Q & A with Gil de Ferran

Conducted and provided by BAR-Honda's press office

Q. You've been with BAR Honda for two weeks now. Talk us through your first impressions of your new team.

GdF: The BAR Honda team is an extremely results-oriented, very friendly and open operation, which has made my initial introduction go very smoothly. We all know about the experience of the more familiar faces within the team, but the guys behind the scenes, the team members who are 'in the trenches' and working hard back home at the factory in Brackley, are all extremely capable people. The depth of talent within the team is quite clear and as every day goes by, the more impressed I become. They have something that I was familiar with, working with Honda in the past - a relentless pursuit of perfection.

Q. How did your first race meet with your expectations in terms of the way the team operates trackside?

GdF: I did not have many expectations per se. I walked in to the circuit at Imola with a clean sheet in my mind and tried to get a good feel for what was going on. A lot of the procedures that I observed, even prior to the weekend, were not unfamiliar to me. Formula One races and cars are very complex and therefore their operation is also quite complex. But I guess that the good thing is that I did not feel out of my depth during any of the meetings. In terms of results, they were above my expectations. We had signals during testing prior to the race that this Grand Prix could be a good one, but to be in contention for the win during the race was very nice indeed!

Q. Did you find yourself straight away in the thick of the action or did you spend more time listening and observing?

GdF: I think a bit of both actually. I felt very comfortable within the team and got stuck in straight away. It is early days and I am sure that things will become clearer as the weekends roll on, but overall I felt that there was good interaction with the guys.

Q. Tell us more about your interaction with the drivers so far. How did they react to having a new guy advising them?

GdF: None of the drivers need any advice with regard to their own driving. These are top flight professionals and neither Jenson nor Taku need me to tell them when to brake or how to turn the wheel! My main objective as far as the drivers were concerned was to see how they operate over a race weekend and to gather my thoughts on how I may be able to help them going forward. They already know how to do a good job, so I will be looking to see if there is any other support that I can give to help them.

Q. What was it like to be sitting on the pitwall during the race and what is your role up there?

GdF: It was very interesting to see how the race was developing. We did a good job pre-race working on our strategy and it gave us a good level of confidence on Sunday. It was interesting to see that many of the predictions made before the race were correct and, like every race, there is a certain degree of thinking on your feet. Craig (Wilson), Andrew (Shovlin) and Jock (Clear) did a fantastic job reacting to what was happening in the race and it was great to be there and be a part of that.

Q. As a rather famous face yourself, did you find that there was a lot of attention from the media and photographers?

GdF: I was asked to take part in quite a few interviews through out the weekend, which I suppose that was to be expected. The good thing was that it did not distract me from my duties within the team.

Q. How do you plan to implement what you have learned in Imola and develop your role for the next race in Barcelona?

GdF: In Barcelona I am planning much of the same as I was doing in Imola. I am taking one step at a time.

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