Q & A with Nick Fry
|By Bradley Lord||Sunday, October 18th 2009, 19:49 GMT|
Q: You did some firefighting to the media on Saturday afternoon. How does it feel today?
Nick Fry: It feels just unbelievable, and I think yesterday afternoon I said the chances were slim and it shows that slim chances do work.
Jenson knew what he had to do today and he just went out and did it, and I think it shows that he is a worthy champion, and that first stint today, overtaking under those circumstances when he had everything to lose, really showed his true mettle.
Q: If you think back to early December and the news of Honda's pull-out, how can you compute what's happened ten months later?
Fry: It's what you get paid for in lots of ways. When you have a fast car and circumstances are easy, then anyone can do it, and the things that sorts out the ones who can really do it from the ones who can't is how you handle the difficult situations.
At the beginning of this year we were close to the edge on several occasions, and a couple of times I think we did think that all was lost, but we just plugged away at it and you've got to take it one step at a time, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by a situation.
But you have to sit down logically and say, okay if I do A, B, C and I succeed in doing A, then I can get to B, and you're going to handle it in that way, and that's the way Ross and I very much approached not only the situation last winter but also during the course of this year; just take every race one at a time and do the best you can and we became world champions.
Q: It says Brawn GP above the door. What about Ross Brawn?
Fry: Ross has done a fantastic job, but he'd be the first one to say it's been a real team effort, and going back to last winter, Ross and I were firefighting elsewhere, the main part of the design of the car, the manufacture of the car, was done by the guys in the factory with actually very little in the way of day to day supervision, and this is a great moment.
I've been very lucky in motorsport and Simon Cole, one of our senior engineers, was with me when the late lamented Richard Burns won the rally championship and the first thing Simon and I were laughing about after the race was that other people in the world may not know it, but the two of us have now done rallying and drivers championship in F1 as well, which is a nice place to be.
Q: Is there a thought in the back of your minds for those 270 people who put their heart and soul into this car but who had to leave the team in March?
Fry: Yeah, life is tough but unfortunately you always have to look at what it takes to preserve something and you have to make very difficult decisions and if you don't make those decisions, then everyone's out of a job and that's no consolation for the people who unfortunately had to leave the team.
I hope that they feel just a little bit part of this; in many cases, those are people who had worked for the team for six or seven years and who put a lot of effort into it, but perhaps they can think they contributed and well done to them too.
Q: Mercedes gave you fantastic support over that difficult winter, too, didn't they?
Fry: Basically they jumped into the hole that Honda had left behind without hesitation, and through this year we developed a great relationship with the Mercedes people and I think that hopefully this is a bit of a reward for the faith they've shown in us.
Q: Will there be some people kicking themselves somewhere in a board room in Tokyo?
Fry: I think they're pleased for us. Again, it comes back to the tough decisions you have to make, and they were faced with a much bigger problem with the meltdown in the global financial markets, and they had to make a tough decision and they've been incredibly supportive through this year.
The senior people invariably send us a text or an email or turn up at Suzuka to congratulate us, and I think they'll be celebrating too, because this is as much their car as anyone else's.
Q: What about how Jenson has handled this season from start to finish?
Fry: Jenson's taken a lot of bullet wounds over the last few years, and when you get into that situation and you've got the bruises, then it makes it much easier to handle the success.
He's just remained the same, he's remained focused, and he's gone about it in a very intelligent way. And it's a situation where it would have been easy to blow the whole thing and he took it sensibly and did what he needed to do and he got there.
Q: Has he surprised you this year?
Fry: No, Jenson doesn't surprise me at all. It sounds like I'm married to him, but we've been together for a long time now and I've always felt that he could do it. And I think he's just demonstrated to everyone what he can do.
The doubters who said he couldn't overtake or he wasn't aggressive enough, hopefully they're eating humble pie, because he really has shown them under a tremendously pressured situation, and the competition today - and through the latter part of the season especially - has been phenomenally strong.