Q. One of the things about this race is using the super-soft tire. Can you give us a little bit of information about how the super-soft tire performed. Did it perform the way you expected or better or worse this afternoon?
AN: It seemed OK this afternoon. Difficult to know exactly what to expect of it. This circuit is one of the lightest, or even the lightest, on tires that we go to. Hence Pirelli's choice to bring a softer range than we have had to date and it seems to be coping well with that.
Q. They have suggested 10 laps, even less than 10 laps, per stint on the super-soft. Is that pretty much confirmed or can you not say until Sunday itself?
AN: Certainly the indication from today is they should last longer than that. But it is difficult to be concrete and as we have seen in the first five races what happens on Friday can change in either direction on Sunday.
Q. Martin, that is the most extraordinary thing about this season. It is just unpredictable except for the fact that Red Bull is going to be fairly close to the front and probably on the front row.
Martin WHITMARSH: Certainly, that is not too unpredictable at the moment. I would like it to be a bit less predictable. I am very happy if you keep asking Adrian questions. I would like to ask him a few myself. We made some progress in Spain. I think our guys were able to race with Adrian's and that was a step forward for us. We were not quite quick enough in qualifying. Had we had a better track position I think it would have been an even greater race but nonetheless it was exciting and encouraging. This circuit is very different from one week ago and from where we are going afterward. This is a very specialist circuit. I think it is one which the drivers, the competitive drivers, believe they can go out and win so that makes it exciting. I suspect, I hope, it is going to be a bit closer this weekend. I think the strategy here is challenging. We know how difficult it is going to be to overtake here. I am not sure if DRS is going to be that helpful in my opinion but I can understand why people didn't want it going through the tunnel. But clearly the new chicane has been the overtaking place on the circuit so to not use DRS prior to that is a little bit of a shame in my view but we will see. Hopefully we will have a good weekend.
Q. You mentioned in the preview how important your performance through sector three was in Barcelona and it encouraged you for here. Has that been borne out today?
MW: I think we have, like Adrian and all the guys here, had Friday as a learning day. During the first session this time we only had one set of tires, I am sure Adrian had some aero bits to try. We had a few aero bits to try. You are getting that information. You are doing some fuel heavy runs to see how durable the super-soft is and also the soft tire. The super-soft tire looks very consistent on all the cars. We are getting a lot of data and now the strategists and engineers can work hopefully to improve the setup for tomorrow and also try and make sure we get it right in the race.
Q. We mentioned the pit-stop concerns that Red Bull Racing has. Do Vodafone McLaren Mercedes have similar pit-stop concerns?
MW: No, we don't. I don't know anything about that particular issue. I think you call the stops and try and make them as quick as you can. Inevitably, sometimes it is nice to know when others are making them but you judge that by where you see their tire performance. It is very clear this year that if the driver goes longer than his tires should have done then he lost lots of time so you can generally see just by looking at lap times when somebody is about to come in.
Q. Coming out in the paddock yesterday, you could see that there was still a lot of action going on. Some of the facilities hadn't been completed, they were still being set up. So, I just wondered whether it's sensible, given the size of the current infrastructures, to have back-to-back races, coming to a place like this? Is it turning into a sort of logistic nightmare?
MW: Well, it's incredibly tough. Back-to-back races have always been tough on the crew and the team. Clearly because Monaco starts one day earlier, it's just that little bit tougher. There was a lot of action here, now there's a lot made of a forklift incident with Jenson but I think Jenson's probably done more dangerous things here in his life, both in cars and out of cars in Monaco, so I think it was probably a little bit overstated. It's tough. I'm sure that we're grateful – just as all the teams are here – to the people who build garages, build hospitality units, rebuild the cars to make sure we can be here racing.
GL: We've probably got the smallest motor home of anybody here but dare I say, one of the friendliest. We tend to have to wait until all the large structures are put together before we can put ours together but I think we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Formula 1 and the finances of Formula 1 are very complicated nowadays and these structures do actually play an important part in servicing the requirements of sponsors and guests. So it is an important part of the whole show, and the people who put them together do a tremendously professional job under very tight circumstances. I take my hat off to them.
VM: Well, we sometimes pay the price for our own enthusiasm. We wanted to create a sort of Taj Mahal out of our motor home. In the process we created a pretty heavy and complex structure that requires a lot more time to erect and disassemble but that's life, we're used to it. We know that they're going to be back-to-back races and the guys coped pretty well.
PS: Yes, it's tough but we have done it in the past many times.
Q. Martin, what is FOTA's position regarding the 2013 engine rules following the Barcelona meeting last week?
MW: I think FOTA's view is that this really is a decision for the engine manufacturers, not for the teams themselves. I think teams want to have affordable engines and they've made those points to the engine manufacturers and to the FIA and I have to say that those views appear to be respected. I think that with any rules changes, it would have been great if we could have introduced more engine manufacturers into Formula 1 but, unfortunately, we're perhaps coming out of a recession, we were a little bit too early with these changes, but at the same time, we have to move forward in Formula 1, we have to be seen with developing technologies that are relevant to the needs of society, so there will always be an emotional pull to the past.
Lots of us speak about "Wasn't it great when we had V12s?", "Wasn't it good when we had V10s?", "Isn't it great that we've got V8s?" And I think we must be careful that we don't get emotional about those things. What we need is Formula 1 to be the pinnacle of motorsport, to have the most advanced powertrain and they've got to be affordable for all of the teams. I think also, we need as many engine manufacturers in Formula 1, we need independent manufacturers like Cosworth. We need to make sure we don't lose any of the engine manufacturers we've got now. We're very fortunate as a sport to have Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault with us. We'd like to make sure that we've still got them in 2013 and beyond and I hope, in time, find ways in which other automotive companies find this sport attractive to invest in it.
Q. Vijay, could I ask you on what basis you made the decision to allow Adrian to continue racing after his incident in Shanghai. And secondly, you've just launched your own driver development program, I think for 14- to 16-year-olds; is he still a good role model for the team?
VM: As far as my position is concerned, there has been a press release issued which describes an incident. We have not heard of any formal complaint being registered in any country for any sort of misconduct by Adrian. So it would be highly inappropriate for us to presume that he did something. It would be equally presumptuous to assume that he was guilty of wrong-doing and take action against him. So my position is very clear: If at all we receive a formal complaint or there is some form of formal legal inquiry in any country, we'll take appropriate action at that time but we can't be presumptive.
Q. Adrian, there was a lot of talk in Spain about the legality of the exhaust-blown diffuser operating while the driver is off the throttle. What's your interpretation of the legality of that, specifically relating to article 3.15 and could you explain your reasoning behind the position you take on this technology?
AN: Well, I think the key to 3.15 is that it talks about "driver over-run then the throttle should be closed" then in brackets "idle speed" so it seems to be implying that the throttle should be closed at idle, which it clearly is. What the throttle does on over-run at other times is not clear in the regulations, not as expected. Certainly, in the case of Renault, then they open the throttle to full open on the over-run for exhaust valve cooling, and that's part of the reliability of the engine. It has been signed off through the years for dyno testing and for them to change that would be quite a big issue, because the engine's not proven that it would be reliable if the throttle remained closed in that situation. Obviously if other people are going further and perhaps firing the engine on the over-run then clearly exhaust valve cooling is not part of that and that would be something that presumably they would need to explain to keep Charlie (Whiting, technical delegate) happy.