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DATE News (chronologically)
06/10/07
racing news
Quotes of the week  
Lewis Hamilton, rookie Formula One driver, McLaren-Mercedes
"I'm on another planet after this - I simply can't find the words to describe what it feels like to win my first Formula 1 race. The team has done a fantastic job and I'm so happy to be part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes family. I made an OK start off the line - nothing spectacular but managed to get a good exit out of the first corner and whilst mayhem was happening around me I was able to keep my cool and focus. Obviously I'm pleased that my good friend Robert is OK after his accident. It seemed like every time I opened up a bit of a gap the Safety Car came out and I had to start all over again. It was only a few laps from the end I realized that victory was within my grasp and I started noticing things like the fans cheering and when I crossed the finishing line it was amazing. I now have to stay focused and keep up the good work. It's been an incredible start to my Formula 1 career so far but I know there is a tough season ahead of us. Finally thanks to the entire team at McLaren and Mercedes-Benz for all the hard work they have put into the car - it's an absolute pleasure to drive and be part of such a winning combination." (Commenting after winning his first Formula One race from pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix)
 
Mario Andretti, legendary Formula One World Champion, 4-times Indy Car Champion, IROC Champion
"I think they [Renault] underestimated how important the talent of the driver is, and when they lost a real talent – Alonso – they weren't able to replace him," Mario said. "Kovalainen is probably a good rookie, but he hasn't shown a hell of a lot yet, and Fisichella is … well, Fisichella! No matter what you put him in, he will not give you consistent performance."  This year one tire company – Bridgestone – has a monopoly in F1, and the suggestion is that Renault, with Michelin for many years, have found it more difficult than most to adjust to the new rubber.  "Well, I'll only buy that so much, to be honest with you," Andretti said. "I think it's a great excuse – I remember that's what Ferrari used to say all the time! I think if you put Alonso back in that car, he'd have it up to speed in no time. However, he's gone now, and if you ask me, the guy they need is Sebastien Bourdais. To me, he's a hell of a race driver. He ought to be in F1, and I think he would have been a perfect fit with Renault.  Flavio Briatore's a guy who's proud of not paying superstar money to a driver, but I'm sure if they'd been paying Alonso what he deserved, he might well have stayed there. Maybe they thought they had such a good car that they could get by without a superstar driver, I don't know."

Mario Andretti, former driver for Newman/Haas Racing
"My favorite win for Newman/Haas Racing was probably my first win for them. I joined them when they were a start-up team and we had a miserable time with our first car. It was almost hopeless; that car was not supposed to win. And then it did at Elkhart Lake in 1983. The momentum changed immediately for us and we were on a mission forever. It was so much fun. I think Newman/Haas Racing has achieved so much success because Carl and Paul have always known the important ingredients of a team. They never spared any expense to arm themselves with the best people they could find to operate the team. That's their secret and it should be an example for anyone to follow." (Commenting on Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team's 100th win at the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland.  Mario drove for NHR from 1983-1994 (12 seasons, 185 starts) 

Jacques Villeneuve, former Formula One World Champion
1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve says Lewis Hamilton's start-line tactics are beginning to remind him of Michael Schumacher.  And "Lewis is not getting penalized" either, Villeneuve marveled.  He said McLaren's Hamilton has therefore been "lucky" to avoid the stewards' wrath, and suggested that his popularity might be one explanation for why he is getting away with it.  "He makes progressive moves that would have got some of the other drivers black-flagged," the former Williams and BAR driver insisted, adding that Hamilton must also prove himself by beating Fernando Alonso in a straight fight.  "And we still haven't seen how he reacts under pressure -- that will be interesting to watch."
 
James Porteous, Journalist, British newspaper The Herald 
British newspaper The Herald's James Porteous said this week that motor sport is "dangerous" because of its contribution to global warming.  "A couple of degrees more will trigger catastrophe," he wrote, also dismissing the FIA's new push for more environmentally-friendly rules in the future as "general waffle" and "greenwash".  Porteous wrote: "The faster the car, the faster it destroys the Earth -- simple. Winning races and saving the planet are not compatible."  (The FIA's communications manager Mark Culter reacted by saying he was "appalled and dismayed at the naivety" of the writer.  "Did he call any F1 teams or speak to anyone from the FIA before arriving at his uneducated conclusions?" he said rhetorically.  "F1 has always been at the cutting edge of technology and will continue to be with energy-efficient systems such as regenerative braking and biofuels.  In this way, F1 will act as a catalyst to speed up the development and use of eco-technology on our roads.")

Michael Andretti, Andretti Green Racing IRL team co-owner, former driver for Newman/Haas Racing
"I believe the reason Newman/Haas Racing has been successful over the years is because Carl has a knack for putting the right people in the right positions. My favorite win was at Laguna Seca in 1991 because I not only won the race but also the championship and I shared the podium with my father. My time at Newman/Haas Racing was some of the best years of my career and I can look back and say that Carl and Paul were not just employers, but also friends."  (Commenting on Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team's 100th win at the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland. Michael Andretti drove for NHR from 1989-1992, 1995-2000 (10 seasons, 173 starts)
 

Paul Tracy, Champ Car driver, Forsythe Championship Racing
"Hey [Robin] Miller, I watched that Milwaukee deal and I just wanted to tell you that Danica Patrick's got more balls than 90 percent of the guys I've raced with. She didn't leave her helmet on when she got in (Dan) Wheldon's face, she acted like a man and that's more than I can say for a couple guys I know."  

 Dan Wheldon, IRL driver, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
"She [Danica Patrick] put me in an awkward situation," Wheldon said.  "I thought she was taking advantage of her gender.  I lost a little bit of respect for her."  After the race, Wheldon said Patrick acted "like a spoiled brat" and that she "kept grabbing on me like a dog that wanted to bite my ankles."
 
Tony Stewart, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing
 “You look at what he’s [Bill France Jr.] been able to do in the time he’s been with NASCAR … there are not enough words to describe what he’s meant to this sport and what he’s done for us. I’ll guarantee you that it’s the biggest loss in racing since Dale Earnhardt … probably bigger.”

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