Thursday German GP Press
Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota), John Howett
(Toyota) and Norbert Haug (Mercedes)
July 22, 2005
Thursday's FIA press conference with Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren), Ralf
Schumacher (Toyota), John Howett (Toyota) and Norbert Haug
For both the manufacturer representatives,
what are your feelings about V8s versus V10s? There was a piece in
Autosport magazine this week that suggested the V8s might be less
competitive than the V10s and so the V10s might be better to have.
What are your feelings on that? Does the V10 have a future as
far as you are concerned?
John HOWETT: It is too early to say
what the end result will be because the equivalence ratio between the
2.4-litre V8 and the 3-litre V10 is not defined. I mean, clearly, if
you just equate the power there is a strong probability that a V10,
with a mid-range torque, would be a better option. From our
perspective, the spirit of the regulation is that the engine to be
used is a 2.4-litre V8 and therefore, for the next two to three
years, our full effort is in developing that engine.
HAUG: As John pointed out, it depends on the limit you put on the
V10. As I understand the rules, the V10 should be as much handicapped
so it is inferior to V8. That is the current situation but it depends
on the revs or air restrictor or whatever is the plan. Basically you
can are going to have an advantage with a V10 in terms of weight,
fuel consumption, power, whatever, drivability, but my
understanding, our common understanding, by the way, of all
manufacturers, is that the V10 will be handicapped in the right
manner so that it is not superior to the V8.
Does the V10
have a future in your plans?
NH: Currently not, no.
Again, to both of you, Michelin said yesterday that they would like
to see a more even spread with Bridgestone, more Bridgestone runners
rather than seven or eight Michelin runners and two Bridgestone
runners. What are your feelings about that?
NH: I think that
depends. The current rule says that as long as you are asked to
supply tires, and it depends. In my view, I am very open. I would
have nothing against five teams choosing Bridgestone and five teams
JH: I think a similar position. Obviously,
the burden for Michelin is quite high and as we have two competing
tire brands you probably need a balance of teams with the tire brand
to help the tire companies. Given the current structure of tire
supply it is probably a very reasonable position from Michelin. But
who would be persuaded to leave them with the current competitive
position of their tire is difficult to understand.
quite some while ago we were told there was a possibility there would
be an announcement about Jordanís engine supply. Why hasnít anything
happened and have you had overtures from another company?
The position of Toyota is that we are committed to supply Jordan. I
am not sure there is a rush to make an announcement from our side. We
are still finalizing contractual details and to some extent the ball
is in Jordanís court, but I can confirm that our intention is to
supply Jordan with engines next year. We have had an approach, it is
clear, from Williams, to our corporate headquarters in Japan, which
has been referred back to us and there is some informal discussion
moving forward. But I think we have no intentional capability to
supply next year. It is dangerous to say never but I think it is
fundamentally too late now to actually establish the production
volumes we need to supply that kind of demand.
obviously some problems at the last couple of races. Have you solved
those problems? Was it the same problem at both races?
different problems in France and Silverstone and we never have had
these problems before. We communicated the issues already but I am
happy to repeat it, it was a bearing in the engine in Magny-Cours and
it was a shaft connecting the oil pump and water pump in Silverstone.
We changed it, we checked it, we did a lot of testing since, we did
some very good testing in Jerez, I am sure Juan Pablo can go into
details because he was driving. We had one engine failure there, we
had two other engines as stated in our press release already and they
did more than 1,200km, more than 1,400km, we put the engine that did
more than 1,200km on the dyno and put an additional 500km on this
engine and really put a lot of stress on that engine, which we did
over the whole course of the year during testing and dyno running and
everything was fine.
I pointed out earlier that none of us is
in a position to say it never can happen. We are all on the limit, we
are all revving very high, I think the power is higher than we saw
last year, so everything is very close to the limit or at the limit.
Having said that our reliability was very good so far and I am quite
happy that the failures occurred during practice and not during in
the race because, in a way, we repaired it and got a second and third
place out of it, which wasnít too bad a result, but obviously we all
have to be concerned, if they are serious, it is a tough formula but
we did everything we possibly could have done to be in the best
We are told that we are going to get a
document from what was the GPWC this weekend, is that the case? When
can we expect it?
NH: I am not sure whether it is going to
happen this weekend. We will have some meetings and then we will
discuss and decide but I donít think that we will have one this
Juan Pablo, we just mentioned the testing last
week, how did it go?
JPM: It went pretty good. We did plenty
of running. The first day we didnít do too much running Ė I had a
couple of problems in the car but I think we made a lot of progress
with the car. We tried a couple of new things and it seems to have
made some progress. We were strong in the last race; we should be
very strong here.
Obviously the win at Silverstone was
extremely good; how has it affected you?
JPM: I think it is
just a bit of a relief. It was nice to get a win for McLaren and itís
nice to win at Silverstone. When youíre running for a British team it
is a race you want to win because I race for the team, and coming
here for Hockenheim, I won two years ago so it would be nice to get a
win here for Mercedes. I think the car is capable of doing that and
hopefully we can show our true potential here again.
thereís meant to be a driversí meeting with Max Mosley. I believe
youíre not going that meeting. Can you tell why?
JPM: I am
going to Colombia. Iím not around and in a way I was a bit shocked
that we couldnít have done the meeting any day - Friday or Thursday Ė
after the driversí meeting and they decided to do it in Cannes for
some reason or Nice or whatever.
But you donít disagree
JPM: No, I think it is good. We are doing it to improve
the safety things and everything, but I am flying at 10 oíclock to
Ralf, I believe you are going to be
meeting, can you understand why people arenít going to the meeting?
Ralf SCHUMACHER: Every driver has his own reasons. Itís
pretty clear that Juan Pablo would love to go home and have a break
and in his case I would take the opportunity. For me, it doesnít
matter to fly down there and to make sure, since we are a group of
drivers so it doesnít need all of us to be down there. You donít need
20 people down there thatís pretty clear. We have agreed amongst us
what we want and what we have agreed what we should talk about and
that should be fine even if there are just five or six of us so it
doesnít really matter.
What are the principal arguments,
simply safety at testing?
RS: Basically safety in general and
safety at testing, and just have a chat about what will happen in the
future but obviously this isnít the right place to talk about
In terms of your own performance, a test last week,
how did that go?
RS: It was okay. We did a lot of laps in
three days. It was particularly hot. On the last day it was around 45
or 47 degrees, so it was a bit warmer than we usually expect in
Europe. But it was a good test for all of us. I think most of the
teams were there so it was quite a good benchmark to see where we
were. We went through some stuff which we had to do, especially for
me because I couldnít test in the last few tests due to various
reasons. It was quite good to be back in the car.
performance point of view, were you encouraged, given that there is
now no testing for about a month?
RS: Encouraged? Why? It is
only nice that we have a break, thatís all. Otherwise you always have
things to do and things to test so if there was a chance we would go
But from a performance point of view
are you encouraged, because what has been happening is that the car
seems to go backwards in the race. Jarno qualifies very well but the
RS: If you at the times at the beginning
of the last race and then at the times towards the end, I was quicker
than even Jenson Button. The car improved during the race, we just
couldnít for various reasons, couldnít manage the beginning of the
race. Itís not the case. Jarno is a very good qualifier, letís just
say that maybe he gets a little bit more out of the car than itís
able to. Itís natural that some cars are just stronger. For example,
Kimi coming to the front and stuff like that so you can never be sure
about that. But I think in general, from where we came last year and
what we have done so far this year it is pretty good. Obviously, as
you said, there are things which we would like to test so it is not
really positive for us to have a test break.
PrŁller Ė ORF TV) Norbert, Patrick Head told me recently that apart
from BMW, heís talking to a German company for engines. Could it be
NH: He didnít speak to me and I should know it. Obviously
I would be happy to discuss but I donít there is a conversation going
on on that subject.
(Heinz PrŁller Ė ORF TV) Ralf, you are
a big fan of Harry Potter books; do you have the new one yet?
RS: No, I havenít seen it yet.
(Dusko Dragic -
Ekipa) It was said that the drivers should have met with Max Mosley
concerning track safety in testing. So whatís wrong with testing; do
fans jump over the fence or is there another reason?
what we have as a safety standard at race tracks is not what we have
at tests. And we do more laps at tests than we ever do at a race
meeting, so there are things that have to be addressed just to make
sureÖat tests there is the same danger of having a severe accident
now, to have the same medical supply and everything.
Constanduros) What are the specific things, is it helicopter
coverage, medical facilities?
RS: I said before. Basically we
want a similar supply like here. That should be enough for moment and
the rest we do internally.
(Dan Knutson Ė National
Speedsport News) We have now had more than half the season of you
guys racing on one set of tires and low aerodynamics. I know itís the
same for everybody, but do you think it was it the way to go?
JPM: It depends on what point of view you look at it. We
still go through loads of tires and still do loads of miles in
testing. I donít think itís changed that much. It seems that from a
driverís point of view it is harder to follow people this year than
it was last year, to try to pass them but itís the same for
RS: Well, I think the main reason for it is try to
slow Formula One down to make it safer by being simply slower.
Whether that is the right approach I am not so sure. But at the end
of the day you have to come up with ideas soÖI didnít have a better
one and I still donít so Iím not criticizing it. We didnít have a
problem apart from the obvious one problem we had a few races ago but
as Juan said, testing hasnít been less, it was just an approach to
try and slow Formula One down.
(Dan Knutson Ė National
Speedsport News) Could I ask the two team guys the same, but
regarding the two race per engine rule?
NH: I think my point
is very clear. Itís the same for everybody but I would have preferred
one engine per race and I think there are quite good ideas in place
to put some mileage on the engines during testing for example and to
find some rules there which is possible. But obviously we accept the
current rules. Personally I would have preferred to have a new engine
at the next race and that situation hasnít changed. Having said that,
we accept what we have.
JH: From our side, it depends on the
perspective. Clearly with our two-race engine we couldnít supply a
second team because we have a fixed production capacity within TMG in
Germany to manufacture engines, so as a consequence of a two-race
engine we can supply Jordan. I think our costs have certainly
dropped. We have shifted some costs because we have to do much longer
dyno runs to homologate the parts and be confident and longer runs at
the track, but overall I can say we have saved costs and we have a
capacity to supply a second team. And I donít really think the racing
has been compromised that much, but I can sympathize with Norbertís
perspective and sometimes the fan perspective of being a little bit
confused by what is happening.
(Heinz PrŁller Ė ORF TV)
Juan Pablo, when you go home to Colombia next month are there any new
ideas or visions about the Grand Prix of Colombia, a new race track
JPM; Not that I am aware of.
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