Pacific GP Friday interviews



EXCERPTS FROM FIA INTERVIEWS, FRIDAY OCTOBER 20, 1995 Edited by Robert Heathcote, for SpeedNet

Present for today's interview are Damon Hill, Ukyo Katayama, Jan Magnussen, Osamu Goto (Ferrari) and Brian Hart (engine builder/supplier for Arrows team).

Q. Goto-san, what is your role at Ferrari now?

Goto: I am in charge of racing engine development. I am part of a group which is now looking after the development of the V10 at Maranello. At the moment things are going quite well. Initially, this project was slightly delayed because we were so busy with the V12 project. But we have been catching up on the original schedule, and now we are almost on time with it. Also, from the performance point of view, we are quite close to the original target which we expected to meet, at this this.

Q. We have heard about some impressive lap times in testing with the V10....

Goto: Yes, we have quite a good lap time at Fiorano. On such a twisty circuit, it is difficult to say exactly what this means, but the driver (Nicola Larini) seems to appreciate it. Everyone at Ferrari is please to have such a comment from the driver.

Q. How many people are working on the V10?

Goto: At the moment, it is getting all our resources. I cannot comment exactly how many. You can ask Mr. Baccini....

Q. Brian, Ferrari must be quite a contrast with your company. Exactly how many people do you have working for you?

Hart: We're pretty small compared with Ferrari. We have only about 30 people altogether, a few more than we had two years ago. Including myself, we have five design engineers. The others are involved in the build program. We don't manufacture very much of the engine ourselves, and the majority of components are made outside.

Q. You have switched from a V10 last year to a V8 this year, while all of your big rivals are now going to a V10 format. Why?

Hart: I hoped you would ask that. It was a feeling that we had about the way we could package a V8 into a car. It is probably still a worthwhile way to go, but this is still the first year with the new engine, and it is going to take a little time to do the development. We are restricted financially, and we have not done a lot of development since we built the V8. We are still also actively developing the V10, which is a big job. Interesting, too! I am happy with the way things have gone this year, including from the point of view of reliability. There have been a few car problems, which have made life difficult, but otherwise, it's been very good. And next year, we will be staying with Arrows.

Q. Ukyo, you had a sensational accident at Estoril. How much to you remember about it?

Katayama: Fortunately -- or unfortunately -- I could not remember anything afterwards. But now, after testing the car at Silverstone last week, I have been able to remember everything about the crash. I can remember the tires and other parts in front of me, the dust while I was upside down, everything. I don't care much about remembering it. Fortunately, I didn't have a crack in my brain.

Q. Jan, welcome to Formula 1. What are your first impressions? How much testing have you done?

Magnussen: I have been doing the DTM and ITC all year, and the atmosphere is pretty much the same as in F1. I did one test with McLaren last year, and six this year, so far. I was at Silverstone on Tuesday, running on full tanks and practising pit stops and race starts.

Q. From the driving point of view, what are the differences between a Formula 1 and a Class 1 touring car?

Magnussen: The DTM is difficult in its own way. It is heavy, it only has narrow tires and not quite as much horsepower as an F1. The most difficult thing about going to an F1 is to be braking late enough, and that's what I am having a fairly big problem with right now. The F1 requires a lot more strength, although the touring car is tough, too, because it gets so hot inside. It would be nice to have the traction control from my DTM car on the McLaren here....

Q. Damon, there has been some controversy this year about driver discipline, and you expressed some strong comments on the subject after the Nurburgring. What were your concerns, and are you satisfied with the statement on the subject which was issued after yesterday's World Council meeting?

Hill: My concern was simply that, from one week to the next, there didn't seem to be a clear ruling on what action should be taken. Sometimes, action was taken, and other times, not. That is no good for a driver, who needs to know how to approach the matter at each race. Now, the matter appears to have been clarified by the FIA, which has ruled that no holds are barred, as long as our actions are not dangerous. I was present at the meeting where the subject was discussed (between FIA and GPDA) and I am now satisfied. It seems that, in terms of overtaking, the regulations have not changed, and I can make a protest if I wish. But that's not what we want. The important thing is to have exciting racing, which is what we had in Germany. It is good for the sport, but only so long as it is safe. Or at least as safe as motor racing can be.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Damon Hill , Ukyo Katayama , Nicola Larini
Teams Ferrari , McLaren