Force India Team quotes ahead of Melbourne
James Key, technical director:
On winter testing:
We've had a normal program of winter testing and we've been happy with what we've seen. The drivers are very happy with the car; it balances and does what it should do. There aren't any mysteries behind it so far and it's really just a case of us continuing to develop its performance and try to solve any problems at this stage. We will effectively continue our testing regime right into the year as we know there is still more to learn about how to use the tires and how best to use the car. We haven't tested on a hot track so far and that will effect how the car feels and how you set it up, so we've got more to learn from the first few races.
On performance in Australia and beyond:
We hope we're competitive and we have got some updates scheduled, possibly for the first few races but certainly for the start of the European season, as I'm sure other teams have as well, but we'll continue to pile as much performance-related development on the car from this point forward.
We aren't using KERS for Australia. For us, given the timeframe we had, it was important to get the car as a known quantity and to get a bit of running. KERS would have been an additional installation for us to try and get running for Melbourne and would have been a challenge. The car is designed around KERS and it's KERS compliant so it should just be a case of bolting it on and running it when we are ready, but it has been more of a case of getting the car ready for the first few races in the best shape we could do and we felt, at that point, that getting the KERS running as well would have been added workload and complication with a very tight time period. We're obviously looking to run it in future, hopefully in time for the start of the European season.
Ian Phillips, director of business affairs:
On the economic situation in F1:
We'd be pretty silly to say the sport was all healthy, but it's not unhealthy. F1 has always been known for largesse and there's been a lot of largesse in the past 10 years and, to be honest, it got quite out of control. The business needed a bit of a handbrake to bring it back to a respectable level and it's happening by natural forces at the moment. Of course people don't like it but it's a way of life (.) We have to take a really good, long look at how the business operates and use this period to create a platform for the next 20 years of Formula 1.
I don't know if £30 million is the right figure, but it's the sort of figure we should be aiming for. The days of spending what you want are gone. They will probably come back but what it's our responsibility to do is to ensure F1 is here for the next 20 years. Let's use the current financial situation to create an F1 that is sustainable for 12 teams, maybe 15 teams, maybe 20 teams. It wasn't too long ago that there were 19 teams and Jordan was the 19th when we came in in 1991. We can get those days back again - it won't be any less exciting for the spectators, so let's all be sensible and put our ability to outspend each other to one side and think we all want to be in this for a long time. We can all make money out of it if we do it this way too.
His impressions of the car:
I got a good impression (of the car) at the beginning. Balance wise I think it's much better than last year. We need more downforce but we're working to get it as soon as possible. After these eight days of testing, it's not enough, but we did all our program - race simulations, so I'm set-up well.
The car looks reliable and that's the most important. I think McLaren is the best partner we could have. It's a world championship team so no worries there, I'm quite confident to have the best material.
Impressions for Melbourne:
It's difficult to say right now (where we are). The winter tests are always hard to get a real reading out of it as everyone is doing different programs - you never know who is running light fuel or heavy fuel. We did our program and I have a feeling where we will be. I hope we can beat a few teams already at the start of the season but I don't want to say too much. It’s a goal but perhaps not for the first race.
His impressions of the car:
The car is quite good mechanically. It's quite consistent. We need more downforce, but it will be interesting. We need to work on the aero and then we will see. We have a good package. The Mercedes engine is really strong, even the gearbox is really good, quick and reliable. We did a lot of laps, especially in the last test in Barcelona. It's good - I'm happy to work with them.
On working with Adrian:
The most important thing is to work together to go ahead with the team to improve the problems on the car. It's good to have a team-mate like Adrian who is quick and focused and concentrated. I need that otherwise if you don't have a good team-mate you lose your focus and I'm happy to work with him. It's not important to be quicker than him, it's important to have a good package and have a possibility to score points in most of the races.