San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Driver quotes

30.07.2007: San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Driver quotes

Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th/Finished 1st) – "It's a great way to feel after such a difficult weekend. Also in Edmonton we struggled a lot last week. Coming into this sort of mini Monaco street circuit, I sort of pushed the team very hard to find a good setup. We also struggled in the first free practice, and in qualifying we were sixth. The Saturday qualifying or free practice, we put it up the front and found a really good car. Come the real qualifying in the afternoon, we had a gearbox failure.

We really struggled to put in any lap. We started 15th. Normally it's like the weekend's over on a street circuit. Going into the hairpin as well with 14 cars in front of you, I almost stalled the car. I was driving so slow. I was just trying not to hit anybody. I was still able to break my nose, so I don't know what happened there. Anyway, went back to the pits. The steering arm was a bit bent. When we were on track with the black tires, we felt so quick and so comfortable.

My engineer and the team basically when we had the pit stops said, Boys, now is when it matters because normally we lose positions in pit lane, but we came through. So thanks very much to the team. They did a great job. When I was on track, Michael told me to push, my engineer. I had 10 qualifying laps of 49.9, 50.0. I gained many positions with that. Yeah, coming into the last 20 laps of the race, I saw Neel on the reds and I was thinking, Man, you have the wrong choice of tires because the reds for me didn't work. I saw him going sideways a bit.

I just lined them up, fair and square going into the hairpin, then I just pulled away. The team was sort of trying to calm me down, like, Bring it home, bring it home. You know, the minutes couldn't go quicker. It's just a great way to finish the weekend, to continue the rest of the season like this. It's a big motivation boost for everybody. So thanks a lot to the team. Looking forward to the rest of the season."


Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th/Finished 2nd) – "It looked like at the end we had the wrong tires. Well, coming off Friday, you know, I was last in free practice and qualifying. Then in the pre-qual only Saturday, I was last again. In the end, I'm quite happy to be at least up on the podium.

The team did a great job. Today's race, first stint, I had a set of reds and they were actually very good. We tried the blacks in the middle stint. I was struggling a little bit there. So we thought maybe go back onto the reds. But in the end, the reds were just way too bad and they went on me big time, just understeer then oversteer.

It was hard to keep Robert. In the end, he had a good run and he was so quick in the end. So I was just looking that I could keep maybe Oriol behind me. But definitely I'm disappointed after leading so many laps. I was hoping to finish it off and get my first win. But, well, next time we know we put on the blacks.


Oriol Servia #7 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th/Finished 3rd) – "I think all weekend we were very strong. We definitely had, I'd say, I’d say one of the top two cars every session. We did all right in Toronto, you know. I thought we had the race there. But, you know, only the last lap counts.

In Edmonton we gained lots of spots in the pit stops. Today we had a problem with the air gun and we lost two spots in the pits at the end. It hurts because it was the win. Anyway, Neel and Robert, they were both very strong. I think it was a question of whoever was in the lead after all the fuel savings, and who had clean air was just going to win. You know, I think was pretty easy for Robert at the end."


Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 12th/Finished 4th) – "We had a pretty good start again and I was able to get some cars in the first corner and then I passed Sebastien on track. From then on we saved heaps of fuel and went a couple of laps extra laps longer than a couple of people in front and gained some positions that way as well and then we ended up with fourth.

 I’m very happy for a points reason, we didn’t lose any, we actually gained some points back on Sebastian (Bourdais). This is a great result for Team Australia. I’m really happy for the guys they deserved a result like this, they did a fantastic job."


Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd/Finished 5th) – "It was a tough day for the McDonald’s team. I made a mistake under yellow. Actually I made the first mistake after passing Justin after making a good start. I braked on the inside at the hairpin so that I didn’t squeeze him and then had a tough time in the hairpin coming from the opposite side since I ran wide in Turn 2.

Then, during the yellow I got a little greedy I guess. I just tried to save too much fuel and tried seventh gear with low revs at the hairpin and when I released the clutch the car died. It was a tough day for the McDonald’s team."


Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th/Finished 6th) – "I had a pretty good start but the clutch was dragging a lot. But my start was better than (Neel) Jani’s and I got next to him then past him. But going into Turn 1 I played it a little too conservative because everybody was stacking up in front of me. I stuck on the inside because I didn’t want to get in the mix of someone coming down the inside and hitting me but I got held up mid corner and Tracy and those guys just went around the outside.

That was disappointing but then once we got going we had plenty of pace. When we came in for the first pit stop we were thinking the car was awfully good; the best car out there. Then sure enough the car stalled. We don’t know exactly why it happened but it seems it could be the torque position slot. It basically just didn’t have enough RPM’s.

 I don’t believe it was anything that I did because it was the same routine as normal. From there on out it was pretty uneventful because I was just saving fuel but I also had to really had to push hard to catch the guys in front of me. We made up a lot of time to the leaders -- twenty seconds or something but that was about it for the race.

The result is pretty disappointing because I thought the Medi | Zone car was a podium contender. At the end I thought about going for the fast lap but we had a little issue with the steering rack. The steering wheel was crooked so no matter how hard I pushed it didn’t really work."


Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th/Finished 7th) – "It was a long race today and I just tried my best to keep out of trouble. The brakes started going long and I just wanted to keep the car in one piece. I did my best to conserve fuel throughout the race and avoiding crashes.

I’m OK with finishing seventh although I would have liked to have done better. The team did a great job on my pit stops today. We have put together a string of top-ten finishes and I would like to continue it in two weeks at Road America."


Jan Heylen #34 Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th/Finished 9th) - "I think we could have done a little bit better on our strategy today. Of course, this is always easy to say after the race because hindsight is 20/20 but on one or two occasions we could have had a better strategy. Overall, there is no one to blame on for this, it will just be something for the engineers and I to look at for the future.

We ended up passing a lot of cars during the course of the race, we drove really hard and tried as best that we could. We were able to set a good pace and I myself will have to work on saving fuel techniques in the future. We had a yellow flag that came at a really bad time for us which put us a lap down but we were fortunately able to catch back up but ended up at the back of the field.

It is good to have another top-ten finish, everyone worked really hard to achieve this result today. With a little bit of luck we could have had a podium but we’ll just have to work hard for the race at Road America."


Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th/Finished 10th) – "Well we had a great Aussie Vineyards car during the race and got great fuel mileage, but I just had a problem entering the pits. Somebody went into the pits and he wasn’t committed in the pit lane, because I was in the corner when that happened the guys in front of me broke and I couldn’t avoid (Sebastien) Bourdais so I went airborne on his car.

From that point on the car was not the same, so it was really hard to keep the pace at the end and that’s it. We had a good result in our hand, but qualifying really hurt us. We’ll see next race in Road America, I think we will have a good car there and I have good expectations for that race."


Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th/Finished 11th) – "It’s disappointing, we had a solid fourth place finish and we lost it. I made a great start, I passed a bunch of cars on the outside coming into the hairpin.

Then before the last pit stop we lost radio transmission and I couldn’t hear what the team was saying.. I never heard the radio transmission when they were calling me in so I went a lap longer and that was it, we ran out of fuel."


Mario Dominguez #28 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone (Qualified 14th/Finished 12th) – "We had a good race going, we were on the same strategy as Robert and I was doing great with the fuel mileage. Unfortunately I was battling understeer and clipped the wall at the exit of the hairpin and broke the left rear toe-link and that was it for us.

I want to thank PCM and Jos. J. Albanese, Inc for the opportunity and the support this weekend, it was a great experience. Thanks also to all of my fans here in San Jose, their support made me feel very welcome here at this terrific event."


Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st/Finished 13th) – "The #9 CDW car has been fantastic all weekend. It was awesome in the race. When we were coming around for the restart, I hadn’t even gotten to the exit of Turn 6 and I got rammed from behind. I do not know what Dan (Clarke) was thinking, he must not have been paying attention and just came flying into the back of me. The #9 CDW crew did a really good job trying to change the drive shaft after it broke from the contact with Clarke.

That is not something that is easy to change because they have to take every thing else off the rear corner to get to it. So, then I was just sitting there in disbelief and waiting until it was time to go again. After that, when I was able to get back out there, I was just trying to stay out of people’s way and hoping that enough people would drop out of the race so that I could get as high of a finish that I could possible salvage.

What was important for us was to pick up every point that we could. We got a point for the fastest race lap, along with the points for finishing 13th, so it was not a complete waste. We would have finished 17th if the guys did not work has hard as they could to get me back out there in the race, so that shows just how important it was for us today because we earned a few extra points and made the most out of it."


Alex Tagliani #8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th/Finished 15th) – "I am a little bit disappointed because we had a great car. We were doing extremely well on fuel mileage and the #8 RSPORTS car was very competitive, very quick today. We got into the lead when Servia and Jani pitted and we were on our way to a solid podium finish. When I came into the pits for our first stop, the engine died when I got into my box.

We lost fuel pressure and then it took a while to get the engine to start. When we were able to get back on track, I got in the middle of the pack of guys that were out of sequence with warm tires and light fuel loads. I was trying to save fuel and keep doing my race, and that is when I made a little mistake going into Turn 6, but I got back out on the track and continued. After that, one more problem came, which was the down shifting problem.

I got stuck in a gear, and I was unable to up shift or down shift, so I came into the pits and we tried to get it repaired. My #8 RSPORTS crew worked hard, but we were not able to get back out there in enough time. It is very frustrating for us, I think that it was our race today, but we just let it slip between our fingers."


Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th/Finished 16th) – "It was disappointing to have another end to my race. I was hit by Dan Clarke early in the race and the hit cut my tire. Then a couple laps later the tire went as I was going into turn two and it locked up my front left and put me into the wall.

At least we tested at Road America so we have some knowledge of how the car will be there. Right now I just want to come out and do well at Road America in two weeks and get out of exiting the race early."


Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd/Finished 17th) - "I’m speechless after that – I think I’m still in shock. My race was over before it even started, so I guess I’ve got to wait a little longer for my luck to change, but I’m determined to be up on that podium this season. Congratulations to Robert, and to the team, for running a great race."


- Kelly Brown-


30.07.2007 / MaP

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