Quotes of the Week
JEAN TODT, Ferrari CEO
"I am bitter about it: what happened yesterday is serious. On the one hand a verdict of guilt was handed down and on the other, no sanctions were imposed. I cannot understand it," reaffirmed Todt. "As confirmed in that decision yesterday, the violation was already there in the simple possession of the information, which in itself constitutes an enormous advantage in a sport like Formula 1. In Ferrari's opinion, it is like playing a hand of poker with a rival who already knows what cards you are holding."
FERRARI, Formula One team
"Today’s decision legitimizes dishonest behavior in Formula 1 and sets a very serious precedent,” they said in a statement. “In fact, the decision of the World Council signifies that possession, knowledge at the very highest level and use of highly confidential information acquired in an illicit manner and the acquiring of confidential information over the course of several months, represent violations that do not carry any punishment. The fact that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was in possession of such information was discovered totally by accident and, but for this, the team would continue to have it. This is all the more serious as it has occurred in a sport like Formula 1 in which small details make all the difference. Ferrari feels this is highly prejudicial to the credibility of the sport. It will continue with the legal action already under way within the Italian criminal justice system and in the civil court in England."
MIKA SALO, former Ferrari driver
"When I was driving for Ferrari we always spied on McLaren, listening to their radio traffic. After every practice session I had in front of me, on paper, all the discussions Mika Hakkinen had had with his engineer," said former Ferrari driver Mika Salo.
GRAHAM RAHAL, Champ Car driver, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing
"That's the whole reason to be here - to get there [Formula One]," said Rahal, 18, the son of Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal. "To be honest, this isn't the series if you just want to make money. But I want to get to F1, and I'm here because they respect this series the most of the ones in America."
TONY STEWART, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing
“This is for every one of those fans in the stands who pull for me and take the bullshit every week for it." (Stewart's excited comments after winning his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard)
MIKE HELTON, NASCAR President
"We hear it and it doesn't sit well," Helton said. "No one works as hard as we do to protect our integrity and credibility. When I hear the conspiracy theories on how we can fix (races) and arrange things a certain way, I want to tell them two things: One, we're not that smart; and two, do you realize how many people you'd have to get involved to manipulate the outcome of a race?"
GERHARD BERGER, former Formula One driver, co-owner Scuderia Toro Rosso team
"Look at the drivers that Dr. Marko recommended to us as future champions! And look at who he thought were unsuitable -- Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg. That says everything, I think. I have never experienced a pair of drivers such as ours."
SCOTT SPEED, Formula One driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso
“It’s clear that from my bosses, that me and Tonio (Liuzzi) both have very little support,” Speed said. “It’s been that way for the last two years, and it’s a lot more now. At some point I said I don’t care, if I’m not in F1 next year, if I’m with a different team, it’s OK for me. It’s actually made me lot more relaxed and a lot more calm, and I think I’m producing better results now actually. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the press and know that Franz and Gerhard (Berger) are pushing like hell to get rid of me and Tonio.”
“The fact of the matter is when we left the pit wall, Franz was furious that I’d crashed in Turn One, regardless of the fact that nearly every single driver behind Button did the exact same thing, including Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He was furious that I crashed. When I asked him about the pit stop he said it doesn’t matter because you crashed, and he didn’t want to hear any criticisms about what the team did. He was trying to blame me about the pit stop. After that I just turned away and walked towards the garage, and I guess he must have caught up behind me. When he reached me, he hit me in the middle of the back with a closed fist. Everyone in the team saw it. As I was leaving the garage, he then followed me behind the partition, where none of the mechanics could see. He grabbed me from the front of my shirt, jerked me around, ripping my firesuit a little bit, and pushed me against the wall. After that, my only response was to back up in the middle of the garage and ask him if he wanted to hit me in front of everyone else. Immediately after that situation, as you can imagine, I was furious. I walked to the pit wall and wanted to inform everyone that this happened. So I looked at my team manager, the technical director, and Gerhard Berger, and told them that if my team chief ever touches me again, I’m going to knock him out. They said, ‘OK, let’s try to calm this whole situation down.’ I said fine, and I went back in my room [in the motorhome] and I stayed there until the end of the race. At which point Gerhard and Franz both came back. Franz was calmed down and spent 15 minutes apologizing for his behavior.”
"As far as my future in F1 is concerned, you couldn’t pay me enough money to race for those two people again. If it was with a different team, that would be great, but I would also like to do something else with Red Bull, even if it was outside F1. Like I said, my relationship with Red Bull has been fantastic.”
ORIOL SERVIA, Champ Car driver
"Well, if the rules are that you cannot block, at least it's an easier way for the officials to police, you know. It's black and white. You have to stay on the left side. It gives better racing. Like today we saw many overtaking. I can assure you that if the rules would be like in Europe, you would not have seen one because you only have one shot of overtaking and you just block the guy behind, either both crash or there's no overtaking" (Referring to Champ Car's no-blocking rule and the white line the driver in front must not cross under braking for turn 1, which would constitute blocking.).
I like these rules. With the white line, it's a way for Tony to police us better. Plus it was my idea, so...