Q & A with Nick Fry
|By Edd Straw||Sunday, June 21st 2009, 18:04 GMT|
Q. Is this the start of a pattern with a Red Bull hare and Brawn having to take points finishes?
Nick Fry: I wouldn't see it that way. We've always looked at the whole season as a combination of races where you think you can win and races where you need to consolidate. We came to both Turkey and Silverstone knowing that the Red Bull was likely to be the stronger car because of the characteristics of the circuit and they have very good high-speed aerodynamics.
Turkey we were very pleased with the result, here clearly we are not pleased but we think it's a good result in the context of the championship.
Q. Do you feel for Rubens as the weekend he is quicker than Jenson is the one where the car can't win?
NF: We're very pleased with Rubens' performance all through this year. It will be lovely if we can get him on the top step of the podium. The guy is trying unbelievable hard and for someone who has been in grand prix racing for so long, his level of motivation is phenomenal. He's doing himself proud.
Q. So are you quaking in your boots over the Red Bulls?
NF: We're clearly keeping a close eye on their performance, but if we had achieved third and fourth here today we would have been happy. Obviously we dropped a couple of points here today versus that and it's not where we want to be, but this has been a good team performance. With not such a good car, we have achieved a good result for the championship.
Q. So if Sebastian wins here, it's fair that Jenson should win at the Nurburgring?
NF: I hope he can win in Germany and the Nurburgring will be much more suitable for our car. In terms of mechanical performance, our car is very strong and that comes into play in Germany.
Q. You still feel you are strong?
NF: Yes. I remain as ever optimistic. It's a great team performance, that's the important thing and what makes a great team is where you haven't quite got the speed but you can still come up with some good results. A year ago, third and sixth we'd have been dancing from the rafters.
Q. Were the tyres the main problem and will they continue to be so in the coming races?
NF: It's a combination of two things. One is the high-speed nature of this circuit, which is possibly not the strongest circuit for our car. And the temperatures is the other.
Q. How much of a concern was Rubens's medical state?
NF: He's had some medical treatment this weekend. Rubens is finding it more painful to stand up and walk around rather than sit in the car, so he was confident he was going to be fine.
Q. How nervous are you about the FIA/FOTA war?
NF: There's a lot at stake and obviously not being backed by a car manufacturer, it's only Ross and I who don't have very deep pockets, it's more of a concern than for the others. But we wouldn't have teamed up with the FOTA teams if we didn't have confidence in a good outcome. The manufacturers have supported us right through the winter - both Ferrari and Mercedes offered us engines instantly – we need to be loyal to them. They have supported us thus far and they will continue to do so. Whilst it's a concern, we're not lying awake at night.
Q. But it was a very tough decision to make?
NF: Ross and I have had lots of discussions all through this week. Thursday night was a huge decision for us because of our privateer status but both Ross and I came to the same conclusion. Once you cut through all of the detail, the only question is who do we want to race against? The answer is very easy, we want to race against the best people in the world and they are in the FOTA group. We wouldn't take any satisfaction from beating new entrants into F1. We want to beat Ferrari, we want to beat Red Bull and we want to beat car manufacturers.
Q. So there is a big sense of loyalty?
NF: Very much so. What was encouraging over the winter was that Ferrari and Mercedes offered us an engine literally without a question. They just wanted us to survive. It's important that we return the favour.
Q. How important is the WMSC meeting on Wednesday?
NF: The FIA meeting on Wednesday is critical to what happens. The teams have very clearly stated how they see the future – we have entered the championship with conditions and the question now is whether those conditions will be fulfilled. The ball is in the court of the FIA and we hope that there is a balanced discussion at the world council on Wednesday.
Q. Formally you are still entered conditionally?
NF: Absolutely. And the alternative championship is a very realistic proposition. It's not an idle threat as some people hope. Is it the optimal solution, maybe not because we have a great championship here and it's better to improve what you've got as opposed to doing something new. But if we don't feel we can improve this to the level required then there won't be an option.
Q. Have you learned the lessons of history of splits in sport?
NF: There's poor examples and there are good examples like the British Premiership which promotes itself extremely well. You can look at these things from several different directions. It is clear in our mind that we could develop a championship with all the star teams, all the star drivers, all the big sponsors and also offer a better deal to the fans who are paying through the nose to watch F1.
Q. Is it a risk?
NF: It's a question of time. It's now the middle of June and we have to do something before next year so a lot of work would need to be done. Time and getting everything in place is the main thing, I don't think there's any major risk.