Q. Stefano, the Silverstone result was excellent but it was said to be a circuit that didn't necessarily suit the car. Does this circuit suit the car better, Hungary even better perhaps?
Stefano DOMENICALI: We are discovering day by day what is going on in internal development and what I can confirm is that we have done a significant step in terms of performance and this is the positive thing at the moment what we can say. I agree with James and let the car speak. This is what we need to see here tomorrow, above all on Sunday and in Hungary. It is a good reward for the team because that result came after a couple of races where we could have achieved more in terms of result but that's it. It is something that we need to put back and make sure it wasn't just one race. This should be the target for every time. We know that the competition is very tight and difficult so let's be very concentrated here this weekend as it will not be easy at all.
Q. Also there is the doubleheader with Hungary coming up and then the break as well?
SD: Yeah, it would be nice to have a good result before the break mainly for the spirit and for the classification but we have learned this year that every weekend is different from the other. The only thing we can do is to make sure that the drivers and the team are fully concentrated on the job. Today we had quite a massive program to do some comparison, a couple of checks on the car, and we need to make sure that we take the right decision for qualifying tomorrow. I am guessing that the weather will be quite tricky so that's the objective of today.
Q. The president (of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo) has suggested that Felipe Massa will be staying with the team next year; can that be confirmed?
SD: Have you seen anyone below the president not confirm what the president is saying? At least not in my company; maybe Norbert you can say something later, but apart from that, Felipe had an agreement with us up to the end of next year, so yes, I can tell you.
Norbert HAUG: One time, I suppose, just one time.
Q. Norbert, everyone in your team was very upbeat coming here but the cars didn't look very comfortable this morning. Maybe it was better this afternoon?
Norbert HAUG: Well, I wouldn't say upbeat. We had a difficult start at Silverstone and recovered quite well. I think we were 12th and 16th, 17th after lap one or after lap two and then came home sixth and ninth, so at least this was a good recovery, but, of course, we are still not there, to fight with the top three teams. Renault is quite strong, close behind us. We need to establish a better pace. We are working very hard, we are committed and we are working through our program. That's what we did today. I don't think it was too bad this afternoon. We produced consistent lap times in the race simulation and of course we know that we cannot beat the top three teams, so probably our aim has to be sixth, seventh, eighth, something like that, in qualifying. The race will probably be under rainy conditions – that, at least, is what the forecast says today – having said that, it was not precise for today, so this may change, and this is what we can do. We need to build on what we have, step by step.
Q. Tell us of the importance of this race at the historic Nurburgring, as your home race, particularly for the new Mercedes GP Petronas team.
NH: No doubt this is not quite as Monza is for Ferrari but it is our home race, it is our second home race after Silverstone because the team is based in England, obviously. The Silver Arrows were born here 77 years ago, as you know, so this is a big tradition and we need to fulfill it, we know that but we cannot win on our own means at the moment, we know that, but I think the good thing is that Mercedes is present in Formula 1 and who knows... Mercedes knows that they are going to get the job done, we are going to get the job done but we are still a young team, a learning team, but we dare to be there, we dare to have the competition, we like to fight with the guys. We're not good enough, at the moment, but we have won in the past, we won six World Championships with our partners, 75 races out of 250 so far, so this is not such a bad score and now we are building up something new and I am very grateful that our board gave us the support and gave us the opportunity. It makes sense commercially, we are very good in that respect. We are not good enough in the points standings at the moment but believe me, we are working on it.
Q. I know it's only Friday but it's interesting to see your two customer teams, your two partners, McLaren and Force India very much on similar performance today.
NH: I wouldn't rate that too highly. I think McLaren-Mercedes has to be better. This was the case in the last couple of races. We started ahead of Lewis in the last race. He was on used tires in qualifying, Nico was on used tires but they are quicker, they belong to the top three. They have won two races already, could have won more by the way. They could have won four. It was very close in Barcelona and in Monaco. Stefano could have won in Monaco as well, from the sheer speed but they are just better at the moment but not forever, that's for sure.
Q.There is an FIA idea to close cars for safety reasons; I would like to know your opinion on this. I think all the aerodynamics would change if this was the case.
JA: This is something that's been under discussion for a few Technical Working Group meetings now. We're looking to try to look after the driver's head, both from large scale things like tires and also small scale things like the very unfortunate incident that Felipe suffered. There are a few suggestions around: one of them was looking into a fully enclosed canopy. Another one was looking into a visor-type where it's still open above the driver's head but he has a visor in front of him. And then there is a third type of proposal as well, where there isn't a see-through windscreen at all but there is like a roll (bar) structure in front of the driver that would anyway deflect any big objects. All those things are still in fairly early discussion and you would have seen from what the FIA proposed, published recently, that they are showing some of the very early research that's being done into the feasibility and practicality of this type of solution, but there are a lot of questions to answer before we can bring it to a practical solution. The closed canopy would have an aerodynamic effect – not a bad one, it would be easier to manage the airflow around a closed canopy than an open one – but there are all sorts of other things to discuss, like egress in the event of an accident, keeping the canopy clean, for example when it might get covered in oil and the like, so each of the proposed solutions has advantages and disadvantages and we need to do the basic research to find out what is the best way forward.
NH: I think that if this makes sense for Formula 1 it needs to be applied to all formula: the junior drivers, everybody and I think we should carefully think that idea through.
Q. I would like to ask your opinion about the fact that the international Federation has decided that from 2014 only electrical power units can be used in the pit lane. Do you agree and do you believe that this thing could match the opposition of the World Motor Sport Council?
SD: I think that this is something that we have started discussing. There are different opinions on that. As you know, there are some manufacturers that are keen to go ahead with this project. Some others fear that, not from a technical point of view, just from a show point of view, it is something that we need to make sure that the sport is happy for. This is a topic that in my view, because of the situation that it is for 2014, it can still be discussed, we have the time to discuss it in a proper way. There are different opinions on this subject because on one side there is the technical aspect and on the other side there is the sport and the passion. You may say that in the pit lane, with no noise, it would be difficult for the people to perceive the passion that Formula 1 is all about. On the other side, you may say that Formula 1 has to be the pinnacle of motor sport in terms of new developments and research and so this goes in the opposite direction. I think this is something that we will discuss.
JA: Stefano's summed it up fairly neatly. There are technical hurdles to be cleared in order to make it happen but nothing that's impossible, just things that make the configuration of the car change relative to what we've got today. It is a complication from a design point of view, but it's not an impossibility. From what I understand, the idea has been trailed in various groups and it largely receives a positive reaction as a useful initiative, but there are pros and cons with it from an operational point of view that we're still discussing.
Q. But is it not too dangerous for those working in the pit lane who won't hear the cars?
SD: This is possible, because on the main straight you could have cars that are normally running with the engine on so this is a factor that is under consideration, this is one of the points that James is basically mentioning. It's an element of consideration, for sure.