strong weekend but we knew that this place is not our strongest probably, so in the end the car turned out to be pretty good in qualifying conditions; we had many good laps. It’s been a while, so it’s nice to be here, especially [at] the home race for us. It’s probably our best qualifying this year as a team. We try to give [it] another good go tomorrow and give a good result, not just for ourselves but for our fans and all the Ferrari people behind us.

Well, Sebastian, Kimi mentioned the fans there, a tremendous response from them whenever both of you went out on the race track, so maybe a word from you about that. And also, are you all surprised at the result, not only the team, but you and Kimi relative to each other and your thoughts on the race tomorrow?

Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, first of all, I think it’s a fantastic result – second and third – and very close to Lewis, I think that’s the main positive of the day, which makes us confident for tomorrow. As Kimi touched on, it’s our home race, so it’s really something special every time you drive past, it’s the first time for me obviously in red, and to get all the support, to see all the tifosi standing up, waving the flags and just jumping on the grandstands, up and down, yeah, it makes you definitely feel different to let’s say other races I’ve done before. So I’m trying to take it all in and enjoy the day as well tomorrow and hopefully we can both be on the podium tomorrow…. Sorry Lewis, but I wouldn’t mind if you are not on the podium; you can be but if we are both ahead of you that would obviously a dream coming true. I think dreaming is allowed but nevertheless you have to be realistic. I think it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow. These guys have got some serious pace in the race, as we've found out many times this year. Nevertheless we try to fight and do everything we can. We’ve got the people behind us; so let’s see what we can do.

Thank you. Coming back to you Lewis, one possible note of concern: before qualifying your team-mate Nico Rosberg having to change from the new-spec engine you’ve been using back to the old specification engine. Are there any concerns for yourself, with your engine, going into tomorrow’s grand prix?

LH: As far as I’m aware, no, but I don’t really know what was the issue. But the guys in the garage did an amazing job to change the engine in the short space of time that they had and hopefully we can still bag some points for the team tomorrow.


Lewis, it may surprise you to learn that pole position here, in this century, since the year 2000, is more statistically important than even in Monaco, 12 of the races so far this century have been won from pole here, only 10 in Monaco. Your thoughts on starting there and also, as Sebastian touched on there in the unilaterals, that you have got pretty prodigious race pace as we saw in free practice two?

LH: Well, I mean pole is… it’s always a great feeling getting pole, as Sebastian knows, and it’s the same with Kimi. I think I’ve had a couple of poles here, but not always… I think last year was not such an easy getaway but it didn’t t mean I could not win the race. There’s a long way down to turn one, these guys are good off the line, so we’ll try to do our best tomorrow but, yes, our race pace has tended to be quite strong. I hope we see that tomorrow. I don’t mean to take away Sebastian’s dreams but I have dreams also!

And you and Kimi both got through Q1 without using a set of soft tyres as well didn’t you. Kimi, just touching on what Lewis just said there. It is a long run down to turn one, this is the second grand prix with the new rules on starts, so presumably any loss off the line is going to be really amplified by the time you get to turn one, so you're obviously eyeing that as a key opportunity to challenge for the lead straight away.

KR: Obviously, but I think in every circuit is more or less different length of straights to the first corner but any small issue you are always going to lose place, even if it’s long or short run. But I think it helps here. Hopefully we make let’s say a normal start and at least stay where we are but it’s going to help us at least during the first corners; it can easily be a mess when you are in the mid-pack and you almost have to stop sometimes. Hopefully we make a normal start and go from there and you know see what we can do. I expect it to not be an easy race but usually we’re more confident for the race than for qualifying, so hopefully it’s the same thing for tomorrow, so see what happens, to do our best and hopefully get a good result.

Coming back to you Sebastian, you talked a moment ago about the fans and the atmosphere here at the autodrome. But what about the atmosphere here in the garage? You’ve got Mr Marchionne here, you’ve got various members of the Ferrari family as well, how has the atmosphere been in the Ferrari garage, your first time at Monza as a Ferrari driver?

SV: When you start the session you more or less run through the motions, so that’s a good thing, obviously it’s a different race for us, it’s our home grand prix, there’s a lot of people watching, a lot of people cheering us on in the grandstands but also in the garage. Obviously that’s good for us, an extra support, and I think we saw a very, very controlled and professional qualifying from the team inside the garage. I don’t think there was any reason to panic. Also, we kept our head down and did our job. I think that’s the most impressive we can deliver inside the garage. It’s not a secret that we’re not yet where we want to be, but I think today we're a bit closer, so we need to make sure we keep making those steps to please not just the people on the grandstand but also in the garage.


Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, as a Ferrari driver in Monza you are the first time in the front row. How much that means personally to you?

KR: I think it’s a while that I’ve been in the front row – eight, ten years probably! But I think, what does it mean, I’m very happy for it obviously, and I’m happy for all the people who are supporting us and our team but, you know, the biggest thing is that much less troubles in the first corner if you make, let’s say, a normal start. It gives us a good chance for the race and obvious we have to do a good job in the race but it gives us a better chance for having a good result. It’s nice to get it right once in a while. It’s been a while so, especially here in the home grand prix of Ferrari, so let’s hope it brings us also a good result tomorrow.

Q: (Joonas Partanen - Iltalheti) We say you talking after the qualifying session before you came here, from the TV. Can you tell us what you were talking about?

SV: Yeah, we were waiting for Lewis. I think he was trying to finish his hair.

LH: I was!

Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) Again, Seb and Kimi. Did you expect to be so close to the quickest Mercedes today – especially after yesterday when the different was quite big? And could you please explain what you did since yesterday to turn the situation around? How confident were you that it would be possible?

KR: Like I said earlier, in a way is a bit surprised that we were this strong comparing to the Mercedes but, y’know, we made some small improvements and obviously people always talk so much about Fridays. It’s a Friday: you do whatever you want. It’s not about the laptimes. And worse, you don’t know what the others are doing. So, it’s pointless to say, ‘oh, we were bad yesterday’. We just did our stuff what we normally do. In the end, if you end up first or tenth, makes no difference if you know what you’ve been doing. So, we’ve been just… improve a bit the car and drove a bit better than yesterday. Yesterday I didn’t feel I was driving very well and then it turned out to be in qualifying it all worked out well for us. Obviously we’re still not happy, we’re second and third but I think it’s a place where we expected it to be a bit more difficult because the circuit layout. So it was a bit surprise but a nice one and I think things have been working well.

Anything to add, Sebastian?

SV: Nothing to add.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question for Lewis. Lewis, are you cautious tomorrow you can achieve a lot of points for the championship. It can be a crucial race and the other thing is that you are the only handicap between a Ferrari victory here – do you expect a difficult Sunday with the tifosi tomorrow?

LH: Going into any race you always want to get as many points as you can and you’re always hoping there’s an opportunity to gain more than the usual – but honestly I’m hoping that Nico pulls through and we both can do a good job and naturally we both want to finish ahead of the Ferraris here. That’s always good to do on their home turf if possible and obviously for the championship. I think I’ve generally had a lot of support here for the last couple of years. Naturally the majority of the fans are going to want the reds to win but as long as there in this position I’m sure they’ll still be happy. 

Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte) To both Ferrari drivers, considering the analysis of the long runs you did yesterday with both kinds of tyres and also this morning, and comparing with what we saw from Mercedes, what is a realistic prediction for the race?

KR: Like I’ve said already, we will try to do our best and see where we end up. Obviously we want to at least keep the places that we have right now but the main aim is to try to win races and that’s why we are here. But it’s pointless to start guessing where we’re going to end up.

Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Seb and Kimi; what was the secret of this qualifying compared to the others this season and compared to yesterday’s performance; was it Marchionne boost or something else maybe?

SV: No, I think generally we obviously try to make steps forward every race so naturally you have some small bits and pieces, trying to help the performance overall so we did for here but nothing special, just for the race, here, just because it’s our home race. I think we learned a lot in Spa, Spa is similar conditions to here in terms of downforce. We were both probably not that happy with the balance of the car. I think we found a better balance and the car kept coming to us this weekend. I think that’s the biggest reason why the gap is smaller than usual, plus you never know what other people are doing. Maybe they were struggling or maybe Lewis was not as happy as he usually is. In the end, it doesn’t matter. We had a very very good session. We’ve qualified second and third because we were second and third quickest today and the rest we will see tomorrow. 

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Lewis, about the race pace on Friday and how is the situation with the medium? Do you feel the car better with the medium or with the soft tyres?

LH: Yeah, the medium tyres actually feel better for me on the long runs. On the long runs we did on them, they felt quite solid, no big issues. I would say that with the softer tyre it’s the same as it is everywhere: you get more degradation on the softer one but they both felt pretty good.

Q: (Nicolangelo Cioppi – Il Cittadino Canadase) Sebastian and Kimi, do you think it’s possible from third place and second place for Kimi to win the race tomorrow here in Monza like in 2008. I was here in 2008 and I enjoyed it with you, even if it was raining like crazy.

SV: Well, I think there’s always a chance. Obviously in 2008 I was on pole, didn’t manage that today but I think since it’s dry tomorrow, I think we have much better chances this year than I would have had in dry conditions in 2008. So the bottom line is I think it’s always possible, it’s always possible to have a surprise. I think we had some surprises this year so we like surprises and if we can surprise tomorrow then it would be a nice surprise.

KR: Who knows? Like I said, we try our best and hopefully achieve a great result and try to win if possible. It would be great to have a good result for the team.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, you managed to beat Sebastian by five hundredths of a second. Where did you take that?

KR: I don’t know. I haven’t seen the data so somewhere, doesn’t matter where it was. I gained on my previous best in the last corner. It doesn’t matter to me where it happens.

Friday, 4 September 2015

FIA Team Members' Press Conference - TRANSCRIPT

TEAM REPRESENTATIVES – Robert FERNLEY (Force India), Matthew CARTER (Lotus), Paul HEMBERY (Pirelli), Christian HORNER (Red Bull Racing), Maurizio ARRIVABENE (Ferrari), Eric BOULLIER (McLaren)


Maurizio, if we could start with you. Obviously you’ve been here many times before as a partner of Ferrari. You’ve lived the moments of victory in front of the tifosi with Schumacher, Barrichello, Alonso etc. Tell me about the sense of responsibility you feel today as the boss of the Ferrari Formula One team at the Italian Grand Prix ?

Maurizio ARRIVABENE: You’re right, it’s a big story, because you feel Monza, Milan, all the region here on your shoulder. Yesterday, we were out of the track to meet the tifosi and you know looking at the enthusiasm of them, looking at the high of them, the way they were screaming, were thinking myself, Sebastian and also Kimi, we were thinking ‘OK, we have to do something for them’ and your pressure and your emotion is going up to the sky. You want to give them something and you want to see in their eye a big smile. But you are also conscious about what you can do here. So if I… I feel my responsibility here in Monza is huge, especially yesterday when we were nearby the tifosi and we were looking at them and their enthusiasm, I hope that the heart, the big heart that normally they took here after the race can be the equivalent of a token and it goes straight in our engine. What can I say more than that!

The Italian Grand Prix is the only race along with the British Grand Prix that has been on the F1 calendar every year since the start of F1. We hear all the time that the race is potentially under threat. Can Ferrari allow the possibility of there being no Italian Grand Prix? Are you playing any role in this process?

MA: Playing a role is a big word. I mean we are not negotiating with Bernie. It’s not our job, it’s not our responsibility. Having said so, I think the grand prix of Italy is Monza and I want to be very clear on that. The only picture that I saw in Maranello of Enzo Ferrari at a track actually was here at Monza and I said many, many times something very clear: there is a core of Formula One that in my opinion is represented by Monza, Spa Francorchamps, Hockenheim, Silverstone and Monaco. This is the core of Formula One and I think we have to preserve it. Because every person that is losing his own culture, he’s losing the roots, he’s not anymore a person – I mean if we are talking about human beings. But also for these kind of things. If we are losing the core in my opinion then we are losing the show, so I think we can do everything that is in our possibility to defend a grand prix and the clear statement is the following: the grand prix of Italy is Monza. The second sentence is that we need to preserve the core of Formula One. I have nothing against all the other grands prix, because it is an international show but even a show has a core and the core for Formula One is the number of grands prix that I mentioned before. This is my personal opinion and it’s also I think our opinion as Ferrari. 

OK, thank you very much. Eric, coming to you: the performance curve is clearly upwards from a fairly low baseline at the start of the season but is the curve moving upwards fast enough for you?

Eric BOULLIER: No. Obviously we would like to be a little higher up in the hierarchy and maybe fighting for more points regularly. There is obviously the last… Spa and here would be difficult for us but we knew this coming here. We see some positives as well, because reliability is a bit better and we keep developing the car as fast as we can.

It’s no secret that you have quandary again over drivers for next season. What plans do you have for Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne. How many of those three do you expect to be racing in Formula One next year and which one of those three will be in a McLaren?

EB: Obviously we expect the four of them to race. As far as we are concerned, at McLaren we have only two cars, so there will be only two race seats. We have two world champions today and we do intend to keep them, so far. Nevertheless it’s a luxury problem to have four good drivers and we will do obviously… Kevin and Stoffel are very good drivers, both of them we expect to race Formula One but if we can’t fit or accommodate them at home we will do our best to make sure they can race next year.

Matthew, what did the podium at Spa mean to the team last time out and how much were you able to celebrate given all the stuff that was going on after the race?

Matthew CARTER: The podium meant an awful lot to the team and it really is testament to the guys back at Enstone and the guys that work week in, week out and the quality that know we’ve got down at Lotus. It was obviously was bittersweet because of everything else that was going on and I don’t particularly want to talk about that at this stage but certainly for the team it was a real shot in the arm and it’s really helped us and hopefully it’s a stepping stone to go forward.

It’s no secret that the ownership situation at your team has moved on a little in recent weeks. What can you tell us today about the future ownership and direction of this team?

MC: It’s difficult for me to say too much. Obviously my job is to run the team and to look after the team as it stands. The ownership and the shareholding of that team are down to our current shareholders and our potential future shareholders. All I can tell you is that negotiations with a certain car manufacturer have been ongoing for a number of months and as far as I’m aware we’re just trying to run the team as best we can with the tools we’ve got.

Thank you. Coming to you Robert, obviously there’s a draft calendar at the moment for next year with 21 races on it and discussions are ongoing about various areas of that, but the summer shutdown appears to be a talking point amongst your peer group. Can you tell us your thoughts on how important that is and how it would be not to have it?

Robert FERNLEY: I think it’s also very important to support the commercial rights holder. We understand the challenges it faces to put a global sport on and we have to make efforts to accommodate races where we can. But I think also that has to be done around the teams. We run a very tight ship. Most of the teams run a tight ship. The travelling staff need to have that summer break and if we don’t do that we’re going to burn them out or we’re going to have to bring in a second crew. Either way it’s not good for Formula One or the costs of the independent teams. The other thing I think as well is that from a media point of view there is a certain amount of anticipation that comes after the summer break for the second half of the season and I think we shouldn’t forget the importance of that from the expectation of fans and the eagerness of fans to get into the second half. So I think the summer break ad a whole, from my point of view and from Force India’s point of view, should be retained at all cost.

It’s been a strong middle part of the season for Force India – strong points, good qualifying performances – and you’ve just re-signed Nico Hulkenberg. How important is that piece of the jigsaw for the future?

RF: I think it’s very important for us to try to keep stability and I expect we’ll do that. Vijay is working very hard now to finish off the second contract with Checo and hopefully we’ll get some news on that for Singapore. With the continuity and the stability of rules into 2016 hopefully we can carry the performance through.

Paul, we saw a lot of long run practice today, some pretty big mileages notched up in free practice two. Can you tell us about what was learned in terms of where race strategy is?

Paul HEMBERY: Well, it’s pretty much going to be a one-stop race; we’ve known that coming into the weekend. That I guess is what the teams have been focusing on and 1.2 difference between the two compounds and as I say one-stop race unless of course we get some rain.

Spa was the first time for a while that you’ve had some tyre failures. We saw yesterday’s report but what more can you tell us about recommendations to the teams and what went into that report?

PH: The first thing I’d like to underline is the outstanding collaboration we’ve had from particularly Ferrari, Maurizio’s team, Toto and the Mercedes team. We’ve had a good sharing of information. And that’s been very positive as well, the involvement of the FIA. I think that’s something that sometimes gets lost in the media that behind the scenes there is a lot of collaboration that goes on and we thank everybody for that. Going forward I think it’s important to underline that we feel we need to have a little bit more collaboration directly with the drivers and we’ve already discussed that with a number of the teams and we have an agreement that there should be a clearer exchange between us all so that we’re all aiming for the same things going forward and that opens up what we feel needs to be a very serious testing programme in the future. If we are going to carry on in 2017 there are very dramatic changes to the tyre sizes involved and that needs a proper testing programme. In years gone by tyre suppliers in Formula One have been able to test for 100,000km every season and we’re currently unable to use any Formula One car whatsoever to do testing. We are working with the teams behind the scenes and I believe that going forward we will find a solution that will allow us all to be a lot more comfortable going forward.

Q: Coming to you Christian, obviously not a straightforward afternoon for Red Bull Racing. Can you tell us what was going on, some of the problems you had?

Christian HORNER: Yeah, we’ve had a couple of issues. We had a hydraulic issue on Daniel Ricciardo’s car, which was caused by the DRS system, so that just was a wing change that sorted that out, and we had a gearbox issue on Dany Kvyat’s car that needed some attention after the first session – so it’s certainly been a busy time for the guys downstairs so far.

Q: Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz has said he’ll quit Formula One if Red Bull doesn’t have a competitive engine. It’s no secret you’re pushing behind the scenes to get either a Ferrari or a Mercedes engine – what kind of relationship can you promise them if you succeed?

CH: Well. Sitting here today we still have a contract with Renault. To my knowledge I’ve not had any discussion with Ferrari – unless Maurizio can tell me differently. But we’ve got an agreement with Renault as I say, we’ve got conditions within that agreement that aren’t privy to this group here and time will tell in terms of what their future holds for them. So hopefully something will be forthcoming in the near future.


Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Lines) Question to Matthew. Matthew, it’s no secret there have been certain financial issues surrounding your team. A couple of days after Silverstone for example, winding up applications whatever, but from here on in you face enormous expenses in terms of running costs, freight to flyaway races etcetera. Can you guarantee us that you will in fact be at Singapore. Has, for example, your sea-freight container left for Singapore and when did it leave?

MC: I can guarantee you that we’ll be at Singapore. The sea-freight container… one of our sea-freight containers has left, our airfreight will leave next week. We will be in Singapore. As far as the first part of your question is concerned, yes, we’ve had… the financial issues are all over the press, everyone is aware of them. We’re working as hard as we can behind the scenes to get them sorted out. None of them have become terminal, obviously. We’re still here, we’re still racing and we will continue to do that. The negotiations that were referred to earlier on are going on behind the scenes. I’m hopeful that’s going to secure our future one way or the other going forward – and when I say one way or the other it just means we have more than one option going forward to secure the future of the team. As far as the race of the races this season, we have a budget in place and we will operate to that budget and will be at all the races.

Q: (Barna Zsoldos – Nemzeti Sport) Question for Maurizio, Christian and Eric. Sitting on the pitwall during the race, what was your best and worst decision, best and worst moments and most memorable and maybe most embarrassing moments so far?

CH: Christ! I’ve been sitting on there for ten years now so there’s been a few. Most memorable moments, probably 2010 when we managed to go into the last race in Abu Dhabi and there were obviously four drivers in contention for the Championship and we managed to call it right on that day – so that was certainly a memorable moment. There’s been quite a few over the years but difficult to hightlight too many today.


MA: In eight months I don’t have a lot of stories to tell you…

What was your best decision?

MA: My best decision, or my best thought, it was in Malaysia when we won the race. The first thought was ‘oh my God, it’s too early.’ In terms of embarrassment, I have two choices: one was Austria, the other was Canada when we don’t have a very good race in front of Mr Marchionne. I mean, pick one of the two, it’s the same.


EB: Best race would be Abu Dhabi with the Kimi win, obviously. The worst one would be Germany 2013 where Grosjean was on his way to win and couldn’t because of a safety car. Embarrassing moment… I have plenty now.

Q: (Miguel Sanz – Marca) Question for Eric. Which one of the seven remaining circuits, apart from Singapore suits well your car?

EB: Maybe Sochi. There is… it’s not as bad as Spa or here. It should be a bit better in every track. Singapore should suit us much better than the other ones, but more or less the other ones are fine.

Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) A question about the tyre situation today. Paul, could you confirm if the values that have been circulating in the press regarding pressures like 21 front and 19.5 rear have been correct. And have there been any other recommendations regarding cambers? And the same question to a couple of team bosses, especially Christian and Maurizio: are you satisfied with these values and how did it effect your performance today?

PH: Yeah, the values are based on information given to us by the various teams. Of course, not every team is the same so you have to take analysis based over the whole field. Based on what we’ve seen today, we haven’t seen any issues of blistering which might be one of the concerns if you raise the pressures. So, from what we’ve seen, it appears to be working for the vast majority of people.


CH: I’m not actually sure what the pressures are: they seem to go up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. I think Pirelli have reacted well to the situation last weekend, Maurizio’s obviously far more informed than I am in that respect. Hopefully there won’t be any issues here this weekend. Certainly in the long runs we’ve had in practice, that we’ve mainly focussed on today, everything’s been 100 per cent normal.


MA: For us, I said yesterday, we said everything. We have clear and constructive conversation and explanation from Pirelli. Today have another constructive meeting and we are going to meet each other even more often to better communicate between ourselves. I’m perfectly satisfied regarding the pressure. We’ve got that information very clearly from Pirelli and we are perfectly fine with that.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Paul, just to follow up that earlier question, could you actually give us the tyre pressures that have been recommended by you. As Christian says, they seem to have been going up and down like a fiddler’s elbow. And, are they just a recommendation is there any action to enforce a particular pressure?

PH: Well, from P1 they’ve been 21, 19.5 on the rear. So, that’s what they are, that’s what they’ll be for the weekend.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action / Speedsport magazines) Christian, I realise your big engine upgrade is coming for Russia – but for the new units coming in this weekend, what has Renault told you? Do you have some tweaks in them?

CH: No, they’re pretty much the same specification we’ve had so far. At the moment no tokens have been used. When the upgraded engine will appear is TBC. There’s nothing actually confirmed yet. We’ll wait to here in due course, no doubt.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Maurizio, I heard that last night Kimi set a record for signing autographs with the tifosi for half an hour. Did you push him or where did that eagerness come from?

MA: No. I was simply talking with him in my way – no, I’m joking now. We had several conversations and I said I know that you are a very cool guy and most probably because you are cool, they like you but at least if we meet the guys – the tifosi – you have to sign and at least move your hand and say hallo and possibly to smile. And he stuck to these instructions and I was thinking, is there something wrong here? I was happy, of course, but then I was thinking that maybe he’s becoming superstitious and he’s doing this and tomorrow it’s raining and also on Sunday. And I was hoping about that. He’s becoming a good guy and I was pleased about that, even if I’m still thinking and when I’m thinking, I said it can’t be Kimi, it was a sosia (doppelganger) or somebody else.

Q: (Fernando Ramos – Racing Magazines) Paul, you talk about the need of proper track testing in the future. Is this a condition for Pirelli to stay in F1 or if teams and the Federation and everybody don’t see common sense, can Pirelli afford to stay in F1 for five years without proper testing in the future?

PH: With the proposed changes that have been more or less confirmed with all the teams now with the dimensions of the tyres – going to wider tyres – then yes, it has to be a condition for staying in. You can’t make such a dramatic change without testing.

Q: (Fabrizio Corgnati – Diario del Web) Maurizio, based on the data that you learned today in free practice, what are your realistic goals for the race?

MA: There needs to be an awful lot to look at Mercedes. I think – being serious – we saw, as expected, Mercedes are very very strong in shape but our pace was not bad. It’s too early to promise something but we try to do our best, especially because it’s our home Grand Prix, but again, we have a lot of competitors but Mercedes is still far away from us at the moment.

Q: (Graham Kill – Grand Prix Times) For everyone, apart from Paul: we heard the latest team, Williams, confirming an unchanged driver line-up for next season. There’s a bit of a perception out there that the drivers’ market has become a bit more conservative and teams are more reluctant these days to change drivers. Do you agree that that’s the case and if so, do you have reasons for it, perhaps the testing ban or something else?

RF: Yeah, I don’t think there’s any reason to assume that you’re not going to move drivers and change drivers. I think you’re always looking for stability and if you have drivers that are performing well, you want to retain them. And equally, if they move on and the opportunity comes to bring somebody new through, certainly in the independent teams, you’re going to take that opportunity.

MC: I think we’re probably in a slightly different position in that we have two drivers under contract. The only reason that we haven’t announced our driver line-up for next year is that we’re waiting to see what pans out in the next few weeks/month or so. So absolutely no reason to change, both drivers under contract but I think there’s probably wider issues to play at Lotus at the moment.

Q: Eric, you’ve kind of half answered it already.

EB: Yes, I did it.

MA: We confirmed Kimi after Hungary. Again, he’s a World Champion, he’s the last World Champion with Ferrari. We don’t have to forget that. And the second reason was for stability with the team, it’s quite a new team and we would like to keep the stability in the team and to have a clear goal for everybody. I have nothing to add. And you see also, yes, he is very very good in PR so he’s becoming another Kimi. Vettel, I don’t need to say a word about Seb.

CH: Well, changing drivers in any team is quite a big thing. The drivers are pretty fundamental components and I think that if ever you’re going to change, you want to change for the better. So in answer to your other question, our driver line-up... Ricciardo was on a long term contract as is Dany Kvyat who obviously, from our perspective, has options that we have to exercise at certain points in time. Now Red Bull has always invested in youth and brought in some really young talent and it’s great to see Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Junior doing such a wonderful job this year and again, through GP2 and other categories, Red Bull continues to be investing in young talent so we’ve got quite a large talent pool but of course you always want to put your best foot forward.

Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS.NL) Maurizio, I saw a lot of yellow T-shirts at Ascari with the text Lello and that’s an Italian driver in GP2, Marciello, so the question is who will be the next Formula One driver from Italy and when?

MA: There is no time. The yellow rumour at the moment in Italy is Valentino Rossi. The yellow. Lello is a driver and all the drivers in the Ferrari Academy have to prove their talent before (they get) a contract in Formula One. I’m pleased that Lello has a lot of fans or supporters. Supporters count a lot but at the end he needs to prove his talent. This is for everybody in life. You want to go there, deserve it. We are pleased with him but the season isn’t finished yet. Sorry people, I was hearing yellow and I was thinking Valentino.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Lines) Paul, obviously there’s an awful lot of PR fall-out after the incidents at Spa-Francorchamps and then this week we had some rather warm words coming out of the commercial rights holder. We can think of millions of reasons why but the fact of the matter is that it’s virtually unprecedented. We know that you’re locked in a battle with an opposition tyre company for the contract going forward. Were there any thoughts on the part of Pirelli’s management and board to withdraw from Formula One after the fall-out?

PH: No, I think the fall-out was rather exaggerated. As I said earlier, we’ve been working extremely well behind the scenes with Maurizio and his team and also with Toto and a number of the other Formula One teams and the FIA so I think a lot of it’s more in the media rather than a practical situation. We’re obviously discussing at the moment going forward and there are a number of areas that we need changing to enable that to happen. I’ve already mentioned testing, we also want to make sure that we’re all singing off the same hymn sheet so the teams, ourselves and the drivers all know what we’re aiming for and we’ll all agree with what we’re doing, that there’s a common sense of purpose, so that’s really where we’re at.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Maurizio, is there news on James Allison’s contract? Has he signed a new long term contract with Ferrari?

MA: I already said so, I already confirmed that in Belgium. Yeah. He’s got a long term contract with us.

Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) Maurizio, could you please confirm that Ferrari has upgraded its engine for Monza and by how much?

MA: The super engine, the famous super engine. We’ve spent a couple of tokens here but we have a little improvement but we are far from this super engine that has been mentioned, a lot of time. I can confirm that we have spent a couple of tokens but I don’t confirm that we have a super engine here. We have a Ferrari engine, this is enough.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

FIA Thursday Drivers' Press Conference - TRANSCRIPT

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Felipe Massa (Williams), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber).


Nico maybe we could begin with you, congratulations, I understand you became a father. How will it change you and have you decided on a name yet?

Nico ROSBERG: Yeah, for sure it’s been very exciting, very intense of course. Big respect for all the mothers of this world – unbelievable. No, very emotional and super happy. Very excited.

You’ll obviously be losing a little bit of sleep then in the coming weeks but you’ve also been losing a few places off the start line lately, with both the old and the new rules on starts, so it’s now three races in a row, making race day a bit more complicated for you. What thoughts have you and the team had on that and how you are going to address it, as particularly here in Monza it’s a long run to turn one so any loss off the line would be amplified by turn one?

NR: Yeah, it’s true that starts have not been our strength lately, so we’ve been working on it a lot, making progress and then of course the rule change also came in right in the middle of, or off the back of two starts that hadn’t been fantastic. So it’s a work in progress and we need to improve for sure, we know that, and we’re all getting into it.

Thank you. Sebastian, when you started with Ferrari you said you were living the dream and here you are, at Monza, a Ferrari driver, in front of the tifosi. Can you put into words the sense of pride, responsibility, expectation, dare we say even emotion that comes with the job?

Sebastian VETTEL: No! Well, I’m about to find out. Obviously I’ve heard lots of good things. I’ve been here before so obviously [I have seen] the passion for Ferrari, so obviously very much looking forward to becoming part of that. If we do well, which is our target, and we manage to be on the podium on Sunday I’m looking forward to not receiving booing for a long time. So, yeah, plenty of stuff to look forward to. So far we have had a great season. This is our home grand prix as a team and since I didn’t have a home grand prix this year I adopt this one as well and hopefully we can make it a good one.

Now, you made you feelings very clear to the media in Spa about Pirelli and the tyre failure. Having now seen the results of the investigation, what are your considered thoughts on the matter?

SV: Well, first of all I think there was a lot of stuff explained or written that I think was not correct, the way it was expressed. I think it was very clear what I said. I think the most important point is that obviously we have been looking into the issue we had very clearly and Pirelli has been supportive and very open in the discussions, so I think that’s the most important thing and we need to make sure that we learn from that. Other than that we are in Monza now and, as I said, there is plenty of other stuff to look forward to.

Thank you for that. Felipe, coming to you, obviously confirmed for 2016 [at Williams]. On the podium here last year, third for Williams and you’re always popular here with the fans thanks to your years with Ferrari. Given Williams’ chassis and engine characteristics can you dream of maybe moving to a higher step on the podium on Sunday of this weekend?

Felipe MASSA: Yes, for sure. Dreaming is for free. You always dream about the best, about winning the race. Here is one of the best places to be on the podium, to see the whole people, the whole straight [full] of people, especially. Last year that everybody was also happy that I was there on the podium, screaming my name, I think it was so nice, so I’m really looking forward for another one and definitely we dream even to get a better position than third. When you go to the grid you’re thinking about doing the best and thinking about the victory. That’s what I’m doing every race and it’s another one where I will try everything I can to be there.

If we you look at your recent record, you out-qualified Bottas six-five this season, finished ahead of him in the last four races and moved ahead of him in the championship. What’s driven this strong run of form for you?

FM: I think last year I was very competitive as well with my team-mate. We were fighting the whole season I would say. The only thing is that the results of the race are a lot more consistent this year. Last year I had a lot of problems, many races where so many things happened and I couldn’t finish in the position I was supposed to. I think this year the situation is a lot more consistent and I managed to score points and finish more or less where I was supposed to in most of the races. I think that’s really good, but we have many races to go and you always want more.

OK, thank you for that. Daniel, coming to you, you obviously come from an Italian family that emigrated to Australia. When you come here how Italian do you feel and how have the Italians welcomed you in the last few days during all the various promotional activities you’ve been doing?

Daniel RICCIARDO: I start talking with my hands a bit more! It’s automatic: you arrive in Italy and you start using your hands. What was the question?

Apart from how Italian you feel, how have the Italians welcomed you in the past few days in the various different things you’ve been up to?

DR: It’s always a warm welcome here, for sure. The fans are… I’ve always said it, they’re passionate; they’re full on but they’re great. They love the sport, they love getting close and having their moment and stuff. It’s pretty cool walking into the paddock. It creates a bit of a road block but… I think it’s the craziest paddock entrance we go to all year in terms of the fans spreading their love, but it's nice. I remember the warm-up lap here last year, I think I crossed the second Lesmo and there was a flare blowing across the track… it’s unique, so it’s cool.

Red Bull has yet to lead a lap in 2015 and you’ve spent a fair chunk of the races somewhere between P5 and P7. Tell us about how you’ve set targets for the remainder of the season and also about the decision on power units for you and your team-mate this weekend?

DR: Looking now towards the last part of the season, the last couple of races have been our strongest, as of late, Budapest and Spa have gone well for us. I think in terms of understanding the car we’re much more on top of it now than we were earlier in the season. I think the chassis is back to a really strong level. Monza’s not obviously a circuit that suits us particularly. We've got the penalties as well, so you know that’s obviously a strategic things as well – take the penalty here rather than in Singapore where we expect to be very competitive. Then, yeah, have some fun here on Sunday, come through the field as far forward as we can and then Singapore, we can really fight for a podium there.

Coming to you Marcus, 25th birthday celebrated yesterday, happy birthday. Scored points in the last two races consecutively and beaten your team-mate in the last four, do you feel it’s all starting to come together?

Marcus ERICSSON: Yeah, I think my form, like you say, has been strong now lately and it’s nice to see. I’ve been working a lot with myself, trying to change my approach during a race weekend, focusing more on myself and not other people, what they are doing. It’s nice to see that it’s giving results on the track. I just need to continue that form, not relax but continue to work really hard to continue that way.

New start regulations in Spa; it wasn’t the smoothest start for you. What happened there and what do you generally think of the new rules?

ME: I think I did quite a good start. I gained a position, so for me it was pretty good. For me, it doesn’t make a big difference. It’s a bit more feeling for us drivers than there has been before. It’s very similar to how it was in GP2 and I was always a strong starter in GP2, so for me it’s not a problem.

Thank you. Coming to you Carlos, another birthday celebrated, 21 years old now. If we look at your performances, you’ve reached Q3 six times and out-qualified Verstappen 7-4, yet the results show four consecutive retirements from the races and a best result of eighth. Are you getting concerned that the performances are being overshadowed by the results and the retirements?

Carlos SAINZ: No, not really. It’s not my main concern at the moment, because at the end, what is under my control everything is going so far quite well. The retirements are obviously totally out of my control, but four consecutive ones is a tiny bit too much. But I’m confident that this well end soon and I’m confident that it will start playing a bit to my side now and we can have a smooth second half of the season and start finishing races and going back to where we were at the beginning of the year in terms of points and position.

We mentioned that you’ve out-qualified Verstappen to this point, have you been surprised by the speed you’ve been able to find in qualifying?

CS: Well, you never know what to expect when you come to Formula One. I just know that last year in World Series I made a very big step forward with myself in qualifying and in the race and I just brought it to Formula One this year. You never know how you are going to be, you never know how you’re speed is going to be in Formula One. What I am quite sure is that Saturdays this year have gone very well for me and I am performing at a very decent level. I just need to make sure now on Sundays I perform at the same level and we finish races and I’m sure we’ll be in a good position.


Q: (Agris Lauznieks – Kapitals Lativia) This is last race in Europe this season. What are your thoughts about the opportunity to add extra races in Europe, especially northern Europe – to do Riga Grand Prix in Latvia. How would you feel about it?

NR: I’ve heard great things about Riga, I’ve got a good friend from there also so that would be fantastic but I don’t know. Races in Europe are great, wherever they are to be honest, so it’s always good to have more of those.

Sebastian, anything to add?

SV: Not many things I know about Latvia. But yeah, would be, I think, a nice place to go to. I think in general it’s a bit of a shame that we don’t have a grand prix in northern Europe, also Scandinavia because people are quite passionate and crazy about racing. I’ve been to Rally Finland some years ago and I was wondering why we don’t have a Formula One grand prix but I guess that, especially next year, we have quite a lot on the calendar so it looks sort-of busy now – but maybe in the future.

Marcus, maybe you can tell us why we don’t…

ME: I think we should have a snow race in Sweden – that would be something! I don’t know. Like Sebastian was saying, we have a lot of passionate fans in all of Scandinavia and northern Europe so it would be very nice to have a race somewhere in these countries, for sure.

Q: (Vladimir Rogovets – Sb Belarus) My question is to Felipe Massa. Today here you are between the very young drivers and in the race you are very quick and very competitive. My question, where is your personal secret to be very young and very quick?

FM: I still feel young, honestly. Definitely when you here with 21 years old, 17… it’s really young, definitely. I think you just need to… I always do my best. I feel quick, I feel competitive and definitely the experience helps in so many areas. I’m happy for what I’ve learned with these days and, definitely also when I see you are competing with young drivers and you show good speed in the qualifying, in the race good performance is always nice – nice feeling, so we always compete for the best result you can. That is what gives you pleasure. I can say I have many pleasures in racing and by the result I finish in races – sometimes not, something yes, this is part of our feeling. I still feel good motivation and I’m not finishing the race tired or whatever, so I think that’s what counts at the end.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi, La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question for Nico Rosberg. Nico, before you talked about the birth of your daughter. I would like to know if you can compare the happiness of that to some other things in our job, like victory and nervousness. If you can compared nervousness in that moment? And a technical question about the gap with Lewis. The gap has increased a lot in the last two races, do you think this is one of the last chances to recover? To change the direction of the championship?

NR: Emotions extremely intense, more intense than any racing success or anything like that. And also, yeah, because there’s factors… love and health and all these things playing a part. That’s definitely more than a race victory. Then the gap to Lewis, yeah, points of course it’s gone in the wrong direction but it’s just over one race difference so I’m very optimistic and pushing and definitely want to try and close that  back down now.

Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC) To Sebastian, Felipe, Daniel and Nico. Are you satisfied with Pirelli’s explanation for the tyre failures in Belgium – especially as a couple of you described them as unacceptable over that weekend? And to Sebastian personally and additionally, have you raised your concerns, as expressed after Spa, with Bernie, who’s deciding the new tyre supplier?

SV: I think in all honestly I had a bit more insight because I was obviously one of the two cars that had a failure during the weekend in Belgium – a bit more insight on what was going on after the race in terms of the analysis and so on, than probably Felipe and Daniel. I’m not sure about Nico. But yeah, from what I mentioned also before, it has been very professional, the way it was handled. It was taken very seriously. And obviously our target is to improve the situation. I think it’s natural that you always try to improve your product. I think if you look at the cars, if you talk about the cars today, the cars are quick and so on, and the cars are safe. They’re surely safer than they have been 30 years ago but there is still room for making them safer: we still have accidents and so on and still some things can happen. It’s a one-way street: you want to make progress and keep making progress. So I think that’s more important than any sort of press release, the feeling that I got when I spoke to the engineers and spoke to Pirelli.


NR: It’s being handled with extreme precision and a lot of energy is going into it, which I’m happy to see, of course. It requires that also. I’m confident that we’ll be here and driving safely.

Felipe, what were your reflections on Spa?

FM: I think maybe they know better than me. They were there, they were inside. All these problems the two cars had in Spa with the tyres. For me it’s a little bit more difficult to explain. We want to be safe. What we want is to not have this problem happen – or maybe to understand 100 per cent why it happens and change whatever needs to be changed to give us the most safe tyres and the most safe opportunities to race and to risk ourselves in a safe way – which is what we want. Don’t know what they changed from there to here, but for sure if they change somethings from Spa to Monza, maybe with the tyre pressure and everything. So we need to understand if really they understand what’s happened or not – which is the most important thing. We always want the most safe car or tyres to race.


DR: That’s right. It’s all been covered.

Q: (David Croft – Sky Sports) With all due respect, Daniel, I don’t think it has all been covered. I’m still at a loss, guys; are you satisfied with Pirelli’s explanation? They say as well, in the press release, there were 63 cuts to tyres over the course of the weekend. We know two of them, for Sebastian and Nico, did any of you other guys experience cuts on your tyres? Did your teammates experience cuts? Is this statement right? Were there that many cuts? Was the track that dirty because of all the debris?

DR: There was blistering. I don’t really know the difference in a way, the details: what’s a blister, what’s a cut? Yeah, we experienced some blistering. Certainly not the first time we’ve had it in Spa. It’s pretty common around there. Yeah, so we did see some activity, I guess but there again, not the first time. It’s probably hard to be as attached to it as Nico or Seb. Obviously I wasn’t in the car but I still saw it and I feel their concerns or their disappointment with the situation. I think what Pirelli’s put out has been as much as they can for now. That’s all they can say really is that we’re working on it. Obviously they’ve given us some answers so, yeah, that’s just where it is for now. It’s hard to predict what will happen now in the future.

Q: Carlos, any cuts in your team?

CS: No, not really. I think they’ve given us an explanation, the reasons. I hope they’ve done their job properly. I’m convinced they have because they are the first ones that don’t want to put us drivers at risk so they are giving us those explanations and I’m convinced that at least it will not happen again and we can race safely here in Monza. And if it does happen again, then maybe we need some more investigation.

Q: Marcus, did you have any cuts in the Sauber team?

ME: Yes, we had some issues with some cuts on some tyres but I think they came from debris on the track. That was the explanation that we got. I didn’t experience anything else, not any problems with my driving.

Q: Felipe, Daniel just said it’s quite a common problem at Spa. Could you explain to us why Spa, why it’s particularly common that you pick up debris there?

FM: No, I don’t believe it should be common. Debris we have every race. Some races we have more debris than others. For sure, the tyres should be strong enough to accept the debris or what we have beside the track. I don’t think it’s common. We had cuts as well during the weekend.

Q: (Kate Walker – More about the tyres, I’m afraid. We know that you guys all have Pirelli engineers embedded in your garage, giving you advice on cambers and pressures and whatever else. To what extent, in each of your teams, is that advice listened to? Do they have real input in the strategy? How can things go wrong when you’re supposed to have an expert with you, telling you what to do safely?

NR: Well, sometimes there are strict things that you must follow and other times there are just suggestions on everything. I’m not sure... we handled everything accordingly in Spa and made modifications also throughout the weekend to make sure we were running the tyres as safely as possible, according to guidelines given by Pirelli. I don’t know about them, what their situation was. I can just say that we did manage things, yeah.

SV: I think it’s fairly simple. There’s a lot of things that you have to stick to because it’s part of the rules. Also the FIA is checking so you can decide not to listen but then obviously you risk to be disqualified, so I don’t think there’s any team taking that risk. And then there’s other things that you talk about and use the expertise of the Pirelli engineer inside your garage and I think it would be stupid not to listen to him, for all of us, for all the teams, because obviously they have knowledge that we can’t get about their tyres etc, so of course we take it very very seriously.

FM: Yeah, I think the same, not really more to add.

ME: Same, same stuff, yeah.

Q: (Daniel Johnson – The Telegraph) Seb, sorry to labour the point slightly. After the race in Spa, among many other things you said was that the current situation was unacceptable. If I can put it this way, is the situation now acceptable to you and any of the drivers who want to chip in?

SV: Well, I think it is not acceptable to have a blow-out at that sort of speed, out of the blue and I think that’s what I said also after the race, so there’s nothing really to add. But, as I said before, I think the investigations that have been going on, the stuff that obviously has been analysed and talked about, explains some of it, maybe not all of it yet but it’s still ongoing and obviously, as I said, the most important thing is that we make sure that we make progress. At the moment, from Pirelli’s side, it looks very very professional, they handle it with extreme care, and I think things are going the right way.

Q: (Daniel Johnson – The Telegraph) So has enough changed from Spa to here? Is the situation more acceptable?

SV: Well, I think there are some short term changes, as I learned, if we talk about tyre pressures, for example. We obviously see how it feels but if that’s a short term reaction within those couple of days or weeks that we’ve had, that’s one thing. Then obviously long term I think we need to understand properly what happened. I think it’s very clear that everybody is trying to do their best. I think we had a situation a couple of years ago which wasn’t acceptable and there was immediate change and we didn’t have problems afterwards so you can see that the professional approach does work and usually leads to the right result.

Q: (Silvia Arias – Parabrisas) Felipe, I would like to know if something has changed in the team after the mistake they made with Bottas’s car when they put on the wrong compound, please?

FM: Well, it should, definitely. We always work for trying to do everything in the correct way, in the best way we can. Sometimes mistakes can happen in our working but for sure mistakes happen which we cannot repeat, so definitely we are always trying to improve things when we see they are not working in the way we want, so we want to be perfect, we want to do everything correctly. This is part of the working we are doing from race to race, the changes we are doing from race to race and whichever mistakes or things that can happen we are always working not to repeat and that’s what we’re doing as a team.

Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) Daniel, you’ve mentioned that you are starting to understand the car better, and it was obviously in Spa, the efficiency is there, you were very quick in the second sector in spite of running a very skinny rear wing but the top speed was not there. Do you think that Red Bull again has one of the best cars on the grid and again, is it obvious that now the engine is the biggest hindrance for you?

DR: I think we’re now back at a level we were at last year. We knew the chassis was strong, we felt most of our deficit was the power and then yeah, I think earlier this season it looked like we obviously had issues on both sides, the chassis... obviously I had experience from last year and I didn’t feel like it was where it was last year so I thought we had similar deficiencies on both sides but yeah, we’ve had quite a few updates since. All year we have updates but I’d say since Silverstone it’s really come on strong and we seem to be in the window a lot easier now with getting the car there so I’m definitely a lot happier with where the chassis is now. I feel it’s like we were last year and then yeah, the power we know, we’re trying to make up what we can but we know we started too far back and it’s... I don’t like the word impossible but it nearly is impossible to make all that gap back in one season so I think that’s what it is for now. We’re always going to be somewhat down for the rest of the season, that’s why we look at Singapore and some of these circuits which are obviously a lot less power-dependent, a lot more chassis and we look at those as potential podiums for us.

Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS.NL) Sebastian, can you take us back to a couple of years ago, your first victory here and also explain why it is harder this year to win here for Ferrari than back then for Toro Rosso?

SV: I don’t know yet. I don’t know if it’s harder yet. Obviously it was a miracle that was happening in 2008 so only positive memories of the whole weekend really. But yeah, some years later, obviously another highlight and I’m looking forward to it and obviously can’t promise anything but for sure I can promise that we will give our maximum, trying to have a very very successful home race. I think that I know a lot more than I knew in 2008 so in this regard it should be easier but obviously it’s never easier. If you look on paper, it looks like a simple track with low downforce but still it’s also very technical so for us drivers it feels that the car is moving a lot, it feels very light under braking so it’s still a big challenge around here. You need to get the braking points right etc so it’s not that straightforward and obviously I’m sure that people expect a lot from us, but I think the one thing that we can promise now is that we will give everything we have. 

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Pirelli's analysis of the Belgian GP tyre blowout.

Following the recent technical analysis carried out on the tyres used at Spa, Pirelli concludes that:

1)The tests carried out by Pirelli on the tyres used at Spa have confirmed the absence of any structural problems. Pirelli has undertaken in-depth analysis on the materials and production processes used, utilising two different methods of tests and checks.
Microscopic analysis, carried out on a large number of the tyres after the second free practice session, showed no signs of fatigue or integrity issues. The same result was confirmed for the tyres used during the race, which were cross-sectioned and analysed in Milan. Some of the tyres used in the race were subjected to a further laboratory fatigue test, passing all the assessments conclusively and confirming that there was no structural 
degradation or problem on-track.

Since the start of 2015, 13,748 slick tyres have been used: including on especially severe tracks like Sepang, Barcelona and Silverstone.  No problems have ever been discovered, underlining the fundamental solidity of the product.

2)The events of Spa can therefore be put down to external factors, linked with the prolonged use of the tyres on one of the most severe tracks of the championship.
The external factors are demonstrated by a total of 63 cuts found in the tread of the Formula One tyres used over the course of the Spa weekend, following numerous incidents that took place during the support races before the Formula One grand prix. In the previous 15 events (10 races and five test sessions) an average of only 1.2 cuts per event were noted. All this indicates an anomalous amount of detritus on the track in Spa, with a consequent increased risk of encountering a foreign object.

If even a small piece of debris – made of carbon or any other particularly sharp material – penetrates and cuts the various structural parts of a tyre (which is obviously subject to high-speed use, and more susceptible if used for a prolonged period) without penetrating the actual structure, this can cause a failure that is different to that found in the event of a normal puncture, which is characterised by a loss of tyre pressure. And the former was the type of event seen on Sebastian Vettel’s tyre at Spa.

As for Nico Rosberg, in whose case the tyre usage was less, the tyre held up – as the footage clearly shows – and the failure was not instantaneous. For four corners previously, an element of the internal structure of the tyre was visible, coming out of the tread pattern. This highlighted the existence of the damage and the consequent start of the tyre’s attrition.
Throughout the Spa weekend (including practice, qualifying and the race) cuts caused by debris were found on the tyres of other drivers, which damaged the construction but did not cause any failures.

3)At the end of qualifying on Saturday at Spa, following the exceptional number of cuts noted to the tyres, Pirelli pointed out the condition of the circuit to the FIA and asked for it to be cleaned, as well as for the teams to be told. The FIA reacted promptly in arranging for the track to be cleaned and advising the teams.

Together with the FIA, Pirelli proposes a study to evaluate the way in which circuits can be cleaned most effectively.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

F1 radio 'banned' communication list

At the Belgian Grand Prix, a new start regulations where released to ban communication between drivers' and the pitwall to give greater responsibility to the drivers.  

Here is the full list of what a team can and can't say to a driver:

1. Messages given on the track, in the pit entry or in the pit exit during reconnaissance laps (a car will be deemed to be on a reconnaissance lap from the time it leaves the pit lane until the time it re-enters the pit lane or reaches its grid position).

1.1 You may tell the driver of a critical problem with the car, e.g. puncture warning or damage.

1.2 You may tell the driver of a problem with a competitor's car.

1.3 You may tell the driver to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car.

1.4 You may give the driver marshalling information (yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control).

1.5 You may inform the driver about a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

1.6 You may tell the driver to respect the maximum lap time provided it is clear that he is in danger of exceeding it.

1.7 You may not tell the driver to drive through the pit lane.

1.8 You may not tell the driver to make his way to the back of the grid.

1.9 You may not discuss a balance check with the driver.

1.10 You may not tell the driver to turn off the car.

1.11 You may not carry out a radio check with the driver.

2. Messages given when the car is in the pit lane before or between any reconnaissance laps.

2.1 You may talk freely on the radio and, for added clarity, the following specific requests would therefore be permitted.

2.1.1 You may give instructions to the driver for the following lap.

2.1.2 You may remind the driver to do a practice start at the pit exit.

2.1.3 You may discuss a balance check with the driver.

2.1.4 You may tell the driver to go to the back of the grid.

2.1.5 You may carry out a simple radio check handshake with the driver (i.e. "radio check", "got you loud and clear").

2.1.6 You may tell the driver to come back through the pit lane.

2.1.7 You may inform the driver of specific pit lane safety concerns such as the pit stop area being full of guests. This message (and only this message) may also be given in the pit entry.

3. Messages given on the grid (or in the pit lane*) until one minute before the start of the formation lap.

3.1 You may talk freely on the radio and pass any messages to the driver.

4. Messages given on the grid (or in the pit lane*) from the one minute signal, during the formation lap and until the race start signal.

4.1 You may tell the driver of a critical problem with the car, e.g. puncture warning or damage.

4.2 You may tell the driver of a problem with a competitor's car.

4.3 You may tell the driver to enter the pit lane in order to fix or retire the car.

4.4 You may give the driver marshalling information (yellow flag, red flag, race start aborted or other similar instructions or information from race control).

4.5 You may inform the driver about a wet track, oil or debris in certain corners.

4.6 You may give the driver instructions to swap position with other drivers.

4.7 You may provide the driver with a countdown to the start of the formation lap.

4.8 You may remind the driver to enable the pit speed limiter.

4.9 You may inform the driver of cars out of position or of any unoccupied grid positions.

4.10 You may tell the driver that the last car has reached the grid (but only the last car).

4.11 You may tell the driver to switch off his engine in the case of a delayed start.

4.12 You may not provide any "final reminders" to the driver such as switch changes.

4.13 You may not carry out a radio check with the driver.

4.14 You may not provide the driver with information concerning clutch or tyre temperatures.

4.15 You may not provide the driver with information concerning which tyres other cars have fitted.

* If a driver is forced or required to start the race from the pit lane.