Q & A with Adam Parr

With Formula 1's diffuser controversy remaining a hot topic of conversation in the Chinese Grand Prix paddock, comments made by Williams CEO Adam Parr in the FIA's Appeal Court hearing earlier this week caused a major stir in Shanghai

Q & A with Adam Parr

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and Renault boss Flavio Briatore were left unhappy about suggestions that Parr had implied their cars had been 'illegal' for years if the Scuderia reckoned the diffusers were against the rules.

AUTOSPORT caught up with Parr in China to get to the bottom of the matter and clarify exactly what he meant in court.

Q. Stefano Domenicali has said he wants to speak to you about comments you made at the FIA's International Court of Appeal hearing. Flavio Briatore has also been critical about what you said. Can you clarify the situation please?

Adam Parr: I think that there has been a very fundamental misunderstanding of what happened in the court on Tuesday.

Part of the case presented against us related to what we call as the use of multiple vertical transitions. Essentially, you have to have a reference plane, which is like the plank, and 50mm above that you have the step planes. One of the key issues in the case was: when do you have to have a transition between those two?

Essentially you have to have a vertical transition between the two when the step plane is visible directly above the periphery of the reference plane. Where you don't, it is explicit that you don't have to have one. So one of the key issues in the case was that if you don't have to have one at certain points then by definition you can have many transitions.

Ferrari's case was that you could only have one or at best only one on each side. The problem that they had was that for many years cars have had multiple vertical transitions because at the front, where they have turning vanes or bargeboards, they have had a slot in that transition that creates more than one.

So, they actually said in their submissions that on a strict interpretation of their case, their cars were illegal. Then they gave various reasons why that should not matter, but they said in their submissions and in their evidence, by their interpretation of the rules, that those cars were illegal.

So, therefore, in our case, we said: one of the reasons why you should not accept this argument is because it would mean that, as Ferrari have said; their cars have been illegal for years winning 11 championships.

To be absolutely clear, it was never our case that their cars were illegal. It was, if anything, their case. So we rejected that as being quite wrong. I want to be absolutely clear, on the record, that we have never said and we do not believe that for one minute either the Ferrari cars, or Renault cars, or anyone else's cars, for the last eight years have been illegal. What we say is that they, and we, have used the same principles for eight or nine years.

Q. So this was more a legal argument, typical in a court case, than a direct accusation about legality?

AP: Well, I quoted them. It was not a point that we brought up it was in their submissions. So, I think that to say that we said their cars were illegal is quite wrong. Our whole case was that their cars were legal.

Q. And likewise your's as well?

AP: Absolutely.

Q. So are you planning to speak to Stefano and Flavio to clear all this up?

AP: Yes, I see them regularly. Williams, I think everyone knows well enough to know that we are absolutely the last people to go around casting slurs on other people's cars.

We have got nothing but respect for the Scuderia and what they have achieved over many years. That was why it was such a forceful point in the court that it is ridiculous to suggest that their cars have been illegal for eight years in winning 11 championships. That is just nonsense. If anything, it was a sign of respect that we discounted the argument and fortunately so did the court.

Q. Do you think this diffuser matter has become too personal now, because there is so much at stake for so many teams? We have your comments in court being interpreted one way, Domenicalis concerns, Flavio being critical of Ross Brawn and yourself.

AP: Yes. To be honest I would put Flavio in a very different camp to where I would put Stefano. Stefano Domenicali is a man who you cannot but respect. I've always found him to be incredibly straight. It is not just that he is a charming guy; he is an intelligent, straightforward man. I think he is about a week older than me, and in some ways we have a similar education, he is from a legal/economic background although he has worked for years in F1 unlike me. He is just someone you just get on with, you trust and you like instantly.

We've known him in his previous role for many years and one of the first things I did when he became the team principal was, when I spoke to Tim Newton (Williams team manager) he said Stefano was a guy you could always trust. I would just hate anybody to think that there was any disagreement between myself and Stefano, or between Williams and Ferrari.

Flavio is a different character. He is a loveable rogue, isn't he? He is a fantastic, flamboyant character who I think doesn't necessarily always have his thumb on the details, but he is very happy to wave his arms and state his case. Again, you have to like Flavio really, but I would not necessarily take too seriously what he is saying not least because I am not aware that anyone in the media has identified or commented on this point before he raised it himself. So he is running around saying, they said this, that and the other, but we are not actually. He is doing it. Flavio is Flavio.

shares
comments
Parr clarifies Ferrari legality comments

Previous article

Parr clarifies Ferrari legality comments

Next article

Button edges Rosberg in second practice

Button edges Rosberg in second practice
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021