GRAND PRIX OF CANADA Friday 11. June 1999 "Friday Five" press conference Drivers: Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) Jarno Trulli (Prost) Jacques Villeneuve (BAR) Ricardo Zonta (BAR) Team chief: Eddie Jordan Q. Eddie Irvine, we...
GRAND PRIX OF CANADA Friday 11. June 1999
"Friday Five" press conference Drivers: Eddie Irvine (Ferrari) Jarno Trulli (Prost) Jacques Villeneuve (BAR) Ricardo Zonta (BAR) Team chief: Eddie Jordan
Q. Eddie Irvine, we hear you did a lot of testing last week ...
Eddie Irvine: Tell me about it! [We did so much that] I got dizzy. It was a new record for Fiorano, in terms of lap times and in the number of laps completed in one day. The fastest lap was a 1m 1second and we did, I think, 135 laps. All I know is that for three days we were there from nine in the morning until nine at night.
Q. You have a revised engine here. Will you use it tomorrow? EI: We plan to use it for qualifying. It's a bit better, lighter and with a little more power.
Q. Eddie Jordan, what significance does it have for another owner when a team like Stewart is sold?
Eddie Jordan: I suppose it means there will be a lot more money in the bank (EI: A bigger boat ...) and more seats on the [private] aeroplane. To be serious, though, the trend [may prove to be] positive or negative: it depends on how far it goes. One thing I will say is that Formula 1 is now at such a high commercial level that in cases where major manufacturers take over, there should be some agreement that the team is given back if the manufacturer later decides to pull out. Normal owners like myself, people who have been in the sport for 30 years, have transparent objectives. But the formula should have some protection to ensure that any manufacturer wishing to pull out should either sell back its team or promise to keep it alive.
Q. Jarno, we hear stories of a big step forward for Prost at the French GP. What can you tell us?
Jarno Trulli: Well, I hope so. At the moment we are working really well, we are developing the car and looking forward to getting better results than we have had until now. At the moment we have two points, which is twice as many as we had all last year, but there is still a lot to do in terms of aerodynamics and the engine. But I think we are working the right way.
Q. Jacques, are you happy with the progress at BAR?
Jacques Villeneuve: Yes, definitely. As you can see this weekend, the team is performing well and the car is very strong, so there is nothing negative to be said on that side. It is more in the area of reliability where we have had far too many problems this year. But it is going to be fixed.
Q. Is it frustrating?
JV: When you're racing and sweating hard, and suddenly all the work you've done up to that point comes to nothing, then it is very frustrating. But at the same time you remind yourself why you made the decision to go there and why you have worked so hard up to that point. You know it will pay off if it eventually works properly.
Q. Why is your team mate quicker than you are today?
JV: Well, he didn't drive much since April, so I guess he was excited to get back in the car again.
Q. Is that true, Ricardo?
Ricardo Zonta: Yes, I think so. The last time I drove was at Interlagos, because when I tried to drive at Silverstone [last week] the weather was so bad that I only did five installation laps before coming here. Now I am starting to brake with my right foot, and I spent a few laps to get used to it, but I had no problems.
Q. Jacques, have you talked to the other F1 guys about Indy? Have you warned them about those walls?
JV: We're not going to be using the oval, so it won't be a problem. OK, we will be using turn One, but it will be coming out of a slow speed corner. We won't even be close to being on the edge of the car's performance, so it will be like a straight line. But I haven't talked about this with any other drivers, so I have no idea what they think.
Q. Eddie Jordan, do you agree with Craig Pollock that the team owners need to get together to discuss how to improve the show in F1?
EJ: Let's not get confused about this, because although Barcelona was a horribly boring race for everybody, there have also been some very exciting races this year. There never has been much overtaking in F1, and there probably never will be. What we have to do is to make it exciting, and if that is what Craig was saying, then I support him. You will see a helluva good race here on Sunday because Canada has always developed into a good race, while Barcelona has always seen poor races. Each of the teams here has already done between eight and ten thousand kilometres of testing at Barcelona, so you can read the conclusion for yourself. Reduce the testing.
Q. Jacques, what thoughts on this do you have?
JV: What Eddie says is true, there has never been a lot of overtaking in F1. All we want [as drivers] is to have at least the opportunity to be able to take the risk of overtaking someone and to have a fair chance of being able to complete it. Now it seems that this has become nearly impossible. If there were to be ten overtaking moves every lap that would become artificial, a show with no true racing. There are definitely a few things to be done that would help it, though. But you will never get as much overtaking or close racing as you get on an oval. If you look at the CART races on road courses, there is no more overtaking than there is in F1.