Friday Press Conference



Q: First of all, a question to all of you about the proposed new engine regulations due to come in over the next three years. Can I just see what you feel about them, what you agree with and don't agree with, etc.? So, can I start with you Mario?

Mario THEISSEN: Well, first, I have to say we agree with the targets, which were put forward by the FIA originally, which is to cut costs, enhance the show and, obviously, to guarantee safety on the track. So the targets are certainly accepted and supported by us. As I understand, we are in a phase now in which the teams have to put together a proposal and we have two months to do this. To support us the FIA has given us a proposal right away and we will certainly include that in our discussions. We will have a meeting tonight on this issue and I am confident we will come up with a reasonable proposal by the end of the two-month period.

Q: Are you in agreement with what the FIA has proposed?

Theissen: Certainly there are different ways to achieve the target. Generally we support to extend engine life because in our view it is the most efficient way to cut costs and at the same time to reduce power to a certain extent. When doing this you have to make sure the timing is right. A reasonable lead-time for a new engine concept is 18 months - that is what Max Mosley said in the press conference a few weeks ago. And if you get shorter notice the opposite might happen, that costs go up instead of down because you have to trash some development work you have done and instead start from scratch with a new concept, so you have to be careful about that. On engine size, which means displacement, I think the right approach would be, if you really want to cut costs and extend engine life the engine has to become more robust than it is today and this will favour a bigger engine or stay with the displacement we have, rather than make the engine smaller. On the other issues, the aero package and tyre package, I think this is the right move. Aero and tyres account for 100 percent of the lap time reduction we had in the past 12 months. We had to extend engine life, to double engine life, from last year to this year, so on average we have seen the same engine power on the track and still lap times decreased by one to 3.5 seconds per lap, so it is 100 percent down to tyres and aero and it is certainly right to tackle these two parameters and I think the way they do it is appropriate - reducing the number of tyres, in my view, will help to reduce testing and to cut costs and enhance the show at the same time because a hard tyre is less grippy. So I think that all makes sense and both packages, aero and tyres, will probably be good for at least a lap time increase of three seconds, maybe more.

Q: Paolo what do you feel about the displacement and engine life package proposals?

Paolo MARTINELLI: There are two aspects there. I think the extension of engine life is effective to reduce the costs, it is the most effective element in the cost cutting. To reduce performance and make a significant step that is around 20 percent - down from the range of 900 to the range of 700hp, to go where we were in '95 basically, you could say ten years ago, the rule has to be applied in one or two years from now. I think the only way is to reduce the engine displacement by about 20 percent, so I think the best technical solution to achieve that is to have a V8, so we are in favour of a V8 2.4-litre to reduce performance and we are in favour of a ban on the materials and the very expensive technologies and increase engine life. Those are the two principal actions, I think, with a view on the engine side together with all the methods that Mario was saying before concerning aerodynamics and tyres, to improve the show, reduce speeds and increase safety in our sport.

Q: Norbert, your feelings?

Norbert HAUG: I would like to come back to the targets we should achieve. First of all, the discussion started in May and we said to cut the costs by 50 percent. I cannot see that being achieved by what is proposed and I am sure we will find a better solution. We have a meeting tonight and I am sure we will have a very constructive meeting. I cannot see the cost cutting at all and I cannot see the target to do more for the sport being achieved and I think it is very important the safety issue, the lap times, and I think Mario pointed it out quite correctly, the increase this year up to three seconds, is due to the aerodynamic package and the tyres. It is very clear that the average of all the engines does not have more horsepower than last year and still we do up to 3.5-seconds quicker lap times so I think that says it all. We need to cut costs and I am sure we need to do that in a much better way. We did some calculations of what is on the table right now and we can find an increase of 25 percent at least if you need to design a V8, if you need to do a new engine from 2006 onwards that is capable of doing 1,600km, and I think we should be very, very careful. So far we have not achieved the goals of saving money, none of us saved money with the one-engine rule, and what I have pointed out earlier, we must not come from the most expensive way to produce 900hp to the most expensive way to produce 700 hp. That is the danger. I am sure the FIA's goals are the right ones, but as I said earlier we need to define the right path, we need to take the correct decisions that we are not surprised with the decisions we have taken.

Q: Luca?

Luca MARMORINI: We think that in the short term the proposal to extend the engine life will present a good solution for decreasing operating costs. Then there is the target of reducing performance. For this we think as well that the best solution is to reduce displacement and we are in favour of the V8 solution for this. We would like to retain a little bit of technical challenge because we think that technical challenge can also go together with the reduction of costs.

Q: Otmar?

Otmar SZAFNAUER: I want to point out that we do support the FIA's efforts in increasing the safety of the sport and I think the latest proposal just talks about the safety aspect, reducing the lap time. And we at Honda have worked closely with the other engine manufacturers and as was stated earlier there is going to be a meeting tonight, which we will attend and also support, to come up with proposals that would help, from an engine perspective, to reduce the speed of the car. We definitely will support that but there has to be in conjunction with the aerodynamic package which was talked about as well as the tyres. And I think if we do those things, the targets of the FIA will be achieved and we will increase the lap times, reduce the speeds of the cars and improve safety. However, increasing the life of the engine to last two races instead of one, we don't think will have a big impact on performance and therefore won't enhance safety. And as for cost - which I don't think the FIA's efforts today are aimed at costs, they are just aimed at the safety aspect - we don't think we will save any money by having an engine that will last two races. Sure, we may have 18 less engines or perhaps 16 less engines in a year but I think the costs saving there may be made up by additional development costs. And as for lower displacement in 2006, we are in favour of the targets of reducing power to increase safety. One way to do it is to have a 2.4-litre V8, which we are not against, but there are other ways, there is a capacity-reduced V10, which we can also support, but what we are definitely against is technological limitations, where we don't challenge our engineers any more - things like having minimum weight for engines and centre of gravities defined and bores and strokes and cylinder spacings defined, those things we don't want.

Q: Ok, it sounds as though there is a little way to go yet in two months - now an individual question for all of you. Otmar, today Honda have announced a new agreement with BAR. What does that mean for the future? What have you been able to go ahead with now that perhaps you hadn't been able to go ahead with?

Szafnauer: It is a multi-year agreement, a three-year agreement, with BAR and it is both an engine and a joint chassis development agreement. We are forever working closer with BAR and we are identifying our individual strengths and we are sub-dividing the work such that the things Honda are strong at, we focus on and the things that BAR are strong at, they focus on and we are working closer together on that. In the future you will see us working even more closely together. We are now studying bringing in more engineers from Japan into Brackley and vice-versa, so you may see some organisational changes because of it.

Q: Luca, you have a B-version of the car here, what sort of engine modifications have taken place?

Marmorini: The engine group wanted to bring our contribution to the B-car today and we brought an engine that has a higher performance by about two percent hoping that it would contribute to the competitive performance of the car.

Q: But, is it a new engine?

Marmorini: No, it is an evolution of the existing engine and now we are focussing on increasing performance.

Q: Norbert, we hear about changes to the chassis on this B-version of the MP4-19. What changes have taken place on the engine?

Haug: We have slight changes, nothing spectacular. We had a test session after Silverstone, quite a successful test and we did quite a lot of miles and tried some things but all of these aerodynamic parts are introduced here but I think we at least improved, we made another step, we are very reliable and very quick and I hope we can continue to go in that direction. There is more to come from the engine but I think the engine is competitive, I hope it will be reliable as well, and I think we are very close to the best ones and very comparable power-wise to the benchmark.

Q: Paolo, we hear from all the other teams of increases and steps in performance but we very rarely hear about it from Ferrari. Perhaps we could hear about it from you - what sort of steps have been made so far and what sort of steps are there to come?

Marinelli: We made an evolution during this season and we think that with the new regulation, with the one engine per weekend, the reliability is more important so we don't want to make continuous modifications race-to-race, basically. We introduced a package in Canada and we are preparing something for later in the season and apart from that, of course, we try to adapt the driveability, the mapping - all the details that can improve engine performance without touching the key elements that could impact on reliability.

Q: Mario, the same sort of question for you - what are the steps so far and what is to come?

Theissen: Well, it is similar to what Paolo said. Obviously the doubling of engine life puts the focus on reliability and basically we had three targets for this year. The first target was to have a reliable 800km engine for the first race and that was achieved by Melbourne. The second target was raise race power, to make maximum power available in the race itself because this year the second 400km of engine life are most important, so it was our priority to make sure we had full power available in the race and that was achieved by Imola. Since then we have been able to go maximum engine speed even in top gear, which is an advantage on the straight, and now our third target, which we are working on now, is continuous improvement in power and reliability.


Q: (Jonathan Noble - Autosport) To all five of you, any change in F1 regulations usually ends up costing money. What is the best way to cut speeds next year without adding to your costs?

Theissen: I said before that the two packages on aero and tyre probably will improve the target already - I understand the FIA asks for a lap-time increase of three seconds per lap next year and the entire aero changes should account for that without any other change.

Marinelli: I agree with Mario that the most important points are tyres and aero and they are a priority. On the engine side, what can be done in the really short time, we cannot, of course, none of us, can design a new engine in six months, so the only way is to think to an extended life of engine. I think the target for all of us this year has been to maintain the performance of the previous year, it was much more difficult to have more horsepower compared to 2003. And the same, in the case of the proposal from the FIA, to have two races for each engine, we will just concentrate again on the reliability of the engine so we will not be able to make significant step in performance, maybe a small drop.

Haug: The most cost effective way certainly would be higher capacity and lower revs, but unfortunately I think that is not an option. But basically if you would think about a four-litre engine with lower revs doing 3,000km or whatever, you would certainly save a lot of money. Maybe this is not an option, but if you are asking me what would be the best way then this is a proposal that probably does not get much of your votes but it would be a good idea anyway.

Marmorini: I think that at this moment of the year, the short term of reducing costs can be done by extending engine life but this will not work as a performance reduction, so this will probably keep the same level of performance next year. We think that the best way in the long term is to reduce the number of engines we are sending during the year. This will be done with a careful extension of engine life and reduction of testing.

Szafnauer: I agree that the best way to do it is to implement the aerodynamic and tyre packages that have been discussed and to meet the target. It's a bit short notice for us to extend the engine life to two races now. Our engine's already designed, running on the dyno and in the development phase. It would cost us money now if we implemented that strategy, so maybe the most cost-effective way is to leave the engine formula as it is or perhaps introduce some of the changes that were proposed by the engine manufacturers' group such as banning some very expensive materials that can be introduced early and they have an effect on costs.

Marinelli: May I make a point. I think the extension of the engine life and the reduction of the engine not necessarily for the race event will be a major factor of cost of saving for minor teams, the teams that have to purchase their engines, basically, not the engine manufacturer. On our side, we have the costs of development but of course you can consider that the number of engines that would have to be used by a secondary team would be about fifty percent of the number of used this year, so it's not a representative figure but you would have some significant saving for a minor team.

Theissen: Sorry. I would like to come back to that as well because apparently I missed the point before. It is the same situation with us - next year's engine is on the dyno already, it is a one race engine not a two race engine, so if we have to convert this to a two-race engine it will increase development effort and money?

Q: (Jacques Deschenaux - Television) Could Honda provide an engine to another team in the next two years?

Szafnauer: Our focus isn't to provide engines for another team, our focus is on BAR and to win the World Championship with BAR. However, if there was a sporting regulation like there is for the tyres that says if you're in Formula One you must provide two teams, we would be happy to go along with such a sporting regulation.

Q: (Alberto Antonini - Autosprint) In the early nineties, pneumatic valve control was not such common technology and maybe used less sophisticated materials for valve springs. There was a physical limit to the revving of engine because otherwise the valve would just rebound. Has this issue been considered when we are talking about performance reduction?

Theissen: What we have now in pneumatic valves, in my view, certainly is less costly than reverting to springs. We know about very expensive spring steel development which had to be done. Air is for free, at least up to now, so I think that from the cost perspective change to conventional valve springs would increase costs. In terms of power we see IRL engines revving up to 17,000 already. It would cause a power decrease but not too much, I think. I think it would certainly not increase reliability at the same time so probably the wrong way to tackle power and costs.

Marinelli: We agree, I agree. You have can also foresee other types of systems - desmodromic system that can be even more complex or expensive. Again, we have a solution that has been proved reliable for a long period, so if you maintain the technology that has been stabilised it would probably be the most effective and cheapest way to continue.

Q: (Olaf Moll - SBS) This question is for all of you except Mr Martinelli, who has produced the engine that last the longest. If all the others were able to see in his computer, what would you like to see, where would you look?

Marinelli: No secrets.

Theissen: I think the difference in reliability is not that big. Congratulations, Ferrari has the best record in terms of reliability but I am quite happy with what we achieve. We've had no engine failures either last year and this year was quite okay as well. So you're always having to go for the trade-off between reliability and aggressiveness in terms of power development and I think it's not such a big difference.

Q: Norbert, where would you look? What would you be looking for?

Haug: You've got a computer? (Laughter) I don't know. I think what Mario pointed out is correct but I don't think it's in the computer with all due respect. I think they do an excellent job, they have excellent quality control, they are on the move, they on the crest of a wave, but one thing is for sure, things can change quickly, but I think the reliability record of Ferrari is absolutely impressive: As bad as our pace in the first half of the season is as good as these guys have been. Things can turn around, but compliments from my side and I think this is what we all need to achieve, and at least I'm sure we are having in the right direction.

Marmorini: From our point of view, congratulations to Ferrari for the job that they've done. But with the new rules, it's very difficult to understand how the engine is used in terms of power delivery and rpm during the weekend. So other than seeing his computer, I would like to put the engines of all the other manufacturers in the same cycle and compare them. I don't care what is inside, but this is something technical that I would like a lot.

Szafnauer: Yeah, congratulations to Ferrari, they have had a remarkable reliability record and, like many things in Formula One, I don 't think it's just one area we would like to look in. It would be good to take the entire computer home and study it!

Q: (Karin Sturm - TZ Munchen) First a question to all of you. If you more or less all agree that the required three second lap time change can be acquired just by a tyre and aerodynamic package, why can't you agree that the engines are left alone for next year - as most of the people have started - which would probably cost less? And secondly, for those who support the 2.4-litre for 2006, do we really have to come down to 700 horsepower in a more cost-producing way, if there are other ways to reduce power, most likely by an engine lifetime extension which would also help the smaller teams, the independent teams to get engines cheaper and earlier than with this 2.4-litre?

Theissen: I can only say I am on board, I support that absolutely, it would be the right move at the right time and it is exactly our position.

Q: Is there any other way of doing it?

Marinelli: We can probably repeat something that we said before. We think that just the life extension is not enough to achieve a strong step in the power performance reduction and we have seen this year that in spite of doubling the engine life the power remains the same. We are requested the step of minus twenty percent.

Q: Who is requesting, that is the final question?

Marinelli: The technical working group has also asked the engine people to think of something that can reduce the engine performance.

Haug: I think this is the best solution for next year, not to change but we will discuss it later tonight. But anyway, we achieve our targets. We need to reduce costs by fifty percent and my proposal would be to reduce the cost by fifty percent and take whatever, three, four, five million from each manufacturer, put it in a box and probably help smaller teams. Not give anything for free but maybe you could help them reduce their costs. You can help produce television pictures, you can help marketing issues, whatever. Everything we are doing is better for the sport, better for the spectator than putting a hundred million into the engine. This is a serious issue. If we are going to change it for next year, we need to address it for 2006 and none of the proposals on the table is achieving a cut of fifty percent, so we've failed so far. That's the reality. We could do better things with the money because all the top engines are very, very similar, believe me. There is not a huge difference, there's probably two or three tenths, maximum, between the best, the second best, the third best, the fourth best engine and we are just spending too much money for a difference of two or three tenths. We could use the money in a better way. That is my opinion, that's Mercedes-Benz's opinion and I would be happy to discuss that further.

Marmorini: I think there would be easier ways to make an engine with less performance, but we think that introducing rev limiter or bigger displacement or let me say reducing a lot of technicalities would risk compromising Formula One a little bit. This is not an easy decision for technical people. We think technology and the reduction of costs can be together.

Szafnauer: We agree. We do support the FIA's aim on safety but the rule changes have to be implemented in such a way that they are not done very quickly. We need time to plan these things, so we would ask for time regardless of what the changes are.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) We have heard a lot of different opinions here, a lot of different views. Bottom line, yes or no, do you think the engine manufacturers can come up with a rules package to satisfy the FIA in the two month deadline here?

Szafnauer: I am confident that we can. We've had the best co-operation that I have ever seen with the engine manufacturers in our meetings leading up this. We've got a meeting again tonight and I am very confident that we can put a proposal together that will meet the needs of the FIA and that, at this time, is decreasing the speeds of the cars for safety. I don't think the cost issue is part of the FIA proposal.

Haug: Don't forget our representative companies have to be satisfied as well, it is not only one institution that needs to be satisfied. I think we should do it in a positive approach together but there are probably good ideas in the pipeline and I hope that we can put them through.

Marmorini: I think the engine people already met several times but we couldn't find an agreement that made everyone happy but engine people had a proposal and this was sent to the FIA. I think this proposal could be a starting point for discussion. We still have to have a final decision from the FIA with regards to the specific proposal from the engine manufacturer and, of course, this proposal didn't make all the manufacturers happy. I had some concerns, Norbert had some concerns, but this, anyway, represented the majority of the engine group, so we should again do, from the beginning, an activity we already did together.

Theissen: I would prefer to answer the question in six weeks time!

Marinelli: I think it's obvious that we have quite different opinions. We are doing our best effort to make a joint proposal as far as possible but there are different points of view, it's quite clear. Then, I think what is common opinion will be put forward. We have had other meetings before today's one. We will make another step forward today and then after the sixty days the FIA will take the best decision.

Q: (Thierry Tassin - RTBF TV) You keep speaking about reducing the costs in the last few months. If the Formula One budgets keep going up and up are you under pressure from the board to stop Formula One?

Haug: No, quite the opposite. I tell you, we are committed and if we are forced to spend more money to win races we will certainly do so, but that's not the way. As the guy in charge, I'm really trying to find the right argument to cut the costs but it is not a question if (unclear, mike breaking up) I'm sure we will have a 1,600 kilometre engine with 870 horsepower and then we go from there, but this is not the way to go. It is fundamentally wrong to spend that much money for the engines. That is my point.



Q: Juan Pablo, obviously you were the winner here last year. Have things been getting better the last couple of races?

Juan Pablo MONTOYA: Yeah, I think the last couple of races things have turned a little bit our way. There are a couple of things coming on the car and it is nice to see that but I think that there is still a long way to go to really be fully competitive.

Q: You had the new aerodynamic package at Magny-Cours for the first time. Has the subsequent development and testing really sorted that out?

Montoya: I think a lot of aerodynamic things are fixed. It doesn't really change the way you have got to run the car. It was more I think at Silverstone we had a couple of new things on it and improved. It has been pretty good. We have new things here again and I think we have started to get a normal rate of development race by race and it is good to see that. I think the first six months we just fell back so much that it really cost us.

Q: What about also the incidents in Canada and America as well - how much does that affect your motivation?

Montoya: None really! I don't think it should. It is not about motivation. I think if things like that happen with mistakes I think it is good because it alarms a lot of people and a lot of people, maybe, who are making little mistakes put extra attention to the way they do things. And in a way it was bad for the team to lose the points but apart of that I think it was good.

Q: So it had a positive side?

Montoya: I think it had a positive side in the end. I think when things like that happen you have to look at the positive side and try to learn from the mistakes. And I think if the team learned from its mistakes then it is good.

Q: What about the fact you have a new team-mate here again - how does that affect you?

Montoya: Well, it is strange to work with somebody else every race, but it is the way it is. It is harder for the rest of the team than myself. It is harder for the race engineer than myself. I am doing the best I can every race with my people working around my car and that's it.

Q: Will you still expect help from him, will you still get help from him, and how much can you help him?

Montoya: If he asks, I will help. With Marc (Gene) I tended to help him quite a bit because he asked. If Antonio asks I will help him.

QL: And will you expect help from him as well?

Montoya: Yeah, if I have a problem and he seems to be going the better direction than me then for sure.

Q: Now, what about Michelin's contribution here? Have their tyres improved, do you feel?

Montoya: Testing the last time went quite well so I think these conditions, weather wise, you know, are probably not as extreme as Jerez but I think it should be very good.

Q: And does that mean the Michelins generally speaking are going to be good?

Montoya: Yeah, last year was a very good race here for the tyres and, you know, we were miles quicker than everybody else. And there is quite a bit of hope still in the car that we could do well here.

Q: So, having said earlier you have still a long way to go, do you think the tyres could compensate for that?

Montoya: Yeah, I think between all the Michelin teams that are top runners - like McLaren, Williams, Renault and BAR - I think we are just very close. One race suits one more than the other and that just makes it really hard. One race you can be P2 and the next race you can be P8! It's tough.

Q: What about your own ambitions for the rest of the season?

Montoya: You know, just push as hard as I can, try to get as many points as possible. It would be nice to get a couple of podiums and if we can get a win it would be great.

Q: Because qualifying has been good this year.

Montoya: Yeah, last year qualifying was one of my weak points and this year it has improved a lot. There are still bits that you can improve but the last few races, the way it has been, it is quite important to finish in a good place to score good points. You cannot be so greedy as at the beginning of the year. You have got to make sure you are up there all the time.

Q: And when you look at the way it has gone in the last few races, can you see anyone closing in on Ferrari?

Montoya: Yeah, I think everyone has closed the gap a little bit but....

Q: Do you still feel it is quite big?

Montoya: Yeah, it is. I think it depends on the races you are at. Some races it is going to be huge, some races it is going to be closer. This, I think, might be one of the closer ones.


Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Juan, you talked about the tyres here but overall how do you think the whole package will work here?

Montoya: It is hard to say. I am hoping that it works well; I am hoping that we will do good. It would be great if we could get a podium, it would be awesome if we could get a win. It has been a year since the team has won a race so it would be really nice to see the car performing well here.

Q: (Adrian Hubert - Agencia Efe) Do you think Mark Gene missed a great chance by not scoring higher in these last two races?

Montoya: I think he was unlucky. He made a couple of mistakes at the last race in qualifying and he was stuck in traffic all day in the race and I think he lost a bit of an opportunity there because I think throughout the weekend he was very fast.

Q: (Peter Windsor - Speed Channel) It may be an optical illusion but a couple of years ago in Formula One whenever the safety car came out and there was a re-start we could sort of look forward to the race coming alive again and the cars bunching up and maybe a few passing manoeuvres. In the last few races when we have had a safety car it has been unbelievably boring and the cars have been very spread out and nothing has ever happened apart from Michael's move, of course, at Indy. First, is that just an illusion or is it real and if it is real is it in any way related to the loss of the third element on the rear wing and the cars being less driveable in traffic now?

Montoya: I think the cars have always been very bad around traffic. You know, for me in the last race it was very disappointing for me because I lost about 100 metres with Heidfeld, you know, he went around the last corner and backed off. He nearly didn't even let me by into turn one, I thought he wasn't going to back off but I was pretty committed already and he backed off at the last minute. So I lost about 100m to Button thanks to Heidfeld and I think that is something that might have to be reviewed - the way backmarkers are between the traffic. And Michael, it cost him as well with me in Monaco. And even if that actually would have happened it would have been a compromise for him or for Trulli, you know, it is bad.

Q: (Peter Windsor) Is the situation worse now than it was a couple of years ago?

Montoya: No, I think it is the way it is. Some days you can pass, you know, it is how your car behaves, if you have a quicker car, you know, if you are in a slower car you can do very little about it.

Q: (Adrian Hubert) You won here last year, do all the victories mean the same to you or maybe the way you won some...

Montoya: This was nice because it was the Germany Grand Prix, it was the Schumachers' home and it was a BMW track so from every aspect it was good. And it wasn't a close win - it was a win by miles, so that was nice. Every victory has got its nice things.

Q: (Peter Windsor) We all know you are driving for a different team next year. Presumably at some point there will be a moment where you cannot be as involved with Williams' development and what is going on with the team as you have been in the past. Have you reached that point yet and, if not, where do you think that point will come?

Montoya: Testing has been restricted a little bit, they put somebody else in to drive the car but it is not a big deal. I am pretty happy with the way things are going - I have some time for myself, everything is good in a way. I am testing next time in Monza and that is it, you know. I have done three tests this year since the season started but I don't mind too much. As long as I have the same equipment as the car beside me come race weekend then I am pretty happy.

Q: (Peter Windsor) Do you, for example, know what next year's Williams is going to be like? Do you know the lay-out or are they going to try to keep that information from you?

Montoya: They are probably trying, and they are!

Q: (Dan Knutson) Michael winning time after time after time after time, not only this year but the last four years or whatever, is that good or bad for Formula One?

Montoya: It depends how the press puts it. If they put it in a good perspective then it is good for Formula One, if they put it in a bad perspective then it is bad for Formula One. It is more up to you guys than up to us. I think Ferrari have done a very good job over the last few years, we have been close to beating them but they always come up on top and I think the way the press has put it is the way people see it. People only see what you write. If you write Formula One is boring, Formula One is bad, everyone is going to say that. If you say it is great because Michael is winning and he is setting new standards in Formula One they are going to think it is a great thing. So, that is what I think.


Q: Christian, Hockenheim is quite a lucky circuit for you, isn't it?

Christian KLIEN: It is, yes. I have had here a couple of races and it is nearly my home Grand Prix because I live just two and a half hours from here and every race that I raced here I was on the podium. I really like the circuit. I also liked the old layout, it was maybe a bit more fun to drive, a bit more history in the circuit, but I also like to race this circuit so I am looking forward to racing here in a Formula One car.

Q: Now, you have several developments on the car. What do you know about them and how much testing have you done with them?

Klien: We have a new aero package for this race weekend. We tested it last week in Jerez and had a good three-day test there. There is a bit more downforce so I think it is a good step for us and I am looking forward to driving it in the race.

Q: Now, what about the engine, because that is the one thing, we are told, that really is lagging behind a bit?

Klien: We did a good step in Magny-Cours, it was our new engine, especially for qualifying and also for the race. Yeah, for sure a good step, we try and work still on it and try to make it better and better to the end of the season.

Q: There is a classic history of Jaguar not being very good with their second drivers, perhaps. What have you got to do between now and the end of the season?

Klien: First of all the first half of the season was more or less to get used to Formula One and know how to work with the team and everything. Now, the second half is for me to build up on these things that I learned there and I think it is a good opportunity to really show my talents. It is important to get a good race weekend with a good qualifying performance, which is important for the race, and have a good race. So I try to fit it all together and, for sure, the goal is points, it is difficult to get it but we are on a good way, I think, and with a bit of luck it is possible to score points.

Q: We've just had six races in eight weeks - how does that feel for a young driver like yourself, the youngest in the field?

Klien: It is quite tough these back-to-back races but I did not feel too much of a problem. Especially in Canada, I was really happy that the next race was just one week later because I had a bad race weekend and I proved that I could make it better on the other weekend and the same was true for Magny-Cours and Silverstone. Especially for a young new driver you have to learn a lot and especially every race weekend you are learning and you get more experience and so you can build it up and make it better in the next races.

Q: Just going back to the aerodynamic package that you have for this race - is that intended to cure a problem with the car or is it just a development to find more performance. I mean, is there a problem with the stability of the car?

Klien: I would say it is not a problem. The car is sometimes a bit nervous on the rear, especially in braking, but at the last race it was not an issue and with this aero package it will be even better and I think it will be for sure a good step and help, as a driver, to push a bit harder on brakes as well.

Q: Now, you have just been training at home I believe. Tell us what you have been doing.

Klien: I was at home for four days after three days testing in Jerez last week, which was a pretty hard time there; it was 36 degrees, so I was happy to go home to Austria where the temperatures were a bit cooler! I went up to the mountains, did a bit of cycling, hiking, and it is always nice to be back home and to see friends and relax and, for sure, train as well under very nice conditions.

Q: Now, Mark (Webber) reckons he is a bit of a cyclist in the mountains as well. Are you going to invite him in these next three weeks, see how he can cope up the Austrian passes?

Klien: Yeah, for sure. I said to him he should come to Austria and we could make some good tours. He is really good on the bike, he is doing a lot of road cycling and, yeah, perhaps I show him the mountains because that is different.

Q: And mountain biking as well, he does mountain biking.

Klien: Yeah.

Q: So, what have you got planned for the three- week gap?

Klien: I think just stay at home. You know, you are travelling so much during the year so when you have two or three weeks holiday I stay at home. I have all my friends there and I live in a nice country, I have everything there that I need so there is no point to drive away.

Q: Now the next race, obviously in Hungary after this one, do you see it as a bit of a home race for you?

Klien: Absolutely. It is one hour from Vienna, lots of Austrian fans I think will come to this race and it is, for sure, also a home Grand Prix for me. For me, Hockenheim is closer to where I live but I think lots of Austrian fans are there, it is good motivation for me, so I try to make a good job there.

Q: Now, you know this circuit. How many of the remaining circuits do you know?

Klien: Um, I know Hungary and I know Spa from Formula Renault, I know Monza and then China, Japan and Brazil are again very new for me. But when I came to the first circuit that I knew, that was in Imola, I knew it from Formula Renault, and I thought it helps more if you have raced there before. But when I came there in a Formula One car it is completely different - the speed, the braking points, the bumps feel different, you use the kerbs differently, so it is more or less you have to go on the circuit new. Normally on a race weekend it takes the whole Friday testing to get used to the circuit, to get up to speed, and on Saturday you can start to work on set-up with the engineers to improve the car.

Q: How useful has it been having Bjorn Wirdheim and obviously Mark as well - having three drivers on the Friday?

Klien: It is very useful. Especially, Bjorn Wirdheim can do the tyre testing for us, can try different set-ups, so that is a massive help for us. And also as a young driver like me I can learn a lot from Mark because he is always on Friday very quickly up to speed so I can see from the data exactly where I need to improve so it is a good help for me.


Q: (Will Buxton - Metro) Christian, there were reports in the British press - quotes from David Pitchforth - that maybe he felt you came into Formula One a little prematurely. Do comments like that spur you on to drive harder or do they knock your confidence?

Klien: I mean, sure, sometimes you get those things in the media but for me it's important to concentrate on my thing and I am absolutely confident and absolutely feel good in my team, in Jaguar Racing and so there is no point in getting upset and it is not good when you think too much about these things because the important thing is to perform well and try to do your best and still improve during the year.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Christian, what is the most difficult thing to learn or to master in Formula One, and what was something maybe you thought was difficult but which actually turned out to be very easy.

Klien: First of all I think it is very difficult, on a high-speed circuit like Barcelona and also, I think, Spa will be one of these circuits, to get up to speed quickly on a race weekend in the high speed corners because you need good confidence to use all the downforce of the car, to be as quick as your team-mate or the other drivers in these corners. I think that is a difficult thing. And what is easier? Nothing. Everything is difficult in Formula One. It's all at the maximum and especially in the first year, when you come from Formula Three, you have to learn so many things. Even after twelve races you learn in every test day, you learn in every race situation you learn and you improve yourself.

Q: Presumably with the test ban coming up you are looking for a fairly major improvement from this weekend, because it's going to be the same for the next couple of races?

Klien: It is, yeah, so this test in Jerez was very important for us. I think we did three very good days there. Also, for me as a driver, it's always good to have test days to improve yourself, to work closer with the engineers, to get a feel for the car, so it's also very good for the driver, and of course, we improve the car. And that will be for the next three races.

Q: Do you think your motivation is as high now as it was at the start of the year or do you feel a little tired, particularly after this recent run of races?

Klien: No, it is absolutely the same, I think maybe even higher because now I know how difficult and how tough it is in Formula One and you have to do everything the right way and everything 100 percent, so there is no time to drop your motivation and to slow down.

Q: Here is a strange question which you may or may not be able to answer. Last year, you won the Marlboro Masters Formula Three race at Zandvoort, that's coming up in the next couple of weeks, who do you think is going to win it this year?

Klien: I think the Formula Three Euroseries is very strong again this year. There are ten drivers at every race who can win the race, but Jamie Green is very often in front, especially with the French team, the ASM team, and I think he has the experience and he could win it. But Nelson Piquet was also very quick there last year, he was on pole and then finished second behind me in the race, so I think he will also be somewhere in the front there.

Q: (Walter Zipser - DSF) Concerning the break, you will be driving a race car in the next few days, the classic event in Austria, the Ennstal Classic, alongside guys like John Surtees and Stirling Moss. What are your feelings about that and what car will you be driving there?

Klien: I am driving the Ennstal Classic in Austria next week and so on Saturday I will be there and driving an old Jaguar E-type. At the moment I don't know exactly which car it will be, but it will be a good opportunity to drive in such an old and historic car and I think it will be great fun, especially with all the old racing legends there.


Q: Tell us about the football last night, how did it go?

Michael SCHUMACHER: Very good, enjoyed ourselves, amazing crowd, really great support we had from our fans and good success in terms of the money we were able to raise for the children. All the guys who came enjoyed themselves, we had a nice dinner afterwards together and they seemed to have a great party afterwards which I obviously didn't attend but everybody said they were quite happy.

Q: So who were the star players?

Schumacher: We had Effenberg, we had Torsten Frings, and we had lots of good German players - ex-players, obviously not players who play in the leagues right now because they are just in preparation. A bit of an unfortunate situation with Figo, who had to cancel at the last minute, for whatever reason. It was a little bit disappointing because I went to his game and he sort of committed himself to come to our game and he didn't come up, so that was a little bit disappointing for the fans there. But anyway, we had a good game and guys like Matthaus were there, Toni Schumacher was there, a good level of people.

Q: And the score?

Schumacher: We scored 6-6 altogether. It seems to be tradition that we even out (the score). I don't know how it works all the time but it does seem to work out somehow.

Q: Now, what is the story about your - I don't know whether you call it a good luck charm - the thing that you have round your neck? That apparently went missing, is that right?

Schumacher: Yeah. I lost it during the English Grand Prix and it's a - how do you say - a lucky piece from my wife, and it's obviously quite meaningful to me because it has all the initials of the family on there. It is not highly valuable but it has a personal meaning to me and I was lucky that a good guy found it and actually returned it to me today.

Q: Did he find it outside the circuit or within the paddock?

Schumacher: Within the paddock, it was apparently somewhere close to our motorhomes where I was running. A little clip came undone somehow and that's why it came off. It's lucky I got it back. It's now in my pocket.

Q: This weekend's circuit, it's quite interesting, because by your own standards, it's not one of your luckiest, in fact. You've had one pole position and two wins here, so how do you feel about Hockenheim?

Schumacher: Yeah, my results don't look too great for whatever reason but coming here I always feel good. And I just hope that, as I didn't finish as good in England in previous years and I seemed to turn that around, (I will) be able to do the same here.

Q: You have had a fantastic season so far and you can clinch the Constructors' Championship here. But do you feel they are closing in on you?

Schumacher: I definitely do. We live from the fact that we almost always get 100 percent out of our package, get the right bit, our strategies and live occasionally from when our competitors don't do it, because maybe they had a bad qualifying or they just made a mistake on the strategy, which allows us to look very strong. To win as many races as we have done in this season shouldn't have happened, honestly, but we are glad it has happened and we hope we can continue.

Q: The Constructors' Championship, obviously you're fairly confident that you're going to clinch it, if not here then elsewhere.

Schumacher: We would rather do it here, obviously. It would be a nice present for our fans and supporters to do it here and it could mean that we could have a nice celebration afterwards.

Q: There is another great sportsman making history at the moment, Lance Armstrong, in the Tour de France. How do you see his accomplishments in relation to your own?

Schumacher: I don't really see that you should compare in any way, because what he is doing is so unique and so special. I was just watching television, them sitting on the bikes again after so many days being on it, and so many kilometres they have done. I do training myself and I know what it means to do what I'm doing, but to do what they do, that's massive. It is really, really massive and impressive. We do, maybe, in other views, something different but obviously interesting as well for a lot of people. But to compare, I don't think there's common ground except the success, but I think there's more than just to compare the success.


Q: (Will Buxton - Metro) Michael, looking back on your years with Ferrari, the team must be indistinguishable from that of 1996. To what would you attribute, the greatest changes, who would you say had the most influence on the team and how far do you feel the team has come in that time?

Schumacher: Let me put it this way: You cannot judge success to one single point. It is a series of combinations which need to be right to be as successful as we have been. There are some pinpoints, of which obviously Jean Todt is the first one to mention, to pull the right people together. Then we have to talk about Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Paolo Martinelli, a whole group which then forms around them to make happen what does happen. Each one has his portion of this one.

Q: (Will Buxton) You talk about Paolo Martinelli, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt, surely they are not going to at Ferrari forever. Can the team hope to maintain the same course as at the moment?

Schumacher: Who knows? The point is that we are all not really that old to retire rather soon. We have some more years in front of us and if I understand the situation well, then everybody is happy and everybody could imagine to keep going.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Michael, there are going to be 100,000 people out there on Sunday very happy if you win but there will be people elsewhere saying 'oh no, another Michael win. It's getting monotonous.' How do you react to them?

Schumacher: I think the point is that I worry for the people who cheer for us. I don't worry for the others, there is no reason to. I would rather make them happy, they support us.

Q: (Stefan Skolik - Mannheimer Morgen) I don't know if it's the acoustics here in the room, but is your health OK? You sound as if you might have a cold or something.

Schumacher: It is nothing to do with last night! I just have a flu. When you have a flu you are not 100 percent but by Sunday I will be.

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