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Japan GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
10/10/2008

Hiroshi, can you tell us about the 'Make Cars Green' initiative?
Hiroshi Yasukawa: Actually for us the environment and ecology is very important and fortunately we at Bridgestone are working with the FIA, not only in motorsport but also the road safety campaigns, and now we are going to start this campaign. We are very happy working together and everybody has to have concerns about ecology and the environment and the car manufacturers are always producing very good technologies which sometimes transfer to motorsport as well. Anything we can do, we are very happy.

For the team principals: how important is environmentally relevant technology to the future of motorsport?
Nick Fry: In our view it is absolutely critical. Formula One should run side-by-side with road car developments. The technologies which we are developing in Formula One should have some linkage to the basic business and in the case of Honda clearly the hybrid technology which is very similar to the KERS system that we are putting on Formula One cars next year is very dear to our hearts. It is featured on the current Honda Civic. We have got a new low cost hybrid being brought out in very large volumes next year and having Formula One and the road car side use relevant technologies is critical. What we hope for the future is that there will be further evolution of environmentally friendly technologies on the Formula One car. It really does work in synchronisation with what we are doing on the other side of the business, so we are very, very supportive. We are very pleased with our green tyres as they match the rest of our car very nicely. So thank you, Bridgestone.

John Howett: Probably a slightly different view. The main issue is that the carbon footprint of motorsport is extremely small, so the main thrust from Toyota is addressing the real issue which is the fact that we supply 10 million vehicles a year. Our thrust really is to make a real contribution to the core issue. Also to an extent the KERS system next year has the components and, if you like, concept similar to hybrid but because a Formula One car is running wide open throttle over 90 per cent of the time and in a road car hybrid you are using this technology really in city conditions in contributing to, shall we say, reduction in fuel economy, the application is completely different. Whether or not we wish to use Formula One shall we say to convey using its power, ecology and ecological behaviour to consumers is a different issue from the core aspect from our perspective of racing.

Mario Theissen: A slightly different position again. We are excited about the KERS system and the new regulations. Different from what John says I am pretty sure this will really speed up the development of future road car hybrid power trains. KERS only makes sense to us in Formula One if we are able to increase power density and the power to weight ratio of the KERS components by a factor of four to five compared to current road car solutions. This will immediately spur the development of future road car components as well. It perfectly fits with our approach at BMW to use the Formula One project not just as a marketing tool but as a technology pioneer. We have been able to raise synergies over the years on the power train and this will be taken to an entirely new level with the KERS system and what might follow. We really support the green campaign, although as an engineer I am more interested in the substance than the colour and if it was just about painting something green the true pioneers on the ecological side would have been the old English racing cars which used to be all green. But I think it is an exciting opportunity for motorsport and for Formula One and you know we have been supporting, or have been one of the strongest supporters of KERS from the very first moment.

Hiroshi, tell us how the tyres are behaving this weekend, the initial performance that you have seen so far.
HY: We have the medium and soft compound and I think this circuit, for the first time in dry conditions, is very challenging and interesting but anyhow we are going to support all teams and it should be no problem.

It looks as if the front left tyre is coming in for a lot of hard work.
HY: Yes, this is true. After this session out engineers and the teams' engineers are going to discuss how to maintain the tyres.

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