JULY 1, 2005
FRENCH GP - FRIDAY - PRESS CONFERENCE
FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE - 1 JULY 2005
TEAM PRINCIPALS: Colin KOLLES (Jordan), Jean TODT (Ferrari)
TYRE MANUFACTURERS: Pierre DUPASQUIER (Michelin), Hiroshi YASUKAWA (Bridgestone)
Q: Colin, regarding two weeks ago, is it true that you didn't want to race and then you decided you were going to race? Could you clarify that?
Colin KOLLES: That's not true, for sure. It was always the question: how to race? It was never the question not to race. If we race with a chicane? Without chicane? Or the other teams are racing through the pit lane or whatever, but it was always that we race, including Minardi.
Q: Was that something that you consulted with Trevor Carlin who is retained as a consultant?
Kolles: No. There is also some time difference and there was so much around.
Q: Yesterday we heard that the programme with the new car is to be the third car for this race and the British Grand Prix; how did it perform today?
Kolles: To be honest with you, I was a little bit late because I missed my plane so I didn't have the chance to meet with all the engineers and all the people. Robert (Doornbos, third driver) was quite happy with it. Both drivers were happy after Barcelona. We had some overheating problems and they are trying to sort them out. It was running for more laps here and I've heard it's getting better.
Q: Is there a chance that you might race it in England?
Kolles: We would like to race it in England but we want to have more mileage on the car and we will have a Paul Ricard test after Silverstone, two days, so, as I always have said, we want to be reliable and to get some points if we are lucky. It's still the same direction.
Q: What difference does it make now that you have got the points from the US Grand Prix?
Kolles: For the moment, no difference.
Q: But what about the cash from...?
Kolles: Yes maybe, but I don't know how much cash at the moment.
Q: Jean, can I just ask you to clarify your position regarding the potential chicane at Indianapolis because I still hear from people, and you told me on the Sunday night, that you never spoke about a chicane? Can you just clarify that position please?
Jean TODT: No, I didn't say that to you on Sunday but maybe it was jet lag for you and you misunderstood. I simply said that Bernie (Ecclestone) came and while we were having a meeting... the pre-race meeting with the drivers and with a few technical people including Ross Brawn, and he came into the room which incidentally was close to his office and he asked us 'what about a chicane?' And I said, it was not our decision to speak about a chicane or not. During the press conference, I was asked 'but if you would have been told about the chicane, what was your position?' and I said 'we would have been against it.'
Q: And after the US Grand Prix, you were told that Rubens had said he was unhappy about the situation during the race. Can you clarify whether you have spoken to him, whether you've sorted that out?
Todt: You know, a racing driver always wants to win, whatever the circumstances, but in all fairness, I don't think that you can talk about the race at Indianapolis. Saying that, our drivers drove a strong race, you could see that, it was obvious, you could see the lap times during the race, and the aim was to win the race. He did not win the race and of course he was frustrated and then, you know, it was like a temperature which has since calmed down and it was over.
Q: So you've managed to calm the situation...
Todt: I did not manage it, it came on its own, so I did not have to do anything.
Q: Jean, this year, to what extent do you feel that Bridgestone has compromised performance for safety during the first part of this year?
Todt: You know I try to avoid getting in to any kind of controversy, so Bridgestone and I have been saying that since years, mainly since the beginning of the season... because if you win then tyres don't interest anybody. We have been winning so much in the last years, and every time we have said how important (they are) because without Bridgestone we would not have won as much as we did. This year, we did not win, and immediately we tried to find a reason. We tried to find a reason, and of course, it was a lot about the tyres. It is true to say that the biggest difference between last year and this year is the tyre regulations, and together with Bridgestone, we probably didn't do a good enough job to be as competitive as we wanted. We are working very hard. I think we have improved the situation over the last races and I hope we will improve for the next race. Saying that again, Bridgestone, together with Ferrari at some time decided to compromise performance for safety, which we did. It also happened this year that we had to stop because we simply could not finish the race. You say Rubens in Bahrain, you say Michael in Barcelona. So we learned from that and the tyres we took in Nurburgring, for example, were definitely a compromise. They were not the quickest tyres, but we knew we could finish the race.
Q: Hiroshi, we quite often hear that the specifications of tyres are very very close. Now the FIA say that you should have a primary and the option is the safety net. Is that always the situation?
Hiroshi YASUKAWA: Actually this year's regulations have had a very strong impact, how to make the tyres. But our company is always concerned about safety issues first. Then afterwards, we discuss with the teams, and we chose different compounds or construction or whatever. But whatever, the first issue is always the safety issue.
Q: Now your teams raced at Indianapolis; how did you find the tyres had worn after the race?
Yasukawa: Actually, our engineers went to check on the banking and the course itself and the many forces on the tyres, lateral or vertical or tyre wear. It was exactly the same as it had been for the past five years.
Q: Could both you and Pierre give us some indication how you check your tyres over a race weekend?
Yasukawa: Basically we check the tyre temperatures and also tyre wear and also tyre pressures and also the tread surface. We have long experience and we check many aspects. On Friday nights, especially, our engineers are very very busy.
Q: Do they actually cut open the tyres or anything like that?
Yasukawa: I think our people do what is needed. In this case, we cut up the tyres.
Q: Pierre, how do you check the tyres during a race weekend?
Pierre DUPASQUIER: Carefully... (laughter). No, there are a lot of things that, when we are on the premises of a race, with the A and B prime options, that is it. We have no other options unfortunately and that is what happened two weeks ago anyway. We check to make sure that first of all, as Hiroshi said, that wear, compared to the prime and the option, we know where we stand. We have to select the prime option and what kind of advice we can give our partners and at the same time to make sure that we don't perceive any beginning of any failure of any part of the tyre in those conditions. If anything has happened, then we are in trouble since we can't (react). You are referring only to the prime and option and it is amazing that somebody can make a difference between a safe prime and an unsafe option. For us, it doesn't make any sense. As Hiroshi said, and Jean has said the same thing, it cannot be in the mind of any engineer in Formula One, or any manager, to say ' come on, that may work, let's give it a try and see if the driver can get it back to the pits' - it doesn't make any sense. No-one can even think about it. When you present a device in the hands of a driver it is absolutely 100 % as far as our knowledge is involved is absolutely safe and when we bring a construction somewhere it is a construction that we trust. All indications we have in the manufacturing control afterwards even destroying the tyre on machines and so on, that is safe. There is no doubt about it. If there is one doubt, we don't do it. That is very simple. Very clear. None of that 'hmm, let's give it a try' ... No way, no way. Not in racing. It doesn't happen.
Q: But how did you take a tyre that would only last 10 laps to a race that was 73-laps long?
Dupasquier: Because we screwed up in evaluating the constraint that the tyre walls were with in particularly Indianapolis. We just misunderstood the problem. It is a very combined situation - not only one factor is involved. A lot of different factors, like longitudinal force, you have third gear, you push very hard on the tyre including the 'diffs' and the traction control and everything, then you have an overload on the left side of the car particularly the rear depending on the set up of the car and then you have the banking with cars which are bouncing more or less for aerodynamic purposes and then we just mis-evaluated that particular assembly of factors that at the end of the day was too hard for the new construction that we designed for safe reason for doing the whole race since last year.
Q: Now you allegedly said that Bridgestone had prior warning of the surface, but Bridgestone said it was no different to the previous year. What kind of prior warning were you thinking of?
Dupasquier: Yes there was part of the thing that was new, but not different, and we evaluated it in April. We knew the new surface was new, yes, that's right, and it is true that Firestone had the opportunity had the opportunity to evaluate it, to act on it, for the 500 miles, nothing to do with the Formula One Grand Prix since its not the same car, the same speed, not same down-force, its all different. All the factors are somehow part of it.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Dominic Fugere - Le Journal de Montreal) Question for Hiroshi-san, what was the input of Firestone, who knew very well the Indianapolis track, as they have been there for almost 100 years and they are one of your companies. How much if an input did they have into the construction of the tyres for Indy?
Yasukawa: Actually, now, Pierre mentioned that Indycars and Formula One cars are two totally different cars. And also tyres - one on the one side is a totally slick tyre, one side is grooved tyres. Angles for one side are 30 inches in diameter and on the other 15 inches. Then angles, for down force, are also totally different. It is very difficult to transfer to them our technologies. When we go to Firestone producing our Indycar tyre, their concerned just about the Indy 500 or just oval course race tyres, but Formula One technical people are just concerned about Formula One tyres. But of course sometimes we discuss it, but basically not.
Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Pierre, you have talked about all the factors that combined to cause the problem, but was their one specific thing that caused the tyre to fail?
Dupasquier: We did not know this before -- we have never seen this kind of situation before. We simulated the conditions. We know what is going to happen and we are still modifying machines that don't exist in the market place to try to actually reproduce what happened there. If we take just one factor, that if the cars slow down a bit we could race, if we take off one factor then it's safe, it's no problem - but when something happens it is really the whole thing that is at stake
Q: (Dieter Rencken - The Citizen) Pierre, hidden in all the controversy at Indianapolis, there was a statement by your company that they are re-branding rally tyres to BF Goodridge. Given the reputation image of Michelin now, will you still be continuing with this re-branding exercise?
Dupasquier: I don't see any relationship between the things you are talking about... I don't see any reason why not because we have good reasons and a long tradition of off-road success and in the United States in particular and it is part of the BF Goodridge image and nothing to do with Michelin - Michelin conquered the world championship for rallying for years and years and were fine, but it seems to be appropriate that the work done by Goodridge, the way we did it in Paris-Dakar for example, for us it makes sense.
Q: (Stefan Bomhard - Kicker) To Mr Kolles, could you give us an update of what happened to your hotel - you booked it, but you never checked in?
Kolles: It was, or the information I have is that they found a Legionnaire bacteria in the hotel at a very high rate so the government - there are some regulations that say they have to repeat the test which takes about 48 hours, so we decided to move hotels because it is too dangerous.
Q: May I ask which hotel it was?
Kolles: I cannot give you the address, but it is the Kyriad Hotel.
Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Pierre, Michelin has said it is going to refund the ticket prices. Can you give us more details?
Dupasquier: We are, in France, in particular, not in a position to go in detail about that. The only thing that Michelin has said is yes, we are at the origin of the mess, since nobody was doing anything, we feel polite just to say 'oh, guys, we understand that you have been spoilt from something and we are very sorry about that, please accept our apologies and as a gesture we refund you for your tickets and now it is in the hands of our people in the United States. We have 30,000 employees in the United States, a very strong operation and they are handling the situation over there and it is cultural to know how to behave and they are taking care of it.
Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News) Jean, from your point of view was there any way a compromise could have been reached so that 20 cars raced at Indy?
Todt: You know there has been too much about that. I think the problem has been clear. We were facing an unprepared situation. I mean some competitors were facing an unprepared situation and no solutions unfortunately could be found. There was so much about the chicane but there could have been some counter point about the chicane. I mean definitely for me the only way... Well I heard that it was not only turn 13 that was difficult for the competitors, but also I heard about turn five as well, as some of you may have overheard, or that in this situation you should have taken different tyres or you should have gone through the pit lane, that for me were the two solutions but definitely the race was compromised due to the situation and I mean a chicane would have raised many other problems that were uncovered.
Q: (Alain Pernot - L'Auto Journal) Question to Jean Todt, there are four Grands Prix in five weeks in July. How difficult is it for teams to deal with such a situation?
Todt: It is tough, not just for the team but for all the partners, not only the tyres, but everybody. It is tough already to have back to back races in two weeks, but can you imagine in five weekends to have four Grands Prix? It will definitely give the advantage to the teams that have the best cars at the moment because there is very little time to react to improve the situation in this kind of condition?
THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE - 30 JUNE 2005
DRIVERS: Fernando ALONSO (Renault), Tiago MONTEIRO (Jordan), Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLaren), Michael SCHUMACHER (Ferrari), Jarno TRULLI (Toyota)
Q: Tiago, what was the reaction in Portugal after the race two weeks ago?
Tiago MONTEIRO: The reaction was a bit crazy. Of course, everybody had seen the circumstances and the reasons for this result, but when it's the first Portuguese driver that gets to the podium, everybody forgot about the circumstances and it was just a crazy crazy atmosphere. It reminded everybody about the Euro Cup when there was this big national enthusiasm and since Saturday, when I came back from testing, I have been in Portugal for some PR, I've been doing TV shows, radio, conferences, spending some time with sponsors, and it's been really really busy. It's a great atmosphere, everybody's happy and excited and again, as I said before, I need to take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy it as much as I can.
Q: You mentioned the testing, how is the latest version of the car?
Monteiro: It's not ready yet, I would say. We had some teething probleSchumacher: cooling in particular so we are going to be using it as the third car here and at Silverstone and then we have another test at Paul Ricard after Silverstone and we're hoping then to work on the performance. But we're going to use those two Fridays to work on the reliability and hopefully we will be using the new car for Hockenheim.
Q: Now the drivers have put out a statement that has been signed by 19 drivers but seven have not signed. You're one of them. Can you tell us why you haven't signed?
Monteiro: The main reason is that I haven't heard of or seen this paper. I read about it in the press but nobody contacted us or asked our opinion, so that's probably the main reason for it.
Q: Jarno, first of all, a good result here last year. What are your feelings coming here?
Jarno TRULLI: Always good, I always like Magny-Cours, even if last year the memories weren't the best but it was still an experience that I have now. I have a special feeling for Magny-Cours because I was here with Prost, then I continued with Renault so I always have a lot of supporters for the French Grand Prix so it's always nice to be back.
Q: You have a new third driver in Olivier Panis; does that make a lot of difference in your preparations?
Trulli: I think Olivier is an experienced driver who will do a very good job, as well as Ricardo (Zonta) has done in the past. So it's a pleasure for me to have Olivier on board again, on the track. I think even for him it's nice to be back after a long time, especially here in front of his home crowd.
Q: Now you had your first pole position with Toyota at the last race, but be honest with us, was there a little bit of a gamble on low fuel?
Trulli: No, not really, to be honest, because we didn't know what was going to happen on Sunday, so we were not sure. The decision (not to race) was basically taken on Sunday, probably just before the race, and you just go out in qualifying and try to do your best and then think about tomorrow's race, and this is what happened. I did an extremely good lap, everything went fine for me and for the team and the car. Obviously I'm sure there were some people heavier than me but I wasn't so light.
Q: Kimi, you could say you lost ten points in the last race. Is that the way you look at it? How do you see it?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I guess it was disappointing but in the end, under the circumstances, there was nothing I could have done so I listened to people what we should do and that was the decision.
Q: But looking at it from a championship point of view, obviously Michael's got ten points closer to you.
Raikkonen: Yeah, that's true, but of course every race we don't race is not going to help us because we need as many races as possible to try to catch up Renault and Alonso but that's the situation and we will try to do it here.
Q: What about this circuit, you've had quite a good finishing record here?
Raikkonen: Yeah, it's quite a nice circuit, it's a little bit different than it used to be, but OK, last year maybe it wasn't our strongest race, even though we had a new car here. I think the car should be good. We have some new parts and a new engine for this race, so I'm looking forward to it.
Q: Now the FIA has reserved some dates for next year: 20 races next year, including three races on successive weekends. What do you feel about that as a driver?
Raikkonen: I haven't seen any dates or anything, but I don't think it makes much difference because we would be testing anyhow between races if we don't have back-to-back. For me, it doesn't make a difference.
Q: Fernando, your feelings about the last race, in a way losing ten points to Michael?
Fernando ALONSO: Again, it was a difficult weekend for everybody and not a fantastic feeling when you have to come in to the pits, but those were the circumstances. It's true that we lost ten points but as Kimi said, always when we arrive at a Grand Prix we are thinking of points and we need to race and score points which is the main thing over the weekend so hopefully this Sunday will be a good race for us.
Q: Can you tell us about your time since Indianapolis?
Alonso: Yeah. I had three days testing in Jerez. On the day in the middle I went to Paris for a promotion and at the weekend I was in England at Goodwood. It was a busy week, but now we are ready for this July with four races and concentrating on the championship.
Q: A good race here last year...
Alonso: Yeah, it was OK. I did the pole and then I had a close fight with Michael with a good race, different strategies, so it was quite an interesting race to drive and to watch also, so hopefully I think we can be very competitive here this year. The R25 is performing very well at all the circuits and I think here, especially, maybe even more.
Q: Well Michael has won here seven times, but only once from pole position. Is it one of your favourite circuits for that reason? Does winning at one track make it a favourite?
Michael SCHUMACHER: Your question is it a favourite circuit because of the fact that not winning from pole position... It has been good for me like Canada, but I think it's pretty clear what my most preferred circuit is.
Q: What are your feelings coming here under those circumstances?
Schumacher: It's a new weekend, so I just look forward to it.
Q: Same question as I asked Tiago about that form that 19 drivers have signed; yours is one of the signatures missing, can you tell us why?
Schumacher: As far as I understand, it was an initiative from Renault, I don't recall they called me, first of all. I would have been surprised if they had anyway. Just to make clear, this was not a GPDA thing. I think we just have different opinions about it, which is only natural so I would not have signed it.
Q: Was there anything in particular about the form which you objected to?
Schumacher: There were certain points that were never really part of the discussion, actually, so there was no point in signing it.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Stan Piecha - The Sun): A question for Michael - because of the circumstances at the last race, where you got ten points, you are now much closer to Kimi and Fernando in the title race. What do you think you need to do to make it a three-way battle this season? Another win here?
Schumacher: I think it needs to be more than just another win here, honestly. But it would be the right way to go ahead.
Q: (Dan Knutson, National Speedsport News): Michael, how competitive do you think you will be this weekend at this track?
Schumacher: We have been working pretty hard the last month, several months, and I think we have made some progress, pretty obviously, so I just hope that the next step we are bringing here will bring us back into real competition. I think we were looking quite good already in Indianapolis and I believe we can look better than we have been. Whether that is enough... We shall see.
Q: (Ottavio Daviddi - Tuttosport): A question for Michael and Jarno. After the document we saw, do you think that the GPDA will be weaker in the future or not?
Schumacher: As I said, the GPDA was not involved in that one because it's nothing to do with circuit safety or where you have to look for an issue where you have a problem with something, here it is a mechanical situation, from one team to another, which is not a subject matter for the GPDA to get involved in.
Trulli: Well, I think the situation is not clear. I think we will be weaker because there is something not clear as I received the document direct from the GPDA and we all know how many people are in the GPDA and probably most of us here are GPDA members. So, I don't really understand the situation and I will try to understand it better tomorrow when we will have a meeting. Anyway, we will all get the information from the GPDA by email. So nobody can say I didn't get the message. You can only say I didn't agree. That is my opinion. But I think it is better to discuss it more.
Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing): Michael how representative was your overall race time in Indianapolis of what it would have been if there was a full grid?
Schumacher: Put it this way, the first and last stint, I was in control of the situation so the speed I did was not the maximum speed, but then when pit-stop times happened, and the middle stint, that was pretty representative.
Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing): Thank-you. And a second question, to the three Michelin runners. Based on that information and your simulations, how do you think you would have gone, knowing the race time that Michael did?
Trulli: To be honest, I did not look at the race of the lap times so I have no idea.
Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing): But what about the engineers at Toyota, they must have looked at the data surely?
Trulli: I don't know to be honest you should ask them.
Raikkonen: I was on my way to New York already before the race finished. I haven't seen my engineers yet; maybe they looked at it so I will know later what the situation is.
Alonso: I saw the race, but the TV screen, not the times, so I don't know exactly. They did a 1m 11s I think or something like that and it is impossible to know how were the conditions on Sunday afternoon, how much rubber there was on the track and very difficult to think what our teams would have done.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport): To the Michelin guys, are you not concerned that Michelin can put now on the track some more conservative tyres and lose performance after what Max Mosley and the World Council said yesterday. And Tiago I would like to know why you decided to race in the end because you were in the meeting and your team was in agreement with the decision to put the chicane?
Alonso: I think the tyres will perform exactly the same and I think the Indianapolis problem was a very specific problem of that configuration of the circuit and what happened there and after the times and the performances the tyres gave to us in the last test last week, I think we are more competitive than before. I think the tyres are extremely, extremely good for this race and for Silverstone as well and I have no worries at all.
Raikkonen: I think that for some reason the last high speed corner at Indianapolis just didn't suit our tyres and you really need to ask Michelin about that.
Trulli: I don't think we'll have any safety problem or any performance problem. What happened in Indianapolis was just a special case, unfortunately a bad case for us and for Michelin. But these things can happen and it is part of racing and motor sport and I think Michelin will compete again as strong as before.
Monteiro: Most of the times, drivers do as they are told by their teams and sponsors and especially team managers - and the decision was to race from the beginning and, also, from what I know and I heard, we never said we wouldn't race and we actually said no matter how that whether with a chicane or not, we were going to race. I don t know. I know there were some other opinions out there, but we said we were always going to race anyway. We have our sponsors' commitments, Bridgestone as well. So there was no way we wouldn't race.
Q: Fernando, this is the home race for Renault, you are leading the championship - is there more pressure on you to make a good result in this race than in an other one?
Alonso: No. Not really, no. It is exactly the same honestly. It is the home Grand Prix of the Renault people, a lot of them will be here and a lot of important people from the Renault Group will be here again so we are very optimistic for this race especially regarding the last year's results so I think we arrive here in a very good moment. We are leading both championships, the car has improved a lot again last week in Jerez, so we arrive in a perfect point this weekend in Magny-Cours.
Q: (Salvatore Zanca - Associated Press): Michael, Formula One took a hit with the United States race. What do you think Formula One has to do to regain the confidence in the United States?
Schumacher: It is pretty obvious what has happened, but despite that I think that Formula One will return to the States at some stage and be very strong. I don't know the calendar for next year, but there is no reason why we should not return and show a good show again as we have done. Plus there has been so much talk about Formula One in the United States that it probably has created much more spectators than before.
Q: (Salvatore Zanca - Associated Press): How can you regain the confidence of the fans that were disillusioned?
Schumacher: I think there is a lot you can do to state the facts - the fact is that one tyre company had a problem and therefore their cars couldn't race. I think it is pretty simple and if you don't create more casino than there is at the end of the day, then you just have to say it is a sport and it is like an injured sportsman, or athlete, or someone who cannot run because he has a muscle problem or whatever, it is just the way sport happens.
Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speedsport News): Can I put that question to the other drivers and also, what do you think of Michelin's gesture that they are going to refund the ticket prices to all the fans plus buy 20,000 tickets and give them away for 2006 at Indy?
Raikkonen: I don't have anything to say.
Alonso: I think it's good that Michelin does this kind of thing to help the people and to help all the people who were there, and because of our fault, they didn't see a proper race.
Trulli: Well obviously Michelin and everyone in Formula One will try to help the USA supporters after this race at Indianapolis. It was a bit of a downside for all of us, but obviously these things can happen. I've been told that a few years ago an Indy Car race couldn't take place because on the oval there was too much lateral G(-force) and they didn't race for safety reasons. So it's quite similar conditions. Unfortunately, this is a sport which pushes everything to the limit and sometimes we go over the limit. Michelin have admitted the failure for that race, but they will be back, and they are back again and we will try again to go back to the USA and do our best next year.
Monteiro: A bit the same. The sport is all about limits, every department is pushing to the limit, sometimes I think those things happen (that they go over the limit). What they are doing now, I think, is fair. They are trying to calm people down and be nice to the people who got a bit pissed off with the situation.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport): For all of you, there is an idea and a proposal to put on a non-championship race at the end of the year in Indianapolis. What do you think of that?
Raikkonen: Why non-championship?
Alonso: I don't know. I've heard nothing about that, so let's wait and see.
Schumacher: There's no point in talking about stories. There are always stories, so let's talk about facts.
Trulli: Well, to be honest, I haven't heard anything about this. Anyway as I driver, I would be happy to drive.
Monteiro: No, I haven't heard anything about this either, but the more I drive then the happier I am. I can do five more if you want!
Q: If you were a Formula One driver, you were a fan, sitting in front of the TV getting ready to watch the race at Indianapolis and then you see what happens, how would you feel about it, and how would your consideration of Formula One be now? Would you still consider it to be exciting?
Alonso: For me, yes. These things happen in the sport as we all say. If you start watching a tennis game these days and there is a problem with safety with one of the players and they suspend the game, these things happen. You are disappointed at that moment. There were a lot of fans at the track, but there was a safety problem. We all wanted to race, we arrived, ready to race on Sunday morning but with the configuration of the circuit that we had, it was not possible to race. So we tried to find other solutions. OK, we had this problem with the tyres, but at the same time, I think all the fans understood that we are at the limit. This is a tyre that had won all the races in which it had competed this year so it's not a bad tyre. This is a specific problem that we had to sort out and I think the people understood.
Monteiro: I think maybe it was the lack of information for the fans. We all knew what was going on. We knew that there was a really big security issue. I think most of the fans didn't know exactly what was happening, so it was a bit of a farce for them. So yes, if you were in the grandstands, and it also depends on how long you've been there in the sun, drinking beer and then it's like... what's going on? Of course you're not very happy because you don't know why people are coming into the pits and there are only six cars on the track.
Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing): Michael, what was your reaction when you realised that debris was being thrown on the track by the fans? Did you think about stopping?
Schumacher: No, at no time was the debris big enough or concerning enough. It was little plastic cups. There was a bit of beer around which you could smell, but not see. To hit us you would need to be very lucky. We go that quickly. No, I wasn't too concerned.
Q: (Peter Windsor - F1 Racing): Secondly your reaction to... despite what everyone was saying about the race, the fact that the TV ratings, the initial input globally were up for that race and specifically in America. Why do you think that is?
Schumacher: Good question. You should be better at answering that question! Don't know.
Q: (Tony Dodgins - Autosport): Question for the Michelin guys: I think we all know that the issue is specific to turn 13 at Indy, but Max Mosley has made public that he has been asking Michelin questions about soft sidewalls. We go to Monza further in the championship where we run the car very quickly and also take quite a lot of kerb. Are you worried about any issues at Monza, particularly that it's only a few days before the extraordinary general meeting where the penalties will be discussed again?
Raikkonen: No, I'm not worried about it. I think the circuit is completely different, even if it is a high speed circuit, but the corners aren't as high speed as the one at Indy. It was also a banked corner at Indy so I think that was a small part of the problem.
Alonso: Same. I think three or four teams tested at Monza three weeks ago, more than a thousand laps without problems, so the race will be OK.
Trulli: I'm really not concerned. What we had in Indianapolis was a strange situation and it was quite far away from where we are based, so it was difficult to react for Michelin and conditions were different from the previous season so all these things mixed up created. Well, we know what happened. I think Monza will be a normal Grand Prix with no problems.
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