The Friday Team Principal Press Conference allowed for Toto Wolff (Mercedes), Mattia Binotto (Ferrari) Andrew Green (Racing Point) and Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda) to be interviewed by the media. Such topics involved the reflecting on Bahrain, the relationship between Racing Point and Mercedes and how much attention is given to the F1 ESports Series as the Chinese Championship launch event is this weekend.
When asked about what words were spoken to Charles Leclerc after Bahrain, Mattia Binotto responded:
“Losing was tough but even more probably frustrating…To Charles I told him that I think he did a great race but more than that I think he has been fantastic on the post-race comments…mature as a driver and that was enough.’’
‘The problem appeared only once at the race, never in testing and never in practices…we are strong in reliability and strong on quality. We changed all our power units for China as a precaution.’’
Toto Wolff responded to the continuing comments regarding Valtteri Bottas’ varying form:
‘’This media depression of Formula One. People are being written up and written down. After Melbourne he was the reinvented superstar and World Championship contender then after the next race again it was not the case. I think we just need to let them go on with the Championship and he has started the weekend well today. I think it is the same Valtteri that we have seen in the last years.
News has also come out that Mercedes will be allowing Racing Point to use their wind tunnel, gearbox and hydraulics which comes effective later this year. Racing Point’s Andrew Green said:
‘’It is a lot easier to go testing in Brackley than Cologne and so when it was offered as an opportunity to us to go testing there it was an obvious choice.’’
Toyoharu Tanabe of Honda shared his thoughts on the growth of Honda on the grid:
‘We can now get double data compared to the one team, with two teams, and then there is some difference in the team in terms of the philosophy and the way we work and we learn a lot. Then not only twice but also more than twice we can receive information.
The Shanghai Formula 1 is also celebrating the launch of the ESports championship extending to China with its own Chinese championship. Finally, Motorlat.com asked Toto Wolff how much he follows the progress and talent of stars in the virtual world.
‘’The virtual world was something I needed to get used to but interestingly when you watch an Esports F1 race there is almost no difference in terms of how you perceive it than in a real world. The graphics have matured and we have set up this programme where we are trying to give young kids a framework around their abilities and the coaching around – we have given a 360 degree support programme and they are Mercedes works drivers. Winning the championship last year was the icing on the cake. We have done it in the real world and we have done it in the virtual world – again as I said before, you would rather win that one than not and I am happy to see how that develops.
Mercedes will be happy to see if they can have an impact in the real world this coming weekend at such a historic Grand Prix.