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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

President Of The European Central Bank On A European Monetary Fund And The Lack Of Oversight Among Peers Within The Euro Zone; Formula-1 Grand Prix

Aired March 12, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Greece's problems are Europe's problems tonight QUEST MEANS BUSINESS speaks to President Trichet of the European Central Bank.

The British Airways strike is on. Cabin crew will walk out for several days.

And Formula One is about to get underway. It is the weekend of the first race. We hear from a car company and from Sir Jackie Stewart.

I'm Richard Quest, still in Bahrain, where I mean business.

Good evening from Bahrain, as we bring to a close our week of programming. Part of the CNN iList coverage, illuminating parts of the world that you might not know too much about and putting them into perspective. We have had some fun and games here in Bahrain.

Before we get to what's been happening here, we need to turn our attention to what been taking place in Europe, and for that, of course, the problems of Greece.

Should the European Union and Commission put together a European Monetary Fund, an EMF, that would bailout countries like Greece, with conditions or without, if things got grim. The President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, he believes that there might be some merit in the idea and hopefully President Trichet joins me now from California, and he can hear me and I'll be able to hear him.

And with a bit of luck and a following wind, President Trichet, many thanks for joining us. The first question, of course, is when push comes to shove, are you in favor of some form of EMF?

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: Well, first of all, I only said that we had not yet a position of the governing council of the ECB at this stage. And in any case, this is a mechanism for the future, for improving, if I may, the surveyance of the countries and their peers, and to make the stability and growth pact, which is a fundamental in the framework of Europe, more reliable, and more effective, if I may.

But at this stage, again, I have no position of the governing council of the ECB and I don't think that the qualification monetary is necessarily a good thing. I understand it is a mechanism for support under condition.

QUEST: What are you-why are you and why are European countries so implacably opposed to the IMF being invited in? Countries like Greece are members, the IMF has many decades of experience. Surely they're the right people to sort this out?

TRICHET: I have to say that we have full confidence in the expertise of the IMF and it is the reason why the IMF was associated with the discussion that took place in Athens, between the commission in (UNINTELLIGIBLE), with the ECB and with the IMF expert there, in order to be sure that we would have the best additional measures, additional decisions taken. The problem of the IMF as expertise is not the disputed, what is absolutely necessary in Europe is that the peers, the governments, that are responsible, because are in the Euro area, that are responsible to survey the behavior of their fellow partners in the Euro area, will not be weakened. That is the main, main explanation for our insistence that the governments of the Euro area are doing their job, which is exerting surveyance, exerting very attentive surveyance on their peers.

QUEST: But they have done a shocking job of that, President Trichet. If they had done their job properly, Europe and the Euro Zone would not be facing the crisis that it is at the moment, surely.

TRICHET: I think you are right. The surveyance has to be improved. And we calling ourselves, permanently, for improving surveyance. You might remember I, myself, five years ago, defended very fiercely the stability and growth pact and a number of governments, who considered that it was appropriate to blow it up. And of course, it would have been a catastrophe.

QUEST: Right.

TRICHET: But let me only say, Richard, that all countries have problem. At the moment I'm speaking, all industrialized countries, very unfortunately, have a level of yearly public financed deficits which are very high. And the additional measures that have been taken in Greece, and which I would qualify as convincing and courageous. Precisely there to give credibility to going back to normal.

QUEST: Right.

President Trichet, moving on to other matters, quickly, are you content to leave monetary stance where it is? Never mind just interest rates per se, but I'm thinking about things like liquidity and the provision of liquidity to the market. Is it time to start withdrawing it at a faster rate?

TRICHET: As regards the monetary policy stance, as you know, we have considered that it was presently appropriate. And permitting to deliver price stability, in the long run, which is our primary mandate. As regards the phasing out of the non-conventional measures, we just decided to continue this timely and gradual phasing out of exceptional measures.

And I would say from that standpoint we probably are more or less on the same line, on both sides of the Atlantic, the exceptional measures that we took when the crisis was at its peak are progressively unwinding because, again, markets are functioning better.

QUEST: President Trichet, you and I have spoken many times, but never from quite such a distance.

(LAUGHTER)

California to the Gulf. I look forward to our next conversation being a little bit closer, President Jean-Claude Trichet, many thanks indeed for-

TRICHET: It was a pleasure.

QUEST: -joining us this evening. Thank you, Sir.

Now, the markets-let me just update you, where the markets have been going.

European markets have had a flat end the week. They were little changed, stocks, when all was said and done on Friday. I supposed we ought to be rather pleased about that. It means there's no damage that has been done.

Well, look at that. You can't complain can you? Two up, two down, a bit that way, a bit the other way, all said and done.

And directionless once again for U.S. stocks; bulls got in a early boost from a Good Fri-a good February-retail sales number. Good Friday is not still to come for a few more weeks.

A reading on consumer sentiment was a disappointment. Shares of the broker Charles Schwab are lower after a profit warning. The Dow is up 12 points.

OK, you are up to date. You have heard President Trichet. You now know the markets. We need to hear from Max Foster, at the CNN News Desk.

(NEWSBREAK)

QUEST: When we return in just a moment, half a million people are going to be affected. The strike may be shorter than originally planned, but it is going ahead, nevertheless. British Airways and its passengers will have that tale of sorry woe after the break. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Welcome back.

British Airways cabin crew are taking strike action. They are going to be going off the job later in the month. They have been trying to hold a strike since late last year when you will remember, it was planned to be over the Christmas break, but a high court, in London, soon put a stop to that. Now, though, a strike seems inevitable. It will affect up to half a million passengers.

These are the details. Two separate strikes in the space of a week. The first starts on March 20th, and will last for three days. The second will last four days starting on March the 27th. The union Unite said that it was calling the strike after the final round of talks with arbitrators fell apart earlier this week. They say that their sorry for the confusion and disruption, but the strike is going ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEN MCCLUSKEY, ASSIST. GENERAL SECRETARY, UNITE: First of all we regret the inconvenience that there are going to be faced with. Perhaps if they feel angry and annoyed they should bring their annoyance to the attention of British Airways management, and ask them to be a little bit more flexible in trying to reach a settlement with the largest group of their employees, who have a genuine grievance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Now the chief executive of British Airways, Willie Walsh, has made it clear to pretty much any one who would listen, over recent months, that he is not backing down and that he'll endure (ph) the strike, if he has to. Earlier he spoke to Ayesha Durgahee, about why he is determined not to give in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIE WALSH, CEO, BRITISH AIRWAYS: I'm pleased to say we have got well developed contingency plans. And happy to say all our flights out of London City will operate. The vast majority of our flights at Gatwick will operate. And we will operate a significant schedule at Heathrow as well.

We have contracted for what we call work-lease (ph) capacity, this is where another airline makes available to us their aircraft with their crew. So, we have a significant number of aircraft available. Those aircraft will be used primarily on short haul flying at London Heathrow. We have also got seats available with other airlines and we will look to transfer our customers to those flights.

We are going to do whatever we can in the interests of our customers. I've also said today, that anybody who is booked to fly with British Airways from London Heathrow between the 19th of March, and the 31st of March, can rebook their flights, can look for re-routing or can get a refund. And I think the best place to go is on to BA.com, where we will have the most up-to-date information.

AYESHA DURGAHEE, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: How much is the strike going to cost British Airways?

WALSH: I'm not looking at it that way. In fact, my focus is to see how many of our customers can we continue to fly, and that is the reason why I'm prepared to contract other airlines to provide us with their aircraft, which is clearly and expensive thing to do. But these are actions that we are taking to ensure that our customers, as many a possible, can continue to get to their destinations. By using volunteers to keep a significant number of our own aircraft flying will minimize the losses. There is no question, we will loose revenue through this period.

DURGAHEE: Is this strike going to bring British Airways to its knees?

WALSH: No, not at all. You will see British Airways at its best. And what you have seen already, thousands of people from across this airline come together to ensure that British Airways can continue to fly. British Airways will fly through these strike dates and we will continue to build up our contingency in the face of any future threat.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Now, Willie Walsh there talking to Ayesha Durgahee. And Ayesha is with me now.

And, Ayesha, how difficult is it going to be for BA to actually get any form of limited service up and running with this temporary crews that they have put together?

AYESHA DURGAHEE, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have had since Christmas to finalize its contingency plans and to make sure that everything is in place, from worst to best-case scenarios. But the 1,000 volunteer cabin crew will be working across its fleet of triple 7s, working on the long haul routes out of both Heathrow and Gatwick. So, I think it seems that the plans are in place, and that the strike is on, but the gloves are on, too.

QUEST: Right now, that is the point here, isn't it? Because anybody looking at this would say, well, they've still got a week to try and sort it out. But Ayesha, is it your feeling, as perhaps it is mine, that to some extent this is one that is actually going to take place?

DURGAHEE: Yes, we-this is going to be resolved the painful way if you like. That the strike is going to go ahead and that passengers will be able to, as Mr. Walsh said, that passengers will be able to rebook, re- route or get a refund, if they think that the crisis won't be averted. And they can do something before the strike actually happens.

QUEST: Ayesha Durgahee, joining me from London. Ayesha, you will be following this closely, as indeed, will I. Many thanks, indeed.

Now, we are getting a lot of comments on our blog, about exactly this strike, on the web site. The question is, are you planning to fly with British Airways over the affected dates? Do you know how your plans will be affected? And we want to hear from you. Do please read the blog, read the blog, add your comments. It is CNN.com/QMB.

When we come back in just a moment, young people here in Bahrain are pretty much like young people everywhere. That might not be a surprise, but in a country that has oil wealth, why are people unemployed? And why in this part of the world is unemployment a real problem. Who is doing the jobs? QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we are going to come back in just a moment and talk about that. Good evening to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Good evening to you. Welcome, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in Bahrain.

Now, if you scratch the surface here, you will soon find out that there is more than the meets the eye. That is pretty much the same case in most places, but what you might be a little surprised to learn about is the question of employment; the careers that people are going for.

Earlier in the week I met a young Bahraini woman making her way in the banking sector. Educated here, then overseas in the U.K., now working for Citibank, here in Bahrain. I asked her about her expectations for this country and its way forward. And what indeed, she wants from the future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAWAN ALMASKATI, MANAGEMEN ASSOCIATE, CITIBANK: I want Bahrain to provide me, or any woman, with equal opportunity to men, which it is doing at the moment, which I've experienced. I've been given the opportunity to study in a renowned university, and to work in a renowned organization.

QUEST: But in this-in this battle, or conflict, or challenge, whatever you want to call it, between the liberalism and conservatism, between the new generation and the old generation, how do you balance that? Do you think?

ALMASKATI: Well, I think that is on a more personal, individual level. I don't think that is-that will eventually make up the society as a whole, but I think the new generation, being very educated, very exposed to different countries of the world, will make up that society of the future. And I think we are seeing that now.

We're seeing a lot of young people coming back to Bahrain or growing up in Bahrain. And they're very liberal. But at the same time, still hold their culture and their tradition.

QUEST: This is important point. Culture and tradition, and the jobs that of course are available here in the region, especially for young graduates.

Banks in just like every part of the world were touched by the recent global downturn. Bahrain was no exception. Gulf Finance House is an Islamic investment bank. It made a loss like everybody else did during the crisis. The head -- the chairman of Gulf Finance House is Issam Janai (ph). And he joins me now.

Good evening to you, sir.

JANAI (ph): Good evening to you.

QUEST: Many thanks. Thank you (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

JANAI (ph): Thank you.

QUEST: When you look at the situation -- not just in banking, but the -- the opportunities and the skills that are available here. Do you find it to be acceptable? Do you find it to be a concern?

JANAI (ph): Having the right experience in the kingdom of Bahrain, Bahrain was known always that we have a talented pool of investment bankers. I mean, being at the Gulf Finance House since establishment 10 years ago, we are considered to become the full generation of Islamic banks. Islamic bank we have started since the 70s with the first generation. And during that time up to now it was a really sharp learning curve for the Bahraini talent to be grown up within (inaudible) investing (ph) within the kingdom of Bahrain.

QUEST: But now you have so many banks. Now of course many of the people here go to the traditional Wall Street, city of London banks. What is different about when they come to an Islamic bank?

JANAI (ph): In terms of Islamic banking, having that uniqueness as -- as I told you this is the full generation of Islamic banks. Most of the talent that they have been grown up in investment banking having the experience within the international, conventional banks. Turning into Islamic banking we've -- we've had a lot of value addition (ph) into that industry.

QUEST: What do you look for in the graduates here in Bahrain, cause I assume you want to employ locally? You want -- you'd rather have local than not. What do you look for, and maybe what are you not finding yet?

JANAI (ph): In terms of -- I can find the right talent.

QUEST: Yes.

JANAI (ph): I think within the Bahraini graduates first of all one of the prerequisites to join Gulf Finance House is to have that entrepreneurialship approach.

QUEST: Ah (ph).

JANAI (ph): And this is where, even within division of 20-30 (ph) that announce for kingdom of Bahrain...

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: Is it -- is it lacking that entrepreneurialship at the moment do you think? People have -- look. People are used to having jobs. They're used to providers. They're not used to making it on their own.

JANAI (ph): But this I think what we have shown over the past 10 years as a historical track record for our own institution, we have graduated a lot of leaders to become CEOs and to -- in different industries. And this is where it shows. Bahrainis are talented to capture the high level jobs.

QUEST: We thank you very much indeed. If I get tired of a job, I'll come and have a word with you. Many thanks indeed.

JANAI (ph): Thank you. Thanks a lot.

QUEST: Now, what's been described by Queen Rania of Jordan as a ticking time bomb. We've just talked about the graduates. But what about general use unemployment. It's a serious worry. Not just here in Bahrain, but also within the Gulf region. It's one of the highest birth rates in the world. And in economies that can't produce necessarily enough jobs for those who need them. As I discovered when you talk about jobs, visit the mall and talk to the youngsters.

(PLAYING CLIP)

(UNKNOWN MALE): But a lot of people are pushy and saying that they did want to do something that was more socially responsible. I think in terms of social responsibility, sustainability, and environmental sectors you'll see a large -- large increase in youth going to those.

(UNKNOWN MALE): It's full of opportunities, but still, you know, we are in a state of growth financial wise. So it will be better.

(UNKNOWN FEMALE): I don't think Bahrain is really badly affected by it. And I do -- I'm really lucky to be here now at this time. I'm also lucky enough to be in finance. So I was really happy about that.

(END CLIP)

QUEST: Now real mixed though. We've heard from the banker. We've heard from the youngsters. We've heard from the graduates. Johnny D now here (ph). (Inaudible)...

(CROSSTALK)

DEFTERIOS: For the final segment.

QUEST: For the final segment. Hope he's not in our careers (ph).

DEFTERIOS: No. No. (Inaudible)...

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: John, tell -- tell me about this youth unemployment situation.

DEFTERIOS: Well, you know, we saved in a sense the best for the last. The most vital to the last. I mean, this is the most pressing issue across the region, throughout the Middle East and North Africa. I call it the "Young and the Jobless." Let's take a look at what we're talking about.

Richard, we're looking at unemployment of about 25.5 percent right now. We've got two-thirds of the population below the age of 65. And it's very pressing as the graphic comes up here. You need to create 100 million jobs by the year 2020 just to stand still without the unemployment rate going up.

So basically if you take the unemployment rate, you double it, and that's what you have for youth unemployment. This has one of the fastest birth rates in the world at 2.5 percent per year. So you're looking at a region that's going to see its population go from basically 350 million to 500 million by the year 2025. So a huge challenge.

QUEST: Within that challenge, John, are they -- will they do the jobs that are there? Look in any society there are bank clerks, there are...

DEFTERIOS: Right.

QUEST: ... check out people. There are gas stations. There's roads to be (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

DEFTERIOS: Sure.

QUEST: Are they just not prepared to do those jobs?

DEFTERIOS: Well by the way, in Bahrain, it's one of the most adjustable...

QUEST: Right.

DEFTERIOS: ... populations. They actually do that. And they're -- they're diversifying and training the people quite rapidly.

QUEST: But the skills aren't the right skills here.

DEFTERIOS: No. This is the biggest complaint from the business community right now. Particularly at the Arab Business Council -- the World Economic Forum. They're saying, "Look. We have a mismatch. What you're training them in the schools is not what we need right now in society." So they're trying to close that gap. Some countries started with higher education. Spent millions of dollars at the higher level. The business communities say, "Look. Get the primary and secondary education sorted out."

QUEST: John, if things go -- if things go wrong, there's a couple of jobs I can put you -- I have a good word for (ph) you with...

DEFTERIOS: We've learned a lot doing (inaudible), John.

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: ... with the sovereigns (ph). Many thanks to you. Johnny D...

DEFTERIOS: Yes.

QUEST: ... on QMB. We'll be back in London. We'll talk more.

DEFTERIOS: See you. Thank you.

(CROSSTALK)

QUEST: Many thanks. All right. When we come back in just a moment, he runs and airline. He's got hotels. He's one of Asia's most entrepreneurial entrepreneurs. So why is he throwing money down the drain with a motor racing car in Formula One? He'll explain. Tony Fernandes and Formula One after the break.

(BREAK)

QUEST: Good evening. I'm Richard Quest -- Quest Means Business. This is CNN. OK. We've had the pre-run. We've had the run up. And now we're getting down to business. Formula One business quite literally. The practice sessions have now begun for the first race in the 2010 Formula One calendar. This Friday they started going around the track here in Bahrain. Three new teams are on the grid. And you might be wondering about why three teams just as you're coming out of a recession.

Lotus racing returned this weekend after a 16 year absence. And in the fullness of honest, Lotus racing -- CNN is also one of the sponsors. We have our name on the car. I don't have my name on my next guest who is the head of the racing. It's Tony Fernandes who we also...

(CROSSTALK)

FERNANDES: Hi, Richard.

QUEST: Good to see you.

FERNANDES: Good to see you too.

QUEST: Many thanks for joining us.

FERNANDES: Pleasure. Pleasure.

QUEST: OK. You were about six or seven seconds behind in today's practice races.

FERNANDES: Yes.

QUEST: And what's your hope for the Lotus car this race?

FERNANDES: Well I -- what -- my hope is to finish the race. You know, we've had six months to fill this car. We're very happy with where we are. At the end of this second practice we felt we made up another couple of seconds. But main thing is try to beat the new teams, and finish the race.

QUEST: Are you going to win?

FERNANDES: No, we're not.

QUEST: Why not?

FERNANDES: No, we're not.

QUEST: No. Come on. How can you go...

FERNANDES: No, we're not.

QUEST: ... into a race that you're not going to win.

FERNANDES: One has to be realistic. Love to win. Time is not here yet.

QUEST: OK, but if you manage to complete all the races of the 19 race season.

FERNANDES: Yes.

QUEST: That would be an achievement.

FERNANDES: I think it would be a fantastic achievement. I mean, you know, if you beat today's 60 years of Formula 1, a couple of teams that had been for 60 years, we've done it for 6 months. It will be a wonderful achievement.

QUEST: Why did you want to do it? I mean, you know, there are plenty of ways to loss serious amounts of money.

FERNANDES: Well, you know, people said that when I sell an airline, why do want to sell an airline? There are many ways of making money. I think Formula-1 is in a perfect time to actually make money. We haven't reach a global audience yet, cost are coming down with the resource agreement, and there's a huge branding opportunity in Formula-1 that we believe, especially with the Lotus brand to be able to monetize that. So we're in for the business.

QUEST: Really, I never have noticed. Let's talk about the - we know what's going to happen here - Air Asia and you have weathered the recession magnificently, but I wonder are you ready for the next stage of growth?

FERNANDES: Well, yes, we've - the recession actually (inaudible) well for us. We did very well. We've got another 16 planes coming. We're just going to India. We feel quietly optimistic that we're ready for the next stage of growth.

QUEST: And you have this extraordinary - I have to tell you - this extraordinary bet with Sir Richard Bronson whose also got a team Virgin racing into - in this, and two new teams whichever one losses or doesn't win against the other one what happens?

FERNANDES: Well, if Richard losses, he has to be a stewardess on my flight from Kuala Lumpur - from London to Kuala Lumpur. If I lose, I'm going to be a stewardess in a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Lagos.

QUEST: And you're determined to do that?

FERNANDES: Absolutely, absolutely.

QUEST: Can I come along with the camera and record the embarrassment all around?

FERNANDES: You certainly can.

QUEST: Finally, traffic light - OK, traffic lights over here -

FERNANDES: Yes.

QUEST: Red and/or green for your performance in tomorrow's - in this grand prix.

FERNANDES: What do I do?

QUEST: No, you don't do anything, you just tell me what you wanted to do.

FERNANDES: Green mate.

QUEST: Green, what happens if it's a bit (inaudible)?

FERNANDES: I won't be in CNN anymore.

QUEST: I asked for that. Many thanks indeed, good luck.

FERNANDES: Thanks very much. See you ---

QUEST: I promise you when you tell about this (inaudible) right. Many thanks indeed. Now, and the great and the good of Formula-1 always turns up to these races particularly for the first of the season. It was with some enjoyment that our (inaudible) sit down and discuss this particular race with the Formula-1 champion Jackie Stewart because this race has numerous different aspects.

It has a longer tract with more difficult turns. They can't refuel during the race and crucially there are new regulations regarding tires. So Jackie put a goal into perspective.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

JACKIE STEWART, THREE-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION: This year, I think there's more excitement. Michael Schumacher is coming after a layoff. Very few drivers successfully come back. He's got a very good chance of doing that.

Ferrari haven't won for a couple of years, the world championship. They are desperate to do it. McLaren one of the best teams in the world are ready to do it. With two world champions back to back, with Johnson Button and Louis Hamilton.

So I think if you consider Mason Alonzo and you think that Red (inaudible) as well and (Batrin) is probably the most enjoyable grand prix with Monaco that we go through in a year.

So I think everybody comes down here with great enthusiasm apart from anything else and the very fact that it's the first grand prix of the season is more generating that.

QUEST: If we look at the somewhat checkered (inaudible) recent past, we're talking about some of the incidents that are savory incidents. The money of the sport and does this sport - does the Formula 1 start 2010 in good spirits or somewhat doubtful spirits?

STEWART: You know, I think the spirit within the Formula 1 is very strong.

QUEST: Notwithstanding all that's happened.

STEWART: Well, there are incidents in all sports whether you think of golf at the present time or even football at the present time. There are shadows that suddenly come over. We've had them in Formula 1.

Formula-1 however is different in most other sports. It's probably the biggest sport in the world for television for example. Secondly, these car makers, the fuel and oil producers, there's all the tire manufacturers that look at it and come in from time to time, and the commercial ratifications of Formula-1.

I think any of the glitches that have our occurred, Richard, are ones that you have to see from time to time can happen in any environment.

QUEST: You're not talking business now, and I'm wondering is the business side of Formula-1 do you think still is solid?

STEWART: Well, there's an economic recession in the world. I think everyone recognizes that, but having said that, the commercial identity of the sports. Sponsors who invest in the sport know that they can - they get bigger bang from the buck in Formula-1 because of the global television never mind the live audience than they could get from any other activity where they may use advertising or other promotional efforts for sales and marketing. From that point of view, Formula-1 still stands high.

QUEST: And a final question, good idea or not, the no refueling.

STEWART: I think it's the right decision not to have refueling. Sooner or later, I was always fearful there was going to be the wrong fire, the wrong accident in the pit area. Because when you refuel, the fumes of the things that cause the accidents not the actual fuel itself.

So I think Formula-1 got probably the best record for risk management of any business or sport in the world, and I think the move that they've taken to remove refueling probably is a very sensible way to go.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

QUEST: The refueling or the no refueling is highly controversial. Of course, we'll know in the next 48 hours just how successful it is. Incidentally as a result of having to have larger fuel bladders in the car, the cars are about a foot longer and then if you add in the fact the question of the tires, well, it should be a controversial race on Sunday.

If you think driving the car is difficult and perhaps that is one of the most challenging part, what about being the race controllers, in the control room, watching what's happening.

We caught up with the man who's one of those the clock of the course is running the (inaudible) grand prix as part of his world at work.

FAYEZ RAMZY FAYEZ, DIRECTOR OF CIRCUIT OPERATIONS, BIC: I'm Fayez Ramzy Fayez. I'm the director of Circuit Operations at Bahrain International Circuit on the (clip) of the course for the Bahrain Formula-1 Grand Prix.

This is the race control room at Bahrain International Circuit where the command and control of the whole race is coming out here. Green lights go off here as well as the checkered flag.

The FIA desk is in the front here where Mr. Charlie White is the Race Director. The FIA observer, the race control operators sit in the front, the clerk of the course is next to them.

We just control everything that's happening on there. If we get reports of debris on track or the car is smoking on fire. We can monitor it. We can zoom in on any part of the track or any car. Make a judgment and find out what emergency responses if any are needed.

We don't really get to watch the race. We get to watch for incidents. We get to watch for issues. We keep an eye on the timing. We keep an eye on the whole pack to find out where cars are catching up to the back markers so that's we issues blue flags and so on. Getting to watch the race is a luxury we got to do the next day around.

QUEST: And the race is also - that race that I'll be looking at also is about less than 50 laps as they go around the track, which is now of course, a longer track 6.29. We'll have a coverage of that and we'll tell you the winner next week.

We will be back with more in just a moment. A glorious fun night here in Bahrain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: OK. Time to look at the weather forecast. We know it's going to be dry here in Bahrain for the -- for the Grand Prix, but Jenny Harrison's at the World's Weather Center. I suppose the question is just how hot...

HARRISON: Yes.

QUEST: ... is it going to be?

(WEATHER REPORT)

QUEST: Ms. Harrison, you're wearing your petrol head clothes again. You racy -- racy thing you.

HARRISON: I'm not actually, Mr. Quest. So you're going to have to keep those sort of comments to yourself, you know? And it's not (ph) -- don't you -- you're going to get me into trouble again thank you.

QUEST: Many thanks indeed. Jenny Harrison at the World's Weather Center.

And come on in. Cause that's Quest Means Business from Bahrain. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to this weekend, I hope it's profitable or something like that. I'll see you next week back in London.

END