Quick Chat: Ulrich Fritz
Uli, the season is not over yet, but how would you sum it up so far?
Ulrich Fritz: I think we have witnessed a very exciting season so far. In particular, the action on track has been considerably better this time than in recent years. This also goes to show that the decisions made before the start of the season all went in the right direction. The new restart procedure has been a big hit with the fans. However, I would have preferred it if the weight regulation had been set aside earlier. Whether a brand is strong on a particular weekend is not just a matter of the weight but also the extent to which the car is in harmony with that particular circuit, whether the engineers have found the right setup and, above all, which driver has best coped with the track and its characteristics. In my opinion, far too little regard has been given to these aspects during the year. If a brand did not have a good weekend, then that was always explained in terms of weight - as if that was all there was to it.
Do you think the season would have gone differently without performance weights?
Ulrich Fritz: It would at least have meant one tactical tool fewer. Without weights, everyone would have been pushing their cars to full performance on every occasion, thus eliminating the tactical device of driving slower to shed weight. Unfortunately, even the attempt to take race performance as an indicator for allocating weight did not stop people driving tactically. Consequently, I'm glad that we have now got rid of the weights. On the other hand, it has to be said that the system was introduced not without reason. The aim was to have the cars performing at a similar level and thereby put the drivers centre stage. And that could have worked, but not if weights are employed as a tactical element.
As we go into this final race weekend at Hockenheim, what would be a result with which you would be satisfied?
Ulrich Fritz: We are still in with a chance of taking the title. Even if it's only a slim chance, I expect every member of the team to perform to their maximum. Even if we don't come away with a title or a race win, at least they can then hold their heads high, because they will have given their all.