Quotes of the Week UPDATE #2
"It's like getting kicked in the balls over and over. That sucked." Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR driver, Hendrick Motorsports, leading contender in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, commenting after his 15th place finish in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"The only thing I can say is that we are extremely happy with the achievement we have done today on the Constructors' championship. In eight of the last 10 years we were champions. It is something only Ferrari has done so I am very proud of the team, and all of the guys - here and those at home. For us it is a great achievement. I am very happy also for Felipe. He did an incredible season - no one in the beginning could have said something like that. For Felipe to lose the championship by one point, as it was last time but the other way around, I know it can hurt. I saw in him a great serenity inside because he did the maximum. That was really a great day today. From this victory lost you can be strong inside and that will be the case for him. But I would like to stress one point that I am very proud of. That is the fact that all the people who are part of this team share the same values, the same passion, the same philosophy. They are all honest people and are all proud to work for this great team. I have the honor and the privilege to be their boss." Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal, Ferrari
"Well, that was a really tough race. We never pushed hard, we never did anything silly, but of course the late rain made things extraordinarily tense. Even so, even when Sebastian [Vettel] got past Lewis, we never gave up, and Lewis never gave up, because we knew that Timo was on intermediate tires. But Lewis took his chance brilliantly, and the result was one of the most thrilling finishes in sporting history. I'm so proud of Lewis; I'm so proud of the team; everyone - every single one of them - did an absolutely fantastic job." Ron Dennis, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes, whose driver, Lewis Hamilton, won the 2008 World Drivers Championship by one point at the season finale Brazilian Grand Prix
"It's the most expensive 0.15 of a second in our history. We have checked every single part and even eliminated the infant mortality of new parts." Ron Dennis, Team Principal, McLaren Mercedes commenting on the team's technicians checking and servicing every single component of the MP4-23 race car. At 3000 individual parts, the week-long task would have cost McLaren about $7 million dollars.
"The most dramatic race of my whole life. It's pretty much impossible to put this into words. I'm still speechless. It's been such a long journey, but I've always had the support of my family, the team, our partners and the fans. We did a fantastic job throughout the whole year and, with all the sacrifices we made, I'm so thrilled to be able to win this for everyone. Before it started to rain I was quite comfortable, and I was just focused on having a clean race. Then it started to drizzle and I didn't want to take any risks - but Sebastian (Vettel) got past me and I was told that I had to get back in front of him. I couldn't believe it. Then at the very last corner I managed to get past Timo (Glock) - it was just amazing. This was one of the toughest races of my life, if not the toughest. I was shouting, 'Do I have it? Do I have it?' on the radio. It was only when I took the checkered flag and got to Turn One that the team told me I was World Champion. I was ecstatic." Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 driver, McLaren Mercedes, winner of the 2008 World Drivers Championship at the season finale Brazilian Grand Prix
"We did everything to perfection and we almost managed to pull it off. Then, as I crossed the line, Rob [Smedley - engineer] told me that Hamilton had finished fifth and therefore he took the title by one point. Sport is like this and one has to accept that. Congratulations to Lewis. Whoever gets the most points deserves the title. I am very proud of the whole team and how much support they have given me during this fantastic season. Now we must be happy with what have done, namely bringing home the Constructors' title which I know is so important for the team. It was a season of highs and lows and we have learned a lot, from the good moments and from our mistakes. I can leave Interlagos with my head held high because once again I have won in front of my home crowd and because this is an unforgettable day. Now I want to celebrate with my family, my friends and my team. We deserve it!" Felipe Massa, Formula 1 driver, Ferrari, winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Massa lost the 2008 World Drivers Championship to Lewis Hamilton on the last turn of the last lap by one point.
"I don't like talking about other drivers. I'll say this much. A driver can become a champion when he makes less mistakes than others. Lewis is quick and he has a fantastic car. He should have won the title last year and he should have wrapped up the (2008) championship a few races ago. He didn't." Fisichella insists that Hamilton cannot be compared to F1's recent greats including Michael Schumacher and Aryton Senna. "No. He's nothing like them." Giancarlo Fisichella, Formula 1 driver, Force India
"I have exactly the same thoughts as Ferrari. It's an absurd idea, because with a standard engine you would not be contesting a real constructors' championship. Ferrari is F1's flagship, and whoever has proposed this is not thinking about what is good for Ferrari nor F1. With standard engines, Mirabelle would be right to step out. It [global financial crisis] has nothing to do with it, but rather it is a very deep and very complicated political issue, about which I do not want to say any more. It goes for all manufacturers. It is in effect asking BMW, Toyota or Mercedes to sack their engineers and buy an engine from the supermarket." Alesi said that not only should the proposal be "withdrawn", its authors should publicly "apologize". Jean Alesi, former Formula 1 driver, Ferrari
"I don't like the way formula one has gone. They are not managing it in a fair way. F1 was always the ultimate technological challenge and the ultimate challenge against each other. But they are destroying it. The sport is much softer than it was, technically less difficult." Jody Scheckter, former Formula 1 World Drivers Champion
“I had a good run off the corner and he [David Gilliland] runs me to the wall. I did all I could, but I still hit the wall. So I went into [Turn] 1 and just hit him a little bit to say, ‘Hey, I was there.’ Know what I mean? It was like he said, ‘I’m better than him, so I’m going to wreck him.’ The decent thing is not doing it, but if I had wrecked him, it would have been fine. It’s frustrating when people do things like that. He came out of [Turn] 4 and just wrecked us. It’s very disappointing. It has been great for everybody at Ganassi. We’ve got great cars now. It’s just frustrating to have that happen.” Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR driver, Chip Ganassi Racing, commenting on David Gilliland wrecking him at Texas Motor Speedway. Montoya was running in the top 10 most of the day and was on the lead lap at the time his day ended.
"We have saturated the market with race after race after race. The NFL, they do such a great job. I hate to keep comparing to them and using them as examples, but they do the best job. They give you just enough to keep you wanting more. The season ends before you want it to. You get just enough to get excited and then it's all over and there's such a long wait. The model works. We're driven by the ability to go make another dollar and make more money and there's no way we would ever trim it down. When we were a 28-race schedule, the sport was giving you just enough to get really get excited about the next season. When we were racing at 12 o'clock, people were racing home from church to get to see the start of the race. We've just made it too easy and too much. We sort of lost a lot of the substance that we really had before and the character of the sport I think has waned a little bit, but it's part of the times, too. No way we would ever trim the schedule back. There's no way we would change what we really already have here." Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR driver, Hendrick Motorsports