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Belgian GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
14/09/2007

To all of you: your reaction to the hearing yesterday and the penalty, and also your reaction if you've read the final judgement published today.
Nick Fry: We were just joking outside that you were going to ask us that question because I think it (the final judgement) was released when we were all sitting on the pit wall, so we suspect most of the audience have read it and we haven't, unless Flavio read it while he was on the pit wall, so we have not seen it. I think it's very difficult to speak about the judgement itself. My personal perspective is that it's good that McLaren are racing. I think from the Formula One point of view it would be extremely disappointing for all of us if a competitor of that calibre was missing from the grid, so I think that's the good news. I think we all hope that this is the end of it. Obviously there's a danger it won't be but I think we would be better off focusing on the sport, the entertainment, getting the rules right to help that, getting the engine rules worked out and getting on with life. I hope it doesn't continue to perpetuate.

What about the size of the penalty?
NF: McLaren are very rich, I guess.

If somebody hit you with that penalty?
NF: I don't think I'd be sitting here.

Mario Theissen: Well, what Nick just said is exactly what I said to him outside before. In fact I'm in the same position. I haven't had the chance to read the final judgement, the detailed judgement. I haven't been involved… we haven't been involved in the case at all. We haven't been there at the hearing. What I know I know from you guys and I'm sure you know more than I do at this point of time. It certainly is a big fine and I can only hope it is over now, although I don't really believe in that.

Christian Horner: Yes, hopefully it brings this issue to an end and everybody can focus on the last four races and on the Drivers' Championship. Obviously the FIA has acted with the evidence that they had to hand and have made the decisions that they feel are obviously appropriate. One can only feel slightly sorry for McLaren in that the actions of a few reckless individuals have obviously hit them with a pretty Draconian penalty. But the evidence was there and the FIA have acted accordingly. But it's a big cheque.

You talk about a couple of individuals; how can you prevent that happening within a team?
CH: I think it's very difficult, but when an employee comes to work for you, they sign on the dotted line to abide by the rules of that company and part of those rules, certainly in our team, is that they don't bring written down IP (intellectual property) or IP from other teams with them. Those actions have obviously been fairly reckless by those individuals involved and the company has picked up the can for it.

Gerhard Berger: I think everything has been said. I think that the guys said it just now – I just agree.

Flavio Briatore: Same. I'm with Christian completely. I was on the pit wall – maybe you are too far from me so you didn't see me – and I'm very… What is more important is that everybody knows the truth. Now everybody has the script (WMSC Decision) which they are able to read and we need to go on. We need to stop talking about this story and talk about the sport. If McLaren has been found guilty, it is because of the evidence at the World Council, only that. The size of the penalty depends. It's important.

Questions From The Floor

(James Allen – ITV) Flavio, I understand that McLaren have brought to your attention something involving your team, and a similar sort of situation. Have you been told that there's going to be an investigation into that and do you expect a similar sort of penalty if there is?
FB: First, if somebody tells me it's the same, I sue somebody, quickly. Second, it's not an investigation regarding myself and the team. Third, we give all the information to the Federation, at least when we found out something, and this is it. It's as simple as that. And I give the evidence as well to McLaren, nothing to… And I don't think that in this case McLaren said to bring this case in the World Council as well for more confusing is possible, I think this result was not achieved. There was no confusion, there was just the fine for McLaren but it was important to try to take rocks in the direction of everybody. This I try with Red Bull for what I know. It's as simple as that. I think McLaren was judged by the World Council, and there was enough evidence to find McLaren guilty, it's as simple as that. I don't want, at this moment (to talk) about Renault because first we are not being investigated, second we give all our evidence to McLaren and to Mr Mosley and to the Federation.

(Miran Alisic – POP TV) I read a comment in a newspaper today that $100m for a normal human being is a huge sum of money, probably not for Formula One teams. You are representing five teams. What is $100m for you as a team? What would happen if you lost $100m?
GB: For me it's very simple: I'm bankrupt.

FB: It's a lot of money for everybody because… $100m, for example, you have three or four Alonsos, three or four Schumachers in the team. This is what you have. It's a fairly high penalty. I'm sure it's very high.

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