UNITED STATES GP - SUNDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Giancarlo Fisichella (3rd): "I am really pleased with this podium after the most difficult race of the season for us. I got a good start but was quite cautious under braking into turn 1, which let Fernando get past me. However, when the Safety Car went back in, I had a speed advantage over him and when I got a good run down the main straight, he didn't make life difficult for me. After that, the key was to keep my pace, carry on pushing and see if something would happen to the Ferraris. Trulli was quick behind me too, so we had to keep on pushing all the way through the second stint, but everything held together and I was able to turn the revs down in the final part of the race. Third was the best I could have done today, and I am very happy to have done the maximum for the team. To be on the podium at such a hard track for us is a strong result, and I think things will get back to normal again in Magny-Cours."
Fernando Alonso (5th): "Fifth was the maximum I could do today. I was not competitive all weekend and the car was lacking grip all the way through the race, as well as completing race two of a very hard cycle for the engine. So I did the maximum possible, and made sure I scored points for the championship. Looking back to last year, I scored zero points in North America; this year, I have scored 14 and my championship position is still very strong. That's a big reason to stay positive. Ferrari and Bridgestone were quicker than us today but in ten races, we have had the better tyres for nine of them, so I am not worried for the next Grands Prix. We must carry on doing our job, and know that sometimes we can win, sometimes not. I am already looking forward to the next race, where I think we will see a more usual balance of competitiveness between Renault and Ferrari."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It was great to see Giancarlo on the podium, after a very strong race on a day when our competitors were clearly quicker than us. Fernando struggled with the car this weekend, but we did as much as we could to limit the damage in terms of the championship. Track temperatures were in the 50s this afternoon, and on a circuit that demands so much from the tyres, Michelin responded in a conscientious manner. We may not have won this race, but we can still hold our heads high and they, like us, will be determined to bounce back on home territory in Magny-Cours in two weeks' time."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "Today was not our day. The competition was too strong for us, and the maximum we could have got from the race was eleven points. In the end, we scored ten, so we limited the damage as much as possible. Giancarlo did a fantastic job to finish third, it was everything we could ask of him today. Fernando never got the car to his liking all weekend, but still scored valuable points. The team has done a great job during two difficult races in North America, and we all go to France determined to win again at our home race - and extend our advantage in the championship."
Kimi Raikkonen (DNF, Accident): "I made a really good start and was quick off the line. However things got messy at the second corner and Juan Pablo hit me from behind and that was the end of the race. There is no point in blaming anyone as these sort of things happen in racing and especially when you are not at the front. As a team we will now get over the disappointment of today's result and focus on the next race."
Juan Pablo Montoya (DNF, Accident): "When you start so far back you have to race hard to make up places. Unfortunately it was pretty tight at the start and as everybody braked for the second corner I was being squeezed by one of the Hondas and regrettably I hit Kimi. I'm obviously really upset for the team who have worked so hard the whole weekend as having both cars out on the opening lap is disastrous."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "We have looked at our data and the footage from various cameras and it's clear that as is often the case with accidents several things happened in close sequence. Heidfeld heavily squeezed Button, who squeezed Juan Pablo. Prior to those cars touching Juan Pablo ran into the back of Kimi who was making every effort to keep out of trouble. Inevitably the team feels intense frustration and disappointment when its cars are eliminated as a result of touching each other. However this was a racing incident and should be treated as such."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "To lose both cars at the second corner is obviously a nightmare. Sorry to all the spectators and team members, we all would have loved to contribute to a good race. We will be testing next week in Jerez in Spain to get focused for the French Grand Prix."
Michael Schumacher (1st): "I am very happy! It was a great weekend: first with Germany in the semi-final, then Italy, pole position yesterday and now this great victory today! We had prepared very well for these last two races, but for some reason, in Canada we were unable to demonstrate that fact. Here however, we have been strong since the start of free practice on Friday, in part due to the Bridgestone tyres. We have made up six points which are important for the championships and we want to keep moving forward this way, fighting, pushing to the maximum and trying to win every time! Now we go back to Europe where we will try and continue to fight back. I want to thank the whole team who did a marvellous job!"
Felipe Massa (2nd): "It was a fantastic race for us, in which we showed that the championship is not yet over. The team has done an incredible job this weekend. Everything worked well, especially the Bridgestone tyres. The start went very, very well for me and I managed to pass Michael. I had a very strong first stint, but he managed to pass me during the first pit stop, when I had a clutch problem which slowed me, but I was still motivated to fight hard for second place to give the team the maximum number of points from this race. First and second is a fantastic day for us and an important day in my career."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "We have been dreaming of a result like this for a while now and finally it has come. After an extraordinary qualifying yesterday, we knew that if all the pieces of the jigsaw - reliability, consistent performance from the Bridgestone tyres, the work of the drivers and the team - fitted together, we were capable of getting the job done and that's what happened. After the strange 2005 race, run in circumstances that we don't want to go over again and won by Ferrari on a Technical Knock Out, today we repeated the result by being superior to all our rivals. This is the best possible start to the second half of the season and a one-two finish is a further encouragement to tackle the eight remaining races in the best possible way."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Everything went to plan today. It all felt good, especially on the tyre front, from the first day when they already delivered the grip we needed. We had seen some tyre graining at first, but this disappeared in the race. In fact the Bridgestone tyres were perfect and they allowed us to have an easy weekend and an easy race. The team and drivers did a great job. Put all those elements together and you get a performance like the one we saw today. We had a few races where it went the wrong way and today the momentum came back to us in a substantial way. I was surprised at the gap to the Renaults, but I don't think this is an indication for the future. I think the remaining races will be much closer. Now we have to keep the impetus going: in Magny-Cours, good tyres will once again be important and we will also have some improvements to the car that I am optimistic about."
Jarno Trulli (4th): "Even though I was starting from the pit lane, I knew we had a big chance today because the car was quick. So it was a pity about yesterday but nevertheless I knew we could make up ground by pushing hard. I had a bit of luck because I could profit from the pile-up at the first corner and the safety car period. But I'm very happy because I was able to match the times of the other runners in the early stages despite having more fuel on board. The team did a great job analysing the data and in the end to finish 4th is a great result. I'm the kind of person who always wants more so we're disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the podium. But after everything that has gone wrong for me this year, it's great to have a day when everything goes right. Now I'm really confident for the rest of the season."
Ralf Schumacher (DNF, Wheel bearing): "Today we were looking good for a strong points finish until our problem late on. I had a very long brake pedal so I had to come in. Then the team found that we had a wheel bearing failure on our front left. It was a very difficult race today because it was so hot out there. I also had a hard job keeping the car balanced because there was a slight difference in grip levels between my sets of tyres so that made it more difficult to drive. The failure was unfortunate because I was in a comfortable 5th place and those points would have been great news for the team. Nevertheless our performance this weekend shows that the development of our car is very advanced. But we need to keep pushing for reliability as we search for more points in the coming races."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "First we are delighted that the American race fans saw a proper F1 race today. For Toyota, Jarno made an exceptional race from the pit lane. But he was confident before the race because our car was obviously fast this weekend. We went for a one-stop strategy because he was starting so far back and our Bridgestone tyres looked so consistent. Everything went well for him - including the accident and the safety car period - but his pace was very strong throughout the race even on heavy fuel loads. In the end we were fighting Fisichella and though we lost third by a couple of seconds we are very happy. Of course it hurts that we had another retirement with Ralf. It's a pity that he had a wheel bearing failure because he ran a very good race. Despite the fact that he was held up behind Barrichello early he was still able to pass Alonso at the last stop. So we need to work hard to improve our reliability. But our pace shows that we are getting nearer to the top cars. We must now push to continue our development programme so we can catch them. We haven't given up on our aim of winning our first race this season."
Nico Rosberg (9th): "It's a disappointing result because I had such a good start and was up to eighth place after the first lap accidents, but the car was a real handful, making it difficult to keep it on the track and not make any mistakes. Apart from affecting our pace, it made the race really physically demanding as it was already very hot out there - I gave everything I had, so it's a real shame not to earn any points. Looking to the next race at Magny Cours, I am confident because I know the track well, so I hope we have a better weekend there."
Mark Webber (DNF, Accident): "My start was reasonable and I got a slipstream behind Speed but there was someone really slow in the middle of the track and I was just minding my own business on the brakes turning in and the next minute I got harpooned by somebody on the right rear. I got launched into the air and I thought I was going to roll. Thankfully I didn't, but the damage to the car stopped me from continuing."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "This race was disappointing for us with Mark once again falling victim to a mistake by another driver and Nico finishing just outside the points. Nico's car was mechanically sound and Bridgestone supplied a good tyre, so it is clear we need to make significant improvements. We will bounce back."
Sean O'Mahony, Cosworth: "It was disappointing to see Mark leave the race so early and disappointing not to have achieved a points finish with Nico, despite having attempted to extract the maximum from his engine today."
Rubens Barrichello (6th): "It was a long and tough race this afternoon but I'm pleased to finish in a good points position. The car was really quite nice to drive and we had chosen an aggressive strategy in qualifying. The conditions out there were also really hard with the 37 degree heat. It was a real shame that only 9 cars finished because I wanted the US fans to have a great race this year. There was a lot of action for them but the first lap incident was unfortunate. We have had a much more positive weekend here and I think if we work hard we can continue improving. We now have a busy test coming up in Jerez next week to evaluate some developments for France, where I hope we will begin a much better second half of the season."
Jenson Button (DNF, Damage): "It's really disappointing because we were fuelled to go long and I think the strategy would have worked well for us. We had a great opportunity today. I was approaching turn two and we were already three abreast when Montoya decided to get past all three of us at the same time. He had a lot of room to go up the inside so I don't really know why he hit my back wheel, but that pushed me into Heidfeld who hit my right rear which launched his car into the air. I saw him roll and it was all just a big mess really. We came in and the guys worked on the car but it became clear that it would not have been able to finish the race. The impact was so hard I'm surprised I was able to drive away from it, never mind get back to the pits, so it just goes to show what a strong car we have. Very frustrating but I guess we have to put it behind us and look ahead to the test next week, which should bring us some positive steps for Magny-Cours."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "We have mixed feelings about today. Rubens drove a hard race pushing all the way to collect our first points since Monaco. Jenson unfortunately got caught out in the first lap incident and as a result of the damage incurred, we had to retire the car. Overall this was a much more competitive race for us than of late, although we continue to set our sights higher. We are testing in Jerez next week to evaluate improvements for the next round where hopefully we can continue our progression."
David Coulthard (7th): "Firstly, a special thanks to Montoya for his contribution to my points finish! I was up along side Christian at the start going into Turn one and could see Tonio coming up on the outside. I didn't like the look of it, so I backed off, kept in the middle of the road and let them all go past. I understand that Montoya then created a shunt, so we picked up a lot of places there. There's an incident in Turn one almost every year, so I was mindful of being in a position off the grid and keeping it. From there, it was just a battle with Liuzzi and Rosberg. The team's strategist guy Will (Courtenay) did a great job today and again my engineer Mark (Hutcheson) gave me some good advice on the radio, so we were able to get out in front of Nico. I'm happy for the whole team. To get these points, especially at this time of year, will help us against Williams."
Christian Klien (DNF, Accident): "My start off the grid was actually okay. I passed both Midland cars and heading into the first corner, I was right on the inside. But then it got very tight. There's basically just one clean driving line and off it, it's really dirty. It got too tight for all the cars and I don't actually know what happened. I was next to a Williams and then a lot of cars crashed together and there was no way to get through it with no trouble. It's a shame to finish the race this early, because I think we had a chance to get some points today."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "After a fair bit of chaos on the first lap, David emerged unscathed and, focusing on a one stop strategy, drove another strong race. In a car that was difficult to handle on heavy fuel, he delivered when he needed to and was able to go longer than all the others before his first pit stop. Thanks to some great work from the team today, a great pit stop and a good strategy, we managed to get David out in front of both Rosberg and Liuzzi. From that point on he was able to pull away and finish seventh. Congratulations also to Toro Rosso on gaining their first point."
Jacques Villeneuve (DNF, Engine): "The car was feeling good and we had quite a lot of grip. We were running strong and were quite a bit faster than the three cars ahead of us, so I was just waiting for the pit stops to see what happened. The engine just gave up, sad because it was the first race on this engine so something must have gone wrong. It was very disappointing as we could have been in the points today."
Nick Heidfeld (DNF, Accident): "I escaped unhurt from the accident. I don't know exactly what happened. It looks as if there was another accident before this. I had a very good start, and had already made up three positions so was almost next to Jacques. Then all of a sudden I was airborne. It is such a shame as we have been really strong here."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "A strong qualifying was followed by a disappointing race. It looks as if Indianapolis for BMW is always associated with some special drama. At the first corner Nick was already involved in an accident. The crash wasn't his fault and ended with the car rolling over several times. Luckily he wasn't hurt. On Jacques' car we had a sudden engine failure. We will only be able to analyse in Munich what caused this failure. In Magny-Cours we have to try and regain some lost ground."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director Chassis: "Obviously it is a great pity that both cars retired here. Nick had a very good start, but unfortunately his race was over in the first corner. Also Jacques was well placed when he retired. Our strategy would have worked out."
Christijan Albers (DNF, Retired): "It's a shame that we weren't able to finish the race, because we had a chance to get into the points if we were able to run a good race. I collided at the start and lost my front wing, which is why I had to come in early. I also sustained some damage to my bargeboard and sidepod wing, so I lost a lot of performance, and then later on my transmission gave up. There's nothing else to say, it's just really a shame."
Tiago Monteiro (DNF, Damage): "It was a very short day, but that's racing sometimes. It's definitely frustrating, especially after such a competitive weekend and a great result for us here last here. We really wanted a good result here today and I think it was achievable, given our pace. The start of the race was very messy, with lots of cars getting tangled up, and I thought I was very lucky to get through that. I saw a gap, I dove for it, and fortunately, no one touched me, so I found myself running in P9 during the safety car period. It was still early in the race and, obviously, I knew there were some quick cars behind me, but we were still in a good position. We adapted our strategy to match the safety car situation and it was looking very good for us. So I was really confident and excited about finishing well at that point, actually. Unfortunately, at the re-start, Sato (Super Aguri) made an unrealistic move on me heading into the corner, locking his wheels and ramming into me. It's a shame for everyone. We were looking for points today and in these circumstances, it was possible to get them. So I'm really sad for the guys on the team - they didn't deserve that - but we can't allow it to affect us. We have to keep pushing hard and do our best in Magny-Cours."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "One day, the luck will be on our side and we will score some much-deserved points. Unfortunately, it didn't happen today because of race incidents."
Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager: "It was very disappointing to have that situation on the first lap. From what we've seen, it just looked like a racing incident, with lots of cars squeezed together and it was just unlucky that Christijan sustained some damage in the fray. And then, on the re-start, Sato clobbered into the side of Tiago, so that put paid to his race. It was a very messy, unfortunate result for us, because we had a good start to the weekend but, disappointingly, we didn't finish that way."
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race Engineer: "It was a thoroughly disappointing afternoon. Obviously, with the number of cars that were eliminated during the race, we could have perhaps hoped for something to come out of it. All in all, we've just got a lot of damage and possibly a transmission-related issue with Christijan's car, which led to his eventual retirement. Tiago, uncharacteristically, found himself caught up in a racing incident that prevented him from continuing. That's all there is to say about this afternoon. Now, we have look forward to testing next week and pressing on with our developments."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (8th): "That's great - we've come close before but now we've got the team's first point. We can go forward from now on, looking for more points. At first I was worried for Scott, because I thought he might have been hurt, until the team told me he was fine. Then I was racing with Coulthard, but he was a bit quicker than me in the second stint. We are on fire now!! Hopefully we can continue to improve for the rest of this season."
Scott Speed (DNF, Accident): "I had a great start again, getting by Webber and Ralf at Turn 1 and then it all fell apart at Turn 2. It wouldn't have mattered if I'd tried to go inside or outside as the whole track was blocked with cars flipping all over the track. That's motor racing and as long as it's not my fault, there's nothing I can do about bad luck. I'm just sorry for all the home fans who turned up to see me race. Well done to Tonio for getting the team's first point."
Gerhard Berger, Team Principal: "A positive day. A shame for Scott as the accident was not his fault and he had done a great job in the first corner, when he got into a really good position. I am very happy that we have our first point. We have been trying very hard and finally we have done it. It was a tough race and even if lots of cars went out, we competed with Red Bull, we competed with Rosberg. And well done to the whole team: pit stop, strategy, everything went really well. Everyone did a great job."
Takuma Sato (DNF, Accident): "This is a disappointing end to a positive weekend. At the start of the race everyone packed into turn one and I managed to avoid the accident. I was prepared for the re-start and after the safety car went in I caught up to DC and Monteiro and at the end of the straight I was half a car length up beside Monteiro as I raced with him into turn one. He obviously saw me and he just kept pushing across me. By this time we had already started braking, so I couldn't go anywhere and he just kept coming and I ran out of space. I had to go over the kerb to avoid him, which is very high on this circuit, and this unfortunately launched the car up and off the track."
Franck Montagny (DNF, Accident): "It was quite a bad weekend. In Canada and here in Indy we only did two laps in both races. There was nothing I could do today. I am very careful normally at the start of the race because I know we can't really fight with the others, so I don't take the risk and I prefer to finish the race. I went on the inside, braked normally and easily. I think Coulthard pushed against Klein and he spun in front of me and you can't stop a car when it's going 200 clicks and the car in front is only 5 metres away."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It was a very bad day for us. Franck could not manoeuvre to avoid the accident at the start as it happened right in front of him. Taku was running in a good position when he tried to overtake Monteiro who then closed the door in front of him. I don't know who was at fault there, but what matters is that both of our cars were out at the beginning of the race and that is extremely disappointing."