European Grand Prix – Friday 17th June 2016. Baku, Azerbaijan

Q: (Chris Lines – AP) Toto, do you have any diagnosis yet on what happened with Nico, why he had to pull over? He called it an engine and drive issue.

TW: We don’t know yet. We have to look at it, what exactly it is so I can’t really give you a comment on that at the moment but it’s a Friday engine so whatever the outcome is, it’s not dramatic.

Q: (Christof Becker – Frankfurter Allegemeiner Zeitung) Question to follow up on some of the discussions on the situation of human rights here in Azerbaijan which was going on yesterday. You will have heard what Bernie Ecclestone has said. About the situation today that there were reports that an Azeri news agency did not get accredited although the situation here is being said or handled differently than before at other races of Formula One, there have not been any calls for boycotts. What are your thoughts on the situation here?

TW: Look, I think we are responsible for sport, for the sports and sporting side and sport should unite and not divide and I think if we can add our bit in bringing people together and putting on a good spectacle then this is all we can do. The federation and the commercial rights holder are fundamentally responsible for hosting the race. It’s not that we are closing our eyes, on the contrary, but we need to know what we need to do and this is sports.

CW: As Toto said, we are not politicians, we run sports teams and we’ve come here to race. Bernie and Jean believe that it’s right to race here and we go where the calendar asks us to go. And from our perspective, I think the organisers have done a fantastic job of putting on some great facilities for us to do that, but as Toto says again, sport is supposed to unite people and we just want to put on a good race on Sunday.

GH: … it’s a very controversial topic. I know in the US human rights are extremely important and the American people have a tendency to throw their weight around to make sure that people do get treated equally in the world. But I think, as Toto said, I think racing is a sport that brings people together to see that differences between people can be overcome. Sometimes when I go to races – like I was in Russia and I think the US has had a long history of rub-ins with Russian people but they are so friendly and it was so great to be there. So I really think that our sport can help smooth over some of those problems and hopefully when the politicians get to it, they can come to an agreeable solution.

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