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Korean GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
12/10/2012

David, you've made progression in 2012, presumably you're hoping to carry that through to 2013. How is work progressing on that car?
David Greenwood: I think it's been mentioned many times, the aero rules are quite consistent between 2012 and 2013, so a bit like a few other teams we opted to stay developing this car a little bit longer but now we've firmly switched over to the '13 car and that's going reasonably well. A little bit of layout change required because of the KERS, so it's taken a few wind tunnel sessions to start getting into that with different wheelbases etc., so really that's what the aero guys are focussing on. To mention the KERS, obviously quite bit of installation work going on to there to get that into the car from the design guys. But that's gone reasonably well, the first chassis is in manufacture and the guys are starting to do sample crash tests, so we're in a lot better position than maybe we were last year. So hopefully with doing a bit more of our homework earlier one, we're looking to progress.

You're in the intriguing position of having technical partnerships with two other teams: McLaren and Williams. How does that work and what are the benefits to that?
DG: Starting with the McLaren one, which is the first one we did, with McLaren Applied Technologies, it's going very well. We're pleased with the wind tunnel, we're pleased with the correlation we get to the circuit, which is one of the things that's given us the ability to progress at the back end of this season. Most updates that we've had have done what they should, so that's been very pleasing. The simulator programme is going well, particularly helping Charles with learning circuits. This back end of the year has been perhaps circuits that he's not used to, so that's been a valuable tool for him. Moving on to Williams, we're exceptionally pleased with the support we've had from them on the installation of the KERS. It's been really, really good support from them and it's enabled us to get it into the car relatively easily and all of that work has gone well so far.

Mark, we've seen the Williams good in the first part of the season, then there was a less productive middle part, and now it seems to be coming back again. How do you see the season so far?
Mark Gillan: In terms of pace, our performance has been improving through the season - we just haven't capitalised on the general pace of the car. We obviously had a high point at the beginning, at Barcelona, and really haven't delivered the points that we should have over the last number of races. Hopefully the last race was a turning point: we didn't qualify as strongly as we were hoping, the race pace was very good but we need - as you always do - to string it all together through the weekend. And that's something that we have to aim to do.

And plans for the rest of this season and maximising the good points of this car for next year?
MG: Last season we basically spent the last six events developing the car for this year and understanding the weaker points on last year's car. This year we're really pushing to the end of the season with development, and balancing the development all the way to the end of the season with 2013 - and obviously very importantly 2014 as well.

Pierre, I guess the burning question is 'can you catch Mercedes?'
Pierre Wache: I don't know. What I know is our car performed well in Suzuka, we had quite a good car. I don't know if for these kind of races we'll be at the same level but I think it will be more challenging for us in qualifying, maybe more in the field - but we can expect good performance for the race.

Can you maintain this car for next year? It's interesting that things have slightly changed on the technical side of the Sauber team.
PW: I think we can maintain and improve what the car is delivering at the moment for the next year. Clearly we follow the same concept in terms of developing the car, make a good basic of the car and try to improve the weakness of the last year's car, like we did this year. And try to do that in the most efficient way. It's what we try to do: to use as less resource as possible but for the maximum performance and be able then to develop the car during the season.

James, everyone's talking about the modifications here, and whether they're working or not. What the general viewpoint?
James Allison: Reasonably happy with the way they're working. I think we're at the beginning of a relatively long road with them - they're not straightforward to make work perfectly first go out. But the numbers we're getting from them are good, so yeah, quite pleased.

Romain Grosjean yesterday said you know the weaknesses of this car. What are you able to do about them?
JA: Same as anyone else - you just chip away at them. It's an annoying sport this: you can think you're making progress and then everyone else gives you a wake-up call. But we've got a good team back at the factory and a good team here at the track. We just keeping working away at the things that aren't so good and try to make the things that are good even better. It's always the same job.

Paddy, five races to go and according to the FIA sheet you've used all eight engines. Is that a concern?
Paddy Lowe: No, not at all. We're working exactly to the plan we set out at the beginning of the year. I think, like all the teams, we deploy our engines in what we consider the optimal pattern across the different races. Some circuits are better for power than others, so we happen to have used engine number eight where we thought it was best. Other teams have different solutions. But there's no concern at all, it's all to plan.

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