US GP Non-podium finishers quotes


MIKA HAKKINEN (#1 McLaren MP4-15 Mercedes): "It looks like the engine just failed, that's what I know. They took the engine cover off the car and looked at it, and it definitely has some really bad damage to the engine. What caused that failure, I do not know. I think I could have won it. I was gaining (on Schumacher) every segment. I was really good."(About championship chances): "We have two races to go. It's very, very difficult indeed now and getting tougher. I don't know what to say. It's going to be a fight to the end. We have two races to go, and this race is not over yet."

JARNO TRULLI (#6 Jordan EJ10 Mugen-Honda): "Jenson Button, he is really an idiot at the moment. He is driving like a crazy. He is pushing me hard and tried to outbrake me, but it was too late. He collided with me and then went off. It was not my race. I had a flat tire, so I had to come back into the pits. Then my race was over." (After second pit stop, what put you out of the race?): "I don't know exactly, my race was already over, because Button made a big mistake. So, it is not the first time he's done that. I think he needs to cool down, it can get very dangerous." (Are you going to go see him?): "Yes, of course, of course."

RALF SCHUMACHER (#9 Williams FW22 BMW): "We lost pressure in the pneumatic valve system of the engine."

JENSON BUTTON (#10 Williams FW22 BMW): "I was coming down the straight, and I heard a noise and the engine just slowed." (How was the day going?): "It was going very well, actually." (About the early spin): "I was alongside him (Trulli), and we touched wheels."

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA (#11 Benetton B200 Playlife): "The start was hard due to the heavy fuel load, and our tire selection was not correct. Then I had the 10-second penalty for jumping the start and finally engine trouble. Overall, I am not at all pleased with this race."

ALEXANDER WURZ (#12 Benetton B200 Playlife) (Are you happy with this finish, considering your difficult weekend?): "No, not at all happy with 10th place. Very disappointing. I think we started with too much fuel, and we lost a lot of places at the start. I had too much to make up. The end of the race is what counts. We don't get any for, for whatever. I finished 10th with no points, so I'm not happy at all." (Thoughts on the track): "The track was pretty difficult conditions with the weather side. Drying up made it a tough choice of hard wet, soft wet and when to put on slick tires. In all, a pretty difficult circuit except for the end. I ran quicker in the end than in qualifying, so we saw it improve.

NICK HEIDFELD (#15 Prost AP03 Peugeot): "I'm not 100 percent satisfied, obviously, with ninth position. It would've been nice to finish seventh and ahead of the Minardi's, but it was not really possible today." (How was the track at the start?): "I think everyone except Herbert started on wets, and I think it was the right decision. We stopped quite early for slicks, which was not the right decision for us. It seemed like some drivers were quicker or some cars were quicker on slicks, but we changed to early and we lost some positions."

PEDRO DINIZ (#16 Sauber C19 Petronas): "Brake problem or loose wheel, something on the car felt strange. I thought I had to come in. The crew said there was nothing wrong with the car."

MIKA SALO (#17 Sauber C19 Petronas): "I lost it finally, it was hard to stay on the track. We never got a good setup on it."

DAVID COULTHARD (#2 McLaren MP4-15 Mercedes): "I knew I jumped the start. It's unfortunate. I was ready to go and they weren't, and you have to pay the penalty. You set a rhythm of when you expect (the lights) to change. Obviously, you're trying to anticipate. It seemed to me that they were a bit longer than normal, but rules are rules, and I have to accept the punishment. I planned to get the better start and to be leading out of the first corner, but not with a jump-start. I think my start without jumping would have been good enough, but I made a mistake and you pay the penalty. I 'm disappointed in myself. You have to take risks, you have to anticipate, and I just overdid it. I moved, then tried to stop, but then the lights changed so I went. What has happened in the past is if you start and then stop again, and they can see that you're actually at a standstill before you go, then they tend to let you off with that. But because I didn't come to a complete standstill, you get a penalty." (About the circuit): "It's a fantastic circuit. I look forward to coming back. Thumbs up to Indianapolis for the American Grand Prix." (About battling back through the field after his penalty stop): "It was quite hairy sometimes coming so close to other cars through the banking, and also sometimes there were incredible top-end speeds. I was quick enough on the first set of tires. My second set, the left rear is worn down to the canvas, so we need to investigate that. I think I was quicker (than Schumacher) initially, then my tires blistered, and he was obviously coming onto me. I think I would have struggled a bit in the damp initially, but I think in the dry I had a very good car." (About McLaren falling behind Ferrari for the Constructors' Championship) "They're leading now, so it means that we're chasing, and they just need to consolidate. But (there are) 20 points more to go, so we will do everything we can."

JACQUES VILLENEUVE (#22 BAR 02 Honda): "We lost a lot of time early on. The car wasn't very quick on the humid track, but once we got going on the dry track the car was very, very fast. I had no straight line (speed), and it was very difficult to get close to anybody." (About return to Indy): "Just disappointed that we're not on the podium today." (About late attempted pass of Frentzen): "The thing is, he was a lot quicker on the straight. When I tried to outbrake him, I just went straight. I didn't have a clue where I was on the track. The car was very quick in the race. It was a hard battle. It was fun, but we weren't quick enough down the straight today. We were very quick around the lap, but I couldn't get close enough on the straight. One lap I got close to him, but I braked too late." (About going through the grass): "Yeah, well, it cooled the tires down." (About his race): "I tried hard, made a couple mistakes today, put the wheels in the grass in the hairpin and spun early on. I don't think it would have had an effect because we just weren't quick enough on the straight today." (About attempted pass): "The thing is, I really was wanting to get him because he was a lot quicker on the straight, and I didn't think I would get another chance like that lap. The problem is when I went next to him, I lost track of where I was. I just braked whenever, and it was way too late." (About circuit during race): "The race itself was more fun than qualifying. The only problem is there is not one place on the track where you get an adrenalin rush. The driving is very intricate. It's very difficult to get a good lap. You're always braking while you're turning."

JOS VERSTAPPEN (#19 Arrows A21 Supertec): "I lost it on the brakes. I think it was the knob where you change the brake balance with. I think it came loose because when I stopped the car, it was not in the position where it should be, so I think it is because of that."

PEDRO DE LA ROSA (#18 Arrows A21 Supertec) (What happened?): "We needed to materialize all the opportunities. This year it seems like the races that are going the best for me are the ones with the most coverage, but also, they are the ones that I have no chance of top finishes. It's not hurting me, but anyway - this is motor racing. Everything was going quite well and suddenly on the last corner, the gearbox went, so I had to retire." (Tears. You are very disappointed?): "Yes, I am disappointed, but don't get me wrong. The tears are because I was behind him, and he threw me a lot of (stuff). It's not because I was so upset. Don't worry, I'm more a man than only to be crying for this position."

EDDIE IRVINE (#7 Jaguar R1 Cosworth): "It was better than we thought. We had potential to get points. The strategy wasn't quite right to get the points, but I think the possibility was there today." (About the circuit): "I think they will change it a little bit. Possibly we will have better tires next year. These tires were very, very hard for this circuit. The first and second corner could be a little better. The last hairpin section could be a little bit better as well, and it could be a little bit longer."

JOHNNY HERBERT (#8 Jaguar R1 Cosworth) (About the lengthy stop when running sixth): "I think they said there was a pothole, and I hit the pothole. That was the thing that gave me just enough to put me off. Unfortunately, we actually damaged the front wing. I lost all my time because of that. So, it is just damn annoying because we did a good strategy. The pace was good during the race. It was racing. It was good racing. There was passing going on. It is just damn annoying when you do all that and choose the right tire, and you make such a tiny mistake on the stop. It was enough to damage the wing that cost me the time. This is not the right place to make a mistake in the pit. I think the race itself was good for everybody watching, as well." (About coming back next year) "Yes, for the Indianapolis 500."

MARC GENE (#20 Minardi M02 Fondmetal): "The car was very good. Even the strategy was very good. We stopped at the right moment, but I made a mistake on the pit stop. I did not break at the right point. I lost 20 seconds, and even some mechanics got a little bit hurt. So it was a very good race performance-wise, but this should not happen again. It was partly my fault, so I'm not happy at all. The problem is when you have the slicks on and the asphalt is wet, in a way they should warn you, because you don't know if it has been drying out enough. When I went to brake, the tires were wet because I was on slicks, and it was wet."

GASTON MAZZACANE (#21 Minardi M02 Fondmetal): "At the end of the race, I broke my engine. I'm very, very disappointed because my first race here in Indianapolis was not bad. The car was broken." (About overshooting the pit): "We start with another kilometers per hour. Normally it's 80 kilometers (per hour) and for this race it's 120 (kph). It's a little dangerous." (Did you come in too fast?): "Probably. Yeah, in these conditions with the wet track it's dangerous, yeah."

JEAN ALESI (#14 Prost AP03 Peugeot): "Overall, I'm disappointed with the many technical difficulties that culminated when the engine broke nine laps from the end. But we raced clean, and I am pleased with the progress we made. I am also motivated because of the new engine deal we announced with Ferrari, and we have also gathered data on a new track. The atmosphere here, the overall ambiance, was wonderful so I can't wait to come back.

RICARDO ZONTA (#23 BAR 02 Honda): "We started with too much downforce at the beginning of the race, and so we lost positions. But then we did a pit stop that was OK and allowed us to stay in the sixth position. The car was a lot better than it was in qualifying but the big problem was the downforce - but overall the race was quite fun."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan