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Franz, a new technical director. One has departed and a new one has arrived. First of all, can you explain what happened with Giorgio?Franz Tost: First of all I want to thank Giorgio Ascanelli. He did a very good job over the last six years, when he was with us because we must not forget that he had to build up infrastructure at Toro Rosso. When he started there were around 20 engineers and today there are around five times the number. He did a really great job. We were quite successful. As you know in 2008 we won the first grand prix with Sebastian Vettel, therefore thank you very much for this. Now times have changed, we are looking forward to a new challenge and therefore James Key is on board with us.
So, what can you hope for from James in the short term with this year's car and in the longer term with next year's car, which presumably has already been started?FT: First of all, this year's car, we've arrived into September where we can't expect so many changes. I think we will come up with some upgrades for the rest of the season, but there were planned and in project already before James joined us. But he is now very much involved in the design of the new car, which already started around two months. But nevertheless he will have hopefully a lot of influence over next year's car.
Presumably you're very encouraged to see what's happening with Sauber, which was James' last car?FT: Sauber is doing very well. The car is very fast and hopefully he will do a similar good job, as he did at Sauber.
And the same engine of course?FT: Exactly.
Pat, first of all, tell us about Alonso's problems today?Pat Fry: Well, this morning, obviously, he had an issue, which stopped us running a little bit early. This afternoon has been a bit of a messy afternoon for us. We had a problem with a brake system and finally a gearbox problem stopped us running right at the end. Fortunately, we managed to do all the long-run work with Felipe. We didn't get the entire programme done with Fernando, but we answered the questions we needed to ask.
Was that quite a high mileage engine? And what about the gearbox, do you get a penalty for that?PF: Gearboxes are free on Friday obviously and the engine was obviously a Friday engine at high mileage.
In terms of the performance this year, you've turned round a car that was not particularly competitive at the beginning of the season, particularly around Barcelona and the Mugello test. What did you do then and what can you do now? Was it modifications or was it set-up changes.PF: Mainly modifications to the aero package. I think we made a reasonable step forward in Barcelona and we made another reasonable step forward in Canada. I mean, every race we bring new parts but I think those are the two steps that I suppose stand out when you look at the performance of all the teams. But I think we've still got a long way to go to be happy with our performance level.
And the aero package here: how is that working?PF: Yeah, everything seems to be behaving sensibly. It's a little bit of an extreme circuit here and I'm sure there will be different downforce level choices with people and it should make for an entertaining race anyway.
Eric, we've seen Romain Grosjean here. Presumably you've had quite a chat with him. What has he said and what have you said to him since last weekend?Eric Boullier: Nothing much to add to what had been said in the media here. Just to his clear understanding that is was a severe penalty he got and talking about the reason why and how we can change things to make his weekend a little bit easier to handle for him. Basically this kind of discussion.
Last weekend, Kimi at one point was complaining about lack of power on the radio...EB: He was asking 'can I have more'. During the race we have different strategies. We knew that Sebastian was too far in front of us to catch up and so we went into a fuel saving mode and obviously that's changing a little bit the mapping and the performance of the engine. He was just hoping to be back to the normal fuel system.
Jerome D'Ambrosio steps in having done a few laps earlier on this year at Mugello, but only that. In retrospect would you perhaps give a reserve driver more laps, or maybe even a Friday for example?EB: The plan was to give him a couple of Fridays and more over the whole season. But because of the performance we had to reconsider a little bit the strategy and ambition of the team maybe for this year. It's always when something happens that you say 'I should have done this differently'. Obviously I am happy with what he did bring. We gave him also a couple of runs with an old car, a three years old car in different demos and that helped him as well to keep a little bit some feeling with a Formula One. But yeah, if he would have a more mileage he would have fit a little bit better even if he did a good job today.
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