UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX POST-RACE QUOTES Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003 RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 2 Ferrari F2003-GA/Ferrari 052/Bridgestone): "I did not get the best of starts, and after that, my gears were not working. After that, I hit (Juan) Montoya....
UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX POST-RACE QUOTES
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (No. 2 Ferrari F2003-GA/Ferrari 052/Bridgestone): "I did not get the best of starts, and after that, my gears were not working. After that, I hit (Juan) Montoya. I thought I had given him enough space, but obviously it wasn't. I went into the corner, and all of a sudden, I felt a bang. (You seemed mad when you got out of the car): "Well, I got out of the car, and I thought they (the marshals) could have pushed the car. I'm frustrated, because I thought I had the car to win this thing. But it didn't start well. The start was a joke, and my gears were not working, so the car was having trouble in the beginning."
(Did you have a chance to look at the tape of the incident with you and Juan Pablo Montoya?) "Yes I did, and the opinion is very much the same the one that I had at the beginning. Unfortunately, we were running side by side - well, fortunately or unfortunately because it made it good for the public. I had nothing else to do. I had given him space when ! we turned into Turn 2, running on the outside, just hoping to get better traction, and Montoya touched the curb, and the curb was humid, and he slid down into me. Or he didn't want to lift because the space was there. He wasn't on the grass or anything like this. I didn't want to turn into the corner. So I went wide, but, even so, he touched me."
(Implications for the Constructors Championship): "Absolutely, and it's a big part. I mean, this weekend was going fantastically well. I qualified in then front. The start wasn't the best, but my problem was the selector. I didn't select second gear, so the millisecond I wasn't into the telemetry, it allowed Michael (Schumacher) and then Ralf (Schumacher) to get past. And then I was having that problem with the selector during the laps, but I was getting used to the situation. But people were coming on me really fast on the straight, so I had to defend myself until the right moment, but then, unfortunately, that happened with Montoya.!"
(Was Montoya's penalty justified?) "That is not for me to say, really. I know how crucial it was to the championship, but I didn't want anything bad to happen for anyone. I can only watch the incident as it went. I had nowhere else to go. That was my line."
RALF SCHUMACHER (No. 4 Williams-BMW FW25/BMW P83/Michelin): "It was the wrong decision to stay (out) a long longer, because the rain was so heavy. It was a misunderstanding between the two of us, and that's why we stayed out. It's very difficult conditions for all of us out there." (About driving in the rain): "It must be new for Americans to see racing in the rain. It's great fun for us. It's very challenging. It's obviously disappointing what happened to us."
JENSON BUTTON (No. 17 BAR-Honda 005/Honda RA003E/Bridgestone): "I came around the last corner; the engine started to die. There was a lot of smoke, and that was it. It was very difficult early in the race. They told me to stay out, and I went off the circuit, and they said maybe I should come in (for rain tires). It's very disappointing. I thought Michael (Schumacher) was going to pass me anyway. It's nice to lead, but people don't remember who leads races."
OLIVIER PANIS (No. 20 Toyota TF103/Toyota RVX-03/Michelin): "I think I did my job this weekend, qualifying third. A fantastic start to be second, and after that we decided to go into the pits to put the wet tires on because it seemed quite good idea. We got this close, and then we went for another pit stop, and I when back out, we spun when another storm hit, and you know, it's hard. So, I think we need to think about the next Grand Prix."
MARK WEBBER (No. 14 Jaguar-Cosworth R4/Cosworth CR-5/Michelin): "It was a difficult race with a lot of patchy rain, here and there. To be honest, I was driving my own race, and I saw Nick (Heidfeld) pitted earlier than us. It was Jenson (Button), and I still didn't have a clue where I was running. I was just trying to do our best at that particular stage. We were coming in that lap, anyway, but I lost the car at Turn 6 and couldn't stop on the backstraight, because there was so much water there in the groove. I got on the grass, and that was it. It was a shame."
DAVID COULTHARD (No. 5 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-17D/Mercedes-Benz FO110M/Michelin): "It was a gearbox problem. Obviously before that, the first part of the race was going pretty well. Took a gamble, tried to stay out on slicks. The track dried quickly on Friday, but I just think the cooler conditions meant that it just didn't dry. For each lap we went longer when it wasn't raining, you're like, 'What are you going to do?' It was a bit of a bad run there and ultimately not finishing."
NICOLAS KIESA (No. 18 Minardi-Cosworth PS03/Ford Cosworth CR-3/Bridgestone): "We really had a good start. I caught (Giancarlo) Fisichella and one of the BAR (car's) and we were having quite a good scrap. I pitted for intermediate (tires), then it went dry, and I did lots of laps on the intermediates and lost time. I actually made my first Formula One overtaking today when I caught (Ralph) Firman. I was quite surprised by our competitiveness in the wet. This weekend was the first I'd driven a Formula One car in the wet. It would have been a perfect race for me except for the tire call, and nobody's perfect. It was a very important race for me because I put a lot of knowledge of the last three races to use. I was pushing hard. When I was pushing, I could stay up with BAR and Jordan."
CRISTIANO DA MATTA (No. 21 Toyota TF103/Toyota RVX-03/Michelin): "The race was pretty tough for me. We already started with the wrong strategy. When that happens, and you are one lap behind, there is not much you can do. My first experience here in Indianapolis wasn't good at all. Even knowing this was my first time here, I felt very confident driving my car on this track. The bad weather conditions were the same to everybody, and it didn't affect me any different. Everybody was in the same situation. From now on, we need to look into finding a better plan for next time."
FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 8 Renault R23/Renault RS23/Michelin): "The car was competitive, but I was not happy all weekend. It was hard to drive. With Ralf (Schumacher) and Rubens (Barrichello) out today, it was a chance to go forward in the championship. Obviously, I am very disappointed."
JARNO TRULLI (No. 7 Renault R23/Renault RS23/Michelin): "I am pleased because we worked hard for a difficult race with the track conditions. We did the maximum. It was a bit of a gamble today choosing the strategy, but we came away with a fourth position, and I'm pleased with it. Friday's conditions were a good preparation for today. I just think that my mistake yesterday in warm-up cost me the race and also yesterday's pole position. The track here is OK. We have seen a good show, and I am pleased for the U.S.A."
RALPH FIRMAN (No. 12 Jordan-Ford EJ13/Ford Cosworth RS1/Bridgestone): "Unfortunately, I spun out of the race. It wasn't a very good race for us. I had to drive through the pits once and had to wait until another time for Giancarlo (Fisichella) to do his pit stops. Things just weren't working for us today, and we didn't have an opportunity to score any points. Unfortunately, it was not our best day. It was quite slippery and probably the best conditions for us, but it was a tough day."
JOS VERSTAPPEN (No. 19 Minardi-Cosworth PS03/Ford Cosworth CR-3/Bridgestone): "It was bad on the first lap that Ralph Firman drove into my car. Then it started to rain. I came in at the right moment, so I'm quite happy with that. Obviously, we were a lot slower, and that's how it is."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 15 Jaguar-Cosworth R4/Cosworth CR-5/Michelin): "I'm very pleased with that. The first pit stop was really good. The second pit stop was a bit too early, as it was on the wet, and I ran over one of my mechanics, but (he's) OK, so I'm very grateful and pleased to get a point. It's been a lot of hard work, so it's nice to get one in the bank."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE (No. 16 BAR-Honda 005/Honda RA003E/Bridgestone): "We had an engine problem. I think a cylinder dropped, and the oil caught fire. Similar as what happened to Jenson (Button). The car was really quick, but then we made the wrong decision early in the race when it started raining for the first time. We came in and put on wet tires. It stopped raining at the same time. It is just bad luck. I don't think I could get anymore frustrated then I have been the whole season. Stress continuation without surprise. I don't know. Suzuka shouldn't be a track where we should be competitive at. If we have mechanical problems, then not much good can happen. There is not much to say."
(About the start): "(The tires were) no good for the start and no good for the full first half. It was going backward. We lost a lot of time early on when I was in the pits when it started raining. It was the wrong decision, but we took the gamble. When I came in the pits, it stopped raining. At t! he end of the day, it doesn't matter how good or bad we were; we have problem after problem anyway. It doesn't really make a difference."
(Different pit strategies with your teammate, did they pay off?): "It was paying off, but Jenson had the same problem with his car. It was havoc (with the changing weather conditions). It was just a question of coming in on the right lap. You go one lap too much, and you lose 30 seconds. You come in one lap too early, you are on the wrong tires. I don't see why we would want more power when this engine already blows up. We are not quick enough at the moment. We keep getting a little more power, but what we really want is less weight."
NICK HEIDFELD (No. 9 Sauber-Petronas C22/Petronas 03A/Bridgestone): "I think it was a good race. We had one stop more than Heinz (-Harald Frentzen), which was a bit of a problem. Heinz pitted two laps later than me, and the conditions were already showing that it was going to rain. That was to his advantage. I think it was a great result for the team. I'm not sure where we are now in the point standings, but we have so much points now it is a huge step. We knew that our good set of tires would respond better in intermediate conditions. You cannot plan things like this. If someone would have told us that we would finish with so many points, we wouldn't have believed it. It is a fantastic result for the team. Congratulations to Heinz for the top place. I think we were lucky today. I think we did a good race."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 3 Williams-BMW FW25/BMW P83/Michelin): "A very disappointing race, basically decided by the penalty I was given for the accident with Rubens and the moment I had to pay it. Due the changeable weather conditions, in fact, it started to rain hard just when I was given my drive-through penalty, which forced me to delay by one lap my pit stop to change on to wet tires. It is sad to lose my Drivers Championship chances this way, especially knowing that I just needed to finish fifth today to keep my hopes open."