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DATE News (chronologically)
08/06/07
racing news
Quotes of the week  UPDATE
TONY KANAAN, IRL IndyCar driver
"We did not have the fast car.  I did not enjoy a single bit of it. People are just chopping people off and cars flying, that's not a way to race. I definitely think a lot of people disrespected each other out there, and it's not anybody's fault but ours. I saw at least 25 potential cars that could have flipped at some point in this race. I really don't think it's a way to race.  For us, it was just like death row waiting for somebody to kill you. I knew it was going to happen. I knew it. I avoided two times sending (Tomas) Scheckter to the grandstands. Somebody had to give up, and I knew somebody in the front was going to get stubborn enough and say I'm not going to give up and I'm not going to give up and I'm not going to give up, and that's what happened here.  Thank God nobody got hurt." (Talking about suicidal racing at over 200 mph in open wheel Indy Cars where one touch of tire to tire results in what we saw Sunday at Michigan. The poor drivers who sign up to put themselves in this situation (i.e. possible death at anytime) must like being sacrificial lambs for the 'Vision.' )

08/06/07
DARIO FRANCHITTI , IRL IndyCar driver
"We (Dario and Dixon) touched and the next thing I knew I was upside down going backward. I thought, 'This isn't good.' I'm glad everyone is OK. I said to Scott (Dixon), 'We have to stop meeting like that.' We've been running side-by-side in so many races recently. When I stopped and realized I was in one piece, I couldn't believe it. I'm a lucky guy."

BOBBY UNSER, former IndyCar driver
"I knew this was going to happen," Unser said of the final Michigan race. "NASCAR owns the track, and they don't spend any money promoting Indy cars. "Look at what they did with Phoenix, which used to be a big deal for (Indy cars). NASCAR got it and that was the end of us. Look at California. As soon as NASCAR bought it, that was the end of us. Now, it's Michigan." (He blames International Speedway Corp., the parent company of all three tracks -- plus nine others, along with NASCAR for the demise of open wheel racing at these and other tracks)

LEWIS HAMILTON, McLaren F1 driver
Details of the heated radio argument Hamilton had with team boss Ron Dennis after the Alonso blocking incident.

Hamilton: "Don't ever f---ing do that to me again."

Dennis: "Don't f---ing talk to me like that."

Hamilton: "You can go and f---ing swivel."

NIKI LAUDA, former F1 driver
On Saturday he slammed Fernando Alonso's apparently "unsporting" tactics that earned him pole position for the Hungarian grand prix.

"That was unsporting and wrong. I hope that Hamilton can strike back at him Sunday. Everything is meticulously planned by the team -- absolutely it was (on purpose). He should have tried harder to beat his teammate on the track, not with a policy such as this."

RON DENNIS, McLaren F1 team boss
"McLaren took steps to confirm whether (Stepney's) allegations were true, and we concluded that they were," Dennis wrote, accusing Ferrari of then winning the Australian grand prix with the illegal floor still attached. "Were it not for Mr. Stepney drawing this illegal device to the attention of McLaren, and McLaren drawing it to the attention of the FIA, there is every reason to suppose that Ferrari would have continued to race with an illegal car."

"He acted properly and in the interests of the sport in blowing the whistle about this," Dennis said of Stepney. "No team can expect their employees to keep quiet if they suspect - correctly in this case - that their employers are breaching the rules of the sport."

"If team members think that their identity will be revealed they will not whistle-blow. McLaren's reputation has been unfairly sullied by incorrect press reports from Italy and grossly misleading statements from Ferrari. We believe that the Ferrari press releases, the leaks to the Italian press and recent events have been damaging to formula one as well as McLaren."

FLAVIO BRIATORE, Renault F1 team boss
"Last winter, I was saying how lucky McLaren are to be immediately that quick on Bridgestone tires. I'm a lucky guy, so it's OK for other people to be as well. We, on the other hand, we're in full crisis mode: Michelin's retirement turned out to be a disaster for Renault. It's evident that they had the data on the weight distribution by Ferrari, who used Bridgestone tires for almost ten years. That page in the famous stolen dossier would have been enough to save months of work and to find the solution immediately. The 2007 championship is corrupted, and not just for us and Ferrari, but for everyone else. Here is a team that acquired an advantage illegally. I'm not a judge. Just read the regulations: for intellectual property theft the punishment is exclusion."

"If they had that information then they should be punished," he said. "I am not a judge, but we have ethical and sporting rules, and these must be adhered to." "Really it is simple," he said. "The rules need to be respected, and those who do not respect them must be punished. I want to know exactly what is going on," he said. "I believe this story is damaging everybody a little bit, including me ... stuff like this is not good for the sponsors or anybody."

MARK WEBBER, F1 driver
"From what I've read and what I've been told," he said, "it wasn't just technical design details in the dossier that Mike Coughlan had, it was details about how the Ferrari team was being run operationally. If that's true, and if the dossier was seen by somebody else, then it's a massive deal for Ferrari. It isn't how we want people to see F1."

NIGEL STEPNEY, former Ferrari F1 engineer
"Ferrari spy on me. Someone gave away the (780 pages of) designs but it wasn't me. Someone set me up and that person is still working for Ferrari. But I don't want to say any more because I only know part of the story. Ferrari knows everything."

Stepney also said the 'white powder' and accusations of sabotage are part of the set up. "They put the powder in my pants pocket while I was taking a shower," he insists. "I do not like Ron Dennis. I met him (in the past) only once and he suggested that I work for him."

PATRICK CARPENTIER, former open wheel and now NASCAR driver
"I loved the ovals - I always have - but I don't want to do the ovals in the (IndyCar Series) anymore for safety reasons," he said. "I want to do it with NASCAR."

FRANZ TOST, Toro Rosso team boss
"The progress of Scott Speed's performance wasn't done in the way we expected. It has nothing to do with what happened at the Nurburgring. It was done before (that) because we were simply not happy with his performance."

ROGER PENSKE, Indy Car team owner
"When I look at Indy cars, I believe over the next five years we will see one open-wheel series," said Penske. "It appears that the Champ Car group is primarily looking outside the U.S. for its support, while the IndyCar Series remains anchored by the Indianapolis 500. It will be critical to continue to build a relationship with core tracks, and I think the IndyCar Series is doing that.

"We’ll have one series, with a mix of perhaps 60/40 with ovals and road courses. I think it’s important that ovals remain the majority. Because we are using the same cars on both ovals and road courses — and because we’re using common chassis, engines, and so forth — our costs have been brought to sustainable levels. I also see Indy-car racing partnering with sports cars on race weekends to build and cross-pollinate both fan bases."

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