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Italian GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
07/09/2007

Geoff, welcome back. What are your first impressions of Red Bull Racing?
Geoff Willis: Well, first of all, I am very glad to be back in F1 and very happy to be at Red Bull. They have certainly got quite a different flavour from some of the other teams I have worked for. There are a lot of good things about the team and also a lot of things to do in the team to improve it. But certainly over the first few weeks that I have been there I have been pleasantly surprised by what I have found and hope and feel confident that we can make quite a big improvement next year.

What is your main function there?
GW: My role is technical director and I think that role is quite varied among the teams. Essentially it is split between myself and Adrian and it is very much that Adrian's looking after the direction of performance development, and my job is the execution of all the rest of the engineering to support that so it's the design function, manufacturer operations. But of course, you can't do one in the absence of the other, so there has to be quite a lot of overlap between myself and Adrian and it's obviously a great benefit that I've worked with him for quite a number of years many years ago at Williams. I'm certainly enjoying it, yes.

Pat, is there any development still taking place on the Renault now, or is it purely concentrated on 2008?
Pat Symonds: We're very much on 2008 at the moment. At this time of the year most teams are focused on the following year and how you're approaching the following year depends, in turn, on how much you can then translate into the current year. If you have a very evolutionary development to the following year, there are chances you can be trying things in the wind tunnel and you can say this will work on the current car, so you bring it in. We've got a reasonable few differences in the layout of our 2008 cars, so we believe that there won't be much translation back into the 27, so we're not going to see a great deal of development on the car between now and the end of the season, as we really put our concentration into 2008.

Now you're involved in what I believe is called the overtaking working group. Can you tell us how that's coming along? What it's doing? Give a general update?
PS: Yeah, it's coming along well, I think, in that the four wind tunnel sessions have now finished and yesterday we sat down to discuss the final results and to really pull out the parts that are needed to be the framework of the regulations. The next steps are to write some of those regulations and to test the results on a simulator, which is happening, I believe, next Wednesday. We're meeting - as the technical working group - at a special meeting for a report from the overtaking working group on October 12, I believe, and at that meeting, we will present the results of the work that has been going on over the summer and decide how we progress it through with a view to writing regulations in 2009 that will produce an aerodynamic solution or a car solution, let's say, that will improve the possibility of cars overtaking. It's not going to lead to saloon car racing or NASCAR racing or anything like that, but it's certainly going to take away, I believe, some of the difficulties that the drivers are experiencing at the moment.

And it really could happen, because we've heard about it for several years...
PS: Well, the overtaking working group was actually only formed in January, our first meeting was in January. It's been an exemplary bit of work I think, in that all the teams except one have contributed to it. The FIA has contributed to it, it's been a very co-operative effort but guided by quite a small group, and I think it's a little bit of a model for how we might do some other things. I think it's good that the stake-holders of Formula One actually put their money in to doing the research that's needed to do these very complicated jobs – what I'd like to say is - properly. I hope that we do more things like this.

Willy, obviously BMW have had a fantastic season this year. Presumably in 2008 you're aiming to catch the two teams ahead of you.
Willy Rampf: Yes, the target for next year is to be position three or better. For sure, we're aiming to get one of the two teams in front of us but that will be overall quite difficult because there's still a noticeable time gap but anyway, this is our target.

Are you studying specific items throughout your performance to make sure you make that gain, is that how you do it?
WR: I think currently we have quite a good, quite a competitive car, quite a solid car with a high level of reliability. As the regulations are not changing for next year, next year's car will be to a certain degree an evolution of this year's car and currently we are concentrating to improve all the areas, not only the aerodynamic but also the mechanical side because we see that it's quite important to use the maximum performance of the tyres.

Mario, looking at this year's championship, are you confident that the future circuits are going to be better suited than say Hungary, Monaco – the tighter tracks?
Mario Almondo: Of course, I believe that we are making a lot of effort in the right direction. Since the beginning of the season, we knew we would have some circuits which are more difficult than others, and up to now what we probably saw is almost exactly what we were forecasting. By the end of the year, I think that we will have a good possibility of winning races and the development that we are still pushing is something that gives us a bit of extra boost in order to be really competitive and winning because what we have to do is just that.

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