McNish reflects on Indianapolis

Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at the US Grand Prix. "That was a tough one! When you look at the hard facts, I qualified 16th and finished 15th at Indianapolis, but it could have been so much better." "When we sat down and arrived at our...

Toyota's Allan McNish looks back at the US Grand Prix.

"That was a tough one! When you look at the hard facts, I qualified 16th and finished 15th at Indianapolis, but it could have been so much better."

"When we sat down and arrived at our race strategies we decided to split them. Mika opted to stop twice but I, in keeping with most of the Michelin runners, elected to run a one-stopper."

"That meant a heavy car and a very physical race for me. At first I thought that it was just the extra weight of the fuel giving me a hard time, but there was more to it than that."

"We don't know what the problem was exactly but something wasn't right and the car seemed to want to turn left all the time. After a few laps the steering became heavier and heavier and I think it was linked to a problem with the power steering system. Consequently I was having trouble staying level on the banking and the first part of the infield section was difficult because it's all right-handers."

"Despite the problems the relative lack of pace was just because there were so many people on a two-stop strategy. Mika came past me pretty early in the race, lap 4 I think it was, having started three places further back. It looked quite close between us on some of the TV monitors, but I knew that Mika was on a two-stopper and he was close behind me as we came onto the straight."

"I was looking forward to the fuel load lightening and reaching the performance part of the race because after 15 or 20 laps it seemed as if most of the drivers doing one stop were struggling. Unfortunately my steering difficulties meant that I could never really take full advantage of the strategy and it was a lot of very hard work for 15th place."

"Indianapolis is obviously an historic place and it was good to see it busy on Sunday. It must be an awesome sight full of the 400,000 people they get for the 500 -- the biggest single-venue sporting event in the world, I'm told."

"I'd been to Indy before and went around the Hall of Fame in 1995-6, and I saw a Superspeedway race at Fontana. I don't have a great feeling for the history of oval racing, I have to admit, and I think the circuit inevitably has the kind of compromises you are going to get with a big oval and an infield section. Having said that, it's a fantastic event they have done a great job and it's important for Formula 1 to have a presence in the USA."

"It's always interesting to meet some of the guys from the Indy 500. On the flight home I was with Danny Sullivan, who won in 1985, and it was interesting to listen to him talking about some of the techniques."

"Right now I have a couple of days off before I fly out to Japan on Saturday. The Japanese Grand Prix will be a special one for us, with quite a busy promotional schedule for Toyota's home race. For the last race if the season, I want to go out on a high."

-toyota-

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Allan McNish , Danny Sullivan