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Singapore GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
24/09/2010

A question to you all. Can you give us some idea on how your team performed today?
Tony Fernandes: Heikki (Kovalainen) had a much easier day today. He got through all his set-up work and was quite happy with the car. Jarno (Trulli) struggled to find what he wanted and we are going to have to do a little bit more work with him. Key for us was we overall thought we did better than we planned when we came in and the reliability was quite good, so not a bad day.

Colin Kolles: We have two drivers who never drove before on this track, so they have to get acquainted to this. We are struggling with the set-up but no major issues. The car is reliable at the moment and this is one of the most important things for us.

Peter Sauber: It was more or less okay. I think it was difficult for both drivers. For Nick (Heidfeld) it was a new car, new tyres, and for Kamui (Kobayashi) a new track. I think it was okay.

And they ended up twelve-hundredths apart.
PS: Yes, yes that's good.

Stefano?
Stefano Domenicali: In this morning's session we wanted to do more mileage but considering the condition of the track it was really impossible. We did the minimum considering that we had a lot of things to compare and we didn't do that because of the situation. In the afternoon I think the situation improved. Difficult to say where we are. We had a little issue with Fernando's (Alonso) car. It was doing the fastest lap then when they reversed he started again but there was something that we need to understand what has happened and waiting for the car to be back. With Felipe (Massa) I think he was not happy about the grip, the general grip and the balance on the car. I think the condition of the track today was difficult for everyone, so difficult to judge but I think tomorrow could be a good fight.

Are the drivers reporting that it is a smoother circuit this year, not so bumpy?
SD: Not yet discussed it. What we have seen is that the new surface is more slippery as the bitumen is with maybe some dust or oil and you could see also this morning with changeable conditions the oldest part of the track was easier to dry up while the new one took a bit longer.

Another question to you all. Bernie Ecclestone is apparently trying to revive his idea of medals being awarded to grand prix winners. What are your own personal thoughts about that? Do you agree with the idea rather than the points' system being the decider who wins the World Championship? Would you like the medal system?
TF: I defer to the older guys.

CK: I think we have other issues at the moment. Maybe Ferrari can answer this.

SD: We have not won more medals unfortunately. But apart from that I think it is an exciting idea. No doubt about it. It is something that has been discussed. As always in Formula One we discuss and go back with other solutions. For whatever reason the situation this year is good in terms of what you can recover from the points that you can gain. It is something that can be addressed in a very short time.

PS: I am quite happy with the system that we have.

Do you feel the points system this year is an improvement over last year?
PS: It is much more difficult to count the points.

Tony, can you clarify the situation between Group Lotus and Lotus Racing to become Team Lotus and also the ART link-up and the Renault situation as well.
TF: Well, when Colin Chapman set up the company (becomes inaudible) there was Group Lotus which manufactured cars and there was Team Lotus which was the racing team. What we acquired was Team Lotus. This year we operated under a licence from Group Lotus and next year we will operate under our own ownership. The chassis name still stays the same.

And the link up with ART and with Renault?
TF: I cannot really comment on ART. As to Renault I have no idea what that is. Are you talking about Group Lotus with Renault?

I thought Lotus Racing had a link up with Renault for engines for next year?
TF: We will make an announcement in due course.

And there is no dialogue between Lotus Racing and ART?
TF: No.

Colin, today you had to replace Sakon Yamamoto with Christian Klien. Why did Karun Chandhok not have a chance? What's his future with your team?
CK: Well, he had his chance. I think Christian deserved also a chance, so therefore Christian is sitting in the car.

Are you saying that Chandhok won't be driving again as he has had his chance?
CK: I am not saying this. I think it was Christian's, how could I say... he would be the first choice in this situation.

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