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Monaco Grand Prix: FIA Team Representatives Press Conference


Today's team representatives press conference with Peter Bayer, Bruno Famin, Alessandro Alunni Bravi and Christian Horner.

Q: Peter, why don't we start with you, if we could. You're coming up to the first anniversary of your time as CEO of VCARB. Can we just be reflective for a minute? How do you look back on the first year? What is your proudest achievement so far?
Peter Bayer: Well, good afternoon, everyone. Look, it has been an amazing year, as I had the chance for six months to work with Franz Tost, who has built an amazing legacy in Italy, in the UK, in Bicester, and together with Laurent Mekies, who joined us on the 1st of January, we had the honour of taking over the keys to the team. And since then, we've been pushing, making sure that we are a team that stands on its own two feet. I think the main focus really was on changing the culture in the team, changing the mindset. which I believe we're making step by step progress on. It has also allowed us to attract some new people, new talent to the team that perhaps previously would not have considered us as a potential employer. So I think that's great to see. And it's also good to see that we have two drivers who are finding performance, helping us to move forward. And perhaps on a personal note, it's just, as an Austrian, it's a great honour to be part of the Red Bull family. And yeah, it's been an enjoyable year. I can't believe actually that it's a year, but it's a great time.

Q: And the car this year is fast. It's evolving quickly. Can you challenge Aston Martin on a regular basis going forward?
PB: If I knew... Look, we had set ourselves the target of being on the top of the midfield and we kept saying that P11 is our pole position. Now, yes, our last upgrade from Miami, which was supposed to be presented in Imola, has allowed us to find performance. Both of the drivers seem to be confident in the car. But we've also seen that Aston obviously brought a huge upgrade. But clearly, all of us, as I said, the change of mindset really is to look forward, to keep pushing and to challenge them, one after the other. So we'll try our best and fight until the end.

Q: Let's talk drivers. Yuki, first of all, he's scored points in four of the last five races. Do you feel he's improved since last year?
PB: I definitely believe he has made a big step forward. It's physical preparation, but it's also his mental readiness to perform and deliver. One example I mentioned the other day: I think he simply understood that every time he would be swearing on the radio, that would cost him a tenth. So he's got himself under control. He's extremely professional in the work that he's putting into the feedback with the engineers. And yes, he definitely made a big step up.

Q: Are you keen to keep him next year?
PB: Yes.

Q: When are you going to confirm your drivers for next year?
PB: I think we're very happy with both of our drivers. And honestly, we're not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens. We have a very strong line-up. We have a great reserve driver. We have great talent coming through F2, F3. And currently, it's all about focusing on performance. And perhaps the focus is more on Aston Martin in front of us than on driver discussions.

Q: Final one from me. Both drivers lost positions at the start last time out at Imola. I think both lost two places. Is that an area of concern as we head into the race weekend here?
PB: We had throughout the season very mixed emotions on the starts. Very good ones, not so good ones, like in Imola. But perhaps in Imola it was sort of aggravated by the fact that you've got that Turn 1 and it can stack up on the left side or on the right side. And we got a bit unlucky with getting stuck on the left side. But yes, I believe that we can improve like in all areas. We will definitely look at all the different elements from tyres to the clutch, to all that comes with it. But I guess one thing I can say is, you know, it seems to our optimum seems to be in a very narrow window and probably looking into how we can enlarge the window for the operation and the procedure a bit so that it's a bit more forgiving than what it currently is.

Q: Peter, thank you very much. I'm sure there'll be more questions for you later. Bruno, let's come to you now. A tough start to the weekend in FP1. First of all, what were Pierre's issues?
Bruno Famin: Yeah, good afternoon, everyone. Maybe if I can anticipate about drivers, my answer is exactly the same as Peter's.

Q: What, you want Yuki and Daniel next year?
BF: Word by word, the same. With our two drivers, I mean. Yeah, it was a waste gate issue on Pierre's car. We solved it during the session. Then he has been able to just do two laps by the end of the session just to make sure it was okay. And let's focus on FP2 now.

Q: What about Esteban's side of the garage? Did you make good progress?
BF: We know that it's going to be difficult here for our car, which is stiff, low, and we are going to suffer if the weather situation remains as it is - dry. Then we're working, but it's a good opportunity to work on the set-up, to improve it, and to work always harder to improve the car.

Q: You say it's going to be difficult for you this weekend, but when you consider where the car was at the start of the season, how satisfied are you with the recovery so far?
BF: Where I'm satisfied is with the reaction of the team, because the car is what everybody knows at the start of the season, but we have been able to bring earlier than planned upgrades to come back to the minimum weight. And that was very good. Now we need to switch to the... And this is what we are doing, to switch to the second phase of the development of that car. You know that we have worked quite a lot in understanding why we were in such situation. And having with us now since two weeks David Sanchez on board will help us to go faster in the recovery, which is what we hope. But for the time being, it's a bit too early to talk about when we will be able to bring the next significant upgrade.

Q: Has David Sanchez been able to make an immediate impact on the performance of the car?
BF: I think there is nothing magic in the performance of the car, but he has an immediate impact in the mindset of the team, in paving the way for everybody, in setting a clear position we need to follow for developing that car and the following one.

Q: Bruno, the final one for me is drivers. Is your number one plan for 2025 to keep the drivers you currently have?
BF: Again, it's not Yuki and Daniel, no misunderstanding. But no, I think we really need to focus on improving the team, developing the team. This is the first priority. And we don't feel any pressure about the driver market because we have two good drivers. We will be happy to continue with them. but we want to take our time and we have very good drivers in our academy, with Jack [Doohan], with Victor [Martins] especially, and we have no stress.

Q: Alright, thank you. I'm sure there'll be some more questions for you. Alessandro, coming to you now. Now, the last couple of races have been tough for the team, especially in qualifying. What have been the issues with the car?
Alessandro Alunni Bravi: Good afternoon to everybody. I think it was lack of performance, simply. You know, we start the weekend in FP1 on the back foot. We were not able to recover in time for the qualifying session. We have seen that the race pace was much better, but of course we need to recover performance, to accelerate the upgrades. We introduced a new floor in Imola that gave us some improvement, but not sufficient to close the gap, especially to Racing Bulls and also to the Haas F1 team. Here we have a new concept, a new generation of rear wings that should help us to find additional performance, but of course the field is very tight. We need to push more on the performance side, so there is no other reason than lack of performance.

Q: Bruno has already said that he thinks his car doesn't suit the Monaco circuit very well. Do you think this is an opportunity, on the other hand?
AAB: I think there is no car that suits one circuit or the other. If you have a good baseline, you can be competitive in every circuit. In our case, I think that here will be very important to put it all together, you know, also drivers are a factor, especially in qualifying. We need to, you know, to work well as a team, maximizing track time and to assess if our new rear wing brings the good performance that we expect and I think that then the weather condition will be also a factor. This afternoon maybe we will have you know a wet session. so I think that here you have a lot of different elements that can play a role, but if we have a good baseline set up and the drivers are comfortable and the car is easy to drive, this helps. For us, the focus is not on different tracks, it's to find more performance of the car. This is the main target.

Q: What about performance in the pit lane? Because your early season races were compromised by pit stop issues. You brought updates at Imola last weekend, how did they perform?
AAB: I think the pit stops in Imola were good, so we didn't lose position in the pit stop compared to the other drives that pit at the same time. So I think that we can put behind us these issues and now we can move forward and be focused on other topics.

Check out our Friday gallery from Monaco here.


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