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Austrian GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
19/06/2015

Mattia, if we could start with you. This morning Sebastian had some engine-related problems and this afternoon there were other problems, seemingly gearbox-related. Could you please explain what happened and if these problems are related?
Mattia Binotto: The two problems are different. This morning it was not engine-related it was a problem related to the transmission on the back of the car. It is something that we have seen, we have analysed, we are confident to sort it out for the rest of the weekend. While in the afternoon, it just happened, we analysed, apparently it's on the gearbox but again we'll try to analyse and fix it for the rest of the weekend.

Do they have any relationship?
MB: No relationship between the two.

OK. In Canada, Ferrari introduced upgrades or an upgraded engine, but from the outside we couldn't really assess what the improvement or the gains had been, especially with Vettel's penalty. Could you elaborate a little bit and tell us if we are expecting any further improvements here?
MB: You are right, we introduced an improvement in Canada, especially on the power unit. We spent already some tokens, which is something the regulations allowed us, so we introduced what for us is a step in terms of engine performance. Obviously we take the entire weekend looking at the telemetry and we can confirm that the spec and step in performance that we were expecting was effectively there and available. As you said, we had some problems during the weekend - qualifying, Vettel - difficult to assess the overall performance of the car and the vehicle. I have to say that in the race itself we missed the podium, which was the first time for the season, so we cannot be happy with the overall performance. On the other side, looking at the data it seems our pace was not so bad finally and we are really expecting this weekend really to try to have some more indications and hopefully let's try to demonstrate what we are able to do.

Thank you very much? Moving on to you Paul now. [Daniel] Ricciardo is using his fifth engine here, therefore there is going to be a penalty on Sunday, but [Daniil] Kvyat is not. Is there any rationale behind it? Is it something related to mileage on the engine or is it something more strategically minded at Red Bull's home race?
Paul Monaghan: There's nothing strategic really. We knew we had this coming. It's our choice and need to do so, so at the moment Daniel's got the new one in and as and when we need to we'll do the other one as well.

There's also a new chassis for Ricciardo at this race. Is this something that was already in the agenda or was it a precautionary measure?
PM: There's nothing precautionary; the chassis was becoming available. We looked at doing in for Canada but it's a bit of a rush and then take it to the other side of the Atlantic and if the preparations are poor it's a bit more painful to sort out. So it fell to be introduced here and nothing more to it than that really.

Thank you very much. Moving to you now Rob: Honda introduced an upgrade in Canada, so did Ferrari, Mercedes spent most of its tokens at the beginning of the season. Renault has got 12 tokens available and has used none, so the question everyone is asking at this point? Because I'm sure there's a masterplan behind it.
Rob White: I think tokens have taken on a bit of a life of their own and maybe we should calm down about tokens a bit. We clearly have tokens in hand and tokens in hand partly because we reassessed our options before the season to take account of the late-breaking news that the riles interpretation would be different to how it was expected, so you're quite right: tokens not spent thus far because we had to divert our attention to other matters. We had an obvious big reliability moment that required our full attention. As Paul mentioned a little bit earlier, we knew we were in bother right from the start and we knew that the management of the sporting penalties would be an issue for us right from the start of the season and now we've got to make all that come together with all the performance upgrades that are now back on course but will of course arrive later than we had originally planned and the direct consequence of having to deal with the reliability matters.

You're talking about performance and recently Christian Horner mentioned that these couple of weeks, these coming weeks are going to be crucial for engine development because of some tests happening on the dyno at Viry. He said that he is expecting a major impact on future performance but is it short-term or mid-term performance and also which timescales are we really talking about?
RW: Engine development is a long, hard slog and the weeks in front of us are important, both for now, for preparing the races that are directly in front of us and preparing for the rest of the season, because coming back to the previous matter about token introduction then there becomes a kind of juggling act in which you have to plan, by counting back from the end of the season, when it makes sense to spend tokens, when it's possible to make a planned introduction and then there's another kind of tactical dimension which is that you might choose to have a spec available that is not planned but is available in case opportunity presents itself, so the weeks we are in now are kind of crucial for both of those short-term matters and of course we also have to keep our eye on the longer-term future, including the forthcoming season, because it's now back at base at the factory that those things are built. So the answer is, unfortunately, not easy and the forthcoming weeks are extremely important to us on all three fronts.

Thank you very much. Moving to you Tom. Tom, we've seen an increased performance for Force India, especially in Canada a couple of weeks ago and now we're coming into another power track - a few really - this one, Silverstone, so where is Force India at the moment in the pecking order at this time?
Tom McCullough: We're in a very tight, competitive part of the grid, so that changes from race to race, track to track. We were obviously on the back foot at the start of the year, missing some winter testing, and it takes you a while just to catch up the understanding of the car and the tyres. A lot of things changed for us over the winter, so we didn't really get the most out of our package in the first few races. We picked up points where we could do. I think with our existing car, we've got a reasonable understanding of it, both in Monaco with Sergio's strong qualifying and race and as you say with Nico in Montreal. But we're in such a tight part of the grid, little mistakes by our competitors, even ourselves, one tenth here and there, the nature of the last few circuits makes a big difference come race day, so it's just about really maximising what you've got.

Next week's test is going to be very important for everybody but especially for you guys - introducing this long-awaited B-spec car. How much of a difference do you think it's going to male?
TMcC: Yeah, so the plan from the early part of the year was always to introduce that for the Silverstone race and that's still on target. We've been slowly introducing some of the parts in the background actually, some of them mechanical, some of them on the aero side, and that really started from the Barcelona test onward, so it's a continual process. We're really looking forward to getting the new package, it is quite different; there are a lot of parts changing between now and the Silverstone race and we're evaluating quite a few of those next week at the test here. Until we see it on the track we won't know for sure, but we're pretty encouraged from what we see on the numbers side of things.

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