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FOTA Fans Forum Transcript

NEWS STORY
08/09/2011

The panel for the event featured: Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal Scuderia Ferrari; Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director Pirelli; Gianpaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering, Sauber Motorsport; Nicolo Petrucci, Head of Aerodynamics, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli.

Is Formula One going to follow the global push towards hybrid engines?
Stefano Domenicali: F1 has always been an advanced test bench for technologies that will be applied to the road and we looked at road car technology trends before coming up with our engine regulations for 2014. We're going to use a turbo engine; we're going to use KERS more and more, and there will be other forms of energy recovery on the cars as well. But we shouldn't forget the value of competition and the best interests of the sport might not always be in line with wider industry. We have to maintain the values that have made F1 what it is today.

How much creativity and imagination does it take to design an F1 car?
Nicolo Petrucci: People often ask if we still have room for imagination and creativity, and my answer is always yes. The regulations might appear to get more restrictive, but there is always something new every year. Whenever we design a new car, we start by looking at ways to improve the existing car. Experience is very important. I would like to point you to the car that Toro Rosso designed this year. Even though the regulations have changed a lot over the last 20 years, the STR6 is based on my experience at Ferrari in '92. We tried to invent a sidepod with a fully integrated wing and it seems to be performing very well.

Can you tell us more about the miracle that is Toro Rosso?
Nicolo Petrucci: Red Bull bought Minardi, but up until 2009 we raced Red Bull's cars. They were designed in the UK and we managed them on the racetrack. Then the regulations changed and starting last year we became a fully-fledged constructor. Slowly, we are putting together a team of engineers and designers and we are growing. We're currently 280 people.

Are we going to see any surprises from Pirelli in 2012?
Paul Hembery: I don't expect major surprises next year. We're researching new compounds that could improve lap times by as much as 1.2s per lap, but that's too much. We're looking for a maximum improvement of 0.6s to 0.8s per lap and to meet that we've designed a new rear tyre. There's also going to be a new rain tyre, so the changes for next year aren't really going to be visible from the outside. We're also thinking about changing the colour of the tyres to increase visibility.

Are you pleased with how Pirelli tyres have performed this year?
Paul Hembery: At the beginning of the year we thought we'd have as many as 10 pitstops per race, but we've done two or three, which is perfectly in line with what Pirelli was asked to provide.

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