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Friday, 3 April 2009

Brawn GP - Friday Press Conference - Sepang

Here is the section related to Ross Brawn:

Q. Ross, your feelings so far?

Ross BRAWN: Well, obviously Australia was, as has been said many times, a fairytale. Thinking about what the team has gone through for the past few months then to have the result we had in Melbourne was unconceivable and unbelievable. I have been through many things in Formula One. I have been lucky enough to have some very special experiences and that certainly ranks as one of the best, if not the best of my career. It was achieved with a lot of things from within the company but there are a lot of people outside the company who helped us survive.
Martin was one of them and Ron did his elder statesman part and did a very good job and I must say FOTA rallied around. We would not have survived without the help of those people. Whilst it was a wonderful it shows that even though we are going through a little bit of a difficult period with protests and things at the moment there is another side of our business which is very united and very together in trying to solve and improve Formula One.

Q. Ross, has the phone been ringing with people wanting to give you money since last weekend?

RB: It is not quite that simple but there has been a lot of interest and of course given the result we had last weekend it was perfect to develop the commercial side. If we had been at the back of the grid it would have certainly been a lot more difficult. But it is a tough market out there at the moment and we all know what the economic situation is.
But things are developing reasonably well but the key objective for us is to find partners that we can have for the next two, three or more years, not just someone to come along and have a quick splash and disappear. We will take our time to develop the right partners. With Virgin it is starting small but with a lot of potential for the future, so I think we have made as good a start as we could have dreamed of with the results we have and the car we have got. With regards to KERS it is not high on the agenda for us at the moment.
We had to make some compromises to change the engine in the car, so the car has got to be heavier now than originally intended and that makes it quite difficult to install KERS. We will have to work hard to get some weight out of the car before we can get to a position where KERS is a possibility. Like the rest of the group we will be monitoring the situation. This, I think, is one of the best tracks for KERS according to our simulations when we did it and I think you may see that KERS-equipped cars will be more to the fore here than they perhaps would be on other circuits.

Q. Someone suggested last weekend that is costs more money to have KERS. Is that right?

RB: It certainly costs money.

Q. Is it part of the deal? Is it extra?
RB: No, our engine agreement with McLaren Mercedes is purely an engine supply agreement. We have had some tentative discussions about KERS but it is a little bit early for us to engage properly on that.

Q. (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Ross, how do you see the situation here compared to Australia one week ago?

RB: It's still a little bit too early to say. We're struggling a little bit with the balance of the car today, it's not quite as nice as Australia. Despite what the perceptions are of the car it has actually very good low speed grip, it's very good on traction. It's not a track that perhaps rewards those elements quite as much and neither driver was particularly happy with the balance of the car today, so we've got to do a good job tonight to improve that, but I think we'll be near the front and fighting at the front. Whenever anyone said a car or a team were going to be dominant, don't believe it because this business is too competitive for anyone to be dominant. We're going to have to fight very, very hard to get points this weekend and hopefully get podiums.

Q. This is for Ross Brawn, can you explain for us the development plan for your car this year? Do you have enough resources to develop the car while other teams develop their cars, of course?

RB: Yes, we've been through a pretty traumatic winter and unfortunately that still continued this week because we had a lot of restructuring of the team to do. We're not a team with a budget that Honda had, so this week there has been some unfortunate restructuring. We hope we're going into next week with our new team and we can then look forward and the restructuring has been very focused on performance. It would be no good having a team with fantastic production facilities and no ideas, so the team has been structured very strongly around maintaining a good development programme, so we've tried not to impact the technical areas too much and yes, the development is on-going.
We're planning an upgrade for Barcelona or just after Barcelona. We obviously have this appeal hearing next week or the week after next and we need to see what comes out of that because that may change direction. I'm reasonably confident but you can't be one hundred percent confident. So yeah, we've got to move forward. I think these new rules, by definition, being a new set of rules, the rate of progress will be very rapid as Martin touched on. At one stage in winter testing they were quite a long way behind and now they're getting into the pack and making rapid progress, so it is an era of very rapid progress and we've got to progress as well as our competitors if we want to have a hope of winning another race this year.

Q. (Benny Casadei – Il Giornale) Ross, which is the most important thing you learned at Ferrari that you are applying leading your new team?

RB: Non mollare mai – you never give up and there were times over the winter when it was easy to think this was actually not worth it. It was very, very difficult at times. The great thing, I must say, is that the team stuck together. I've said before, I had some black days over the winter. Luckily they didn't coincide with Nick's black days or some of the other management team's black days.
As I said at the beginning, the support from McLaren and Mercedes was exceptional. They didn't know whether we were going to make it or not but they just gave us 110 percent all the time. There was no doubt from their side that they were going to give us everything we wanted. So if I took something from Ferrari and from Luca (di Montezemolo) and Jean Todt and Michael (Schumacher), it was just never give up.

The rest of the press conference can be viewed here http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74208

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I have been an F1 fan from a very early age, however in my very early years I didn't really support a team just loved the racing. Since the BAR years I have been supporting this team through it's highs and lows. I'm confident under Ross Brawn's control the team will go from strength to strength and hopefully Jenson and Rubens can find themselves in a competitive car once more.


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