|From left, Claire Williams, Toto Wolff, Mattia Binotto, Zak Brown and Cyril Abiteboul|
Claire WILLIAMS (Williams)
Toto WOLFF (Mercedes)
Mattia BINOTTO (Ferrari)
Zak BROWN (McLaren)
Cyril ABITEBOUL (Renault)
Q: Mattia, I’d like to take you back to the last race to start with. You’ve no doubt studied the footage of the crash between your two drivers. What’s your verdict?
Mattia Binotto: Hmm… what’s the verdict? I think there may be different versions. If you listen to the drivers, they may have their own version. I think at the end there is one true version, which is that they damaged the interest of the Scuderia Ferrari, and by doing that, damaging themselves. We discussed altogether, we looked again at the video. I think what’s always important when that type of thing happens, there is always something which is triggering it. And more important is to understand what’s triggering it. It's the only way to make sure that in the future it’s not happening again. And that’s something that certainly we discussed – between us.
Q: Charles spoke yesterday, when he was summing up 2019, saying it’s been a weird season. How would you describe it?
MB: Should I clarify what he said? I don’t know. Weird… I would say it has been an intense season. Many things happened. If I look from the team perspective or the technical point of view, I think it has been a linear season, somehow. If anything’s weird, I think it’s we were expecting a better performance after the winter testing, and I think that we never really understood what happened from Barcelona to Australia. If anything, those guys certainly made a jump ahead. I think that from our perspective, then we had performance weaknesses in the car that we improved all through the season, as I said, in a linear way – and I think the car in the second half of the season was certainly better, compared to the first part. We are still not the best car in the race. I think that other cars are still faster in the race. We are not certainly the best car in cornering and at least we know our weaknesses, working on it and from that respect it has been a bit linear. Weird, I think, from Charles’ perspective, very first year for him in Ferrari, a lot of emotions, a lot of things, he is the driver that has started most of the time on pole position this season, which is a great achievement. Two victories. Up and down, as well in his performance relative to his team-mate, not always so consistent, if you look from the start to the end. But I think it has been a season where an entire team, the drivers, we learnt and I’m pretty sure it will make us even stronger in the future.
Q: Toto, you miss a race, look what happens! How difficult was it to watch events at Interlagos from afar, and how did you stay in touch with what was going on?
Toto Wolff: Yeah, it was weird, because it was the first race that I missed since Williams times – Barcelona 2012. I did it because there’s just so much business going on at the moment and I had a Formula E weekend the following weekend and obviously Abu Dhabi and things needed to be done. Normal office work. It was also for me an experiment to see how I would take it. I know the team is perfectly capable in doing that without me. There were voices that it would actually be beneficial for me not distracting anybody around the racetrack. So, what happened, would have happened with me there. I was hoping that it would be a perfect weekend and that I could miss some of the bad ones next year – but at the moment I am off that plan.