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United States Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 1st, Michael Schumacher - 2nd )
Jean Todt: "To take our fourteenth win and eighth one-two finish of the season is a fantastic result. Now that Rubens has taken second place in the Drivers� classification, we have reached all the goals we had set ourselves at the start of the year. Furthermore, we have become the first team to break the 200 points barrier from sixteen races. Once again today, we proved our motivation has not wavered. The team worked exceptionally well and in some ways, crossing the line side by side is a symbol for an incredible season. The happiness of our drivers and Paolo Martinelli on the podium demonstrates the harmony that exists in this team, which works with passion and determination. This one-two finish is down to the fact that the entire package-chassis, engine and Bridgestone tyres- all worked perfectly. Adding to our satisfaction is the fact that the United States is the most important market for Ferrari and Maserati."
Rubens Barrichello: "The finish wasn�t planned before the race. We were both having fun trying to be as fast as one another and I have to thank Michael for this and also the team for all their support through the year. The US is an important part of my life which makes today special for me. At the last corner, I didn�t know what to do and Michael was very kind to let us finish equally. Both Michael and I know that Ferrari�s interests come first and it is with that in mind, we accept the various situations which arise during the season. We have had a lot of fun, winning everything this year in the best car and I am a happy man right now. There was a lot of work to do before the race deciding on strategy and also which car to use. I preferred the T car, but as we had a small uncertainty about the brakes on it in the warm-up we decided to use the race car, which ran perfectly. My only problem this afternoon was with some backmarkers who tried to let me pass by slowing a lot on the straight, which could have caused a crash. Now I am looking forward to the next race, where I have a lot of Japanese tifosi and where the most important thing will be to have a good race for Bridgestone."
Michael Schumacher: "The end of the race was not planned. We tried to cross the line together but failed by a tiny bit and in fact we did not know who had won until we got out of the cars. I just felt Rubens deserved to win this race. He has made sacrifices for me at least twice this year and I guess that what goes around comes around. It is fair to say that both of us understood and accepted the decision in Austria, because we know that the interests of the team come first. I feel that today equalises what happened there, even though we were trying to finish side by side. We have set so many records this year and now we have one for the closest finish! As for the race, the car was perfect but we tried not to push too hard in the beginning. When I came out ahead of Coulthard after the pit stop and I knew it was okay, but it was quite close. I had some traffic problems with guys trying to be nice, but choosing the wrong place to let me pass."
McLaren ( David Coulthard - 3rd, Kimi Raikkonen - Retired )
Ron Dennis: "Perhaps a clich� that I use too often, but it really was a weekend of mixed emotions. There is no doubt that we improved our performance package, which allowed us to challenge Ferrari's dominance a little harder. We of course aim to maintain the momentum into the Japanese Grand Prix, which has historically seen us achieve good results."
Norbert Haug: "We have taken a step forward with regard to our performance and thanks to the team's strategy we got close to the Ferraris at one stage of the race. David did well to finish on the podium. Unfortunately Kimi had to retire with an engine failure caused by a broken sparkplug, before that he had done impressive lap times with nine cylinders. We are now looking forward to the final race at Suzuka where we hope to continue our progress."
David Coulthard: "I was quite surprised by my start as I had a lot of fuel in the car and was actually next to the two Ferraris coming into the first corner. There was a lot of traffic during the race, which combined with our one stop strategy allowed me to close the gap to the leaders. For the last 40 laps, I was not pushing as hard as I could have done because I chose to look after my engine. Our strategy worked well and overall our performance throughout the weekend indicates that we have taken a step forward."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I made a decent start but understandably couldn't prevent Trulli, who was on a two stop strategy, from passing me at the first corner where I had to go a little wide to avoid contact. 13 laps into the race I felt a misfire in the engine, which dropped it onto nine cylinders. Obviously I lost some top speed, which allowed Villeneuve and Montoya to pass me. It's a shame because the car was feeling good and my overall pace was not bad. Unfortunately the engine ultimately gave up on lap 50 and that was the end of my American Grand Prix."
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th, Ralf Schumacher - 16th )
Sam Michael: "It was a good day for the Championship as we have secured second place now and it is good that we have had both cars finish the race here for the first time. Apart from this we have had quite a lot of incidents in this race. Ralf and Juan came together in the first corner of lap two and Ralf lost his rear wing. The pit crew did a fantastic job to change that quickly. After this Juan was looking strong for the fuel level he had on board. Then he got confused when he thought he was signalled into the pits which was not the case. Therefore he pitted too early and could not take full advantage of the car�s performance and the strategy."
Mario Theissen: "Indianapolis is the circuit with the longest full throttle section of all the F1 tracks and it is very demanding on the engine. Therefore, at its race debut, it is very positive that the new development of our engine behaved well right here. Both cars finished the race with no engine problems. In the last part of the race Juan Pablo was very quick but not quick enough to achieve a place on the podium as we would have needed some more laps for that. Anyway, we have achieved second place in the Constructors� Championship on the third year after BMW�s comeback to F1. This is a big success for the whole team."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "At the end of the day I think I had a good race but the outcome is very disappointing. In the second lap I was passing Ralf and I braked late. I was going round the outside and suddenly he hit me. I think he braked a lot later. Then I made a mistake in the pit stop as I pitted much too early. I saw a sign out and I thought I had to come in and the crew didn�t know I was coming. Unluckily, it wasn�t the time to come in yet."
Ralf Schumacher: "I had a good start but after that there was the unfortunate accident with Juan. It is always difficult to pass anyone on the outside. There wasn�t a lot of room there at all. Anyway, before giving an accurate opinion I should have a proper look at the TV images first. Most important is that such things should not happen between team-mates no matter who�s responsible. It was very annoying that I had been pushed so far back, as my car today was really good."
Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 4th, Jenson Button - 8th )
Flavio Briatore: "We once again got two cars to the finish and this allowed us to score the points we needed to secure fourth place in the Championship. Everything worked well today: car, engine and drivers. It is another good result for the Team."
Pat Symonds: "Today we saw all the Michelin cars were able to run with just one pit-stop whereas all our competitors, with a sole exception, made two. This kind of situation doesn't leave much room for a strategic advantage and we therefore had a conservative race. However, our pace in race trim was very pleasing and it is good to add to our points score on a circuit that we generally find difficult. Once more, the reliability of our package helped us to this result."
Jarno Trulli: "I am very happy with the result, and especially to score two more points for the Team. The car set-up was perfect for the race: although the car was a little loose towards the end of the first stint, the tyres and set-up came in well for the much longer second run. Thanks to the work of my engineers and Pat (Symonds), we chose the right strategy, which played a big part in the result. Experience is the key at any Team, and I think my recent results demonstrate how well we are all gelling. Having said that, we saw today that we still have some way to go before we can really compete with the top teams."
Jenson Button: "Eighth isn't really best ever. Giancarlo (Fisichella) pushed me onto the grass at Turn 2 and I didn't have much luck at my stop, coming back out in the middle of a big group of cars. We raced with less wing than some of the others, but although I was quicker down the straights, I was losing too much time on the exit of the corner before the straight (Turn 11). I pushed all the way but when there are so few retirements, it's hard to do much better!."
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 6th, Olivier Panis - 12th )
David Richards: "It�s been a very positive weekend all round with Jacques making the very best of the car and the team doing a great job for him. Unfortunately it was a different story for Olivier. He suffered from a series of problems on Friday and, although there were occasions where he was able to show his true pace, I�m sure it�s a weekend he�d rather put behind him. One extra point moves us one place further forward in the Championship and with the continued improvements that Honda are making, I�m very hopeful of a strong finish to the season in Suzuka."
Jacques Villeneuve: "The team did a great job today, as they have all weekend. We picked up a very important point and really made the best of things in the race. I had been quite worried about grip so the tyres really dictated a two-stop strategy today. We made a few changes after warm-up this morning to try to counter any problems and the car actually worked well in the race. The track picked up grip but it was tough going for the first 6-10 laps after the pitstops. Once the fuel went down the tyres actually got better so it was easy to do some quick laps. We�ve been quite competitive here this weekend; I could drive the car aggressively and overtake. A good showing here means we should be better off in Suzuka so I�m optimistic about a good finish to the season."
Olivier Panis: "Looking on the positive side I have to say �Congratulations� to Jacques. He drove a hard race to finish 6th and secured a very important point for the team. On the other hand, this has been a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for me. I had a very bad start and lost places into the first corner then had to follow slower cars until the first pitstop. We then suspected a mechanical problem and I couldn�t really push as hard as I needed to, so I pitted early for my second stop. After that, we seemed to get over the problem and I could start pushing again but it was always going to be a struggle to recover. I have to put this weekend behind me now and hope for better things in Japan."
Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 7th, Takuma Sato - 11th )
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Finishing 7th is not very good. There was reasonable pace and I was having a good race except that the behaviour of the tyres was very inconsistent. Both sets of tyres were okay for the first few laps but then there was huge oversteer everywhere and after 15 to 20 laps the rear end came back and I was quick again. I�m very disappointed."
Takuma Sato: "The start was exciting and our launch control has improved since the last race which is good. I already improved on my position going into Turn 1 by overtaking Olivier and Eddie Irvine. After the start I got stuck in traffic, which cost us time and the two stop strategy meant we should have been pushing ahead. Towards the finish I had blistering on the tyres or something and found the oversteer quite difficult. In the end it was just about bringing the car home. It was a tough race."
Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 9th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 13th )
Peter Sauber: "Our aim this weekend was to beat Jaguar, and we achieved that. Other rivals scored a point and we have to accept that, but we take heart from the strong reliability of the SAUBER PETRONAS C21. This week we go to Mugello with Felipe and Nick, where we will continue our development work to improve the car further in readiness for the final Grand Prix, in Japan, in two weeks� time."
Nick Heidfeld: "To begin with I was very happy with the car when I was running eighth initially, and the lap times were good. I was hoping for some luck and some points. But just before my second pit stop something strange began to happen in the front end and I got more and more understeer that made the car difficult to drive. We have to analyse what it was, but ninth place was the best I could hope for after that."
Heinz Harald Frentzen: "This morning the balance of the car was really good so I set my car up in a similar fashion for the race. Unfortunately I think my inexperience with the C21 got the better of me, because that set-up in this afternoon's temperatures gave me so much oversteer that I quickly destroyed my rear tyres."
Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 10th, Pedro de la Rosa - Retired )
Niki Lauda: "After qualifying yesterday, we knew we had a tough job on our hands today. Because of this, we had no choice but to adopt a one-stop strategy, push hard and hope for a few retirements ahead of us. As it was, the attrition rate was relatively low and despite the continued strong race pace of the Jaguar R3, we found it very hard to challenge for a points finish. It is unclear at this stage as to what really caused Pedro�s retirement but it looks like a transmission failure of some kind. Eddie drove a very strong race indeed and his lap times were very impressive today. Quite simply, the moral of the story is qualifying well. Had we of qualified where we should have done, there is little doubt about the fact that we would have walked away from the Brickyard with more points. With one more race left and both Honda teams closely behind us in the championship, the need to score points in Japan cannot be overstated enough."
Eddie Irvine: "All the damage was done on Saturday. It made us compromise strategy, the start to the race and pretty much everything. We really paid the penalty today for not qualifying where we were capable of and had we of done so, I�m sure we�d have beaten the Renaults today. The pace of the Jaguar was very good and I suffered no issues over the 73-laps apart from Ralf Schumacher! For someone who is a lap down on the field, I cannot understand his actions today. He knew that Heidfeld and I were dicing for position over the last fifteen laps or so and yet for some bizarre reason, there�s Ralf trying to get between us. Not the most clever race craft but that�s Ralf. Suzuka is next on the calendar and after Monaco, it�s my favourite circuit. I know the place very well and given that we missed out on points this weekend, we are determined to make up for that in Japan."
Pedro de la Rosa: "A disappointing weekend for me. The car felt very good up until lap 28 when it became stuck in 5th gear. I then began seeing smoke coming out of the rear and there was no choice but to call it a day. Big shame given how well balanced the Jaguar felt today. The pace was there and I would really have liked to have finished the race. Japan beckons and I want nothing more than to fight for a point or two."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 14th, Allan McNish - 15th )
Ove Andersson: "It has been a difficult weekend, we had several problems that we have not had before. On the other hand it was the first time that we have used the bi-directional telemetry in a positive way. We have to look at this race as a learning experience, and we have certainly learned a lot. This circuit is quite demanding, particularly on the engine, so a two-car finish is very good. Suzuka will be a busy race for us, but I hope we can give our Japanese fans a good result."
Mika Salo: "I was having a very good race to start with and the car felt fine, but after the first pit stop I had a big misfire for many laps and it wouldn't go away. The guys back in the box did a great job to clear that up, but I also had hydraulic pressure problems for most of the race and that ruined any chance of making up places. It's been a good learning weekend, so it is disappointing not finishing higher up."
Allan McNish: "That was an extremely tough and physical race. From the very start we experienced big differences in the car's balance from turning left to turning right. It got progressively worse as the race went on and the car became difficult to drive. The steering was locked when turning right and it was an achievement in itself to get the car home, but still we should have done better than 15th. Our next stop will be Japan for the last race of the season and Toyota's home race. I plan to end it on a high."
Minardi ( Alex Yoong - Retired, Mark Webber - Retired )Paul Stoddart: "Despite a valiant effort by both drivers this afternoon, luck was not with the KL Minardi Asiatech team. The power steering system problem on Mark's car, while not posing a danger, nonetheless prevented him from finishing the race. This was followed by an engine failure on Alex's car while he was driving possibly the best race of his career. He was definitely on course for a strong finish. Anyway, it's on to Japan, where the team will look to improve on its fortunes."
Alex Yoong: "I was happy with my performance today. The lap times were good, but it was also a bit frustrating because I knew from the beginning of the race that the engine wasn't as strong as it should be. It was particularly obvious down the straights, as I was losing out to Mark, even though I was running less downforce than him. It was a shame when the engine went, because we've normally had great reliability from the Asiatech units this year. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have driven well today and enjoyed the race."
Mark Webber: "It was going really well for us. We had a good first few laps and were particularly strong in the infield section of the track, but there was just no opportunity to overtake. On the straight, the guys in front had slightly better top speed. Even so, we were having a strong race, but then a problem developed with the steering. It's a pity, but all we can do now is look forward to the final Grand Prix of the year, in Japan."
Arrows - Missed the GP due to financial problems