TEAM PRINCIPALS: Eric BOULLIER (Renault), Norbert HAUG (Mercedes), Christian HORNER (Red Bull), Martin WHITMARSH (McLaren)
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
Q. A question to you all. What lessons were learnt after Turkey two weeks ago? Can drivers' problems be expected? Are they the sort of things that are regularly going to happen? Are there any ways of avoiding them? Eric, you are a newcomer to this would you like to start?
Eric BOULLIER: I think you should better start in the front row as they have a lot to say I guess about the drivers. I think for us it was pretty good. We had a good race from both drivers and nothing very much to say. We had the best weekend actually we have had this season in terms of pace.
Q. In terms of driver management though from what you saw in other teams was there something you might have changed?
EB: I think they managed the situation quite well. I think even if it was a very tricky one.
Q. Norbert, you were quoted as saying that it was a bit of a 'disaster'. What are your feelings about it?
Norbert HAUG: I think things like that can really happen. I know that from the past, probably not quite to that extent, but a big drama was made about it, but the reality was it was a bit of a misunderstanding. It can happen to us, that's the reality. But of course if you are fighting for first and second place this is not what you want, probably not so problematic if you are seventh or eighth but first and second of course. Our McLaren Mercedes friends gave it a go afterwards, so it was really thrilling. But I can understand the situation at the top. At that speed it happens very quickly.
Martin WHITMARSH: I don't think we learnt anything new from it. If you go back, and the historians are better than me, I think Indianapolis 2005 Norbert and I were working together and our drivers conspired to take each other out at the first corner. It can happen. We have got competitive racing drivers in most of the teams that are represented here. They want to go out there and race. Inevitably there are occasions when perhaps there is a conflict of interest between the driver's personal ambitions and the intent of the team and things will happen on a race track which afterwards in the cool light of day you wish hadn't. But they happen. They are part of motor racing and part perhaps of the rich entertainment we are here to provide.
Christian HORNER: Sorry, what was the question? I think Istanbul, there has been so much said about that event during the last couple of weeks. If you look at the race I think it was actually a very positive race for Formula 1 to have four cars running line astern for pretty much 40 laps with a very tight competition between two teams. It was a great shame that the incident happened, but it happened. You have got two guys tied on points in the World Championship, fighting for the lead in a grand prix and as team-mates, and you know 'is it wrong to let the drivers race each other?' I don't think it is. That's what Formula 1 is about. We allowed the drivers to race each other and unfortunately an incident happened. You can always learn. I am sure the drivers have learnt, the team has learnt and as individuals we all learn from every grand prix weekend. The incident happened, it has been dealt with, it has been discussed and moved on. We have got two excellent drivers. They will be working with each other for another 18 months and they complement each other very well. We have achieved in the last, just over 12 months... we have had six one-two finishes with them. They have raced each other on numerous occasions wheel to wheel without any issue as we have seen on numerous occasions this year. I think answering your question; yes, lessons can always been learnt and are the guys going to race each other this weekend? If they qualify close to each other as they inevitably will do, then yes, they will, but hopefully they won't find themselves in the situation they were in in Istanbul.
Q. To make it a little bit more specific for Martin and Christian. Is there anything you have changed since Turkey in terms of communication? As to some extent that was the problem with the McLaren team. Is there anything specific you have changed?
CH: Nothing specific. We just pointed out who the team-mate is. Things were discussed after the event in the coolness of an environment away from the race track. Both drivers regret that the incident happened, but most of all from a team point of view as we were set for an excellent victory having got into a dominant position ahead of the two McLarens. It was a great shame to lose a grand prix and a one-two finish in that manner. But lessons have been learnt and we have moved on.
MW: I think good clear accurate information is the right way to go. There were questions during that race. Someone responded quickly and intuitively. They made an error in doing that. I am sure that individual has learnt. I am sure we as a team have learnt. We will endeavour to get it right if we are asked for information next time.
Q. So in a way no specific instructions to that person that they must avoid doing this in the future?
MW: I think that particular individual is a very experienced person. He was asked for some information. I think he was trying to cause both cars to take it easy as all of the competitive cars in that race have an issue potentially of managing fuel, managing brakes, managing engines, managing tires, and at that particular point we weren't looking for our drivers to put at risk the prospects of finishing by pushing on the cars anymore than they had to