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Chinese GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
16/04/2010

Colin, tell us about your driver pairing, completely inexperienced when it comes to this race here in Shanghai?
Colin Kolles: Well, we are a new team, new cars and rookie drivers, so it's not easy, for sure, but I think they've done quite a good job in the first three races, not making too many mistakes. Today also went quite well, at a different level to the top teams, of course, but I think that we are improving steadily, so we are making step after step.

How easy or difficult has it been to build up a team, especially one that was really starting on the back foot?
CK: Not easy, it was a lot of work, I can tell you, in a very short period of time. I think people are underestimating what has been done or how difficult it is.

In terms of getting your personnel, for instance, you're not really based in the middle of Oxfordshire in England, in among existing racing teams.
CK: Yes, for sure, Murcia is not really the centre but obviously I was able to put it together. I think I have quite a good network and it was possible with the help of people who were loyal to me over a long period of time.

Can you just clarify the rumours of the relationship between the team and Dallara?
CK: I can clarify this. Obviously I have spoken with the people involved and I think they have been misquoted and misunderstood, so actually there is nothing more to say about this.

Peter, a very difficult start to the season for you. I'm sure you didn't come back into Formula One for a start to the season like the one you've experienced. Tell us what has happened?
Peter Sauber: It's not so easy to explain, maybe you have to ask the technicians. We expected more, especially after the good winter tests.

What were the basic problems, at the last race, for instance? Are those engines finished for the year or was the sensor the problem?
PS: It was a pressure sensor and we can't use the engines again.

And then at the first race you had problems as well.
PS: In Bahrain, there were two hydraulic problems. One was a mistake – I think both failures were not necessary.

And again, your drivers, an interesting mix of the experienced and the newcomer. Tell us how you feel about those two?
PS: It's very difficult to talk a lot about the drivers because during the last three races we have had a lot of problems, and it has been impossible for Kamui and Pedro to show their talents.

So you're really waiting for the season to settle down.
PS: Yes, it's necessary.

Have you had a good trouble-free weekend this weekend?
PS: I hope so.

Tell us also about the transition of Willy Rampf, who has been with the team for such a long time as such a faithful servant, to James Key, your new technical director?
PS: I think Willy's plan to leave the team was for more than one year.

What have been his great strengths?
PS: Oh, he has a lot, a lot of strengths. He started with us 14 years ago as a track engineer and then has grown up slowly and we had a lot of success with Willy, especially in the 2001 season with Nick and with Kimi, when we finished fourth in the World Championship.

How easy is it going to be for James to take over?
PS: I think it's too early to speak about that, especially in this difficult period. For sure it's not easy for him to take over the team now and to make progress very soon.

Will Willy keep coming to races? When does he actually clear his desk and leave?
PS: The last race under Willy's control was in Malaysia, in Sepang, and this one is the first race for James. Willy leaves at the end of the month.

Eric, again, a question for you about your drivers: the experienced Robert Kubica and the newcomer Vitaly Petrov.
Eric Boullier: I think we have a good pair of drivers, one experienced one and one rookie but both very, very motivated.

How do you see them working together over the last three races?
EB: Both of them are very eager to do well and they are working well together. They have to learn about each other, but Robert is very keen to give any advice to Vitaly. They're working very well.

What about your own experience as a new team principal; is it a very steep learning curve?
EB: Yes, very, very, very with a big slope. It's very exciting and I'm very, very pleased to be here. It's definitely a challenge, because F1 is huge, a lot of requests, a lot of people, but I'm starting to fit in well.

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