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USA GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
16/06/2007

A question to all of you: your thoughts on safety in Formula One following last weekend's accident in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Stefano Domenicali: Well, I think that what we have seen during the last Canadian Grand Prix showed how safety has improved in the last years. This is thanks to the FIA together with all the teams. You have to think that an accident like that a couple of years ago, well, maybe we would be in a different situation. On one side, for sure, that's one conclusion. That shows one thing: that we shouldn't forget that this sport is always very dangerous, so we don't have to drop the attention on safety. One of the main things, for sure, is that we have to keep up that pressure, together with the FIA, to give as much maximum effort in that respect because it's so crucial, and this is for sure what we have seen in the last Grand Prix.

Aguri Suzuki: I think the same. It was very shocking, it was a very very bad accident, but finding that the driver has nothing is really incredible. Also, now the cars are very safe. Imagine, I drove in Formula One 15 years ago, maybe it would have been a big problem but now the FIA has done a good job, and the teams and everything is very good. I'm very happy to be in Formula One now.

Frank Williams: I must say I feared the worst when I saw the initial impact, the very first one, the first concrete wall. I repeat, I feared the worst but it's certainly a remarkable testimony to the co-operation between the teams, engineers and designers and the FIA, because the numbers get higher and higher every year. And consequently, I think the cars get safer and safer every year. It speaks very highly of Formula One in terms of safety.

Norbert Haug: I absolutely share these views. The best outcome of the weekend was certainly that Robert didn't get hurt. It really looked shocking at the beginning. I think there has been a lot of positive work done by the FIA and teams and as Frank pointed out, the tests have got more and more severe and I think it's important to continue and we will continue, but it is sometimes really painful to pass all these tests. But I think it is very very important to continue in that direction. It's a statement for Formula One. Having said that, I think again we saw once more what speed is and this was really probably a surprise if you saw that on television. Some unfortunate circumstances came together but in the end it really went well and I think that is the most important thing and it has a solid background. It did not happen by accident but we still need to continue and improve and push in that direction, and I'm sure the FIA will and I'm sure the teams will be open (to their suggestions).

Stefano, Kimi has had a difficult start to the season in many ways. Do you feel that he's now becoming more confident?
SD: Well, I'm pretty sure that the answer is yes. The more he has the chance and the time to drive, the more he learns how to enter the new situation, the new car, the new tyres and the relationship with the team. So I'm pretty positive that for sure this is a very important event for him and also for the team, and I'm pretty sure we will see the real Kimi very, very soon.

Now, last weekend wasn't a fantastic weekend for the team, but you were looking for increased performance here. This is very much a Ferrari circuit. Have you found that today?
SD: For sure the last Grand Prix was not the best one. It was really bad, but we don't have to panic on that. We have had a season where after the sixth Grand Prix we worked through races for pole position. We didn't have, in a lot of circumstances, a great race in Canada and also Monte Carlo. Here for sure, looking at the situation over the last years, it was a good track for us. We know that our main competitor is McLaren Mercedes who have done a great job but I think today the situation has improved. We have done a good job in terms of learning, in terms of understanding the situation of the setup and the tyres here. So that will be positive for sure.

Aguri, obviously two great races for you this year, two points-scoring races. What sort of effect has that had on the team?
AS: I think I am very happy and also I want to say thank you to the drivers and sponsors and everything. But it is very impressive because our team is very small. This year our target is to just get points, one point I think is already good. Now we already have four points. I am very, very happy. Anyway, with our car potential it is normally very difficult to get points, but if something happens in the race, for example in Spain and Canada are very unusual races, so it is very important, the ability in the car, just to finish the races is our target. Maybe afterwards we get some points or something.

I realize the team is really quite small and obviously very new. What sort of developments do you have coming. When we're looking around you here, the teams here, they would have developments coming all the time.
AS: Yeah, but it's very important. Our staff is about 140 or 145, something like that. But it is like a family, it is just one piece. And everybody looks in the same direction. And also I can control everything. If it's - I don't know - 500, 600, 700, it's very difficult to control everything. But anyway, it is still small but it is a very good team, I think.

And have you got developments coming every race or every few races?
AS: Yeah, in Formula One it is very important in every race to have developments and to improve. But it depends on the budget, you know. Our team is still small, we are always looking for sponsors or talking to sponsors or something else. If we get more money, OK, I try harder. But anyway, we continue to develop our car.

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