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Canada GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
06/06/2014

Dave can we start with you? Obviously points for the team in Monaco. That must be a huge boost, a huge encouragement to the team. Can you tell us about the reaction within the team and also how you got there, the work that was involved in that?
Dave Greenwood: Yeah, obviously for the whole team they were very pleased on Sunday evening with the result. From the point of view of how we got there, really we'd actually brought some updates to the Barcelona race and we almost struggled a bit to get them working as we'd expected during the race weekend but the real positive for us was the fact that we had the two-day test after the Barcelona race. So, plenty of new tyres you to do some good testing and we had quite a good result on the first day. We got the car much better balanced with the parts that we had brought to the race. Certainly Max, on day one, was very happy with the car. Competitiveness-wise on day one? OK, it's only a test and yes we did put the supersoft tyres on, but that vaulted us right up to the front of the timesheets, which was not normal for us. We were quite happy with that and Max did a good job to get the parts working on the first day. Confirmed with Jules, the situation had improved on the second day and really went into Monaco [where] we kind of thought ‘well, that's great, they worked well at Barcelona, but Monaco is a completely different track'. So we were quite, not nervous, but you know we needed to make sure that the homework we did to translate the set-up from Barcelona to Monaco was the right direction. Monaco free practice went really well, really happy with the balance of the car again and the times we were posting. What we're saying is that we were at the back of the midfield pack. I'm not saying we were further forward than that. But that's the place you need to be on a Sunday when you have a race of attrition, which is obviously what we had. It enabled us to be in the right place to take hold of the places when they became available.

Where do you go from here then? Can you repeat that result and how do you build from here and develop?
DG: Obviously on pure pace alone we're not going to repeat that result this weekend. It's clear we needed some luck. But the bottom line is if you're fighting with the cars that are trying to take the eighth, ninth and tenth-place spots, they're good cars, they're good competitors, so you need to have a reasonable amount of pace to be able to stay with them. Obviously in Monaco, you've got the advantage of the fact that there is a huge lap time difference needed to overtake, there's much less here, so that helped us. But we just need to keep progressing, keep bringing developments to the car, we've got some more developments this week, just keep chipping away at it and see how we get on.

Well done, thank you? Giampaolo, coming to you, can you tell us from an engineering point of view why have the first six races of the season gone the way they have for Sauber?
Giampaolo Dall'Ara: OK. It has been quite a tough beginning, especially entering the season. Even before racing we had quite a tough winter preparing the car and the team with the big changes this year and obviously the big hit we got was that the performance side of things was nowhere near where we were expecting. We have been identifying some of the reasons why. For some of them there was a kind of immediate follow-up but for others it took and is taking longer, that's why we still lag quite a bit behind where we would like to be in terms of pure performance. In the early races we had some reliability issues, some accidents as well, but in all honesty, if you talk about scoring points we were never really in position on performance grounds. In the last of couple of events starting in Barcelona we could introduce a new aero package, we could finalise quite an extensive weight reduction campaign. The car came out for a number of reasons I'm not going to explain here, came out way heavier then we were expecting and targeting so we had to take on that problem as well. On top of this we worked together with our powertrain supplier Ferrari to get on top of some of the issues on that side of things and we believe we made quite a remarkable step and performance... unfortunately the kind of race we are able to perform is quite at the back and we would like to step up further, at least to fight in the midfield, regularly scoring points. We are not quite there yet.

But since Barcelona we feel that we are closer. In Barcelona we had to face some setup issues related to the difference we had in the new package which, let's say, were heading to some instability the drivers couldn't cope with and not all of them were solvable and the race was... although we had both cars on the finish line we were quite far from the points. In Monaco, quite a few of those issues were addressed to our satisfaction. Also we had this test in between the two races, which helped a lot and we were reasonably happy about the performance there. We didn't qualify well, not only due to performance, we had a couple of unfortunate rounds so we had to start from the back - but we felt in the race that we could fight which some of the guys we are normally not used to fight with. Unfortunately we didn't have the cars on the finish line due to accidents in this case which, yeah, had a high price for us because right now we are on the sporting side, not in an ideal situation. Definitely we are not happy about this but for sure we don't take it too badly. We feel like we are on a growing pattern and we keep being optimistic about the future. We try to improve race-by-race and we are quite sure that at some point we will be back in the right fight.

Pat, quite a bit of discussion this weekend about the new package on the Ferrari this weekend. Fernando said yesterday that there were updates that needed validating here today. Can you tell us what you tried on the car, whether it worked and how you feel about it?
Pat Fry: There were quite a few bits: aero; a lot of the control system tuning; obviously reliability updates in the engine and that in itself allows us to push the engine a little bit harder as well. It's far too early to be able to say whether it's all working or not. Some things are looking promising, some we need to look into in more detail as normal really. So, yeah, reasonable and a broad spread set of developments. But we need to keep developing the car as quickly as we can really.

I guess the big question is: is Paddy's Mercedes team catchable before the end of the season?
PF: I think that's going to be a very tough challenge really - but we just need to keep on. There's quite a gap to close, let's face it, but we just need to do our best and keep developing.

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