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DATE News (chronologically)
07/23/07
racing news
Quotes of the Week UPDATE The angry comments Felipe Massa made to Fernando Alonso after the European Grand Prix have been added to the end of Massa's quotes below. 

07/23/07
MIKE COUGHLAN, Chief Designer, McLaren Mercedes F1 team
"It's true," Coughlan reportedly wrote in his sworn statement. "I had all the designs. It was my responsibility. I showed those designs to McLaren and not just to (managing director) Jonathan Neale but to others as well. Everyone reacted the same way and told me to get rid of them."

ROGER CURTIS, President, Michigan International Speedway
"If this is burning a bridge, they burnt it," Curtis said. "They put us in this position. We physically cannot do the IRL event justice two weeks before our NASCAR race. It's like Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl and then being told that two weeks before they need to do a whiz-bang job of promoting the East-West Shrine Game. What do you think the Hoosier Dome folks would say? That's the same thing they did to us. That's their [IRL] standard operating procedure: Put the promoter in a position where they can't be successful and then make the track and the promoter be the bad guys," Curtis said. "I'm done with it."
 
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, IRL driver, Rahal Letterman Racing
"It felt great. The first time out in these cars with no testing and to finish in the top seven feels like a win for me. We had a couple of flukey things happen in practice and the Ethanol team showed amazing tenacity, we kept after it, we didn't do anything cute, we had good pace and ran well. It was a satisfying day for us." (Hunter-Reay finished in 7th place at his first IRL race at The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio.)

FELIPE MASSA, F1 driver, Ferrari
"A second place that leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. I had driven a strong race right up until the last rain shower, then once I had the rain tires on, I immediately felt vibrations which made the car very unbalanced. And that, after I had been really strong when it had been wet in the early stage of the race. In the dry, I managed to gradually make up ground on Alonso because the car was great. I was lucky at the start because I managed to stay on track when the conditions meant it was almost impossible, but then I was not so lucky at the end. But that's racing and I have to accept it. The discussion with Fernando? I was a bit on edge but then he apologized and that was the end of it. The positive side is that I have made up a lot of ground in the Drivers' classification. There is still a long way to go this season and we have to be confident."

(Massa finished in 2nd place at the European Grand Prix. After the race, while the TV cameras were rolling in the post-race weigh-in room, Massa had some strong words for Alonso as he obviously wasn't happy that Alonso bumped his way past him. Several publications printed transcripts of their verbal quarrel, in which Massa told Alonso to "f--k off". He said: "You have got to learn how to f--king driving properly".)

MARKUS WINKELHOCK, F1 driver, Spyker-Ferrari
"First of all I have to say thanks to the team for letting me start my first Grand Prix at my home race. Also thanks for the good decision to go into the pits to change tires before the start. Starting on wet tires was a really fantastic decision and that's the reason why I was leading my first Formula 1 race. To lead a Formula 1 race is something nobody can take away from you - you have it for your whole life. I am really happy about it - I was leading my home Grand Prix! Unfortunately then we had a hydraulic problem and I had to stop. The target for me was to finish, but I know that not getting there was not down to me, so I am really pleased with what I achieved." (Markus Winkelhock, son of the late F1 driver, Manfred Winkelhock, drove in his first F1 race at the European Grand Prix)

BERNIE ECCLESTONE, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
"I told these bloody people: 'Why don't you run a GP2 team and during the year you can sift through half-a-dozen drivers, and maybe you'll find the right guy? To develop a driver from a child is relatively cheap compared to what you have to pay them once they are proven," Ecclestone continued. Referring again to F1 team principals, he said: "They've always looked for other people to find the drivers they need. Lewis could have changed that."

DANICA PATRICK, IRL driver, Andretti Green Racing
(ON THE RACE) "It's been a great weekend for the team and we had a good, solid day. It was a shame to start the race the way we did, especially when there are teammates involved, but we hung in there and stayed focused on what we needed to do. The Motorola crew was awesome. We got some people in the pits at the beginning, which was a really pivotal point because then I was able to clip off people one-by-one more so. Dario did a good job hanging in there up front, Tony had a great drive from the back and it's a shame that Marco didn't get to finish the race."
 
TONY KANAAN, IRL driver, Andretti Green Racing
(ON THE INCIDENT ON LAP ONE) "There was nothing I could do. Danica appeared to be sliding. She had a loose moment in front of me. I hit the brakes to avoid her and I spun. Unfortunately I took Marco out in the process. I felt so bad for Marco because he had nothing to do with it. Actually Marco turned me back straight and then he rolled over. I feel bad about it and unfortunately it happened between us. It's really disappointing for the 7-Eleven team. Eric Cowdin (race engineer) gave me a great race car today. George (Klotz) (team manager) did a great job calling the race and the guys in the pits were awesome. We had a great car today, capable of winning and it's unfortunate."
 
MARCO ANDRETTI, IRL driver, Andretti Green Racing
"We all can't fit through a corner and it's a bummer when people aren't on it on the starts because then things just get crazy. I tried to go around on the outside and that wasn't going to work because there was no room. I saw Danica (Patrick) and Tony (Kanaan) and I thought she was off the track, so I went all the way to the right to avoid contact and unfortunately that didn't work either. It happens but it's a real bummer for the NYSE team because we had a race-winning car today."

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