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Hungary GP: Friday Press Conference Part 1

NEWS STORY
28/07/2017

Q: Mattia, it's very tight at the top of the timesheets this afternoon. How did today go for you, Ferrari, and how do you assess the pace of nearest rivals?

Mattia Binotto: Obviously we just finished the session so we are looking at the data. I think it has been a difficult session because of a lot of traffic, red flags, so difficult somehow to complete the programme. We had to do some compromises on the programme but trying to collect as much data as possible. As you said, the field is very close but nevertheless we are concentrating on ourselves. Trying to optimise the balance of the car will be very important for qualifying and the race. It will be quite hotter Sunday compared to what we got today, so preparing and working on the balance will be very important and key.

Q: And knowing what you know now, are you confident you can be more competitive here than you were at Silverstone two weeks ago?
MB: I think it's always difficult to judge but certainly today was less negative, let's say, compared to what we have seen in Silverstone. But Silverstone is in the past. I think somehow we need to forget it, being focused on what is this weekend. I don't think the comparison is really necessary. More important just being focused on Hungary.

Q: In the past week it has been announced that the Halo head protection is going to be introduced in 2018. Can I ask you about the practicalities of including the Halo on next year's car, just from a cooling point of view, an aerodynamic point of view, how far down the road are you with those developments?
MB: Obviously the decision has been made at the last Strategy Group meeting in the last week. It's quite a late decision compared to the project but nevertheless, because of the safety it's important everybody tries to work very hard on it. The implications are from the chassis structure point of view. So we need to make sure that we are fitting well the Halo on the chassis and the chassis is resisting to the loads that are required by regulations. As well from the aero point of view it may affect certainly the back of the car and that has to be taken into account when designing the new car.

Q: Mario, just a word on today's running. What have we learned about tyre performance, tyre wear, degradation? How many pit stops can you foresee on Sunday?
Mario Isola: Difficult question, because, as Mattia said, during FP2, which is the most representative for us to collect some data, we had two red flags. In terms of delta lap time between soft and supersoft we saw something like 0.8s, 0.9s per lap. It is a bit more than we expected. Our estimation was 0.6, but more or less in this range. We know that the medium is not going to be used during this weekend. The temperature is very high, so degradation will be a key factor on the supersoft, especially on the supersoft, but we don't have a number now. The number of pit stops will be dictated by the degradation of the supersoft. The tarmac is new. Last year the circuit was resurfaced. Very smooth, but very black. So the temperature is going up easily and we expect more than 50 degrees tarmac on Sunday, so it could be quite a challenge.

Q: You've done a lot of analysis since Ferrari had their tyres problems at Silverstone two weeks ago. Can you just tell us about the conclusions you have drawn and whether or not they were freak incidents?
MI: We made a lot of analysis to be sure that we were not underestimating any potential issue on the tyres. So we didn't want to say anything about Vettel's tyre, because we saw together with Ferrari the loss of pressure starting from Turn One since Sunday afternoon. We wanted to take some time to analyse deeply both the tyres. We saw two different failures. One was a puncture. The conclusion was, on Vettel's tyre, that it was a puncture with a loss of air starting in Turn One and obviously at a certain point the construction is not able to support the load and in Turn 6 it failed. For Kimi, it was more difficult, because it was not clear at the beginning. The carcass was still in one piece. We had a part of the tread missing and we had two points in which the belt was damaged, on the inside shoulder. So we had to analyse not only Kimi's tyre but most of the tyres used during the race to exclude that there was any other potential issue. We can away with the conclusion when we were 100 per cent sure that we didn't have any other issues. I cannot say it was debris or an impact or something like that because I don't have the evidence but the evidence is that we have the belt that is damaged in two specific points and the rest of the tyre is still OK, but Kimi had to stop to replace the tyre, so this is the result of the investigation.

Q: Fred, welcome back. Hefty accident for Pascal this afternoon. Just a word on his condition and also the state of the car?
Frederic Vasseur: It's a bit too early to have a clear conclusion on the reason of the accident, but we will do the investigation. The monocoque looks OK, but we have to investigate a little bit more. I left the garage straight after the end of the session.

Q: You've been in the new job, team principal, for just a week or so, but it's been a busy week. I just wondered if you could talk us through the reasons behind the switch from Honda power in 2018 to Ferrari power?
FV: Yeah, Sauber and Honda signed a memorandum of understanding a couple of weeks ago but things move forward quite fast in our world and I think that the situation was a bit unclear also regarding the collaboration between McLaren and Honda and on our side the engine supplier had to find a solution for the gearbox. We had a deal with McLaren and the situation was a bit more complicated. On the other end, the collaboration with Ferrari is based on a long-term relationship and we had the opportunity to discuss with Ferrari to get the new-spec engine and I think it was a good choice and we found a mutual agreement with Honda to stop the collaboration.

Check out our Friday gallery from Hungary, here.

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