Quotes of the week
MARK WEBBER, Formula One driver, Red Bull
"It's kids isn't it?" Webber said, amid talk that Vettel's separate earlier collision with Fernando Alonso may have contributed to the Spaniard's almost certainly title-ending spin and high speed crash. Webber, adding that he noticed Vettel being "a bit wild" in his mirrors, continued: "They have not got enough experience -- they do a good job and then they f-ck it all up. He did a very good job of hitting me very hard."
ANTHONY HAMILTON, father of Lewis Hamilton, F1 World Driver's Championship points leader, McLaren Mercedes
"You know me -- I get on with everybody," Anthony said. "You need to ask Fernando's dad [Jose Luis Alonso] that question -- how does he get along with me? He won't shake my hand for some reason. I've offered my hand to him on many occasions and he always turns me down. At least three times. No explanation, no discussion. Even when his lad wins. If he's got an issue with me, I've got no idea what it is, other than maybe (the fact that) my son's leading the world championship." Asked jokingly about the 'happy family' at the Woking team this year, Anthony laughed: "You've been reading some kind of funny book! Obviously that would be a dream -- that's the way it's supposed to me, but it's not quite how it is. But we're open to it."
CHRIS DYER, race engineer for Kimi Raikkonen, F1 driver, Ferrari
The Australian said FIA race control "f-cked our race" before he was stopped by a Ferrari PR representative. (An FIA email informing Ferrari of a late tire-rule change arrived seven minutes too late, a team spokesman said on Sunday. After Kimi Raikkonen's comments following the race, Luca Colajanni confirmed that the Maranello based team was not aware until 1.37pm - seven minutes after the race began behind the safety car - that it had not been allowed to fit intermediate tires.)
HEIKKI KOVALAINEN, F1 driver, Renault
"It has been a roller-coaster year for me, and it was like that again this weekend. We took a risk with the setup yesterday, hoping for better conditions and when we got up this morning and saw the rain falling, we didn't expect to have a fantastic afternoon. But it just goes to show that no matter how bad you think the situation is, you never give up. The strategy worked perfectly today, and the team deserves at least one podium today! Everybody has asked me about the last few laps with Kimi, but my mirrors had steamed up completely and I couldn't see him. I was watching the pit-board though, and every lap the gap was coming down, so I knew he would try something. He got past me into turn 6 on the final lap, but I wanted P2 so much that I went back round the outside on the way down to turn 10. The car was aquaplaning all over the place, but I kept my foot in and got back ahead, hoping I wouldn't lose the car. It is a fantastic feeling to score my first podium. Now, we need to try and maintain the momentum in Shanghai." (Kovalainen finished 2nd in the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji. It was the first career podium for Kovalainen and the first time ever that two Finns (he and Raikkonen) have finished on the podium.)
BERNIE ECCLESTONE, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association
"I think he [Alonso] tried to take him [Hamilton] off [in the Belgian Grand Prix]. It looked like it, didn't it? In the old days they were a bit naughty but now it's much safer. Like the $100m fine, it would bring a lot of publicity and it'd be very dramatic. That would be great. Imagine if it happened on the last lap of the last race. The guy who was leading at the time, points-wise, would be the winner. So it would be a controversial end." (Ecclestone predicted that Alonso's run-in with teammate Lewis Hamilton might be destined for a Senna-Prost-esque collision over the last three races.)
LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO, Ferrari President
"Whoever wins the drivers' title will do so either with a little bit of Ferrari or with a proper Ferrari," said Montezemolo cynically.
FLAVIO BRIATORE, Managing Director, Renault F1 team
"Far too much time and energy is wasted on these cars that are only toys for engineers," said Briatore "Money is spent meaninglessly. The high-speed transmissions, for example, are completely uninteresting to the fans, and now everyone has one. In the meantime, 50 million Euros has been wasted. For three months we have discussed whether customer cars should be permitted or not -- with no result."
SIR JACKIE STEWART, 3-times F1 World Driver's Champion
Stewart branded the spygate case a "witch-hunt" that unfairly pursued McLaren and Ron Dennis. "I thought that it was handled very poorly," Stewart said, "and I think (the fine) was (handed down) because it would get an immense amount of attention globally. It seems some of the most powerful people (in F1) are more aligned to Ferrari. There are more Ferrari representatives on the World Council than anybody else."
MAX MOSLEY, President FIA
"There's one particular ex-driver [Sir Jackie Stewart] who because he never stops talking, never has the chance to listen -- so he doesn't know what's going on. It's annoying that some of the sponsors listen to him because he's won a few championships. But nobody else in Formula One does -- not the teams, not the drivers. He's a figure of fun among drivers," Mosley added. "He goes round dressed up as a 1930s music hall man. He's a certified halfwit."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, soon to be 4-times Champ Car World Series Champion; 2008 F1 driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso
"I get that question all time: Are you crazy? You know, you're going from the best to..., some people even go to say that it is one of the worst teams in Formula One. And I say, yes for sure, and it's also something I've wanted to do for a long time. And I could only wish that I landed at McLaren, just like Alonso, but it ain't going to happen. So at some point you just have to take over your challenges and for me it just felt like it was time to try and go after something else. And no disrespect to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and the McDonald's organization. I've had the best time of my career. At some point when people start to say, 'So what happened today? You only finished second.' At some point it feels like maybe it's time to do something else and that was surely the case for me. I just got that opportunity which I was really very much looking after and it just happened. Yes, for sure it's not the best car and we all know that, but in the meantime everybody wants to make it better. I see it, it's obviously not the case, as a four car organization who's putting a lot of effort, money and energy into it and they want to get better. So I want to be part of that and we'll start counting points when it's time." (In response to a caller to the Wind Tunnel show who asked Bourdais how he felt about going from the best team in Champ Car, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, to at best a midpack team in F1 like Scuderia Toro Rosso)
KYLE BUSCH, NASCAR driver, Hendrick Motorsports
"I just stayed in my lane to try and let him [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] go on the outside because I knew he was going to have a run in the corner, and I got run into the back of and spun out down the straightaway for absolutely no reason," Busch said. "It was a stupid move on his part. Obviously, I'm sure these guys he's going to be working with next year don't really appreciate this, because they've got a championship they can win this year and he doesn't. I don't know what he was thinking, really, or what the problem was. It's very, very unfortunate. I left a lane open for him on the outside, because I knew he was going to have a good run coming off the corner," Busch said. "He ran me over for no reason whatsoever. Just an unfortunate circumstance, and I am sure these guys aren't very appreciative of the fact that the guy who is going to be racing for them next year just dumped their car that has a great shot at winning the championship where he doesn't. It's unfortunate for them and myself and everyone on this team."
JOHN FORCE, 14 times NHRA Funny Car Champion
“The work we've already done through The Eric Medlen Project saved my head,” Force said. “I'm all broken up in my arms and legs, but my head's fine, my back and neck are fine. That was what really excited John Medlen (who heads up the John Force Racing, Inc., safety initiative begun after his son's death). There's got to be a reason for the loss of Eric. It makes no sense. I think the loss of Eric was to save others lives. If nothing else, out of Eric's death something [good] will come out of this. I've got a bunch of workers on these cars at John Force Racing and Eric Medlen's father who heads this campaign. We're going to save lives. And then all those trophies will have meaning." (After the loss of NHRA driver Eric Medlen from a testing accident, John Force has committed to making safety his number one priority. He has built a 50,000 square foot shop in Indianapolis called The Eric Medlen Project to build safer race cars.)