26-Sep: At the
Thursday press conference for the United States GP, Rubens Barrichello
indicated that given that his second place in the Drivers' Championship is
almost secured, he will be going for a win rather than take a conservative
approach and grab the 3 points that he needs and said "It's been a
good season even though at the beginning of the season I've had no - had a
lot of DNFs, but it's been a good season. So I was working my way
to win more races and to be challenging for second position in the
championship. Of course, last race by winning and then for Juan
Pablo not to finish and even Ralf seemed to have a problem, it became a
bit easier but I'll be looking for a win here more than be conservative
and looking for the points."
Rubens still dreams of winning the World Title despite being a team-mate
to Michael Schumacher and said "You know, people could say, okay,
with Michael on the team it's going to be impossible. But I'm
proving them wrong because it's been closer, it's been - you know, we've
been racing well together, especially in qualifying, I think it has been
more together if we put it this way. But I think on top of
everything, you've got to enjoy. I'm enjoying fully my season with
Ferrari and, you know, it depends pretty much on the start of the season.
We got to Austria on the fifth or sixth race, he had 44 points and I
had six, for one reason or the other. I couldn't blame the decision
that was taken there. So I just have to feel free to do my own
business and race the way I want and try to win. I mean, my dream
would be to win the World Championship."
Juan Pablo Montoya
talked about the progress Williams have made this year and said "I
think things have gone well, I think everybody wants more all the time.
You know, I think the car did a big step forward from last year. We're
ahead of McLaren and everything. Everybody was expecting we are
going to beat Ferrari and that's just not the case at the moment. I think we didn't get it quite right first. We did two or three
big steps but we kept up going competitive with everybody else, probably
at the same rate. But if you keep going at the same rate as
everybody else, then you're not really moving that much forward. So
I think the biggest focus at the moment is next year's car."
As for racing at Indy, Montoya said "Always been really good for me.
The fan scene is really quite good. A lot of people like my style here.
I've got a lot of fans behind me. You see a lot of Colombians coming here
as well. So fans that were here when I won Indy, you know, fans from
Colombia and everything. It's pretty special. It would be nice to win
here. It's nice to win anywhere, but I think here will be a bit
David Coulthard was pleased with the progress
McLaren-Mercedes have made during the season and said "I think
they've (Mercedes) made a lot of progress from where we started at the
beginning of the season to where we are now. It's probably one of
the biggest areas that we've improved. So coming to the circuit,
which has I think one of the longest sections of flat out, a hundred
percent throttle, I'm quite optimistic that we can have a reasonable
I guess you could say as we're getting back up there, we're getting more
potential use out of the car."
When asked what Americans need to do to get into the sport, David said
"It's only good to have drivers from all over the world if they
actually deserve to be there. Because we've seen in some countries, some
nationalities where they have been fielding drivers for a number of years
and haven't done anything. I don't think that actually helps that country
feel particularly part of the sport and proud of their drivers. So, you
know, there's no reason why there couldn't be an American in the right car
do a competitive job in Formula One. I guess if you bring them through the
same background that we've all come, which is the European Racing Series,
then that's the best way to get into Formula One."
Niki Lauda was relieved following Irvine's third
place finish at Monza after a bad start to the season. He said "I was
never told any different than keep on with the program, make sure that the
car works, which in the beginning it didn't; and thank God in Monza it
turned around a bit. So from this point, which is my responsibility, we're
trying hard to make it better. Let's wait and see how it works here. But I
think it can't be too bad here.
Motivation means everything for people, for human beings, especially for
the whole team, which worked hard the whole year and no results were
achieved. So really this was certainly depressing. But thank God in Monza,
with a little bit of luck, we finished third. So from this point of view
motivation is highest, so people are motivated now, which is the most
As for his driver line-up for next year, Niki said "First of all, my
biggest problem was to sort the car out. I'm not doing if myself but this
was our main job. If a car is really bad like it was in the beginning of
the season, I would ask any driver, would you drive for me, he will say
yes with a lot of money because we have a car which is not really
competitive. This is a bad situation we're in. So, therefore, we have been
working hard to get the car better, to show the drivers that the Jaguar
car is a potential. And now we're going to start discussing. It is
completely open for the time being."
Regarding the deal between Jordan and Ford, Niki said "There are two
different situations to be watched, which is the Ford side I am not
talking about now, and the Cosworth side.
The Cosworth is pretty simple. Eddie signed a three-year contract for
Cosworth engines for his team. Next year we're going to use a new V-90
degree engine on the Jaguar car and he will use this year's engine. So
we'll start with this year's engine next year and they will follow up. As
soon as we have enough V-90s ready, then he will have that one. So this
contract is signed and this is all I am responsible for. When we lost the
Arrows deal basically, which was my original start to supply engines to
another team, it was obvious for me to find somebody else. That's Eddie
Jordan, so I'm very happy about that."
Niki confirmed that they are in talks with Minardi for a supply of engines
and said "We're negotiating at the moment. The deal is not
fixed and done yet but there is a possibility."
25-Sep: Michael Schumacher
is hoping that Ferrari can win the final two races of the season but indicated
that the tyres will be a key factor and said "We have such a good car
that of course it would be great if the last two races went in our favour.
Tyres are a key factor as we saw already in Monza. Even if it looked as though
things were easy for us, the race was actually very close."
Michael doesn't rate the track at Indy highly but described the huge crowds as
'something really special' and said "Of course it is a famous name, but
you have to remember that the race does not take place on the famous Indy
oval. The new layout is not comparable and given its combination of corners, I
would rate the Formula 1 track at Indianapolis as medium.
I have to say that racing in front of a crowd of 200,000 is something really
special. I am curious to see what it will be like this year, given that last
yearís race came shortly after particularly sad circumstances. With
hindsight, I would say it was the right decision to race there in 2001, as we
tried to bring some happiness to people who had suffered badly with what had
happened. I was very impressed by the attitude of the crowds: they were not
beaten, but continued to live their lives united together. You could really
feel it and it was very moving."
Ralf Schumacher believes the Williams car is well
suited to this track despite their disappointing result in Italy and said
"Some people said that Monza was going to be our last chance for a
victory this season, but in my opinion our car will also suit the Indy
track. After both Juan and I didnít finish in Italy, our performance in
the US will be even more carefully scrutinised and we will be looking for
a better result. The long full-throttle sector in the parabolic corner
suits our engine, but it will be very difficult to find the right
compromise with the winding infield."
Team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya didn't make any predictions about the
race but was happy to return to Indy where he won the famous Indy 500 and
said "I am pleased to race at Indianapolis again. From a technical
perspective, the Brickyard is a circuit that has got a lot of rhythm and
so an important key to performing well in Indy is to have a well balanced
car. The Speedway is also a good competitive circuit as it is very fast
and strategy can come into play in the race outcome. I think it is
probably one of the best circuits for overtaking, having such a long
straight and turn one into the oval is an especially good place for
passing. The trick is to get fairly close to the car in front of you by
the end of the straight before trying to pass.
The circuit also holds sentimental value for me as when I raced in CART my
team was based here. I have good memories from then, as well as of course
winning the Indy 500."
BMW will use their latest engine specification which
revs at over 19,000 RPM for qualifying and have yet to decide if they will
use it for the race as well.
Contrary to Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard
rates the Indy track very highly. David finished in the points at the
previous 2 Indy races and hopes to maintain that record and said
"Indianapolis is among the most historical and prestigious racing
venues in the world, in my mind it is up there with Monaco and Spa. I have
enjoyed the previous two SAP United States Grands Prix very much and am
looking forward to this yearís race. Iíve secured points finishes in
both of the previous races, and this is a record I am looking to continue.
Although it was an incredibly emotional weekend last year, the American
fans once again created a fantastic atmosphere and I hope we can put on a
good show for them. There are a couple of clear overtaking opportunities
at the track, the primary one being under braking into the first corner,
that leads you off the oval."
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who retired just after 3 laps into the
race last year (driving for Sauber) is hoping to cover more laps this time
and said "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix circuit offers a
good mix of challenges, with the sweeping banked corner, which is unique
in modern Formula One, and the twisty infield section in the centre of the
oval. This contrast leads to a set-up compromise so that we can optimise
the performance of the MP4-17 in the different sections of the track. I
remember from last year that the track is fun to drive, and am hoping to
put in more laps during the race than I did in 2001!"
Jarno Trulli who finished 4th at Monza is hoping to
continue the strong showing and score more points for the team and said
"Monza was a very nice surprise for all of us. We knew our package
would be good, but there were some question marks as to whether it would
last a race distance. I think we managed to finish because the engineers
did such a good job working to solve our problems from the week before. It
was a great result and a big boost for everybody.
I think it's great that we go to Indy. Even when I was young, I knew it
was a great race and a great event. I enjoy being part of the myth of
Indianapolis. The history of the track counts for a lot and it's always
good to see some different supporters!
Obviously, you need very good top speed for the long straight and then
good grip in the low-speed corners. These are definitely the two main
things I will be looking for to go quickly, but they can make getting the
exact set-up a bit of a calculated gamble.
We obviously have high expectations and want to end the season strongly.
We need to wait and see how the car will react - we can't tell that until
we get to the track - but I am very motivated and just as determined as
ever to score more points for the Team."
The Quali-flyer's predictions for the 'Real Race' at the US GP ... Report
Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2 Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session Race
AM Indianapolis Time / 4 PM GMT
1 PM Indianapolis Time / 6 PM GMT
9:00 AM Indianapolis Time / 2:00 PM GMT
10:15 AM Indianapolis Time /
3:15 PM GMT 1:00 PM Indianapolis Time / 6:00 PM GMT 8:30 AM Indianapolis Time / 1:30 PM GMT 1:00 PM Indianapolis Time / 6:00 PM GMT