Assen, Netherlands (September 1, 2007) ROBERT DOORNBOS JUSTIN WILSON SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's top two press conference, along with Mr. Robert Doornbos, who will be starting ninth ...
Assen, Netherlands (September 1, 2007)
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to today's top two press conference, along with Mr. Robert Doornbos, who will be starting ninth tomorrow in his home Grand Prix.
And Robert, you struggled in qualifying, but based on the last two races where you started up near the front, you had a little struggle starting the race hopefully that will turn around for you.
ROBERT DOORNBOS: Yeah, exactly, we were third at the start of the race and finished the race seventh -- so to start now from ninth, maybe it's good fortune. It's shocking that we couldn't get a good car in qualifying basically. It's not like we have one problem to address. It just isn't a very fast car. But it happened before this year that we struggled in qualifying but that the car was really fast in the race. The race is also very long, we know from the past in Champ Car, a lot can happen. But it will be tight into turn one and we just need to make the best of it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Robert. Now we'll go over to our second place starter, Justin Wilson. Justin, you earn your starting spot based on your qualifying yesterday in the rain, and again struggled today to find speed in the dry conditions.
JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah, I feel exactly the same as Robert. We just couldn't quite work it out in qualifying. We had a few problems, and it turns out we had a rear tire delaminate, but I'm not sure if that was all of our problems or not. Just fortunate we got the front row spot from yesterday and just got to concentrate on making a good race car now.
THE MODERATOR: And earning his 31st pole position, is Sebastien Bourdais. And Sebastien, you're on the front row again in a European race, and gained a lot of time here on the rest of the field. How is it that the McDonald's team does it so well?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I don't know. To be honest I didn't think we were going to be P1. In the first 15 minutes, it felt like it, but then in the first run we just really struggled and not changed much on the McDonald's car. So I didn't know what really happened.
On the second and third run, when we went out with the Red Bridgestone Alternate Tires, it was fantastic; the car came alive and I had a great time. Like I said this place is fantastic. It's really fast and a lot of fun when the car is working. So just another one, and hopefully we can have a good race and do the best we can, anyways.
THE MODERATOR: Now we'll open up to questions from the media.
Q. In case of rain tomorrow, the weather was quite unstable, do you think that will play into your favor?
ROBERT DOORNBOS: Well, rain, yeah, I've shown this year many times that in the rain, I enjoy myself a lot and we can be quite quick.
So, yeah, that's not a problem for me. It's just you always struggle with the spray if you start from behind or in the midfield. Yeah, it's tough conditions. You know you also want to work on the car to make it a good race car in dry because it cannot be that way one week to the other or you lose performance in the car that much.
Like Sebastien said, it's great place to drive. It will be more fun if you have a nice car, for sure. So yeah, let's hope for the best tomorrow, and if it rains, we'll be there in the front.
Q. Sebastien, we saw at the end of the session, we saw you shaking your fist at someone in pit lane and it looked like you were on a pretty good run, how much more...
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I think it was up like a couple of tenths or a tenth and a half. Yeah, Robert apparently had five cars in front of him just going slow, too. So not much you can do in these conditions.
Yeah, I don't know what they were doing because obviously qualifying wasn't quite over. And with the blocking rule we've got, it's usually better to just stay on it, otherwise you get in trouble.
So you know, usual deal. But I was just pissed because I didn't know if we were going to hold onto P1 or not, and until it's over, you never know what's going to come around the corner. I was trying to ask the team, do I need to do one more lap or do we need to go faster and all he could come up with is, "Well, you're P1." Well, that doesn't help me so much.
It's always tense in these conditions and I was just worried to lose it, basically.
Q. With one race cancelled, there are only three to go, including this one. Does that change your approach for the remaining races regarding the championship?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: No. From Zolder, we came to Europe saying what we need to do from there on is score strong finishes and the best scenario is score top five to the end of the season and we would be safe. But obviously if we can win the race, we are not going to give it away. So it's not changing anything. We've just got to finish.
Q. Do you know the number of points you have to score and put between you and Robert?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I haven't worked out all the details, but I think the team did. I think it's supposed to be, if we win, Robert has to finish further than seventh or something like that. I mean, it's pretty unlikely -- if it has to wrap up, it's pretty unlikely that it's going to happen this weekend.
Q. Have you thought about a good, symbolic (indiscernible) if you win the race tomorrow and the title, as well?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, obviously if we win tomorrow which is far from being done, even if mathematically it would be done, it would seriously take a big option on it.
We'll do our best but like I said, the pressure is not on trying to win. The pressure is just trying to score a strong finish and put some points in the bank.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys, very much.