Thursday 22 October 2015

FIA Drivers' Press Conference

DRIVERS – Marcus ERICSSON (Sauber), Alexander ROSSI (Manor), Valtteri BOTTAS (Williams), Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing), Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN (Ferrari), LEWIS HAMILTON (Mercedes)


Q: Lewis, three times a US Grand Prix winner, twice at the Circuit of the Americas. You, Nico [Rosberg] and Sebastian [Vettel] have finished one, two, three, in that order, on four occasions this season. If it happens again on Sunday, you are the world champion. What are your thoughts? 
Lewis HAMILTON: Well, first of all, just happy to be here, excited; I always enjoy myself out here in the States. The track is fantastic; the race has been great here since 2012. Just excited for another weekend. I missed driving the car for the last two weeks.

Q: You spend a lot of time in this country, as we can see from your regular social media output? Why do you like the US so much?
LH: Well, I like travelling everywhere in the world, so it’s not just the US, but I have a lot of friends out here. There’s a lot to do. America has a lot to offer, in such a big space. I do a lot of my music out here, so this is kind of the central hub for music, so that’s probably why I spend more time here than usual.

Q: Thank you for that. Moving on to Daniel: a podium here last year, of course, at the Circuit of the Americas, but pointless in three of the last five races, although your best result of the season came during that run, the second place in Singapore. This recent run now means you’re behind your team-mate Daniil Kvyat in the championship. How important to you is it to finish ahead of him at the end of this season?
Daniel RICCIARDO: I don’t know to be honest. Because we’re not really fighting for the title it’s sort of irrelevant. I think I have missed out a fair few bags of points at various occasions this year. But, yeah, I’m not too worried. Obviously you want to finish in front, I’m not going to lie, but when you’re seventh or eighth in the championship it’s sort of irrelevant. Yeah, the little Russian’s jumped in front of me, but we’ll see. I’m confident I’ll end up with more points, but as I said, I’m not too fussed about it.

Q: So, we’re reaching the end of October now, how confident are you about being on the grid next season and what assurances have Red Bull given you about how this whole thing is unfolding?
DR: Not much has changed to be honest. Yeah, we’re still not really confirmed with anything yet. From my side I’m still confident I’ll be racing. Confident we’ll be there, hopefully competitive. I think that’s more the concern. I have confidence we’ll be on the grid it’s just the concern is can we be competitive? I want to make sure we can be. This year, obviously we have got a couple of podiums, which is nice, but certainly not enough to keep us extremely happy. So, yeah, we want to be competitive again and I think that’s just as important as being on the grid.

Q: Alexander, coming to you, the only American driver in the field and the first American to race in the US Grand Prix in eight years. How proud do you feel about being in the series today and what’s the reaction been like here in the States in the build-up to the race?
Alexander ROSSI: I think, first of all, that the reaction has been very positive, which is what we wanted to see, Of course there is pride that goes along with it, but that started in Singapore and Japan as well. Obviously to be here at home means a big deal, but at the same time we have a job to do and very clear objectives to meet. I’m looking forward to it; there are a lot of friends and family that will be coming this weekend. But I think once you get in the car and on track you appreciate the fact that there is a bigger picture.

Q: Obviously you jumped into the car quite late in the season. Two race outings so far and you beat your team-mate on both occasions. What goals have you set for yourself for the remaining events this season and how confident are you of securing a full-time ride for 2016? 
AR: With the current situation with the performance difference in the cars I think it’s very clear that the objective just needs to be continuing what we’ve done in the first two, as you said. Both of those weekends there was quite a disrupted Friday for the whole team, so I think if we have a strong Friday the Sunday result can be even more positive. In terms of next year, I’m obviously quite keen to be in a full-time seat next year, which is apparent. The position that I’m in with the team at the moment is good and we're looking to put that all together for next year.

Q: Kimi, coming to you, you said in Sochi that the collision with Valtteri Bottas was a racing incident, you’ve watched it again by now I’m sure, so how do you feel about it now and how have you left it with Valtteri? 
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well it hasn’t changed. Obviously there were some discussions and penalties given to me, but I would still do it tomorrow again, that doesn’t change the story. Unfortunately, we came together in the end and we both lost a bit, but that’s life, that’s racing. I don’t feel bad about it and if somebody feels that, it’s up to them. It’s OK for me. Like I said, I would still do the same thing next time and maybe it goes better.

Q: There was another good battle with your team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Sochi. Is the objective for 2016 to beat him or finish in front of him on a more regular basis? 
KR: Well, obviously this year hasn’t exactly been what we hoped but it’s been much better than the previous year and I’m sure we are doing the right things but we don’t get the results sometimes. That’s fine, we are going in the right direction all the time and I’m sure when we get things running smoother and all the time better so we can definitely fight with him every week. Like I always said: I wouldn’t be here if I wouldn’t feel like that.

Q: Valtteri, coming to you, obviously in that incident in Sochi you lost what would have been only your second podium finish of the year. After some considered thought what’s your attitude to it now?
Valtteri BOTTAS: For me it’s the same really. It was a good weekend until the last lap, so of course disappointing to lose the points but my opinion hasn’t changed. I wouldn’t do anything different and it’s now history, so I’m 100 per cent ready to move on.

Q: The result means there are only two points now between you and your team-mate Felipe Massa, so similar question to the one I asked Daniel I guess, how essential is it for you to finish ahead of him in the final standings? 
VB: Of course it is, yes. As a driver you always want to beat your team-mate but as Daniel said, when it’s not for either the top three or winning the title it’s not that important. The main thing is to get the maximum points for the team with the two drivers. But personally I would prefer to keep in front and that’s one of the goals for the rest of the year.

Q: Marcus, you didn’t race here last year as Caterham didn’t make the trip, but you were here, so what are you most looking forward to about racing on this Circuit of the Americas track?
Marcus ERICSSON: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to driving the track, I think it looks really cool; some nice corners, the first sector especially. Like you said, it was the first race I missed out last year, so I’m really looking forward to driving the track.

Q: You were out on the first lap in Russia, ending a 12-race finishing streak. You’ve been knocked out in Q1 in the last three races in a row but you have outqualified your team-mate five time in the last seven, so how would you sum up the state of play Sauber as we get to this closing part of the season?
ME: I think I’ve had a really good run from the middle of the season really. Then the last three weekends we’ve had some messy weekends with difficult Fridays and difficult Saturdays, so I’m not entirely happy with the last three events. I think we could have done better things there. Like you said, Russia was a tough one, going our on the first lap, especially because I think our car was competitive around there. So not very happy with the last three but looking forward to turning it around here in Austin.


Q: (Peter Windsor – Clarksport). Question to Valtteri. I’m sorry I know it’s history but it’s still interesting at least for us. After the race Kimi said that he was surprised the move didn’t work because he had done that earlier in the race to you, at the exactly the same place, in exactly the same way and you had let him through and I wondered if that was the case from your point of view? And Kimi please add to this if necessary. In other words, earlier in the race did he do that pass exactly as he trued to do it later in the race?
VB: Yeah, I guess it’s still interesting for you guys, but for us not so much. From my point of view the first one was quite a different one, it was much more clear that he could do it. And of course for me, as a driver, not going to leave the door open two times. So, for me, it was a different kind of situation, as we saw from the result.

Kimi, any response?
KR: No. It was for him anyway.

I’m just giving you the right of reply.
KR: Why would I need to reply? It doesn’t change what we say anymore.

Q: (Peter Windsor – Clarksport) I guess the follow up question to Kimi is: did you not see that Valtteri was going to close the door on that second occasion?
KR: I saw it in the end but obviously once you’ve decided to go there… I tried to brake and turn in as much as I can but there’s no way to avoid it. That’ why… what can you do? Once you go there you do it or not. Once I saw that he’s coming… I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t expect or didn’t see me. Tried to slow down and turn in but y’know, in the end if there’s no space there’s no space. We’re going to collide. It’s an unfortunate thing but it’s a part of racing. You get penalised sometimes, sometimes not. We are here to race, it’s pointless to cry afterwards. I’m sure that people like it more like that than just following each other, so… it’s part of the thing.

Q: (Joesph D Love – Tennessee Tribune) This is a generic question, how do you create more enthusiasm in urban black America for Formula One? I know we’re up against football and basketball – how do you make Formula One as exciting for the urban kid in America?

LH: Don’t look at me, ask these first. I’d love to see what these others think!

DR: Just try and be as ‘lads–y’ as possible. Just make it exciting. I mean, we try. I think the sport’s, most of the time, pretty exciting. As performers – let’s say – we try and do what we can to make it cool. In all honest I think Austin, this circuit, is one of the best on the calendar for excitement. I’ve said it before, there’s so many places to overtake, I think the layout is perfect with big, wide apexes, so you can have a lot of fun on this track. I these terms, I think that creates the excitement: overtaking, fights. If it’s just a single train race it’s obviously less exciting so…  I think this track creates a lot of that. I think as drivers most of us try to be y’know, like… cool people, funny people. We try to bring fans into the sport. Yeah… I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ve answered your question.

Alexander, do you want to have a go at it?
AR: Sure, I mean, from an American perspective, I think the biggest thing, leading onto what Daniel was saying, the excitement level needs to be there but beyond that I think the accessibility. Obviously motorsports is something that is quite difficult to get into – and that’s the same for any young kid trying to do it. I think the biggest thing is a direction where to go. I think that’s the thing that’s missing the most. Beyond that, kind of just… there’s always things that can be done in terms of making it expand to a different part of the States. I think it’s very much… Formula One is three locations and in America we’re trying to grow it as much as we can. I think once that happens it’ll appeal to a much broader mass.

Final thought Lewis?
LH: Yeah, just sitting here trying to think. I agree very much with what they mentioned. It’s difficult for people to get attached here in America. Obviously they’re crazy about NFL and NBA and there sports that you can just go and guy the equipment; buy a ball or a racquet and go play down the road or in the street, whereas karting, you can’t. I was very lucky, my Dad bought me a go kart and we drove it around a car park, like a DIY Homestore car park for a while – but there’s not that much accessibility, as he was saying, for kids who say “hey, I want to go go-karting.” You have to plan it weeks in advance almost, or save up. So, I don’t really know. Maybe Formula One can start to engage more with the NFL or with the other sports. The brands that you have here in the States, and start to engage with them. I never, every see… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an NBA player come – I’ve had a friend come once. Otherwise it’s never really been anyone from those sports, different kind of sports come and try to see what Formula One’s about to maybe bring some attention to it, maybe. As you can see, I’m doing as much as I can – but I’m only one person. Yesterday I was go-karting with some kids, there were two black kids with us. One passed me, the first time I’d ever been on track with a black kid and, coming past it was like seeing myself come by – it was kinda funny. It was good. It’s open to everyone.

Q: (Seff Harding – Zero Zone News) This question’s for everyone. There’s been a lot of talk about rule changes, or taking a more of an old school approach to the sport. I wanted to know how you guys felt about that – because I guess there’s a little fear that maybe the cars are getting too technical, you guys might end up being like David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider, talking the car and the car’s driving itself. Just wanted to know how you guys feel about taking a more old school approach to the cars, taking a little more tech out of it. 
KR: I think it’s the right direction. F1 should be easily the fastest racing cars in the world and it doesn’t look right some races where we go and GP2s are a few seconds off almost. They should be definitely faster, more like they were in the mid-2000s. I think that’s the way they plan to go and I think it’s more fun for us, it looks much more greater to the spectators. But also, they have to make it also… nicer for all the people. Everybody is complaining it’s boring, it’s this and that. If something doesn’t change nobody will care how the car looks or how fast they are. Something has to change, that’s for sure, for F1 to get back more interesting for everybody – but I think it’s a good way to go, make the cars faster and more exciting looking.

Valtteri, your thoughts on this.
VB: I think the main thing, like every driver for sure, it’s likely the cars are going to be quicker, so that’s a good thing. Maybe more tricky to drive, hopefully. The main thing, the cars are fast and more spectacular for everyone. I’m not sure it’s really an old school thing because the sport will keep developing. It’s a good direction.

ME: First of all, I think the cars today are still a lot of fun to drive for us drivers but like Valtteri says, of course faster cars are always going to be nice for us drivers – but I think there’s a fine line there. To not make it too much like ten, 15 years ago when there was not so much overtaking. I think the racing today is great, with a lot of fights and overtaking. I think we should not cross that line and make the races just follow each other and no overtaking. But yeah, of course, faster cars is going to be more fun for us and more fun to watch.

DR: I think sometimes having such a big difference between cars is not so fun for a spectator as well. You see, I think it was a Williams pass a McLaren in Sochi and it was like it was standing still. That… for a spectator seeing that. That driver’s not better and he’s passed him… holding your foot flat down the straight – there’s no real skill required so when it looks that easy then it’s a little bit… I think it takes something away from the sport, one way or another. So, you always want a bit more equality. I mean, sure, you always want the top teams and you always want to look up to racing for a top team, so you always… there’s got to be some sort of division but a smaller division would be nice. More competition I think, more drivers fighting for wins. I think then, when you win a race also, the reward is much bigger. Somehow to get that back, I think, would be good.

LH: I think it does need to change. I’ve not really looked at the changes they’re proposing, to be honest, but it needs to be… for example, with the DRS, it doesn’t feel organic, like natural racing. Whatever changes they make, I want to see closer racing. Wheel to wheel racing. It needs to be like go-karting was. If, y’know, go-karting, wheel to wheel and those guys following the train overtaking. We need to make Formula One a bit more like that. Somehow. I don’t know how they’re going to do it. It needs to be a lot different to what it was in the last 20 years.

AR: I’m going into my third race so I don’t really have much of a comment, other than the fact I’m not really racing anyone at the moment other than one other car. Obviously I have to agree with what everyone said but for my own personal views, nothing different.

Q: (Greg Creamer – COTA Big Screen Production) Kind of following up this discussion, there’s been a lot of talk about the power units in that and the fact that they are a little bit disparate right now in terms of performance. But what about a re-vamp of the aerodynamic approach, because what you guys were talking about – Lewis in particular – about the go-karting and running close and that, you don’t seem to be able to do that right now because you get close enough, you wash the front end out, there’s no stick? How about re-vamping the aero on the car to get more done, maybe with a tunnel, less sensitivity in the nose so you can follow somebody through say, the last turn at Monza and be able to run right up and not lose the nose as opposed to all the focus on all the power units? That seems like that would improve the racing. 
LH: It does seem that way but I don’t think that’s possible. You’ve got turbulence behind the plane, it’s the same thing, you get turbulence behind the car. All these vortices that are bouncing off the car, whichever rule they change to keep downforce, it’s always going to be like that. They need to do something like where when you’re getting close to another car and the car in front has to... the cars always have to have the same amount of downforce, no matter how close you get, so I don’t know how they’ll achieve that but that would be kind of neat.

Q: (Tony DiZinno - NBC Sports) Alexander, having had FP1 a couple of years ago, how much nicer is it to have past F1 machinery track experience as opposed to the last two events you’ve done? 
AR: I’ll let you know tomorrow. Obviously it gives you a baseline but at the same time the cars in ’13 were clearly very different to what they are now. I don’t know how much is applicable to be honest. I think it’s more of a bonus, the fact that I’ve actually driven the track, more than anything else.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Honorary) Daniel, Renault has a new engine in the works. What has Renault told you and what has the team told you about this engine? 
DR: Yeah, it’s available if we want to use it. Obviously that would mean a penalty, though, so we’ve got to understand if it’s worth it. Last I heard, it’s not massive so from my understanding it’s probably not worth taking it but yeah, I think we’re down such a chunk that I don’t think we’re going to gain enough in this short time to make it up so if we start from the back, I don’t think we’re going to make (up) the ground we need. Right now, I would say we’re probably less likely to take it. That’s about it. Hopefully today they tell me something different and we’ve found a bigger chunk of horsepower from it but I think realistically there’s not a whole lot.

Q: (Peter Windsor – Clarksport  Ltd) Just following up on what you were saying there, it looked as if in sector three in Russia your car was actually not bad at all in terms of putting its power down and racing Ferrari- and Mercedes-engined cars and on that basis, I wonder where you feel you’re at around here now, on this circuit, bearing in mind the sector three here as well? How quick is the car now? 
DR: The car’s good and I was surprised to hold Valtteri and Kimi off for as long as I did. Once they caught me I thought I wouldn’t have sat in front as long. That was definitely some nice little surprises, I guess, in Russia. I think it has progressed for sure, the power as well but I think the car has really come alive and yeah, the grip we have through all those tight, twisty bits is really good. I think this circuit will suit us more so yeah, I’m hoping we can be more competitive here. It just seems that (in) qualifying we don’t really have that one lap pace but then (in) the races we seem to be a lot more competitive so if we can somehow start towards the front then I think we can stay there. We’ll see how we go but I’m definitely excited to race here if we’re not floating down the river.

Q: (Diego Mejia – Canal F1 Latin America) To all of you; Pirelli is set to stay for quite a few years. What would the drivers like to see from the tyres looking at the next few seasons? 
VB: Maybe more grip, that’s always nice, more grip. I think there have been some tracks that – for example Russia – even the supersoft has been a bit too hard so yeah, I’m sure that they are learning from all these things but I think this is adjusting to the different tracks because every tarmac is so different  tracks because every tarmac is different, every track is so different, so to make the races exciting, a good quick tyre for the track, I’m sure they are pushing for that so we will see what they can do. 
KR: I think we’ve had a lot of discussions about Pirelli and obviously they have been blamed for many things but it’s not easy for them to produce tyres that... first of all I don’t think they are ever going to be able to produce tyres that everyone is happy with. Somebody is always complaining and then we are not allowed to do testing so how can they improve the tyres? We always say, OK, we should go this or that way but they don’t have the time on the circuit to do anything so that doesn’t help them. I don’t really see the point of discussing here what we would like. For sure they will talk to us. I think everybody has to work together with the teams to decide that OK, we can do testing, also helping Pirelli in that way. When teams cannot decide themselves together who does the test or whose car is being used then Pirelli cannot do any laps. It’s very difficult to improve tyres and do what the teams are asking of them. I think it’s up to the teams to provide them also the possibilities to get the tyres running in a proper test and try things. I’m sure they will find a way to do that and I’m sure we will get what everybody’s more or less happy with. 
LH: I don’t know. As Kimi said, it’s pointless everyone saying what we would like if we can’t do any testing. I don’t really particularly... more performance is what we always want and I think they’ve got to make a big step if that’s going to be the case.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

'Sink or Swim' - By Jake Davis

This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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Friday 16 October 2015

Ron Dennis issues statement on Kevin Magnussen leaving the team.

Ron Dennis (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Technology Group) has issued the following fond farewell to Kevin Magnussen:

"Kevin has always done a very impressive and professional job for McLaren in the five years since he joined our Young Driver Programme in 2010.

"In 2014 he raced very well alongside Jenson, who is a hugely experienced and very quick World Champion. Kevin's Grand Prix debut in Melbourne last year was rewarded with a podium that day that he, and we, can be justifiably proud of.

"Kevin has continued to work hard for us in 2015, supporting Fernando and Jenson, although he was understandably frustrated not to be racing. 

"He is extremely keen to return to racing next year, and, in keeping with our tradition with our young drivers, we will not stand in the way of his ability to fulfil his ambition and potential.

"He is a very talented racing driver, and he deserves to have a Formula 1 career, as Jenson has publicly said.

"Evidently, we have no space for him at McLaren-Honda as a race driver next year, but there is no shame in being edged out by two World Champions, Fernando and Jenson. We wish Kevin well, and will do all we can to help him successfully embark on the next chapter of his racing career."

Tuesday 13 October 2015

'Gifted' - By Chris Rathbone

Weekly Formula 1 cartoons by Chris Rathbone... Get your hands on prints, mugs and t-shirts of your favourite drivers from the world of Motorsport.
Twitter - @R4THBONE 
Website -

Monday 12 October 2015

'2 Angry Finns' - By Jake Davis

This fantastic weekly F1 Toon was designed and created by Jake Davis Creative. Prints are available in sizes A4, A3 and A2. Commissions are also available. If you would like to order a PRINT of this fantastic F1 Toon feel free to contact him via:
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Sunday 11 October 2015

FIA Post-Race Press Conference

1 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari)
3 – Sergio PEREZ (Force India)

(Conducted by Eddie Jordan)

Well, I don’t need to remind you, ladies and gentlemen, that today he scored his 42nd win in grand prix racing. And we’ll talk to Sebastian, because they equal each other, 42 apiece. But we’ll come back to that in a second. Lewis, Nico, at the start of the race, we were so keen to see a big dogfight for this race…
Lewis HAMILTON: Me too, me too.

I just wanted to ask you: surely you missed him being there, because we were starved of a really exciting race at the very front? We got a great race at the back, but up at the front we want to see you two guys at it. 
LH: Absolutely. I was excited because we were quite close together at the beginning and I was thinking, “OK, we’ve got a race here”. For sure it’s a shame for the team to have lost one of the cars and to not have a race. When I knew Sebastian behind I was thinking to myself “I wish he was right with me so we could be having a race, it would be great for the fans”. Nonetheless, I don’t take what we have for granted. The team have done an amazing job. It’s a special moment for me to surpass Ayrton and carry on to this weekend. I’m very, very proud to be here in Russia, we’ve had a great time, thank you so much everyone. Beautiful, beautiful country. If you’re watching and you’ve never been out here, you should definitely come.

He sounds like an ambassador; I think we’ll have to appoint him. Ladies and gentlemen we’ll be coming back to him in one second. Lewis, well done. Sebastian, it seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were talking to each other. Four podiums in a row; you’re on a bit of a roll.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah. I didn’t count but that’s good news. It was a very good race. The car was fantastic and just kept better. At some point I was hoping there was a slight chance to catch Lewis but he had so much pace in hand, I think he wasn’t really pushing at the end. Yeah, great result. Obviously, it would have been nice to have both cars up on the podium, which I think was possible today. It was maybe close, but very happy with how the race went.

Can we go back to Singapore for a second, where you last won. This is more an indication that we’re going to see a big, big fight from Ferrari next year. Is that the way you see it?
SV: I hope so! That’s our target. Obviously we want to be a bit better in the race and make sure we give some really, really good challenge to the Mercedes. Currently they are still a bit ahead, but I think we are doing a very good job. We are focusing on ourselves and gaining step by step, getting a bit closer, so I think we are in a good direction and hopefully next year we can be closer.

Sebastian Vettel, ladies and gentlemen. And hey, what can we do – out of the ashes of Jordan we’ve got Force India and look who we’ve got up here! Checo, what a remarkable race. I thought it was all gone with a lap to go and there you were picking up the pieces and now you're up here on the podium. I’m absolutely delighted for you, because it’s a long time since Bahrain [2014] when you were last on the podium. How does it feel? 
Sergio PEREZ: It just feels great to be back with these boys. I have been enjoying so much my trip with all of them and yeah, as you say, one lap before the end it seemed that everything went away from us. At that point I was just really unhappy with myself, because many things come to your mind. But in the end, until my last lap I was like “OK, I gave it all”. There was no more I could. I had done plenty of laps with my tyres, so I had massive degradation on my front tyres especially, so in the last lap, when it came, it was just amazing. It’s very nice to give this second podium to my team.

We want to talk a little bit about Mexico, because we are going to your home country in a number of weeks. Excitement out there?
SP: Oh yes, massively. It will be a great place. The fans are great here in Russia, so thanks for all of that. But at the same time, Mexico is going to be my most special weekend of all, no matter what result I get, and I am sure the whole paddock of Formula One will be shocked with the support we get there.

Lewis, tell me the problems you had with your tyres trying to keep heat them?

LH: There wasn’t too much of a problem.

We could hear what you were saying, come on!
LH: No, honestly, there wasn’t really a massive problem – the safety car was a little bit slow. I don’t really have too much more to say, just thank you to everyone. I couldn't have done it without this amazing team, as I always say. As I said on the radio, I’m incredibly proud to be part of this team and coming into those last couple of laps I was just thinking “what a dream this is for me”.

Q: Lewis, a very special day for you on a number of levels. Clearly the start was critical again with Nico. Some close racing. Obviously he dropped out today. It’s only my ‘back of the envelope’ maths – and I’m sure someone else will confirm it – but I believe if you score nine points more than Sebastian in Austin and three more than Nico [nine more than Vettel, two more than Rosberg] you’re the world champion again. But first of all, your thoughts on the start, and racing with Nico and then the wider picture of where this leaves you now. 
LH: The start was good. I had a very good start actually and the key was to try to get behind Nico and slipstream him. I decided to go on the outside, he had the inside taken, so I tried to go down the outside but as I pulled out of the slipstream I wasn’t pulling past him particularly quick enough and we got into the braking zone, there was no point in taking any risks and Nico held his ground. After that, looked like we were having a race. I was thinking ‘this is great, we’re going to put on a good show’ but, I don’t know, it looked like he made a mistake into Turn One and went a bit wide and I overtook him. Then, after that it looked… or maybe already before that, he’d already started to have some problems, so was very unfortunate for the team obviously because the team have worked so hard to have both cars finish this weekend, it was a good opportunity for us to get the Constructors’ Championship but we’ll keep pushing. For me, I just… those last five laps, just really taking it in, just looking at the car, just… – obviously driving the laps – really just absorbing… thinking at some stage… I don’t know how many times I’ll be in that position again, so really cherishing the moment and feeling really blessed. I love driving this car and love where we are at the moment. So, truly grateful.

SV: Did you start waving five laps to go?

LH: I didn’t! You used to do that!

SV: No, Mansell was the one who started waving on the last lap – you topped him doing it five laps from the end.

LH: No, I didn’t!

Q: You obviously know the feeling Sebastian, you’ve had it many times at the front. Today was a little bit harder work though, as far as you’re concerned. You seemed to lose a bit of time behind your team-mate early on. Would you have liked your team to get him to let you through? And then a little later on you were pretty close, it’s fair to say – when you watch the replays on your video I think you’ll be surprised just how close it was with Kimi – some thoughts on that please.
SV: I think we both enjoyed… obviously I came out in front so enjoyed a little bit more than him but I think it would have been the wrong thing to do, to do on the radio and just take away the fight and the excitement from us. So, obviously, was already close at the first part in the opening laps. I tried it around the outside and it didn’t work into Turn One. Then I tried to pace myself a bit, then we had another Safety Car and then I knew the restart could be a good option and this time I tried it around the inside but it was very, very close. I’m looking forward to seeing the footage but it felt very, very close. Yeah, he was fair, just giving me enough room to survive, so it was a good battle. After that, yeah, it was obviously crucial, chasing down the Williams was the main priority with Valtteri out in front. We could do so, then even stay out a little bit longer than him. He was a bit in traffic, we still had some juice in the tyres left so that was crucial for us – I didn’t know how crucial it was after the stop to overtake Sergio. I thought that, yeah, we’ll quickly do through him but at that time I didn’t see how important it was. So maybe I surprised him a bit going into Turn 13. It’s quite tricky around the outside  but I managed to pass him – which turned out to be very important as other people got stuck. So, very happy, did the moves when it mattered and yeah, had a great race. The car was fantastic to drive. Just got better at the end so really happy. Still a bit behind the Mercedes but I think it was closer today than it was yesterday so I’m very happy.

Q: Sergio, welcome back, obviously you made that critical pit stop in the second safety car, it was right in that lovely window that I’m sure you were hoping for. You were very decisive in making that move but of course you had to do forty laps on a set of soft tyres. Of course you’ve been here before, you’ve done this before and it’s led to podiums before but is this one of the best days of your career given that we’re going to your home Grand Prix in just a few weeks time? 
SP: Definitely I’m going through a great moment in my career. From where we are it’s difficult to realise but people who look at my performance, they can see that I’m at my best moment in my career and that’s something that makes me confident. I was confident going into the race, obviously not expecting a podium at all, but the race started quite well. Obviously Nico went out quite early, safety car came out. Then we had a second safety car and we decided to box. We were one of the few cars to box and I thought well... The restart going behind Felipe and Nasr, I was just stuck there and couldn’t get them so I decided to save my tyres together with the team, to look after them at the end of the race and it worked really well and I think we lost a podium one lap before the end but it was just very difficult to hold them back, to hold Valtteri and Raikkonen back. At the stage that my tyres were, I couldn’t brake very hard, very late because I was at risk of flat-spotting my tyres and retiring from the race, so there was a certain level of risk that I was able to take and I thought OK, if it’s not a podium, let’s really come back with the points and then in the last lap they had contact and it was very good to come back and give a second podium to the team, which I think we’re going into a great momentum. It’s great news that I’m staying with the team  so we have a lot of momentum going through us and hopefully we can maintain it for the end of the year.


Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Lewis, there was a problem with Nico’s car which is the third DNF in four races. Are you worried about this lack of reliability. And you seem to have had a problem with DRS towards the end of the race. Can you explain to us your feeling in the car? 
LH: I don’t really know what was wrong with the car. I don’t think it was DRS but there was something happening to the rear end which was the reason that the pace started to decrease. Reliability, of course, is something that we’ve focused on a huge amount over the last year and a half and for whatever reason, the team... we are struggling or having a little bit more problems with it and Nico’s been incredibly unfortunate to suffer the worst. I honestly don’t know what happened to his car so I can’t really comment on it but I know that we’ll be working as hard as we can to rectify it and hope that in these next races we don’t have a problem, but of course it is a concern for us. 
SV: I know you’re wait... you just told me that you’re waiting for the girls to come over to you in the Radisson Hotel, room number 708 but I think they’ve been standing all day so I think they can sit down. Feel free to sit down. 
LH: What are you talking about? 
SV: Sit down. How do you say sit down in Russian?

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Lewis, are you coming to the next races with the spirit that we see you have today or the spirit we saw you with on Thursday when you arrived here? 
LH:  I can’t hear a single word you’re saying right now. There’s this super super distraction in here. What did you say? 
Q: (Livio Oricchio – I’m sorry to disturb you with my question but I’m saying are you coming to the next event with the spirit that we are seeing you with now or the tension that we saw in you in the last few days here? And Sebastian, we saw Kimi saying that he would work for you concerning the championship. It’s not what we saw today. 
LH: I think I’ve had this spirit really for most of the year. I think so. I’ve been incredibly grateful to be where I am. I think today’s just a happy moment for me. Yesterday, of course, when you qualify second and your target is to excel and over-deliver and when you under-deliver, of course it’s not a happy moment, but today I came here with a positive attitude which I have at every race and I think even in the last race – not all the races, I’ve been incredibly grateful for the car holding together. In the last few laps I was just rubbing the cockpit. You know what it’s like, you know, and you’re like please just hold it together...
SV: I wasn’t rubbing anything in the last couple of laps. 
LH: OK, well, I don’t know where his head is going but yes, as I said I’m just grateful and I plan to hopefully come with the same energy to the next race. 
SV: Well, I don’t think on lap ten you think about those things. I think we’re free to race. I think the spirit you have as a racing driver so I know that... There was nobody out front. Lewis, for example has an issue and Nico – it’s a different story but Lewis at that point was controlling the race already, showing that he’s very quick so I don’t think it makes much sense at that point to swap much and talk about these things. As I said, it was lap ten so it was very early – or somewhere around lap ten, 15 in the race or very early.

Q: (Angelique Belokopytov – AutoDigest) Checo, just a remark for Sebastian: sit down in Russian is sadites, so you can train for the next time. So Checo, generally people are saying about Finns that they are cold; today we see that fight warm so what do you think that if there was a Mexican on the grid today, how would be your fight with him, warmer? I am expecting a good answer from you despite the beautiful view you had in front. 
SP: I think first of all we’re very lucky to be here with such beautiful girls. 
LH: Best press conference ever. 
SP: The least boring one, at least. Just thank you and enjoy it. Matteo, just enjoy it. Thanks, it has been a great weekend and obviously the fans here are great. I think what you hear that Russians are very cold, we haven’t experienced that. 
Q: That’s not what the lady was asking. What she was saying is that the two Finns...
SP: I’m not focussed, sorry. 
Q: ... the two Finns had a very hot battle, they took each other out, basically, as you saw. If you had another Mexican on the grid with you...
SP: I’m sure you didn’t understand the question as well. 
Q: If you had another Mexican, would it be even more spicy than the battle between Raikkonen and Bottas was? 
SP: It’s the last lap, you’re fighting for a podium, doesn’t matter if it’s Mexican or Finnish, whatever, you’re fighting for the podium and you’re giving it all, you know? So yeah, it didn’t work out really well for them but for me it worked well.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche congratulates the 2015 World Constructors Champions

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
"What an incredible moment for Mercedes-Benz! Congratulations to our team in Brackley and Brixworth who have worked so hard to make this achievement possible, winning a second world championship in a row. After winning in 2014, we raised the bar again to secure this year’s title, and we needed to because our rivals gave us plenty of headaches as they stepped up their performance. The work by our team is the perfect example of what drives Mercedes-Benz forward: the best technology. The most efficient hybrid petrol engine that our company has ever made, world-beating aerodynamics and intelligent design in every part of the W06 Hybrid racing car. Most importantly, though, we must not forget the human factor: we have two exceptional sportsmen at the wheel, Lewis and Nico, and a fantastic team behind the scenes, who have delivered 12 wins in 15 races so far this year. Their work has made every employee of Mercedes-Benz a world champion and we are very proud of them."

Saturday 10 October 2015

FIA Post-Qualifying Press Conference

1 – Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes) 
2 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
3 – Valtteri BOTTAS (Willams)


Nico, you were fastest in Q1 and Q3, fastest after the first run in Q3, on pole by a decent margin. Are you pleased with that? 
Nico ROSBERG: Yeah, for sure, I’m very happy. It’s been a difficult weekend actually, because of the little running that we got; we didn’t get much practice. Qualifying worked out really well; found a good balance on my car, thanks to my engineers as well. We had to guess a bit where is it going to be and it all worked out well. I felt comfortable, so got some really good laps in and I’m very happy with that.

Very well done. Lewis, obviously you were trailing your team-mate after the first part of Q3 and then you didn’t go for the extra lap at the end. Why not? And I saw you looking around the Ferrari afterwards, did you learn anything from it?  
Lewis HAMILTON: No. I did go for my second lap; I just didn't finish it. I made a mistake at Turn 13 I think it is. Yeah, a difficult weekend I think for everyone. Nico did a great job on his lap. I wasn’t quite perfectly happy with the balance that I had. But overall really happy. I think it’s great for the team and yeah, as you say last year this is not such a bad race for P2.

OK, thank you for that. Valtteri, you matched your result of last year, do you feel you have the measure of Ferrari this weekend?
Valtteri BOTTAS: Well, it seems like it, at least today. We were quite competitive. It's good to be third; it’s a good place to start here. Obviously it has been a tricky weekend for everyone but I really think we managed to use Practice 3, well, part of it, what we had, pretty well. I managed to get some good laps in qualifying, consistently, and I pleased with the laps and what we did as a team.

Well done. Coming back to you Nico, obviously you’re going for the Constructors’ Championship tomorrow, trying to clinch it here for the second year in a row, but have you personally got a plan for worked out for Turn One. Lewis referenced it I his answer, after what happened here last year. 
NR: No, not yet. I haven’t thought about that yet. At the moment just enjoying being on pole and I’ll dig into that this evening or tomorrow morning to work out a plan for that. Of course the Constructors’ Championship is a really important target for us this weekend – it would be amazing to clinch it for the second time so early on in the season – so we’re out to do that, but at the same time, of course, I’m out here to try to reduce the gap to Lewis in terms of points.


Nico, you mentioned in your first answer about the lack of running this weekend, the really unusual situation. We had it in Japan but even worse here because of the curtailed Free Practice 3 after Carlos Sainz’s accident. So what have you been able to find out in terms of long runs with this much softer tyres than last year here in Russia and how much guesswork is going to be involved in strategy and race performance tomorrow? 
NR: Well, we tried to prepare as best we could. So this morning we did do some high fuel running, everybody did. So we do have an idea of how it’s going to be tomorrow, so it’s not completely just guessing. No, we’re quite comfortable that we know what to expect and strategy-wise we think we have got a good strategy, so it should be fine.

Lewis, I wonder if you could give us your view on what happened this morning – the accident of Sainz and going under the barriers? Your thoughts on that speaking on behalf of the drivers? 
LH: To be honest I don’t know anything about it, so I couldn’t really comment. I’m just glad he’s OK.

Q: OK, well I’ll throw a question maybe you can answer. You obviously mentioned the fact you are quite happy to start in second place, based on what happened here last year. So, obviously today didn’t work out for you in the single laps but fro the little that you’ve been able to learn from the high-fuel running, do you think you’ll be able to challenge for the win tomorrow.
LH: I wasn’t saying I was happy, I mean I have no choice of being second right now, obviously Nico did a better job in qualifying but I feel there’s still all to play for, as you’ve seen in many other races where I’ve started second. I think it’s exciting. It makes the race ever more exciting and, as I’ve said, Turn One, it’s a long, long way down to Turn One. Probably one of the longest ones of the whole year so it should create opportunities. But there are other opportunities throughout the race as well.

Q: Coming to you Valtteri, obviously both these gentlemen managed to get through Q1 without using a set of Supersoft tyres, just showing the performance that they have. A lot of your competitors struggled, it seemed, to get temperature into the tyres today as the temperatures actually came down during the course of the qualifying session. Is that something you struggled with – and can you articulate what it was like to use these tyres here today?
VB: Yeah. We already saw last year it’s quite tricky to get tyres to work in the first timed lap, and that’s why you could saw many people doing many laps and longer running in qualifying than normal. What we did in the practice and in Q1 also, we just tried to learn more about the tyres so we’re sure we’re making the right decision what we’re going to do in Q3 in terms of tyre temperatures, pressures and how many laps we do. So I think everyone struggled with it today – but we got it right. We got the max out of the car and the tyres.


Q: (Andrea Cremonesi, La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question for all of you about the accident of this morning, car that went through the barrier. Would like to know if you’re worried about it: the dynamic of the accident. The car was inside of the barrier.

We’ve already asked Lewis that question so we’ll start with Nico. 
NR: I haven’t seen it so difficult to comment. Of course we always need to push to improve things. Apparently it’s not good, not ideal, so let’s see if we can make progress on that.

VB: I haven’t seen it either, so can’t really say that much. Like Nico, we always need to keep pushing on the safety.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Nico, in the last race you were very conservative at the start and maybe that was one of the reasons you lost the victory. How do you plan your start tomorrow?
NR: On the one side I don’t agree with your opinion – but that’s OK. On the second, just work on it tonight and tomorrow. Work on the start, get everything right there, look at last year’s start, learn from that. That’s it.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) To both of the Mercedes drivers: you were very aggressive – Hamilton was very aggressive – here last year and you were very aggressive also in Japan. I would like to continue on this matter, to know that if, as you have this goal tomorrow [the Constructors’ Championship] does it change you approach for the first corner? 
LH: You said I was aggressive here last year? Here? I don’t remember being aggressive. But whatever I did last year it worked so I plan to stay the same really. 
Q: I think the point of the question is that you have had a few starts where you have been quite close, not least the last one in Japan and as you’ve got the Constructors’ possibly tomorrow, is it going to change your thinking going into the first corner. For both of you. 
NR: No. Nothing changes anything. It’s one way and that’s it.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – In Q1, only Lewis and Nico were on soft tyres, all the others were on supersoft tyres. Is this some kind of reference that we can expect in the race? 
NR: Looks like we were especially quick on the soft which is always a good thing of course in the race, because everybody has to use them once so that can only help us.

Q: You’re expecting this to be a one-stop race tomorrow then? 
NR: I don’t know about the strategy yet. That’s look into that this evening. 
LH: Yeah, very strange coming into the weekend – people were making assumptions that we would have a repeat of Singapore. Obviously I had no idea what it’s going to be like and to think that now we have it the other way round it’s very, very strange. I don’t have answer for it but the car felt good otherwise on the tyres today. I don’t know how it will be for the race. I think from our short long run, the seven laps that we might have got, we have to take information from that, but it didn’t feel bad.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Valtteri you were a very consistent third in every session; was this your strongest qualifying hour of the season? 
VB: Well, I think compared to the number of laps I’ve got and everyone has yesterday and today it was not bad from my side. I felt very good. I could have been feeling very good in the car all weekend and managed to do multiple laps in a very consistent way without any mistakes. Yeah, I can be happy for the session but it’s difficult to say if it’s the best or one of the best.

Friday 9 October 2015

FIA Team Members' Press Conference

TEAM REPRESENTATIVES – Paul HEMBERY (Pirelli), Graeme LOWDON (Manor), Monisha KALTENBORN (Sauber), Paul MONAGHAN (Red Bull Racing), Rob SMEDLEY (Williams)


Graeme, if we can start with you, obviously the big news as far as you are concerned is Mercedes engines for next year. What does it mean you can do now and where do you expect to be fighting in 2016? 

Graeme LOWDON: Well, it’s a big step forward for the team. If you look at the last… from 12 months from this weekend last year, there’s an awful lot happened in the team. We’ve been very much rebuilding. This year has very much been very much about getting back to really where we were probably about a year and a half ago. This new agreement with Mercedes AMG HPP and also with Williams, who obviously we have worked with before in the past and had a very successful relationship with Williams in the past, gives us the chance to really get back into the pack and get back to racing, which is what we want to do. It’s also pretty important to recognise the assistance we have had from Scuderia Ferrari as well this year. This year was a very strange year for us and we were in a situation where without their help at the start of the season we simply wouldn’t be here. So without the assistance of Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrrivabene and also in particular at the start of this season James Allison…  there was a huge amount of effort that went into making sure our team was still on the grid and I think we’ll always be extremely grateful for that. But looking to the future I think we’ve got a chance to level the playing field a little bit and try to get back into the pack and really start racing again.

And driver-wise, would you expect to be running one of the Mercedes development drivers next year or is the field completely open? 

GL: The field is completely open. It’s not easy for any driver to get into Formula One at the minute and there are some quite good drivers looking to do that but also the grid is pretty full at the moment. We have drivers that we need to focus on for this year as well. Decisions on drivers for us will come much later in the season.

Paul [Hembery], coming to you: a different choice tyre choice this year here in Sochi as far as Pirelli is concerned – supersoft and soft. What difference do you expect that to have on race strategy?

Paul HEMBERY: Well, not too sure after today in the sense that we didn’t get any dry running of note. The reason for that was based on last year. It was the first year here. We found the surface to be a lot smoother than anticipated. I think it was Nico who basically ran the whole, bar one lap, on the medium, so we felt that we would be in a position to be able to use the two more aggressive compounds for here. If we get some warm temperatures maybe they’ll push us on to a two-stop race.

And from what you’ve learned from the developments of this year, what kind of tyres do you want to provide next year in Formula One? More strategic variation? Any particular channels you’re thinking of, pathways?

PH: Well, I think there’s been a lot in the media about maybe changes to the rules for next year in terms of the way that the tyres are selected for each race, giving more freedom to the teams, and that appears to be getting close to a final decision. So hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll be able to explain that to people, how that’s going to work. That’s the main change. We want to make some structural changes, as we try to look at each year, particular with the cars getting quicker. There’s a new supersoft that we’re working on to bring to the races next year. So, there are a few changes, but I think the most significant is going to be centred on the way that the tyres are allocated for each race.

Q: Paul, coming to you, obviously as we were just hearing, very little running today for a variety of reasons, not least the weather. Talk us through how much there is to do tomorrow in that free practice three session. What does the job sheet look like?

Paul MONAGHAN: Quite full – but most P3s do fill up. You tend to run nearer the end of the session when the track has evolved a little bit. So, obviously, we trundle out on a green track tomorrow morning. I think it will depend on what each team considers it wants to be its aims from P3. Some might do a little bit more work towards qualifying, others may do a little bit of work for qualifying and then try to have a look at the car’s behaviour on higher fuel loads. I suspect the majority will do a mix and the bias will depend on what the team wishes to pursue more vigorously.

Q: It’s now early October and you don’t know yet what engine you’ll be using in the back of your car next year. At what point does being forced to miss the pre-season tests become a real risk? Presuming, of course, that Red Bull continues in Formula One next year. 

PM: It’s getting a little bit late. At the moment it will be a squeeze but we’ll do it. I guess if you’re… OK, we can go to the first test and it can be a washout for three or four days, so it’s wrong to say that anybody that runs the first test will automatically have a benefit on us. Yeah, they might, but we could cope – so however the land lies, we’ll deal with it.

Q: Monisha, coming to you, obviously the development since the last race, you’ve lodged a formal complaint to the EU. Can you tell us why and why now?

Monisha KALTENBORN: Well, to start with the second part, this has been an ongoing process so there’s no real specific to it why exactly now. The reason what we’ve done it for, I think we’ve explained earlier on, so what I can tell you so far is we have, together with another team, lodged this formal complaint to the European Commission alleging violation of European competition law and we want to challenge the rule-making powers and the privileges that together, in our view, harm the sport. I think we’ve been saying that for quite a while and now this is the next logical step. We hope from this that the commission will start a proper investigation. We hope they’ll put the sport onto a footing which allows teams teams to compete on the same basis and that they will look into why the unfair terms – which we feel are unfair – were actually imposed.

Q: And what are you hoping the outcome will be?

MK: That, essentially, we have a fairer system in the sport, which the bottom line is that we can all compete on the same basis. That’s it.

Q: Coming to you Rob, Felipe was in the press conference yesterday and said that the focus of the team is now on 2016, although there are still come development parts scheduled to come onto the car before the end of this season. What can you tell us about your 2016 car and the targets you’re setting for it?

Rob SMEDLEY: Well, obviously we’ve been working on the 2016 car as most of the teams probably, up this end of the grid have been doing for a reasonable amount of time now. Certainly the focus has been fully switched to that car for a good few months. There are still things coming through for the FW37, so the 2015 car, but they’re more corollary development of next year’s car. The targets are ever-improving. I can’t really go into the specifics but we’re looking at all the areas: vehicle dynamics, vehicle science, aerodynamics obviously. Tyre science is of great importance to us and we’re constantly striving to improve that. So, there’s no one, single target that we have; there’s no one magic bullet in Formula One. It’s more just about trying to improve every little bit.

Q: There’s a lot of talk obviously at the moment, about engine suppliers in Formula One. Do you feel that you have reached the limit of what’s possible as a customer engine team in this sport? 

RS: No, not at all. You could perhaps argue that if we were the second quickest team but no, I don’t think that we’ve reached the limit. I think that there’s still more for us to do. I think that as a company Williams, over the past 18 months, has been improving. Some of that you see is directly affecting what we do at the track or our results at the track and some of it’s a little bit more subtle but certainly there’s still a lot more that we need to do if the team wants to make good on its ambition, if the team wants to eventually win races and then World Championships, then there’s a great deal of background work both subtle and fundamental structures of the business which we still need to look at. I don’t think that we’ve reached... we haven’t fulfilled the full potential. We’re still being a customer team.


Q: (Ben Edwards – BBC TV) Rob, just a quick question on today, specifically. You did a bit more wet running than some of the other guys. That’s been a weakness of the team over the last 18 months or so. Do you feel as though you’re making some progress, was what you saw today a bit more promising today? 

RS: Yeah. It’s always very difficult to say because it’s practice and you very rarely know what other people are doing but on pure face value, I think that we are probably moving forward in that area. We have spent quite a lot of time as a group and that involves all the groups back at base, trying to understand where the issues lie with our car in lower speed corners, in certain trajectory of corners and in the wet. That work now, I would say, is starting to come to fruition, we’re starting to get some leads on where we need to take the car and that’s why... you probably saw in Singapore we were keen to get lots of set-up work in, lots of practice work in and the same here. We wanted to run. We were a little bit scuppered by the track conditions that we had today which were neither one thing nor the other. It was a weird situation where half the track was a lot wetter than the other half and of course the teams who were confident in their wet running didn’t need to run but we were out there, we were just trying to understand a little bit more about the tyres. We had to wait until other people were running so we could pitch ourselves against them but I think that more than just the lap times, which can be a little bit misleading in practice, I think the drivers were just happy with the balance of the car. We know we’ve got a specific problem in the wet and certainly today that was a lot better.

Q: (Kate Walker – Monisha, regarding the EU investigation of the lodging of the complaint, there are more than two disenfranchised teams, both in terms of rule making and CCB payments. What efforts did you guys make to get everybody in on the complaint and would having more signatories have strengthened your case do you think? 

MK: Well, these talks amongst the non-privileged teams – if you can put it like that – have been going on for quite a while so they were always informed about it but it’s their decision not to sign it or not to support it, at least at the moment – I don’t think there’s anybody out there who would not support it but they probably have to take a public position on that as well. We’ve always been transparent, from our side. We’ve always told them where we stand and it’s entirely up to them  and they’ll decide, I guess, when they want to join it or not and they will have their reasons for that.

Q: (Daniel Ortelli – Agence France Presse) Question about these privileges; Sauber has been in Formula One for 20 years but it gets no money from the premium fund, do you think it’s normal and is it part of your complaint? 

MK: Well, we’ve been (involved for) 23 years actually. I can’t tell you details about the complaint because now it’s an ongoing procedure and we have to adhere to all the steps there. What we have basically requested or asked the commission to do is to investigate why these – in our view – unfair terms regarding the voting rights, the rule-making on one side and on the other side the distribution of revenues have been imposed. We have asked the commission to – as we see – abuse of dominance arising from the way these privileges have been granted in these two areas. So we have our position on that, we don’t consider it to be fair and based on that, we have submitted our complaint which is to be also clear about it against the commercial rights holder.