Q. Was Sebastian's problem something you hope was a one-off? Have you managed to find out what the problem was?
CH: The problem was quite bizarre, as basically the brake on the left-hand side stopped working completely and the disc effectively split in half, straight down the middle of the spline. Effectively, you have just got a spacer in there and so he only had three brakes, so all the bias was toward the rear and he was using mainly the aerodynamics to stop the car and built some huge margin into his braking zones. With having fitted the option tire at the end of the race on relatively light fuel load he actually did a purple sector in the middle sector with three brakes. It was ironic as I was joking with Adrian (Newey) the night before about his first car being an Austin Allegro which only had three brake discs and, unfortunately, in the race Sebastian's car turned out to be similar to that. But he managed it incredibly well and, to get the car home in third place was a valuable and brave performance by him.
Q. Martin, looking back at last weekend and looking forward to this weekend?
Martin WHITMARSH: Last weekend was disappointing in some ways. I think Lewis drove a great race and really deserved a second place. To lose that with a couple of laps to go is always disappointing. He had a wheel failure. The wheel failure was the consequence of backing off of the clamping load with the wheel nut. You try and investigate and it is always difficult to know exactly why that is. I think it is a range of things. Being on the bottom end of tolerance. I think the air regulator that drives the air wrenches was perhaps erratic. The gun was within tolerance but at the lower end and maybe the gun stayed on a little shorter than it could have done, so all those things meant that the wheel was able to flex. When it does that it rubs on the brake drum, gets hot, leaves the properties of the magnesium and leads to a failure. Very disappointing as it was a strong race for him. He has not had the luckiest or more fortunate starts to the season but I am sure he will come back very strongly.
With Jenson, again another solid run to come through the race. He had a dash failure fairly early on. The dash as you would imagine has a number of different uses for the drive, including telling them when to shift. Although they learn that for a portion of that race he was close behind another driver and if you are in a tow your shift points change, so he is having to adapt. It also meant that when you are changing switches on the steering wheel you don't get the feedback to know they are in the right position and it also resulted in the pit stop where he didn't have the normal launch procedure. He was unable to see the rpm. The rpm was a little high, so there was dragging of the clutch and rotating of the wheel, so the guys on the rear had to contend with that while trying to take the rear wheels off and on very quickly. So no fault of the driver or the crew but it was a slow stop which obviously put him behind Michael and it is difficult to pass Michael at the best of times. So, disappointing. He was capable of going quite a lot quicker than Michael was driving but as Christian said it is very difficult to overtake on a circuit like Barcelona.
Q. Looking forward to this race?
MW: We always look forward to it. I have been here with Lewis in Formula 3, GP2 and Formula 1 for wins. It is a circuit he has shown his mettle on. Jenson also, and it is also a circuit we have won 15 times, so it is a great circuit for McLaren and we would like to do it again. It looks very, very tight. No doubt Red Bull will be strong here but I think this afternoon showed it is quite close. The track is evolving very quickly. I don't think we are getting the best out of the first lap with the tires but we'll see what happens. Qualifying is going to be a challenge here. We are going to make sure we get through Q1 and it is difficult for everyone. Not just for the quick drivers it is difficult for the slower cars and they presumably are going to spend all their time looking in their mirrors and that is not easy to avoid penalty. If you are a quick car you come across them fairly quickly. They have every right to be there but it will be a challenge. The drivers will have to try and show better respect for one another and it is going to be quite difficult. I am sure because of that challenge lots of cars will be out for a long period of the 20 minutes of Q1 trying to find a gap. But it is very difficult trying to reverse back and gap the car in front when you have got cars coming down behind you, so if you get yourself trapped among cars that are of a different pace even if you are a faster one or a slower one it is quite difficult to correct.
Q. One question about F-ducts. Some people are running it, some people aren't. I think your team seem to be running it. Is it easy to run it here and is there a benefit?
MW: It is less of a benefit obviously. The F-duct is something which will work better on the long straight than a circuit like this. It is a standard part of our car. We don't have a non F-duct variety to fit in any case. Its deployment is less significant than it was, for instance, in Barcelona.
Q. You had a meeting about tires in Spain. Can you name some names and tell us who is offering what and why it's taking so long to get a decision?
MW: I think, if you go back a few weeks, Joe, it looked like there wasn't really anyone who wanted to provide tires, so the good news is that there appears to be several companies that are interested in supplying tires to Formula 1. I think those names have been widely speculated, I don't think you need me to confirm them, and out of respect to those suppliers, we should wait until we've got a decision. A decision is necessary for everyone; it's necessary for the teams because clearly we are designing our cars. We need technical information and the information – or the selection – is necessary for the tire company because we need to make sure that they can get ready, particularly if they are new to the game.
Q. Without naming names, can you say what the benefits and the options are? One is expensive, one is cheap?
MW: Yeah, I think as you would imagine, established players with more technical capability cost more than the newcomers. So there's a balance here and I think the teams will approach it in a responsible manner. Inevitably, in this climate, for all of the teams, having the lowest cost tires is important. But at the same time, we mustn't compromise on the technical information and the integrity of those tires, so there's a balance. I think the teams together have got to assess all of the new offerings and they're changing on a daily basis. Once we've got the best offers, then the teams need to come together, we need to make sure that the FIA is also happy with the route that we go forward with.
Q. Tony, from your point of view, when you have big tire manufacturers coming in, what usually happens is that you have the teams up at the front not paying and the teams down the back paying. How would you feel about that?
TF: I think in my short period at FOTA, there is a pretty strong togetherness there to be honest. I think the will is that everyone will have a fair and equal deal. Certainly I've seen a lot of transparency under Martin, and I think it will be a pretty fair deal throughout for all teams.