Champ Car Friday Qualifying Transcript An Interview With: WILL POWER JUSTIN WILSON SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to post-qualifying press conference here at the San Jose Grand Prix at the Redback ...
Champ Car Friday Qualifying Transcript
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to post-qualifying press conference here at the San Jose Grand Prix at the Redback Raceway. We're going to start off with Will Power. Will, you had a little bit of problems at our last race, but you came back and showed some speed in Friday qualifying. You've got to be pretty excited about that.
WILL POWER: Yeah, absolutely nothing is going to be quicker tomorrow. It's not going to rain here, so for me, it's either No. 1 today or nothing. Obviously we've got to go out and try to get the pole tomorrow so we can get front row start or second if Sebastien is on pole, and race away.
THE MODERATOR: Qualifying second today was Justin Wilson. You've had a couple podiums here in a row, and top five finishes in the last five races. What do you attribute that success to?
JUSTIN WILSON: Well, I think we're just starting to find our speed and work things out. It was quite a difficult start to the year with all the changes going on, but we've managed to work through that and try and understand what this car needs. I'm pleased that we're making progress and we can do it on the street circuit this year, which is quite nice compared to the last couple of seasons.
We've just got a little bit more work to do and I'm sure we can do it and hopefully get the No. 9 CDW car right up there and qualify in the pole tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: And our provisional pole sitter, guaranteeing himself a front row starting spot as well as a championship point is Sebastien Bourdais. It took until your 14th lap and then you were able to go out there in just one lap and put two tenths on the field
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Yeah, still have no idea how that happened, really. Just the first run I spent probably more time on the escape road than on the track -- we have a brake issue, we know that. But we didn't have any time to fix it at lunchtime. We have variable brake values that keeps on tricking me; one locks the rears and one locks the fronts, and I'm still not changing anything. It's very difficult out there.
Second run we were just trying to find the gap, and every time we had something, where we were like, yeah, it's going to be all right, then someone run in escape road and someone would end up backing off, so we couldn't do that. And finally I got one opportunity and I still don't know quite how it worked out, but we made it stick, and the brake values didn't play any tricks with me, so I was pretty happy about the outcome because it didn't look really good for a long, long time.
Q: Have there been any changes made to the track since last year that are noticeable? Are there any areas that are faster?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I don't know, I haven't seen the times compared, but there's definitely turn 3 that's a lot quicker. They moved the wall way to the right on the apex, and it's quite a bit quicker.
And then aside from that, I don't know, track conditions might be finally gripping up a little bit, and that helps.
WILL POWER: It's been wider. The apex was moved back so you can come at more speed, but other than that, as far as I'm concerned, my power down is a hell of a lot better than it was the previous two years, and you can actually accelerate at the corners now.
For me the DP01 is working well down here.
Q: What makes Turn 6 such a challenge?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It's just a tricky corner. You've got a lot of crown and it's very bumpy and the crown bumps out. The bumps are not all across the racetrack there, they're at different places, and it just affects sometimes the front, sometimes the rear, sometimes the left, sometimes the right, so it's very, very difficult to read the conditions, and I think that's one of the most treacherous corners with Turn 1.
JUSTIN WILSON: I think it's pretty tough every brake down out here, every lap, every corner is an adventure; you're just trying to see what the car is going to do. Do you lock the front, do you lock the rears, and are you going to make the corner? You kind of just have to react to the car and do the best you can.
Q: Justin, if either of you hadn't had traffic issues, did you guys have anything to offer Sebastien today, or were you as shocked as the rest of us were?
WILL POWER: On the first run I was up two tenths on my in-lap, and in Turn 6 I just turned, locked up and lost a little time there. Second run, Dan Clarke just backed up, not his fault, someone in front of him was backing up. It's a really small track.
I only had like two laps at the end if I was lucky, so it was going to be like this in every session, I mean, in qualifying, that is. You know, it being such a small track and everyone going down runoff roads and people coming down and people backing off, it makes it difficult to get a clean run.
JUSTIN WILSON: The first one I did, I didn't have any dashboard working so I didn't know what lap time I was doing, apart from every now and then what the team would tell me over the radio, so I felt like I had plenty left over to go in the second run. But for some reason the car just -- we didn't change very much, it didn't feel as good and was bouncing a lot more over the bumps, so it was quite frustrating we couldn't carry a bit more speed and get more lap time out of it.
Q: Is the track the same condition wise as last year?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Outside of turn 3 I don't think they've done anything. The grinding has been done last year, and that was a big improvement, a big step to the first year, but it's still the same way that it was last year and it's probably seen a lot of activity over the year, and it's definitely not getting better.
Q: This is the first time in three years you've been actually able to get the power down. Do you attribute any of this to the new DP01 chassis?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I do. For some reason we always failed to put the power down with the Lola. I don't know what we were doing wrong with the Lola, but power down was always our weakest area and we could never fix it. As soon as we got the DP 01 it was working well and it felt good. I'm always amazed at how well it puts the power down, and we get here and it accelerates well out of the corners.
Q: A little bit different topic for Sebastien, I think the Toro Rosso team has an option until the end of July on you. That's I guess Tuesday. Any news to report yet, or is that going to come out of the team, that announcement, if it happens?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, it's not Tuesday, so I'm waiting. There's nothing I can say. I'm just like you waiting, I've got -- if they were to announce it, I guess it would have been done already. So I guess they're still weighing their options and trying to figure out what's right to do
Q: Would you remain here?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I don't know. It's a possibility.
Q: Sebastien, does it worry you that you might be going to a team where if the team manager doesn't like you, he punches you (laughter)?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I don't know, obviously the relationship doesn't seem to be really -- between the current drivers and the management doesn't seem to be going so well, so we've all read what happened over the winter. If they sign me, for sure it's going to have to be a constructive atmosphere. That's the only way I can be productive. That's all I can say.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.