Japanese GP Friday interviews

1995 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMNPIONSHIP Race No.16 GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN -- SUZUKA, JAPAN OCTOBER 27-29, 1995 EXCERPTS FROM FIA INTERVIEWS, FRIDAY OCTOBER 27, 1995 Present for today's interview are: Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Mika ...



Present for today's interview are: Michael Schumacher, Karl Wendlinger, Mika Salo, Eddie Jordan (Jordan team owner) and Tom Walkinshaw (Ligier team pricipal).

Q. Michael, what have you been doing in the past few days since retaining your World Championship in Aida?

SCHUMACHER: Staying in bed and recovering from Sunday night! That was the most important thing, because I had quite a hangover. I drank beer first, then wine, and that was the wrong thing. You definitely should not mix those two. Afterwards, I was in Tokyo, attending several functions with Mild Seven. It was quite nice, not too hectic, and we had time to see several sights and to relax, more or less.

Q. Has the significance sunk in?

SCHUMACHER: Yes, it has sunk in, but there are two reasons why I haven't been able to spray out so many emotions. The first is that Nurburgring was the most important race, in terms of settling the drivers' championship. I did a good race there and I almost secured the championship. The other reason is that I haven't fulfilled the other goal that I set for myself this season, which is to get the constructors' championship, as well. This will have to be achieved before I can feel really relieved and be able to start expressing my emotions.

Q. Karl, how do you feel?

WENDLLINGER: I feel quite good. I am happy to be back and to be taking part in races, rather than testing or staying home. That's more or less what I have been doing since May, when the team made a change in line-up. This year I have done two races and two test sessions, which is not a lot of running. The testing at Mugello last week went well. Timewise, it was quite quick, and it wasn't just one fast lap; it was several. For this reason Mr. Sauber decided to put me back in the car for the last two races, to see if there has been any improvement since the beginning of the year. I feel more confident. I feel in better shape (and) mentally, I am stronger.

Q. This is a tough circuit at which to be making your return.

WENDLINGER: You're right. It's hard physically, and challenging, too. From the physical side, a practice day like today is no problem. I just had to find the right line and the limit as quickly as possible. It makes a race weekend quite a lot different from testing, when there are not so many pressures. But I am not matching up well enough yet. I still have to improve.

Q. Tom, we know that sponsorship is vital, which presumably is why so many people believe you are interested in Pedro– Paulo Diniz for Ligier. Can you tell us what the situation is?

WALKINSHAW: Chasing Diniz? I have not heard that talk. I have been in Disneyland all week. I have been separated from all this reality. I have not been in touch with Diniz. It is too early for us to say what we are doing as far as sponsorship and drivers are concerned. We made a conscious decision on the subject when Eddie found himself with too much money to spend and took Brundle. We have no plans for any driver yet, and we are happy to wait. We already have some plans to go to Mugello at the end of the season to test some young drivers. I will then make up my mind about what I want for a driver line-up next year, but not until then.

Q. Who will be driving for you in Adelaide?

WALKINSHAW: Aguri will have done his two races in Japan by then. We should be running Martin and Olivier, which is what was always planned. Martin has done a lot of good work for us in the past, and now he has an opportunity with Eddie which I think will be good for both of them. All the negotiations have been done very correctly. At the time, I wasn't in a position to do anything with Martin, so I have wished him all the best for the future.

Q. Mika, what does it mean to be racing here in Japan?

SALO: It's exactly one year since my first F1 race. It's good. I didn't make any big mistakes, and everything still seems OK. In my four years in Japan, I drove a lot here at Suzuka. Maybe 30 races, altogether, and all of the tire testing for my F3000. It's an important circuit to know well. There are a lot of places where you can shorten the lap, and there are blind corners, all of them very important.

Q. Eddie, it has been said that the step of stepping into being one of the big three teams is bigger than the step of forming an F1 team. Does it just need one major sponsor?

JORDAN: I don't know how big that leap is. I can only assume and dream. I have to say that our introduction into F1 in 1991 was such that I was very unsure to build a car (and) put it on the track. To actually get to Adelaide was a massively daunting project. On reflection, if it was the same level of commitment and the same level of pain to get to the top three, I wouldn't mind going through that level of pain again, because if it is the equal, then I would be reasonably acceptable towards it. It is quite an exciting prospect, and something we want to achieve. I believe that we have the people, the commitment and above all, the passion to win Grands Prix and eventually championships.

Data courtesy Marlboro Sports Data System Edited by Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet

..Email: HeathcoteR@aol.com...................Email: SpeedNet@aol.com.. ..Los Angeles, California................AUTOSPORTS BBS..310-641-9627.. ..Opinions are mine -- Not yours -- And surely not those of SpeedNet!..

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Karl Wendlinger , Eddie Jordan , Mika Salo , Tom Walkinshaw
Teams Sauber , Jordan