Prepare for the French Grand Prix

July 3, 2007 at 8:17 am Leave a comment

I know everyone is excited about the upcoming French Grand Prix! Let’s all set aside those Volvo fan blades first and prepare and brace ourselves while we all wait for the big event which would commence just a few hours from now.

The F1 teams are all excited too – just as thrilled as we are. So I took the liberty of reading some of their thoughts about the French Grand Prix at the recent FIA press conference which had with Flavio Briatore (Renault managing director), John Howett (Toyota GmbH president), Colin Kolles (Spyker team principal) and Jean Todt (Ferrari team principal) answering questions.

Q: John, first of all, a couple of good times during Silverstone testing. Are you expecting those good times to be reflected here?
John Howett: We hope so. There’s still a gap, obviously, between us and the top teams, but we’re making steady progress and we hope to see that progress reflected this weekend.

Q: Was that a jump forward more than you expected, because obviously everybody else was developing and bringing out new bits?
John Howett: I still don’t think it’s a jump forward. Basically we’re evolving the car, we have a lot more to come for the rest of the season but we hope we’ll be back more to the competitive position of Barcelona here and at Silverstone.

Q: Colin, there’s a report that you’re not happy with the updates on the Super Aguri cars; or maybe just not happy with the Super Aguri cars full stop. What is the situation with customer cars at the moment?
Colin Kolles: Well, actually I already said everything in this respect. There is nothing new. Arbitration is on-going and there’s nothing more to say.

Q: So you haven’t said anything more on the recent updates on the Aguri Hondas?
Colin Kolles: It was just information to all the teams, informing them of what’s going on.

Q: Flavio, were you encouraged by testing at Silverstone last week?
Flavio Briatore: I don’t know. Testing is testing. It’s greater encouragement when you have a podium after a race. To be quick in the test I don’t think makes a big difference.

Q: So what about today, then?
Flavio Briatore: On Fridays everybody has different strategies. We are quite happy. If you see the numbers not (very good) but really we have some fuel (load) and we are quite happy. We have recovered a little bit in respect to the beginning of the season.

Q: Going back to Ferrari, there were reports after the last Grand Prix that there had been a breakage in your wind tunnel. How has that affected development over the last few races?
Jean Todt: Yes, that’s true, we had a problem with the carpet (moving road), the metallic carpet and we lost about two weeks’ development, but that’s not an excuse.

To view the complete transcript of the French GP FIA press conference, just visit this site.

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