US GP Thursday quotes


RUBENS BARRICHELLO (#2 Scuderia Ferrari/Bridgestone):
About coming back to Indianapolis: "The only thing that got my attention is that I want to make sure that we are safe coming here, and so far it's been a lovely day. When I came into the passport, the guy was very good, talking and giving me the confidence that everything was OK. When I got the baggage, it was the same, when I got to the hotel, or when I was walking through the shopping center everything seemed to be OK, and I think that's the main thing - to show people that we understand. I see all the flags around, and people are thinking about it, but life goes on, and we are here to make a good show."

About Brazilians in racing: "That's the most difficult question I ever have to answer because how can we get so many drivers, and so many good drivers? I don't know. People have said it must be the water, people have said the traffic, we don't know. We have a lot of strong go-karts in Brazil, which people race really hard. My example is probably a good example. I went to Europe when I was 16, not that I lost my family, but I had to change everything. There was nobody there to help me. It made me quite a tough guy to go on and race, and it was the only thing I had to do. Breakfast was racing, lunch was racing, and dinner was racing. Maybe that's a good reason why."

About relationship with Indy Racing driver Felipe Giaffone: "It's quite a good relationship. To be honest with you, I knew Felipe before I knew my wife. He was the one that introduced us, in a way. I know him for probably 10 years now, maybe even more. We've never raced together, apart from go-karts, which nowadays we quite often do, but his family knows my family. We talk quite a lot. Silvana (Rubens' wife) loves him like her cousin or brother. We talk about racing, we talk about life, it's a pleasure for me to be coming here and staying at his place."

About circuit: "I think this track can favor a Williams if the tires do well, but in a way on the slow speeds I think we can do better than them. We know how much power they have, and we know more or less in tracks like this how much aerodynamics they have, so it depends a lot on the tires."

About lighter fuel load?: "It depends how we qualify. At Monza, we knew that to beat them we had to do something different, and we went for it. Maybe if it wasn't for the loss of time in the pits, we would have done it. We have such a good guy, Ross Brawn, who does the business, so we have to do the business on the track, and he can do the thing on the other side. There are two races still remaining in this championship where I can be a winner, so I'm going to work as hard as I can. Second is something that is never good enough, is it? If you think that there's two races to win, at the end of the day, if you finish second, second is better than third."

About being hard finishing second to his teammate?: "No, we know what the story is already. He built this place (the Ferrari team); if it wasn't for him nobody would be here, Jean Todt or Ross Brawn, so being part of this big family I'm just taking the positive side. One day will be mine if I still believe and stay determined to do well. I'm never going to be working, thinking that somebody has to give me something. I have to do it my way."

JEAN ALESI (#11 Jordan Honda/Bridgestone):
About how long he wants to keep driving: "I don't know, because the point and the moment when I don't feel competitive or that I'm having difficulty doing the things I used to do has not come yet. I have no deadline as to when I must stop driving."

About racing with Jordan next season?: "Yes, sure, that would be good. That is my priority. I'm just waiting to see what Eddie (Jordan) wants to do for nest season."

About this track: "There is a problem here at this track, and that is the name. It is one of the most famous tracks in motor racing history. So when we first came here, we were expecting so much of the circuit. It could not be designed on a blank sheet of paper. Part of the oval had to be used on the outside and they built the road course layout in the middle. So it's not the best Formula One circuit, but there is actually one very good point, and that is overtaking. Being able to do that ensures the race will be exciting. There could possibly be some changes to the layout, but the current circuit is really, really respectable, and the high point is that we can overtake here."

About taking part in the Indianapolis 500: "The Indy 500 will always be something that I would be very excited to do."

EDDIE IRVINE (#18 Jaguar Racing/Michelin):
About time in the United States since testing at Silverstone: "I went to Miami. It was wonderful but a little too warm. If you can train down there, you can train anywhere."

About American tragedy: "It was a horrible thing to happen. You just go on with your life. If you start to change, then they have won. The good thing that will come of this now is that the laws will probably change in favor of justice for the acts of the terrorist."

About his car this weekend: "It didn't work very well here last year. It was one of the worse circuits for our tires. The softer the tires got, the quicker we went relative to other people. This Michelin is a very good tire. We had a very good test at Silverstone with new tires, and that should be worth a few steps this weekend as far as performance. Overall, I think we are going to be fine, if we could just have a good weekend. My qualifying this year has been a disaster. I don't know how much of that has been and how much has been because of other problems. If I can just get in a good qualifying, that really has been the big issue for me. I'm quite comfortable coming away with some points here if some of the big guys have small problems."

About circuit: "You've got geography and infrastructures to take into consideration. I'm sure the circuit has many things to consider in designing this track. Ideally, if you are designing anything, a car, a plane, a boat, you would start with a clean sheet of paper, but the world is not perfect."

TOMAS ENGE (#23 Prost Acer/Michelin):
"The first problem I see here is that I couldn't find a McDonald's here around the track. The first thing is that because it is so big and it's new, it is great. I like it. I like it very much because, for example, I don't like Monaco because it's very small there is no space for anything. This is very nice. The garages, it looks to be very nice. I will have to see what the circuit is like. I think, the other thing is that it is so beautiful and a legend circuit that I'm really looking forward to being the first Czech driver around. I'm also looking forward to the last corner, the banking because I like this type of corner. I have to see tomorrow, but I hope that there will be more g forces or whatever more pressure. So that means a little bit more adrenaline. I hope it will be fine, but I can tell you tomorrow."

About being new to the team: "We had small problems in Monza (practice) with the engine. I couldn't do so many laps as I would like to. I was learning mostly everything in the race, but I was improving every lap really and enjoying the race, enjoying the car. At the finish of the race, I just wanted to race more and more. I needed to run more laps. I'm learning. I'm still learning everything around Formula One. I'm learning how to work with the car, how to use brakes, how to use tires, and so on."

HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN (#22 Prost Acer/Michelin):
"First of all, it is a great circuit here for us to be at. There are a lot of spectators and a lot of crowd here. Also, it is special to drive at the famous Indianapolis racetrack. It is a great pleasure for us to be here under the general circumstances at the moment. We are happy to fulfill the invitation we have to race. I'm with all the people here in America, feeling with them about the situation. If they would have said, 'We don't want to have a race here on the circuit.' We surely wouldn't have come here and respected that, but we are happy, as well, to be here to race. We're trying to do our job as good as possible as entertainers to give the people a time to think about something else. This is what I regard here doing our job."

About last year's race: "Last year was a special race. We were racing here even under wet conditions. This made the situation special, maybe also for the crowd. They are maybe not used to seeing a race in wet conditions. It turned out to be dry later on and having normal circumstances. I think this year, we are going to be a bit more lucky with the weather conditions. This racetrack is special. It is different from most of the other racetracks, Formula One racetracks. Because it is like this (banked), it is special. For us drivers it's quite exciting to run here on the banking. It was done on purpose that we don't have as much speed here on the banking. We are not using the whole track. We can not use the banking as much as the Indy cars. We don't use it as much, but it is still a big influence factor of running in the tow racing here, which is also different in Formula One than what we have seen before. That is a special characteristic item, as well, here for this racetrack. We drivers have to get adapted to this way of racing here."

ENRIQUE BERNOLDI (#15 Orange Arrows Asiatech/Bridgestone):
"I looked forward to being here because I have seen Indianapolis on TV. This is my first year, and I have learned a lot. Like being here, tomorrow will be the first time that I will get on the track, and tomorrow will be for just learning the track. I have won in everything that I have done, and learning to lose is harder than learning to win. We don't have the power, and early on the car was not competitive, but I'm learning and I think we are getting better. My teammate has been here, and there are times this year where I have been quicker than him. We will work together, but our driving styles are different. We have a professional relationship."

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (#1 Scuderia Ferrari/Bridgestone):
About his heart not being in Monza: "I don't think I was ever in it. Initially, if it looks like I'm competitive, it's because it's natural. What happens normally over a weekend is that you develop the car, and you work hard. You get into it. I never really got into."

About American support for Ferrari last year: "I was surprised, definitely. We came here, the first time in America with Formula One. The reception we got here was really extreme. We had a full house here, 200,000 people. That was something outstanding. It was certainly not expected on our side."

About being dependent on the team: "That is the way some sports are. If you are horse riding, you are dependent on your horse. We depend on horsepower of the car, obviously. A tennis player on depends on himself and chooses the right racquet. That is up to him. So there is different sports and different philosophies. There are probably other sports you could compare to it, I don't know. The fact is we have about 400-500 people behind us, which in the end everybody has to do the job properly."

About racing in a stadium: "It's not really as challenging as other circuits we have because you have the ovals, and the ovals are on the corners. If we only use the oval, for sure it would be a big challenge. The way we choose to have the circuit, it is not the greatest challenge."

About lifestyle of being a Formula One champion being difficult: "No, that is not true. It's (racing) not my focus all the time. I walk around and move around pretty normal except when I got to events. Then people know I'm coming, and then, obviously, I'm at request. That is the kind of life I choose. For the moment, I'm pretty happy with it."

About American tragedy: "I had the normal hesitations that we all had (about coming to America). If war would have started, none of us would have liked to come here. None of us would have liked to drive a race car. That was the only question mark, but things move on rather quiet but actively. In a very sensible way, people feel life can go on. It took a week to get over and get back to my normal lifestyle. The thing of it was, obviously, the family, which when you are with kids and with your wife, they don't understand what has happened. They want to enjoy themselves. They want to play. They want to live. That is what shows you that life continues."

About any other time that was similar to this: "In '94 when (Ayrton) Senna died. It was a very tough period for me and for most of my mates, as well."

About his age: "If you are young, you have maybe less of a vision of what has really happened. You are too young to understand. When I was young, and various things have happened in the past, I didn't fully understand what was going on there. With the age I am, it touches myself a lot deeper, and you suffer much more. Life goes on. Our sport is a pure emotional sport where we give joy to the people. It's not for nothing. We have how many millions of spectators on the television and how many thousands of spectators on the circuit, who enjoy to come and see us race? Certainly at Indianapolis, it is going to be a very good possibility to give sort of a lot of laughs and smiles back to the people."

About rumors about him not coming to America: "There was never the intention not to come. That is not true. There are rumors, press writes things, but they don't necessarily need to be right. That was never the case with the exception, as I said in the beginning, that if circumstances changed you make up your mind."


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ross Brawn , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Jaguar Racing , Jordan