Gentlemen, if we could by getting your thoughts on the Halo cockpit protection that is going to be introduced from the start of 2018. Sebastian, if we could begin with you, what are your thoughts about the Halo and how do you feel it compares to the Shield you tested at Silverstone two weeks ago?
Sebastian Vettel: Well, I wasn't a big fan of the Shield, mostly for the reason that it was impacting visibility. The Halo test I did, I think it was last year in Abu Dhabi, and for sure you need to get used to it but at least it didn't impact on the vision, so I think that was the biggest difference. Obviously there has been a lot of talk, as I got it, but I think overall you need to understand that it is a decision that helps us in the car in case something goes very wrong. For sure, if you look at Formula One, the way Formula One cars look and so on, I can understand if people say it doesn't belong on a Formula One car but on the other hand I think times are changing, you are moving forward and I think if you put it very clear, then it also should be very clear for everyone and there shouldn't be a doubt in your mind whether to introduce it or not. I think if you offer the system as it stands, with the power that it has to give us additional protection, offer that to Justin Wilson some time ago, I think he would take it and we would all be happy to take it to save his life. Now we can't turn back the clock but I think knowing that something is there that helps us in scenarios it would be ignorant and stupid to ignore. Regarding the looks: as I said, I like Formula One cars of the past and so on, but there are also elements that I like nowadays. I mean, racing cars with wings that Formula One cars didn't have until I think late-'60s or [early] '70s, so now that's part of it. There are plenty of other examples - we had V12 engines, which I would like to go back to, and we don't have anymore. But overall, it's supposed to help us and I think that's what we need to remember.
Fernando, you're the most experienced driver in the room with 280 starts to your name, what are your thoughts on the Halo?
Fernando Alonso: I tend to agree with everything Sebastian said. First is the safety and if this device can help in many of the fatal accidents that we had in the last 10 or 15 years, as has been proved by the FIA, I think we are all happy to implement the device and we are all happy to have some of our colleagues, if we could go back in time and save their live we would be all happy. That's the first and only thing we should talk about. Then, the aesthetics: I don't care too much to be honest. Formula One has changed a lot. Even from my first year, in 2001, until now, the cars look very different. The height of the front nose, the height of the cockpit [surround] to protect the helmet area, you know. Forty or 50 years ago they didn't have seatbelts in a Formula One and when seatbelts were implemented there was not any debate. If they had to fit it in Formula One... it's fun to drive with no seatbelt... it should be like that. For me there is no question, I'm happy to implement any extra head protection for next year. If the FIA studied and developed the Halo and this is the most effective way to protect the head of the drivers it's more than welcome in my opinion.
Nico, you've expressed your reservations about Halo in the past. Now it's here, what's your reaction?
Nico Hulkenberg: I'm still going to race. I won't retire for sure. But yeah, I was never a big supporter of Halo or of additional head protection. I'm still not but it's not my decision, it's the FIA making the safety rules and requirements. So it is what it is, I will accept it and get on with it.
Can you elaborate on why you're not a fan?
NH: I think there is that element of if they fix the looks; it doesn't look pretty for sure. It will protect against something, the freak accident, accidents that's one out of a million. We have security and the protection of the cars gets better, these tethers that keep the tyres get better and better every year and give even less chance of a tyre or heavy things flying round, so I'm not sure that this additional protection is necessary because all the other areas keep improving and we've compromised the looks quite a lot.
Marcus, your thoughts on the implementation of Halo?
Marcus Ericsson: I think it's positive. I think like Fernando and Sebastian said safety should be prioritized. I think the FIA has done a good job to really look into it and if this is a best solution at the moment I think it's a no-brainer to go for it for next year. If it can save someone in the future, it's great. Also, I tested it last year and when I drove with it I didn't really notice it all, so I think it's a good thing that it's not going to change anything when you drive, that you have the same feeling when you drive. Yeah, it maybe doesn't look the prettiest but I think it's also something we will get used to. It's always when there are big changes in Formula One it doesn't look so pretty at first, but then people get used and I think it will be the same thing with the Halo.
Sebastian, this is your 50th start for Ferrari, a milestone reached by only 13 other drivers. How do you reflect on your two-and-a-half years with the team and what does the future hold?
SV: I think time is moving quickly. Obviously, I have been very busy. I think the whole team has been very, very busy trying to get back. I think this year has been very, very god for most of the year so far. Overall, very positive. I'm really enjoying it. I think it's great to be part of the Ferrari family and as I said we are all focused and determined to get Ferrari back to where it belongs, so that's our mission let's say, our target, our goal and yeah, that's what we're working on.
And beyond the end of the year?
SV: Well, it's true that I haven't got a contract yet but I think the primary objective at the moment is not to look at papers and worry about those, I think it's to make sure that we get some good results. Obviously we have another race and another opportunity here before the summer break and then there is a bit more time.
Fernando, does the layout of the Hungaroring present you and McLaren with your best opportunity so far?
FA: Yeah I think so. I think Monaco was also a great track, in terms of the characteristics of it. I was not there, so this is really the first time that I had this possibility of hopefully feeling competitive and feeling the possibility to be there in Q3 and then in the points, if something happens in front of us maybe to get even a better result than this, maybe seventh or eighth, that is the maximum you can fight for at the moment. So definitely an important weekend for us. We paid some penalties in the last two races to arrive here with some more freedom of engine choices and something more in the pocket, so hopefully it pays off this weekend.
Nico, a tremendous weekend for you and the team at Silverstone. Can the pace there translate to this race track?
NH: Yeah, I think this weekend I feel it's a bit more of a true teller. For sure, I think at Silverstone, with the upgrades we brought, it was definitely a good step forward but I think Hungary here, these track characteristics, will be a true teller for us of where we stand. Interesting days ahead. I'm also excited to see how the car feels, the way we pan out. We have some additional upgrades again this weekend. The team has got some good momentum, pushing quite hard and bringing new bits to every race, so it all feels very positive, so we've got to keep working in that direction.
Marcus, could we just get your reaction to the news that Fred Vasseur is the new team principal at Sauber?
ME: I think it's good news. I think Fred is a very respectable (sic) person in the paddock and he has done a lot of great things in motorsport in general. I don't know him that well yet, but I went straightaway after Silverstone down to Hinwil to sit down with him and, yeah, I got a really good feeling talking to him and he had some really good ideas on how to structure the team for the future, both short- and long-term. Obviously, this is the first weekend he's working on track with the team, but I think all in all it's good news for the team. There are a lot of good things happening. Also we have some updates on the car this weekend as well, so exciting times for Sauber.
Questions From The Floor
(Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera) Sebastian, it's said that this is a very tough race for Ferrari, because you need to react from Silverstone otherwise Mercedes could get a bigger advantage. Do you agree or not? Do you still believe that the season is long and that you have chances in the future?
SV: I think I had a lot of tough races in my past already. I think it's normal that there is always talk about this race or the next race coming up based on the race you had. I'm no stressing too much. I think on paper this should be a good race for us. Let's see how we get going. Certainly, looking back, Silverstone wasn't a great weekend for us. At the same time I think things were going quite good for Mercedes, so I think it has been the other way round as well this year. I'm not stressing too much. I like the track, I'm just going to enjoy. Everyone here, we know what we have to do and that's what we plan to do, so the fact that it's the last race before the summer break or the race after Silverstone, that maybe wasn't good for us, doesn't change anything. You can score as many points here as anywhere else. But, as I said, it's a nice race, so I think we need to make sure we enjoy.
(Livio Oricchio - GloboEsporte) Sebastian, after the Monaco Grand Prix you had a 25-point advantage over Lewis and also Ferrari was first in the Constructors' Championship. Four races later Ferrari is behind and you have just one point in the difference. It looks like Mercedes did a better a job in developing the car. Fernando, in the case of the accident you had in Australia, the Halo, what would be the influence of it?
SV: I can't disagree with what you said because it's based on the points that we have today but I think you need to look at the races. Obviously, you know, we didn't get the best races in the last couple. Saying that I think we were very close to winning in Austria. I don't think we were lacking any speed there and that's only two races ago. Now, as I said, Silverstone for sure was not the best race for us, but sometimes shit hits the fan and then it's not so pleasant. In many ways it was not such a good weekend for us. Obviously the last two laps didn't help, but these things happen. Sometimes you suffer a puncture. It will not be the last one, unfortunately, in my life, and it has happened to all of us. You have a lot of races, some will be better, some will be worse. Now, the last couple were maybe not fantastic but I'm very positive. We come here and we know the car is strong, we know we have a chance to fight for victory and that's good news, so I think we should look at the positives rather than looking at one race where maybe things didn't go well for us and it turned out to go well for them. I think if you look at the week after Monaco, we were quite happy, maybe Mercedes wasn't. In the end., you shouldn't get distracted from short-term results. Rest assured, we were not happy with the result in Silverstone. There were some weaknesses. It was a very good weekend for us in terms of what we learned about the car to go forwards and in fact I think we have some bits here that should help us and the plan is to keep pushing. So, as I said, the determination, the commitment is very high to make sure we stay at the front.
Check out our Thursday gallery from Hungary, here.