Brazilian GP -
Friday Press Conference
October 22, 2004
Technical directors: Ross BRAWN (FERRARI),
Mike GASCOYNE (TOYOTA), Sam MICHAEL (BMW WILLIAMS F1), Pat
Guest questioner: James Allen (ITV)
Q: Obviously today has been dominated by the rule package
for Ď05/í06 - package two confirmed, no great surprise, but
confirmation of two race engines for next year, and 2.4
liter V8s from 2006. Just a reaction from each of you to
that please, starting with Mike.
Mike GASCOYNE: Well, I think first and foremost relief that
weíve actually got some regulations and from the chassis
side, pretty much what we expected obviously, and what weíve
been working to. So relief on that side. Toyota have always
supported the 2.4 liter V8 and the two race engine for next
year, so thatís not a problem for us. The only thing where
our stance is at odds to whatís happened is that Toyota
wanted freedom in the engine regulations and freedom to put
technology in the engines, which is one of the reasons that
Toyota came into Formula One. So weíre disappointed, but
overall itís pretty much what we expected and, as I say,
just a feeling of relief that we can get on with it and
design and finalize the design of the cars.
Pat SYMONDS: Very similar comments to Mike. The rules are
really exactly as we expected, there are no surprises in
that. We also have supported, in general, these changes,
certainly accept that something needed to be done on the
engine side to reduce performance. I think it was a good
thing, at the same time, to maybe look at a few costĖsaving
options and those have been incorporated so all in all, a
package that weíre quite happy with.
Sam MICHAEL: Same for us, nothing was really a surprise in
there because it was all basically formulated in the last
three or four TWG (Technical Working Group) meetings anyway.
I think everyoneís been working to the new bodywork and aero
regulations for next year, but as the guys have said, itís
very important to make sure itís on a bit paper that says
thatís whatís happening for next year. Same thing with the
tires, thereís no surprises there and also the engine, all
of that was nothing new to us so itís good for next year.
Ross BRAWN: I think in common with the other guys we
recognize that periodically you need to slow the cars down.
We all work very hard to make them as quick as we can but
then you start run out of space on the circuits, so itís
necessary, periodically, to slow the cars and I think they
are a sensible set of regulations to begin that process. I
think weíve got 2008 coming up which will be a blank sheet
of paper for Formula One. I think we need to really think
about what we want in Formula One from 2008 onwards. Thereís
no constraint of a Concorde Agreement at that stage, at
least not to the present understanding. I think vis-ŗ-vis
the technology of the engine. We were totally supportive, we
believe it will reduce costs, and I believe there has been
an imbalance in the regulations, the technical regulations
consists of 40 pages of which one page was about the
engines. The other 39 were about the car. That doesnít seem
sensible. The constraints we place on the car, I think we
are now starting to place some constraints on the engine,
but there will still be plenty of potential for people to
create discriminating technology between the cars and
Q: One set of tires for the weekend, does that mean more
testing, because presumably to evaluate a set of tires
thatís going to do three or four hundred kilometers youíve
actually got to do three or four hundred kilometers to
understand what theyíll do. So does that mean youíre going
to be out running a lot more often?
RB: I think there will be a lot more predictive techniques
developed to avoid that because I donít think itís practical
to be out testing every set of tires for three or four
hundred kilometers. I think the teams and tire suppliers
will develop techniques whereby after a short period you can
make an initial assessment and then when youíre down to the
Ė letís say Ė a short list of candidates you may well do
long runs on them, but I donít think it is necessary for us
to do that sort of mileage on every set of test tires.
Q: So much for Bridgestone, what about the Michelin
contingent? Do you share that view?
SM: I think itís the same. Itís pretty difficult to do much
more testing than we do at the moment. It will have to
involve either testing those compounds, or doing less long
runs on those compounds or using predictive techniques which
has just been mentioned.
Q. This morning in the team principals meeting three car
teams were mentioned again, running a third car was
mentioned again. Is this becoming closer to becoming a
reality and if so how will you approach that?
PS: I believe it is becoming closer to reality but like all
things, itís is a binary decision, it either happens or it
doesnít and you donít know until the last minute. It
shouldnít be underestimated, the difficulty of running a
third car. Of course, we have some experience of it from
operating under the Heathrow agreement last year. Itís
surprising how it ramps things up. It is pretty difficult to
co-ordinate and control two cars at times, and three cars is
that much more difficult. It involves quite a lot of expense
for us, the obvious ones of building the extra parts and
things but even the number of personnel you need at the
circuit, the number of people you need backing up at the
factory. Just simple things like modifications to trucks and
what have you, itís an expensive exercise and whatís perhaps
a little bit unfortunate is that the way things look at the
moment thereís a high possibility of running three cars in
2005 and perhaps a low possibility in 2006, so thereís an
awful lot of work there for one year.
MG: We obviously ran three cars today. When it is just one
day and you are not racing that car you can plan for it. It
still involves extra effort and extra expense. We have extra
people here to be able to do that and we would have to
increase that were we to do it so that we were racing that
car. So I donít think it should be underestimated. Like most
things in this business, itís do-able, we could do it, but
that doesnít necessarily mean to say that we would want to
do it under ideal circumstances.
Q: Sam, the CRB (Contract Recognition Board) obviously went
in BARís favor so youíre looking for a driver in 2005. Is it
a risk, do you think, to put Antonio Pizzonia alongside
Webber given their history and antipathy between them?
SM: I donít think thereís an issue at all, to be honest. The
main thing is, the first thing we consider when we look at a
race driver is, is he quick enough and Antonioís definitely
in that category. Heís obviously one of the candidates on
the list and someone who we will make a decision on in due
Q: Going back to the engines rules, you were saying that you
were in favor of two race engines and none of this is a
surprise but BMWÖ
SM: I didnít say I was in favor of them, I just said it
wasnít a surprise.
Q: But you did vote for two race engines in one of the TWG
meetings, didnít you?
Q: But BMW are saying that they are going to take some time
to consider this. Whatís your view on how angry they are
SM: It is something that is playing on and something that
Iím sure will be going on in the background and in due
course we will see what happens with it. Itís not something
that Iím really in a position to comment strongly on at the
Q: Can you give us a summing up of your 2004 season?
Obviously, given where you were last year, you were expected
to win the championship or at least challenge for the
championship this season. Why were you not able to and where
do you go from here?
SM: Well obviously, yeah, youíre right. We came off the end
of last year and we made a lot of poor decisions on the car,
particularly aero and mechanical decisions early on in the
design stage, and it took us all year to correct half of
those and thereís probably two or three things on the car
that we canít change until next year, but obviously itís
been a disappointing year, but at the end of the day it
doesnít mean you give up on this year or at least try and
correct things for 2005. So weíre busy putting as much
effort, like everyone else, into next year to try and return
to return to fighting at the front but yeah, it has been
disappointing but you keep moving on.
Q: And your analysis to todayís running? How are you
SM: Still a bit early to tell at the moment because
obviously on Friday you donít know what condition tires
people are running and what fuel loads they are running but
a fairly normal Friday. Weíll see what happens tomorrow.
Q: Mike, two different drivers finishing the season,
compared to the two that started. What does that say about
MG: Obviously weíve had a difficult and frustrating year. We
havenít had the results that we wanted at the start of the
year. I joined last December and I think our level of
performance didnít come as a great surprise to me. We knew
what we had to do to improve the team and a lot of that has
involved work back in Cologne in the factory, in the way
that we work there and thatís inevitably going to take time.
Itís a process Iíve done before and I have to say Iím very
comfortable with where we are. But we still have to do the
best we could this year and obviously we havenít had results
we wanted. In terms of drivers, certainly the last change,
with Jarno becoming available, given that he was going to be
a driver for us next year, wasnít something that we expected
and the ability to have him in the team is something that is
very useful to us. Obviously very direct feedback from some
of our competitors who are obviously much more competitive
than we are and thatís obviously very useful feedback. Itís
been a season of change for us and with the drivers thatís
reflected that, but we have to make the decisions to make
sure we get set up to be in the best position at the start
of next year because one thingís for sure, if this seasonís
been disappointing, next year canít be.
Q: Youíve had a year, as you say to get your feet under the
table, youíve got two top drivers for next year, when will
Toyota start to deliver, do you think?
MG: Well it has to start delivering from the start of next
year. Thereís absolutely no doubt about that and Iím very
confident weíre in a position to do that. You canít make the
step to the top in one step. Itís far too difficult to do
that, and the teams you are racing against are far too good
to allow that to happen but Iím very confident we will make
a significant step forward.
Q: What about todayís running? Jarno seemed to be pretty
consistent on the long runs. Are you reasonably happy with
where you are?
MG: Yeah, I think all the drivers did a good job today and
Jarno, in particular, has added a lot to the team and heís
very happy with the car. Obviously it was a difficult first
race for him in Suzuka with no running before race day but
he still did a good job and heís confident and happy with
the team and itís definitely lifted the whole team.
Q: Pat, youíve moved forward, at least, one place in the
World Championship, probably just the one place. Youíve won
a Grand Prix, youíve had pole, youíve had a few podiums and
yet thereís a slight feeling of disappointment about
Renaultís season. Do you look at it that way or are you
quite pleased with 2004?
PS: Iíll always be disappointed if we havenít won the
championship, thatís what we do it for. Itís right but there
seems to be a lot of perception that we havenít had a good
year but of course, we have. As you say, weíve won a race,
been on the podium, weíve moved up, not just one place in
the championship but actually a lot closer on points. It
hasnít been an unsuccessful season. I think within Renault
one of the things I like about our team is we are very
self-critical. We donít try and hide our feelings from the
public and the press. A lot of things havenít met our
expectations this year but that just makes us try harder. It
certainly hasnít been an unsuccessful year and I think any
team that finishes third in the championship, and letís
remember itís not quite over yet, should be proud of it.
Q: Your car number seven hasnít scored any points since
France, seven races ago. For team of your caliber, your
level, that canít be allowed to happen. In retrospect is
that a big error, allowing that to happen?
PS: We didnít allow it to happen, we certainly didnít intend
it to happen. There are several things this year and I
certainly would say it is a year of missed opportunities.
There were races - Canada, Indianapolis, Spa Ė races where
we could have had an extremely good result. In Canada, I
think we were really in with a shout of winning that one and
right up there in the other two. Reliability in a couple of
cases and an accident in one let us down. Yes, it is true
that one of the cars really hasnít had a very great second
half to the season. You say why do you let that happen; you
donít let that happen. You are trying as hard as you can to
get both cars up there all the time.
Q: Whatís your analysis of Jacques performance in his two
races so far. Obviously he was caught out by the
extraordinary circumstances in Suzuka, but over the two
races, whatís your analysis?
PS: Well, I think thatÖI guess I didnít know Jacques
particularly well before he came to drive for us. Iíd spoken
to him a few times and you may remember a few years ago he
was quite high on the list of possible Renault drivers, so
that time we were speaking quite a lot. Certainly the
perception, I think, largely through the press is that he is
very laid back and a little bit undisciplined and Iíve found
that to be completely untrue. The guy works very hard and I
always respect people who do work hard. It has been
difficult for him and the first tests that we did at
Silverstone, he was taking a while to get into things and it
sort of woke me up a little bit when he said well, OK,
thatís not a great time, but it is nearly two seconds
quicker than Iíve ever gone round here before. And when you
think that was only a year ago, thatís a measure of the
progress thatís been made. Some of the things I think heís
found quite hard. Physically he has found it hard because no
matter how much training you do, thereís nothing like
driving a racing car. He has had to get used to different
tire characteristics which I think heís probably now got
used to. We sent him down to Jerez last week to do a bit
more work with that and today we have seen a pretty good
performance from him. So itís been hard for him but I think
heís a guy with quite a lot of ability.
Q: Talking to your drivers throughout the season, the mantra
has been Ďitís a tricky car to drive.í Is making the í05 car
a less tricky car to drive a big priority for you?
PS: No, the big priority is to make it quicker. It is true
that our 2004 car is more difficult to drive than the 2003
car, but equally itís quicker and if I went to Fernando and
said Ďwhat do you want, an easy car to drive or a quick
car?í I think I would know the answer.
Q: Ross, I believe you ran a 2005 car spec car recently,
what was the feedback from the drivers and what did you
learn from it?
RB: It is not strictly a 2005 car, itís a car which we have
modified to achieve the performance levels which we think we
will have in 2005. It wouldnít comply to the 2005
regulations but itís a sort of muletto of bits and pieces
that put it at the performance level. I think we got exactly
what you expect when you reduce the downforce by 15-20
percent: less grip, more tricky to drive initially, so for
the first day, the drivers were finding it a little bit of a
handful but once they readjusted their reference point, then
it was fine. The reason for doing it is to have some
meaningful development on tires and engine management and
things like that. Itís been very useful in that respect. I
think the tires are at a very early stage. We donít have a
tire yet which can do a complete race. It would be pointless
to try and develop a one race tire with the car we have now.
We need to develop a one race tire with the car we think we
will have next year.
Q: You said your car has 15 percent less downforce. What
sort of amount lost would you be happy with by the time you
get to Melbourne? How much of that do you expect to have
clawed back, percentage wise?
RB: Well thatís where we would hope to be. When we put a
2005 package on the wind tunnel model we lost nearly 30
percent. Weíre gradually getting that back. We would be
pleased if we get to 15 percent less than where we are now.
Q: Can I just ask you the rest of you if thatís the target
PS: Well I think if Rossí target is 15 percent we will go
SM: Yeah, weíre the same. We lost almost exactly the same.
How much we get back is the big question. Itís obviously a
long way away, but then so is Melbourne, but at the moment,
because of the changes to the bodywork, particularly the
diffusers, there are fundamental restrictions on how much
expansion you can get, so no matter how much you work away
with it, it will be never be anywhere near what you had
MG: If Rossís if 15 and Patís ten, Iíve got to go for zero.
Obviously weíre all doing the work and pushing very hard. It
a very key area, itís an area where we have been doing a lot
of development because itís where Toyota have been behind
and so itís the key area of development on the chassis for
Q: Back to Ross again, youíve ticked just about every box
there is to be ticked this year. Rubens said yesterday he
doesnít expect any presents in going out to try and win his
home Grand Prix but it would complete the picture for a
totally dominant 2004. How are you going to do it, whatís
going to happen?
RB: There is obviously a lot of people trying to stop us
doing it, so I think itís going to be a challenging weekend.
We are very pleased with the car and tire performance today.
We started the session a little bit out of shape, the car
was a bit tricky to begin with but the engineers and drivers
dialed it in pretty quickly and when track cleaned up a bit
the whole thing was working well and we had some very
encouraging runs in the second session with fuel and race
tires. But it looks like Rubens and Michael are going to be
very close this weekend. Rubens is very determined to
correct his record in Brazil, it would be fantastic if you
could. But Michaelís determined to stop him and I would be
disappointed if he wasnít. There is no team orders and they
are free to race so itís going to be a fascinating weekend.
Q: You mentioned team orders, when the championshipís still
open, I think Iíve right in saying your policy is to let
them race up until the final pit stops and then to hold
stage. As itís the last race and the championship is already
wrapped up, are they racing to the flag on Sunday?
RB: Well, the only reason we apply any management is to
preserve the cars. We have a good finishing record and that
doesnít come by accident. We donít want the drivers abusing
the cars any more than they have to. It is important that
they finish the race, so I donít think we will change our
policy because itís the last race. But they are free to race
and thereís plenty of potential.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Heinz Pruller - ORF) Gentlemen, Iím sure thereís a lot
more behind the new tire rule. What about the pit stops,
obviously you donít have pit stops for tire changes now?
Will you have bigger tanks, will you have less pit stops
because you donít have to change tires? And, what happens if
you have a puncture or a slow puncture? Who will decide if
you can allow to change this tire? I think there are a lot
of loopholes in this regulation, can I have your comments?
RB: I think the fuel situation wonít change dramatically
because of the need to qualify with race fuel. I think if we
fill the cars up too much qualifying is going to be
difficult. Weíve seen lots of times when if you get some
free space at the beginning of the race you can use it. I
donít think the fuel tanks are particularly going to get
much bigger. I donít think the strategies are going to
dramatically change. There may be times when we would have
done a three stop because of the tire situation and it will
now evolve to a two-stop. I would be surprised if we see
many one stops, even with these regulations but it depends
how the situation develops. If you run high fuel load you
just stress the tires more, so weíve got to look after the
tires for the whole race. In terms of puncture, I believe
there is some detail to sort out, itís true, because we want
this set of regulations where we all clearly understand how
we can operate. One suggestion, with the puncture scenario
is that you can change the tire but you have to use a tire
which is at least used, one of the tires that you have
already used in practice rather than put on a new set. But I
believe that now the rules are clear there is a need to sit
down with the FIA and debate the best way forward to apply
these detailed points.
PS: I agree with what Ross has said. Tire degradation will
obviously be lower, there will be less stops but it is not
going to be one stop racing. It is, perhaps, a slight
over-generalization to say there will be one less stop than
thereís been this year, although that will be the case in a
lot of places. I think the replacement of tires is a tricky
thing but what the FIA have essentially done at the moment
is laid out the principal and itís up to us to sort out the
detail. But I think the FIA are rather good at looking at
systematic abuses of the rules. I think that if you saw a
team who were continually stopping with punctures or flat
spots or whatever, I think it would be looked at quite
MG: Obviously there is an issue with punctures and damaged
tires which weíve seen this year and if it happens twice,
what are you going to do if youíve only got two sets of
tires. We need to address it.
Q: (Dan Knutson Ė National Speedsport News) Sam, Ralf is
leaving the team after six years. Whatís it been like to
work with Ralf in the team? I know you also work with him at
SM: Obviously he has brought a lot of years to Williams. He
is obviously a very talented driver. Heís very good
analytically, working with engineers and going through data.
Heís extremely good at understanding tires and set-up, so he
has obviously contributed quite strongly. During the last
half of this season, he hasnít doneÖ or a third of the
season, you could say, because of his accident, but he also
came back strongly after that and I wish him all the best at
Toyota. Iím sure he will do a good job there and be a really
big benefit to them on their climb to the top.
Q. (Alan Baldwin Ė Reuters) Sam, Juan is also leaving. Is
there one area in which Ralf and Juan stand out in the team,
and one area in which you would like them to be remembered
in their time with you?
SM: Juan is obviously as positive as Ralf. Juanís a very
talented driver and everyone can see he has got a fantastic
racing and overtaking ability. They compliment each other
very well. Although you see from the outside a lot of things
in the press about them fighting and not liking each other,
internally they actually work very well together and when
they turn up for an engineering debrief there is no funny
business going on. Theyíve both got a common goal, theyíre
both smart enough to realize that if they work together on
the car, the car will go faster. It has been a reasonably
good partnership and so I wish them both the best.
Q: (Dominic Fugere Ė Journal de Montreal) Pat, bringing in
Jacques Villeneuve for three races was a big gamble for him
and a big gamble for the team. Could you tell me a little
bit about your assessment of the results that this has
PS: Yeah, youíre right. Gamble is perhaps not the word I
would use. I think risk is a similar but slightly different
word. The reason I say that is because you can assess risks
much more than you can assess gambling. We had got to a
point, as has been pointed out earlier, where were not
scoring points with one car and things were really going
from bad to worse. Iím not blaming anyone for that. I wish I
could understand and analyze it, but I think for an engineer
it is sometimes quite difficult to understand the human side
of things. Jarno is a great guy, he really is one of the
most pleasant people in racing today. Heís done some
fantastic things for us, but for one reason or another it
wasnít working. And therefore, if you do a risk analysis on
a situation like that, and you say Ďactually is it going to
get any better?í and if you believe it isnít, then youíre on
a Ďwe might win, weíve got nothing to loseí situation.
Looking around at who we could put in the car, it was a
really quite a close call between Franck (Montagny) our test
driver, and Jacques. Franck has really done a great job for
us testing and particularly recently heís really got to
grips with the car. Iím sure he would have done a great job
as well. Jacques, I think we probably underestimated just
how difficult it was to put someone in at such short notice,
but, as I said earlier, I have an awful lot of respect for
him, just for his sheer work ethic. He really has worked at
it. Circumstances have conspired against him a little bit.
Certainly I think you have to say that in Japan, a circuit
where he has been very good, but we didnít get his set-up
right, very largely because we donít know him that well. It
takes a while to build up a rapport between the engineers
and the driver, but I think weíve already seen this morning
that heís doing a good job here this weekend and I think he
will have a strong race and I think heísÖ I was going to say
he has a bright future in front of him, but of course heís
proved an awful lot already, but I think heís still there.
Q: (Niki Takeda) Question for all of you. Is there a
situation this year you would have done differently?
SM: For me that one is easy - Montreal.
MG: I think from our point of view Ricardo blowing up at Spa
with two laps to go. If we hadnít done that it would have
PS: I think in our case funnily enough also Montreal. I
think a race where we did have a great opportunity. I
mentioned them earlier Indianapolis and Spa. But you donít
get second chances in this game.
RB: Fortunately very few. But Spa was a little bit
disappointing because the safety car sequence made it quite
difficult, but I guess Monaco was the biggest
disappointment. I think from a situation where we were not
as competitive as we wanted to be, we suddenly had an
opportunity to maybe at least challenge for the race and it
was taken away from us by a silly incident. That is probably
the most frustration race for us.
Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters) Ross, I know the new car is the
best ever and each season you try and make it the best
season you have ever had. But can you realistically do
better than this season?
RB: Yeah, each season is different. I must say after 2002,
it was dream season and I didnít imagine we could repeat
that but this year has been just as good. Each season is
shaped by your own efforts and the efforts of the other
teams and all we can do is work hard and try to produce the
best car we can and see what the opposition is like. It is
hard to imagine any season to be better than the one we have
had. But I think we just put them in different categories:
2003 was rewarding in the end because we won the
championship under very difficult circumstances and we
showed we can fight very hard when we have to. This season
has been rewarding because of the performance of the team
and car in different circumstance. Any year you win the
championship is a fantastic season and we donít forget that.
Q: (Peter Windsor Ė F1 Racing) Ross, the new tire proposals
might mean that a three-stopper might come down to a
two-stopper. How does that sit with the FIAís decision
earlier this year to increase the speed limit to try to
encourage more to do three-stop races rather than two-stop
races? Where are we at, in fact, in terms of what Formula
One thinks of pit-stops? It is a bit confusing. Is there an
argument to not have pit-stops at all and have non-stop
RB: I think as always there is lots of good arguments and
lots of good counter arguments. I think one of reasons that
perhaps we moved away from one stop was the fuel loads. I
know we have not had any fires for a very long time, but the
cars are extremely heavy with that fuel load and if we do
have any accident it could be worse. There are very fine
points for debate. Whether Formula One is better with
pit-stops and what shape those pit-stops should take is
really a difficult question. What I think has got to be
interesting with the one tire race is the driverís need for
sure to look after the tires through the whole race. Iíve
said it before but Prost was a master of conserving the
tires and using when they were most effective and I think we
will have that sort of scenario next year. You will have to
look after the tires at the correct stages of the race and
use them at key parts of the race and it will bring another
dimension to the driversí ability. At the moment there is a
lot of races where the driver can drive 100 percent the
whole session, which is good in itself, but I think we get
overtaken when there is a disparity in performance between
cars and I think the one tire per race rule will create
situations where there is disparity in performance between
Q: (Heinz Pruller) Gentlemen I have asked about the low
points of the season. I would not like to ask about the high
points of the season and the most strange and extraordinary
thing, the secret or funny story.
RB: I think the high point for us was obviously Melbourne
when we saw how competitive we were because over the
winterÖthe winter Grand Prix means very little. I think
Bridgestone had diligently putting their program together
with compounds, constructions and tire shapes, but we hadnít
really run the definitive 2004 tire until quite late in the
program. There were times testing at some of the tracks
where we looked to be behind in performance. But with the
new car and the final version of the car we went to
Melbourne and that is where everything becomes clear. That
was the high point of the season for me. We had some great
races as well. The craziest thing for me was to crash behind
the safety car in Monaco. It is unheard of.
SM: Probably Suzuka, the last race funnily enough because we
put a lot of effort in to improve this car and work on next
yearís car as well. There were points before Suzuka where we
thought we should be competitive, Spa, for example, we had a
good race and end up with a gearbox on one car and gearbox
failure on the other. But Suzuka obviously we managed to get
some good points and the car was strong.
PS: Well, obviously the high point was Monaco, winning that
one. Low points, some of our retirements when in competitive
position and strangely enough, and I hadnít thought of this
one before, I guess one of the low points was realizing how
much quicker Ferrari were than the opposition.
MG: I think compared to Ross it is a pretty unfair question.
I think we havenít had many high points unfortunately. There
is always things you enjoy throughout a season, but not many
high points. We just have to look forward to next year.
Q: (Alberto Antonini) We hear that your team is being
involved in arbitration about the í06 engine rule. Does that
mean it will hold up any real development on the V8 as the
arbitration goes on. And is there any deadline?
SM: I think it is something that is between the teams that
are represented by BMW, Mercedes and Honda. At the moment it
is something that is going on, but I donít know the full
details, Iím not directly involved. Until I know the full
details it is not much I can comment on to be honest. Itís
not a matter of being secretive, Iím not involved in the
coalface of that decision.
Q: (Byron Young Ė Daily Mirror) What are the cost
implications of the new regulations?
RB: I think for us there is potential for cost saving on the
engine. I understand to some degree the reluctance to follow
the compliance to change the 2.4 V8. Our view is that there
will be a few less engines produced, fewer components, which
may not sound a lot but it is fewer components. In my
experience over the last few years engine manufacturers have
built new engines every year. We certainly build new engines
every year and the architecture of those engines have often
been quite different. I think going to a new 2.4 V8 is not a
big change, there is nothing dramatic to it and I think the
constraints to that engine in terms of geometry and material
Ė it will fundamentally be a cheaper engine. You may say
that a team like Ferrari spend what they get, which is true
Ė we make good of the funding that is released into other
projects, but it is very important for teams like Sauber and
other teams that have to buy their engines to provide a
reasonable cost base. Those teams will see the significant
difference in their engine bill in the future. That is
partly the reason why we supported it. Ferrari will spend
the budget it can generate from its partners and its
sponsors. The car point of view it is no different, and from
the tire point of view there is a small saving from the
consumption of time.
SM: I think particularly on the aerodynamic side there is no
real difference if you make your new parts any way. You are
still going to spend the same amount of wind tunnel time and
analysis time even if you are doing a completely new car
with a similar design. The only thing would be potentially
the smaller teams, if they wanted to carry parts over which
they now canít such as front wings, diffusers or the whole
car for that matter. For Williams it doesnít affect our cost
at all the aero change. The tire change is the same as what
Ross just said. The only thing really is that there are a
lot of quantities on the race weekend. I think the
quantities on testing will remain pretty similar, maybe a
small reduction but nothing more than five percent, 10
percent, something like that.
PS: It wonít alter our spend one iota. There will be
redistribution of course because the actual manufacturing
costs of the V8 engine will be slightly lower. I think that
a teamís job is to generate income and then spend that
income wisely. And we will redistribute it a little bit. The
rules wonít save money for the teams represented here - it
is much more for some of the other teams. It will have an
affect on them. But maybe in the long-term it will help us.
For example if we end up supplying an engine to a second
team and they carry out some of the track development it
might have some affect on us then.
MG: Really mirroring the other guysí comments. All the teams
here are well funded and it wonít change what we spend. I
think from Toyotaís point of view we have always said we
support a two-race engine and it will help the smaller teams
and it will allow them to have a reduced budget. We as a
team said we would look to supply or could supply in the
future and that is something we could now consider. I think
from a personal point of view if we want to reduce costs and
help smaller teams, Iím disappointed we have not been able
to agree to reduce testing because to my mind one of the
easiest ways to reduce the cost of a Formula One car is to
not run it. So if you reduce testing you donít have to build
engines and you donít have to physically run it and that is
something we have to look at to agree in the future.
Q: (Dominic Fugere Ė Journal de Montreal) With the two-race
engines, by my calculations, it will cut in half the race
costs. Would there be the possibility of generating income
by furnishing smaller teams with Renault engines or Toyota
engines as Ferrari are doing right now?
PS: I think one of the things that you have to appreciate,
your math is certainly not wrong but a little simplistic.
The number of engines we produce over the year, a relatively
small percentage of them go into the race. A lot are used in
testing and on the dyno as well. Yes it helps but we are not
cutting our engine bill in half or anywhere near that.
Q: Would you consider supplying another team?
PS: Yeah, I think there is merit in running your engines in
a second team. There is certain constraints as well. You
want to be associated with a front running team, I think
there is certain standard a team would have to meet if they
want Renault or Ferrari or Toyota or whatever engines. It
does make it easier. It doesnít turn the switch and suddenly
make it the thing to do but it is a step in the right
Q: (Byron Young) Weíve seen a lot of teams come and go over
the years, but is there any extra sadness to see a name like
Jaguar go, especially when they connected to a giant car
company like Ford?
RB: I worked for Jaguar in the late 80ís early 90ís on their
sportscar program and I think there is a strong heritage
Jaguar has with sportscars. They had a lot of tradition at
Le Mans and perhaps that is where they were at their
strongest. I donít think Jaguar and Formula One really
worked. It is a shame to see them go. If I put my other hat
on as a BritÖwhat could have been a very strong national
team doing well. Iíve seen the spirit Ferrari creates in
Italy and it is fantastic and if that had been created by
Jaguar in Britain it would have been quite an achievement.
So it is bad to see them go. But I donít think they have
been able to make a success of their Formula One program for
MG: It is obviously sad for any team and it is obviously sad
for all the guys that have put a great effort in. You look
at great names that have disappeared from Formula One like
Lotus, Tyrrell and Brabham and youíd have said how will
Formula One survive and it has. It is just a fact of life.
It is always a great shame especially for the workforce who
have put a lot of work in.
Q: (Heinz Pruller) Can you tell me how many engines you
build a year? Is it around 100?
RB: It is a little bit more but of course we are also
supplying Peter with his engines. Before the one race engine
rule we were producing about 150 but it is reduced now. We
obviously predict to build less next year. Those numbers a
lot of the top teams are looking at. A lot of those engines
arenít full cost engines, they are made up of bits that have
been used. They are not necessarily 100 or 150 brand new
engines. There are a lot of engines we put together from
bits and pieces for testing or development.
SM: We use a similar number, around the 100 mark. There are
quite a lot of engines that donít see the test track. They
spend their life on the dyno.
PS: I think we are at a similar number. I donít know the
exact number that we have produced this year but it would be
around that sort of level. As I alluded to earlier a lot of
them just go on the dyno, they are just development engines.
Q: (Byron Young) If we have three car teams next year does
it make any difference to the way the races are run if that
third car does or doesnít score points?
SM: First of all on the cost of third car, we put it at any
where between five and six million sterling to actually run
a third car. Mike said before they bring mechanics for the
third car on Friday, we donít at the moment. To keep all
those people working over the weekend and run the car on
Sunday Ė even during the race with two cars now and judge
your pit-stops and make sure the cars are not overlapping in
the pits and making sure you have the most competitive stop
lap for each car and concentrate on those, it is a really
difficult job on a Sunday afternoon. If you add a third car
to that youíve got to consider a third fuel rig and then
when you get into the situation of whether it scores points
or not. If you look at it from a puristís point of view I
think it has to. Then if it does score points you have the
question are you running the third car for the whole year or
if there is only nine teams does each team run a third car
for four races or something like that. The problem is if you
are not scoring points you are consuming mileage on that car
and it is costing quite a bit to run that car. If you have a
fast car that runs at the front and you canít score points
does that mean heíll block cars that can score points. It
gets quite complicated. The simplest way would be to allow
all the teams to run three cars all year. If you have nine
teams on the grid thatís potentially 27 cars in the race. I
think it has been up at those numbers quite a bit of time
ago. But there is a few issues to be resolved before we jump
into it. Another thing that adds to the cost is race drivers
because it is not like you will be thinking weíll just stick
a young kid in there and heíll be okay because its not that
important. If youíve got three cars scoring points that
third drivers is as important as your first race driver so
that basically means you have three prime drivers in your
team. It is doable but it is not a five-minute decision.
RB: I understand what Sam is saying. It is difficult if it
scores points for lots of reasons. It makes it compulsory to
run a third car and we go from a scenario where probably
none of us wants to run a third car to all of us wanting to
run a third car in a full-blown format. But I agree it makes
it difficult in the race if you have cars that can score
points and cars that canít score points. Whether there is a
system that could be evolved to allow each team an equal
share of a third car, because there are teams that canít
fund a third car. If you look at the scenario for someone
like Peter Sauber to run a third car, next engine bill, all
the consumables that go with it. He doesnít have the
resources to run a third car. It would be unfair on him if
teams who were able to run a third car were away scoring
points and he canít do that. There is a lot things to sort
out if we get into the third car scenario.
PS: Our analysis shows the costs to be slightly higher than
Sam has mentioned. So it is not something we are taking
lightly. In terms of scoring points I believe that some
while ago when this was discussed was that the third car
wouldnít score points but equally no-one else would take
those points. If a car finished third then no points would
be awarded for third place. I think from the manufacturersí
championship that is probably the right way to do it, but
from the driversí championship I actually think they should
score points because the public follow the driversí
championship a lot more than the constructorsí and if they
watch a couple of race where driver X has had some good
results and he is still not showing in the championship
table it wonít look right. I think the best thing is for the
car to not score and the driver to score points.
MG: The guys have raised all the points. It is a complex
situation but it needs someone to sit down and figure out a
solution to it, but it is not straightforward.
Q; (James Allen) Surely another problem is that the small
teams would never score any points?
SM: Youíd have to change that wouldnít you.
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