Quotes of the week
MAX MOSLEY, President FIA
"That (Ferrari data) was in the hands of the chief designer at precisely the moment he was designing the 2008 McLaren," said Mosley. "The difficulty we have is that you're not going to find on the McLaren a part that was designed by Ferrari. What you may find are ideas and at this level of technology at this level of motorsport, if the idea is given to the chief designer he will make a component utilizing that idea which bears no relation at all to the component perhaps being used by the other car. So we will be looking for the ideas. The investigation will be thorough, it will use outside experts and we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that either of the McLarens has no element of Ferrari intellectual property in it or if it does we will then have to consider taking some sort of action. That would not necessarily be preventing them from running. It would be more likely that they would be given a negative point allocation. Finding something will not be easy. On the other hand, there are sources we are going to deploy who will give us as good a chance as its possible to have to find it." (Mosley has warned McLaren that they could start next year's campaign on a negative points score if any Ferrari ideas are found in the design of their 2008 car. Aside from the exclusion and the hefty fine handed to McLaren, the FIA also ruled that McLaren's 2008 challenger would face strict scrutineering prior to the start of the new season. The scrutineering, which will be done by "outside experts," is to ensure that the Woking team doesn't include any of Ferrari's intellectual property in the design of their new car.)
Lewis Hamilton burst onto the scene this year and stirred widespread praise and adulation, but Max Mosley thinks "there is a tendency to exaggerate" the importance of the new star. "There is always somebody new," he said. "If it wasn't him it would be either Rosberg or Kubica or one of the other new stars, a Vettel, would suddenly be the big one. So I think there is a tendency to exaggerate the importance of Lewis Hamilton." Mosley also questioned the perceived innocence of the McLaren newcomer by wondering if he, like the team's other drivers, also knew about the 780-page Ferrari dossier that sparked the spy saga. "He's not a known quantity to me. It would be surprising if he didn't know something of what was going on, but I've got absolutely no evidence that he had," Mosley added.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, British newspaper
"Were he to have walked around the streets of London prodding infants with sticks yesterday, Mosley could not have caused greater offence to the British public." (Regarding the comments Mosley made about rookie sensation, Lewis Hamilton. See preceding quote from Max Mosley.)
JEAN TODT, Chief Executive Officer, Ferrari
"I wouldn't have placed a bet to be here today with the success of the driver's championship with Kimi Raikkonen in his first season as a driver for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. This means that this is a demonstration that our mentality, never to never give up and to believe for as long as you can believe. The last race was incredible: We knew that we had to finish 1st and 2nd and Kimi had to finish before Felipe in order to keep Alonso back and Hamilton had to be in the best hypothesis 6th. And this is what happened. All these factors had to come together and this is what happened in the end; our capacity to reach an extraordinary double-win." Todt also spoke about the spy affair saying, "I wouldn't have expected this betrayal from one of ours. Who for personal reasons wanted to help another team and I didn't expect them (McLaren) to accept his help. But that is what happened. We cried and they cried worse. The final result of the driver's championship is not really a final one, because there is an appeal, which will be judged on the 15th November in Paris. But what's important for us that is the result on the track," Todt said. "The truth lies in the middle between the two," Todt said, when asked if it was one person (Ron Dennis) or a whole team (McLaren), having committed the sin. "It's a group of people who have accepted to receive information from someone. But you have the same level of info as we had, too. Ferrari never thought about any other measures than on the race track. Just like Enzo Ferrari did 20 years ago, when he built a car for the IndyCar racing series," Todt said. "Those were different times. Still in the 90s in Formula One Ferrari was the only team building chassis and engine, all the other teams built chassis and used the same engine, the Cosworth, and there was no legal agreement between the teams in the championship either. We do have many other programs for your clients. Yesterday we celebrated with them the win in the FIA GT championships with the 430 and the victory in the ALMS." Todt said: "This year was especially difficult. But the result is the result of the team working together. It's teamwork and we had a good team. And in the end, even with problems concerning the reliability, we made it. The best driver without a good car can't do anything. Its teamwork and we had a good team."
FERNANDO ALONSO, 2-time F1 World Drivers Champion, 2007 McLaren Mercedes driver
"Since I was a boy I had always wanted to drive for McLaren, but sometimes in life things do not work out. I continue to believe that McLaren is a great team. Yes, we have had our ups and downs during the season, which has made it extra-challenging for all of us, and it is not a secret that I never really felt at home. I know there have been suggestions of favoritism within the team and people say a lot of things in the heat of battle, but in the end I was always provided with an equal opportunity to win. Today's decision allows all of us to focus on 2008, and I wish the team, Vodafone, Banco Santander, Mutua Madrileña and all the other team Partners who I have worked closely with during the year, the best for the future."
RON DENNIS, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes F1 team
"Everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, especially McLaren's Spanish Partners Banco Santander and Mutua Madrileña and the team's title partner Vodafone, want to wish Fernando all the best for the future. He is a great driver but for some reason the combination of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Fernando has not really worked out, and in the end we reached a stage where none of us could find a way to move forward. We all believe that our joint decision to part company is for the best, and we will now continue to focus on our 2008 World Championship challenge."
JAIME LISSAVETZKY, Spain Sports Minister
"In sport you have to work together or else you almost always end up losing. From the outside it didn't look like there was much team work going on at McLaren. They should have applied the basic values of sport. McLaren's driver Hamilton was a warm favorite to win the title going into the final race of the season at Sao Paolo, but he and Spanish teammate Fernando Alonso were edged out by a point by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. As the saying goes vengeance is a dish that is served cold and as Raikkonen as the 'iceman' ended up getting his revenge."
ALEX ZANARDI, finished 4th in the handcycle category of the New York City Marathon
In a phone call to Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, Alex Zanardi told about his handcycle race in the New York City Marathon. "Good afternoon. Yes, I am a little tired, but I'm so happy for what happened today. I was running, well running is probably not the correct word, cycling in the New York City Marathon with a hand bike, a piece of equipment that I didn't know was made up until three weeks ago because basically I decided to do the marathon just four weeks ago. I knew it was possible to do it this way and basically I got my grip on it or the first time was October 11.
"Let me tell you how it happened. Basically I was on the phone with one of the managers of the company that I've represented for so many years. They have a big Barilla party, 16,000 people on a Saturday night. Well he just suggested that they wanted to get me involved with that, and he asked if I had any suggestions. I said as long as you don't make me pay the check for 16,000 people then I think that's just fine! But then I was still joking when I said since I was in New York, I might as well do the New York City Marathon. But he said, 'No Alex, I've done it a few times and without training it's absolutely impossible. It cannot be done.' Well at that point something switched in my head and I said let's look at New York and find out. And here I am and I'm so happy because the results I got went way above any optimistic expectation. I really didn't know much about this fantastic way of training. But I knew more or less with living my life with a pair of prosthetic legs was very hard and very demanding for my arms and for my shoulders. Therefore, let me say that I was pretty cut [out] for this kind of workout, but never would I have thought I would have finished fourth [out of 53] at my first ever participation."
Dave Despain asked Alex if he's now a handcycle racer or if he's still a race car driver. Alex replied, "The best case scenario would be both. I will stick with driving, don't worry. I will talk with your program a little more about motor racing hopefully in the future. Now for sure I've discovered a really fantastic way for training which I would suggest honestly not just for handicapped people, but also for normal people if they want to have a body builder for the upper body, and they don't want to spend hours in the gym. This is a fantastic way to train really, and I have really enjoyed that. They have marathons especially in my country every weekend around the country. So, yes, definitely I will compete in training, and I will do some more events in the future. And definitely I am planning to come back to New York next year for hopefully even a better result."
BRAD DAUGHERTY, ESPN Analyst and former winning NASCAR team owner
“What we’ve seen all year long is that whenever they make a mistake or something goes wrong, they always bounce back. My theory as they go into these last few races is that the guy who flinches first, who makes the biggest mistake, will lose this championship. I don’t necessarily think they’re going to outrun one another, I think whoever is mistake-free will win the trophy.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NASCAR driver, Team Red Bull; former Champ Car driver
"Champ Car has a lot of great fans. In fact, Champ Car owes their fans everything. They should have left. That's how bad it's been in terms of coverage and marketing, but the fans stuck there so all credit to their commitment and love for the series. Champ Cars were awesome cars to drive, the most fun cars I've ever driven and we took them to some real badass venues – Long Beach, Surfers Paradise, Toronto. They were awesome races to go to, and there is still a good potential package there – the racing and the venues are great. But the marketing and the sponsorship isn't there, and for that you need one series. So be it Champ Car dying and IRL taking over, or the other way round – it needs to be one series. To have all the best open-wheel drivers on this continent racing against each other, you'd hopefully get some sponsors back and get a decent TV package. In the long term, it would work for the standard of the series too: you'd get drivers there on merit rather than because of how much money they bring. I think it's pretty simple what the draw to NASCAR is – it's opportunity. Between the Cup, Busch and Trucks, you can still make a living in racing. You can go out, show your talent, get noticed and move your career forward. Unfortunately right now you don't have that in open-wheel racing in North America. It comes down to who has money, who can most help bring sponsorship in. People like Sam Hornish and Dario Franchitti have done everything they can do in IRL, and there's more opportunity here, and they can extend their careers."
PATRICK CARPENTIER, NASCAR driver, 5 career CART wins
"For me to get into it [NASCAR], I'm really happy. I've always loved ovals. I've always wanted to do that. I didn't want to do the IRL at the end because I thought it was a little too risky. So to come back here and do the Nextel series is amazing."