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Australian GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
26/03/2010

A question for you all. Was the result in Bahrain pretty much what you expected or were there some surprises?
Martin Whitmarsh: We didn't think we were going to be that slow. That was a surprise.

But you still finished in the top three.
MW: Yes, we still finished. I think you would have expected the four teams represented here certainly to be at the top and they appear to be. Ferrari and Red Bull look very quick. Other than that I don't think there were any great surprises.

But in the correct order?
MW: Well, not from my viewpoint, but it was good for Ferrari. They have obviously done a good job and Red Bull were very quick in qualifying, startlingly quick. I think we underperformed fairly severely in qualifying. We were a little bit more respectable in the race.

Stefano, any surprises?
Stefano Domenicali: For us it was a fantastic result. To say we were expecting the result at the beginning, I would lie to you. It was a fantastic surprise but nevertheless we don't have to forget that Red Bull seems to be quicker. I think that we are all very close, so as I said in Bahrain we took out the maximum result and considering the level of performance of our main competitors Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren on top of the others, I think we should be very happy about the fact we were first and second.

Christian?
Christian Horner: The biggest surprise for us I guess was on lap 33 when we were suddenly running on seven cylinders. But up until that point the weekend had gone very well. The problem with winter testing is that with the way fuel loads are now, it is very difficult to predict pace. We stuck to our own programme and it was only really I guess on the Saturday when the fuel came out of the cars that is arguably the first time you get an idea where you stand which was obviously encouraging. The performance of our car in the race was also encouraging. It was just unfortunate that we didn't come away with a grand prix victory which was well within our grasp but these things happen.

Ross, were you pretty much where you expected?
Ross Brawn: I think so. There were no major surprises. We are not quite where we want to be and therefore the results were a little bit disappointing. But we know what we have got to do. The season goes through many phases. The first part of the season is everyone establishing where they are and then reacting to where they find themselves, so we are reacting at the moment.

Another question to you all. Coming here to a very different type of circuit, how does your performance here compare to Bahrain? For example, Martin, I think you learned quite a lot from Bahrain which will be of use here.
MW: Well, I hope so but I think we have got to be cautious. I think we have had a reasonable day today. But it is only Friday and as Christian said we are all looking to do a little bit of long running on heavy fuel and vary the fuel loads. That makes it pretty impossible to know exactly where you are. You have just got to follow your own programme but I think we had a reasonable day, but unfortunately it doesn't count for anything, so we will see how we get on tomorrow.

I think you suffered a little bit on the bumps in Bahrain?
MW: We did. I think we didn't have the right downforce for that circuit and we also really didn't react sufficiently to the bumps in the new section of that circuit. We could have done a better job. I don't think necessarily been as quick as Red Bull in qualifying but I think we could have been a little bit closer.

Stefano?
SD: Here today with the weather condition I think for all the teams they have not done a complete programme as expected. We want to keep the same line as we predicted this morning but the fact that the track was not wet enough or not dry enough that was the reason why we didn't go out in that fraction. What Martin and Christian said is totally correct. We don't know exactly where we are. You see the gaps are so big that we know that it is not only the performance on the same level of fuel, so we will know tomorrow exactly where we will be in comparison to all the other competitors. The only thing I can say is that at least what I saw this morning it seems that Renault have done a good job with two cars there in the first 10 places. I think we need to respect the job that they did. The season will bring us new competitors the more we go ahead.

Christian?
CH: We worked through a programme. Both drivers seemed pretty happy with the car. Again difficult to gauge fully where you stand in competitiveness, but it was a shame that a little bit of wet weather interfered with that session. But generally pretty happy and we will see how we go tomorrow.

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