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Bahrain GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
04/04/2014

Bob, could I start with you. It looks like you're in the battle again here this weekend behind the Mercedes. It's been a pretty decent start to the season on the while. Two battles with the fastest Ferrari at the first two races. What do you put it down to and how do you feel about the start you've made?
Robert Fernley: I think it has to be testament to the team really. We were in this position really last year and unfortunately the steam was taken out of us a little bit when the tyre change came in and we had to recover from that and really play catch-up from them on. But I think this year, Otmar [Szafnauer] and Andy Green and the whole team have done a fantastic job of putting together a very competitive chassis and of course it's not an accident that we've also got the Mercedes engine, which is very helpful.

For a team like yours in a the position you're currently in, how confident do you feel that you can develop along with the others and stay more of less where you are now throughout this year?
RF: I think it's always harder for a team like Force India to be able to completely keep the resources that are necessary for development. But I think we should be OK. I think we'll be alright. I think Red Bull have got a lot more to come yet and that's going to be a threat going forward. Other teams are doing a great job as well. It's only a matter of time before we're in the throes of an aero war.

Coming to you now Pat. It looked very strong today, especially the long runs. But you didn't go out until quite late one. Generally though it's been a reasonably strong start to the season, you've scored 10 points twice. A very different picture from last year. Do you feel you've taken full advantage of this early competitiveness so far?
Pat Symonds: No, I don't think anyone in Formula One is ever satisfied with what they've done until they totally dominate and while 20 points from the first two races is a huge improvement on where we were last year, I still feel that we have the potential to do a little bit more than that. I think we've underperformed a little bit and I hope that the next couple of races will allow us to improve on where we are.

There's been a lot of talk about the last race in Malaysia - the Massa and Bottas instructions. Now that you've done the analysis on that, what more can you say about that episode and possible outcomes?
PS: I think, as we've said, it's not a big deal. We could have maybe handled it better. We've learned from it and we've moved on. The drivers are happy so let's just continue with the rest of the season now.

Thank you for that, Pat. Coming to Luigi Fraboni - welcome. [Luigi is] head of track engineering for Ferrari on the engine side. Talk to us about the achievement of getting these very complex machines - the power units - operational and racing to the point we are now, particularly from where we were in testing here in Bahrain only a few weeks ago.
Luigi Fraboni: Of course for us and for all the other manufacturers of engines it was a very hard job. Honestly, looking at what we have now and what we were in the end of January, for me it is close to being a miracle. Of course the result we have achieved is due to the job of everyone in Ferrari, everyone at home and everyone here ay the track. It's something that we are still developing and there are a lot of things to learn. Basically with every run you learn something and every run you try to put something in the power units for the following one. I think that for us there are still a lot of things to do but there are a lot of jobs we have already done and we are very happy about this.

Talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the Ferrari power unit as you see it at the moment?
LF: Well, of course, I think it's quite early to say but in the first two races having four Ferrari engines on our side that saw the chequered flag I think is a very good result, as you said thinking about where we are in the end of January. And then so we also start to see the real reliability of the power unit because this is basically the third race for some one and they start to be above 2,000km by the end of this weekend and for sure I hope this is one of our strengths. In terms of mapping and in terms of fuel consumption I think we are in quite a good shape. Of course in terms of absolute power this is something... you can see there lap time between the car, there is a difference of speed between the cars but the difference of speed is not only the power unit. So we have some ideas. We know we have to improve on our side on the power unit but this is also car related so we'll have to do the best on this.

Coming to you Remi. Same questions I asked Luigi a moment ago really: about the challenge, the achievement of going to this point. How do you evaluate from a Renault point of view?
Remi Taffin: I think we've made a big step from where we were one month ago. Obviously we had difficulties to get out - simply like this. I think now we can at least make our teams go out and do their programme, which is an achievement from that point of view. Obviously we keep on developing our engines and I think it's working well. Obviously it's not where would like to be but we can we have made some progress and there is still a lot to come.

To get eight cars to the finish in the first two races - how do you evaluate that side?
RT: I think it's just to put on the fact that the job being done at the factory is massive. We've seen where we were at the tests - very difficult to get cars on track. So yes it's a good first thing. We always say we need reliability to make some progress and work on the power of it. So I think we've got there in terms of reliability and now we just need to develop as quick as we can. We are a bit behind schedule but we are doing as much as we can and we will see for the next two or three races how we can get up to speed.

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1. Posted by GoodPublicity, 05/04/2014 5:46 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 05/04/2014 8:28)

"At yesterday's Friday FIA press conference in Bahrain, the Formula 1 media finally had an opportunity to question a Red Bull Racing spokesman (Adrian Newey) publicly about the most contentious issue facing the reigning champion team, if not F1: viz. the accuracy of the FIA fuel flow sensor.

The result? Not a single question about it. Pat Symonds was the only panel member to mention the 'FFS word', and then only in passing.

These charades at the past two Grands Prix have exposed the F1 media representatives who attended them as utterly incompetent. They should resign, or be sacked by their editors.

http://www.pitpass.com/51269/Bahrain-GP-Friday-Press-Conference"

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