Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon Speed Demonstration Press Conference, June 11, 2003 Part 3 of 3 Q: Did you meet each other before this? GORDON: We have a mutual friend, Andy Graves, that worked with him when he was in the - MONTOYA: ...
Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon
Speed Demonstration Press Conference, June 11, 2003
Part 3 of 3
Q: Did you meet each other before this?
GORDON: We have a mutual friend, Andy Graves, that worked with him when he was in the -
MONTOYA: When I actually won Indy. He was running the team when I won Indy.
GORDON: And I remember talking --
Q: You never saw each other before?
GORDON: Never met until today, no. But through Andy I heard really good things about Juan, so I thought that today would be a good -- it's awesome to have a guy like Juan to be able to come in and have fun with it and just be relaxed about it and not say: 'Oh, why are we here? Why is he driving my car? And I've got to get in that thing.' You know, it seemed like he was as excited about it as I was, which is very cool.
Q: And, Juan, last year you couldn't make it, it was problem with Jeff's schedule --
MONTOYA: It was timing, it was the week of the race or something.
GORDON: It sort of came up last minute, too. It was fairly quick put together last year, and I think it was worked out better to plan in advance further like we did this year.
Q: How much of each other's worlds did you guys know about and did you start paying a little more attention once you realized, Jeff, you were going to get a chance to drive an F1 car and, Juan, did you start paying more attention to NASCAR once you thought you might get a chance?
MONTOYA: I basically paid attention to a lot of racing. You know, you watch CART, IRL, you know, the Winston Cup sometimes and the Busch Series, the trucks, you know. I love racing, that's why I do it. I always say the day I get bored of this, I quit. Because this I think you need to have a lot of patience for it, you need to really be on it all the time. And the only way to be on it is if you're enjoying it. If you stop enjoying driving, then it's not going to work. Your motivation is going to go down; your patience is going down. So I do follow quite a lot of racing. You know, you ask my wife, she hates that because we got a weekend off, and I just stay in bed watching races all day.
GORDON: We're all the same, man, I tell you. For me it's the same way, you know, I mean I watch F1 every chance I get. If I can't watch it, I Tivo it because the times are off a little bit, but I like all different type -- I like motorcycle, you know, GP racing and all that stuff.
MONTOYA: That's pretty cool.
GORDON: Yeah, very cool. We should get some bikes out here and try it. But you know I actually got a chance to drive Juan's car before, you guys don't know this. It was Saturday night in Pocono, because I had the F1 on my Play Station, and I drove Juan's car in that to try to get familiar with the track. I didn't know this track at all, never been around it before in anything and so I thought, you know, hey, let me get the latest F1 game. It's fun, one, it was absolutely -- the game is actually pretty realistic, and the track was very realistic. I'm driving it running so flat out, and I'm like, you know, it can't possibly be like this, but I would say it was much closer than I thought it was going to be. Although I think I ran a 1:08 on that. And I don't think that's going to be happening any time soon. Maybe when he comes back to qualify.
Q: Jeff and Juan, this is for both of you. You'll both be back here later this year. Jeff, you have a chance to join Foyt and Al and Mears as a four-time winner here, and you have the chance to become the first driver to win on both surfaces. Each of you talk about that.
GORDON: I can't compare myself to Foyt and Mears and these guys in the Indy 500, them being four-time Indy 500s to the Brickyard. To me it's a real thrill to come here and race at this facility. As a kid growing up watching Indy 500s and being here for Indy 500s just to get the chance to race here is incredible, and I can't believe I've won three, you know, Brickyards and excited about trying to get four. But even if we get to four, I don't think that you can really put us in the same category as those guys winning Indy 500s.
MONTOYA: I think for me it'd be very special. The only other driver really can do that is Jacques (Villeneuve) at the moment, and I think I got a quite a bit better car than him, so I can't complain. I think we've been getting stronger and stronger. Our first year here we had a really good chance of winning and we broke down. Last year I ended up crashing with my teammate into Turn 1. You know, racing, but we had -- sadly enough we had a good chance of winning that one, and I think this year we should be really strong. I like the track and it seems to suit the car quite well. I think we should be quite competitive.
Q: Jeff, you spoke of the launch. Can you give yourself a grade on how well that went, and I'd like Juan to rate his launch, given that it was the first chance at it?
GORDON: There's no grade because it's the easiest thing that they probably do. It's all in the mechanics of the car. It's like hit a button.
MONTOYA: And that's it.
Q: You didn't have nothing to do with that?
GORDON: And hit another button, it's that easy. I mean the technology these guys have is pretty amazing. I'd like to just be able to have just this much of some of that stuff on our car. It's cool to watch and cool to do, but none of it had much to do with me other than a guy in my ear going, 'OK, push this button, push that -- oh, there you go.'
Q: Jeff, you haven't mentioned the word nervous at all. At least when you pulled out, were you nervous?
GORDON: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah. I mean I was nervous about stalling it, just leaving the pits.
MONTOYA: No, you were lucky. We got an anti-stall system in there.
GORDON: Oh, yeah, I forgot. You weren't supposed to bring that up. I mean how crazy is this thing. It has an anti-stall system. What is that? I mean and it does. You like start to stall and it just kicks it into neutral. It is the craziest thing. But you know what, when I first got here it was -- so many emotions, it was like just, 'Man, this is cool, this is exciting,' but I'm like, 'I'm nervous.' I had no idea really what this experience is going to be like, other than I knew -- just the fact of me getting in the car and driving around the track, right there, that was it for me. But then once I actually got into driving the car, I didn't think about the nerves or any of that stuff, but they were definitely there before I went out on the track.
Q: Juan Pablo, when you made your switch from CART to form Formula One, how long did it take you to get completely comfortable in your Formula One car?
MONTOYA: It wasn't that difficult to get comfortable in it because I was a test driver before. My first test drive I was quite competitive, as well. I think I was second quickest in my first test ever, so it was good. I said to Jeff, you'll see how good the car is that it's just sometimes you are at the limit. You go through a corner and say, 'Oh, I can go quicker, I can go quicker, I can go quicker.' It's a matter of just quicking it up. I think it's a shame he didn't get more time in the car because I'm sure with more time he'd be as competitive as any of us in the F1. The last half-second, the last second, is really hard, but then you start working with the car to make it comfortable for you, then you should be OK. I think this track in a way I think was good for both of us because it -- apart from Turn 1 for the NASCAR race, is a bit of a lift. In the F1, there's not much really fast corners that it could really upset you. You know, you lose a car in a fast corner, you're in big trouble in an F1, and I think that helped a lot.
MODERATOR: Guys, before we finish up, if we could get a little history on the cars. Jeff, I believe that Robbie told me that the car you ran today you last ran 2001 at Watkins Glen; is that right?
GORDON: Yeah, that's the car that we won all the races with. I think that we may have.
MONTOYA: If I would have crashed, you wouldn't be very happy.
GORDON: It is an older car that's more of a backup car for us now, but it is the car that won I think it was six wins, yeah, and it was the car that was just amazing there for like three years straight, we were like unbeatable. And we know that in order for us to get better and get closer to the competition we have to build, you know, newer cars, and so we do have a new car that we're going to be running in Sears Point in a couple weeks.
MODERATOR: Juan Pablo, this car you last drove at Malaysia; is that right.
MONTOYA: I think even after that. End of last year. Probably a couple of (inaudible) with that car.
GORDON: We weren't going to bring a slouch, and when I got here I realized that they weren't like -- not that they have backup cars -
MONTOYA: That's the thing, you know, how many cars a year do you -
GORDON: Well, the thing is, we only have about three or four road-course cars, but we have 15, you know, or so cars. I don't know how many cars they have, but I doubt whether they just have, you know, show cars that they take out -
MONTOYA: No, we've got, what, six to eight cars a year, for both drivers, so four per driver per year.
MODERATOR: Juan Pablo, when was the last time you drove a car with a roof over your head.
MONTOYA: Years ago, it's like '93, '94.
MODERATOR: Strange feeling or you didn't even notice it?
MONTOYA: It was hot. Organizing the belts, I'm like, 'Whoa, I never sweat so much in my life.'
Q: '94 was the last.
MODERATOR: '94 was the last.
MODERATOR: The last one with a roof over his head in Mexico. So we got some history out of the way. Are you the Juan Pablo Montoya historian?
Q: I was there. He won his first race the pole. He didn't win because he had his low teammate, co-driver, his co-driver was very, very jealous of Juan Pablo.
MONTOYA: There were some endurance races and some prototypes in Mexico, and they invited me to race, and I made the pole, and they were saying give the car to him --and I'm like --
MODERATOR: Guys, we've gone over our allotted time. Thank you so much for what you did today. Media, I want to let you know that the two-seater is out. Any members of the media here today that want to do two-seater rides you just need to go to the Yard of Bricks and sign your release forms and you can do that. Jeff, Juan, thank you very much. We enjoyed it.