Quotes of the Week
"I have no idea how he [Lewis Hamilton] has got so many punishments. Slowly you start to ask yourself why it always happens to him. Is it his skin color?" Adrian Sutil, Formula 1 driver, Force India, has hinted that Hamilton's seemingly perpetual run-in with Formula 1's governing body could be a case of racism.
"I was distinctly uncomfortable about Lewis' demeanor on Sunday (in Australia). It was completely clear he was telling lies. On Thursday (in Malaysia) I would say he was just doing what he was told to do. The fact he came and apologized to me in Sepang sums it up pretty much. He came to me and wanted to talk to me privately, and just said he wanted to apologize for everything he'd done, and he wouldn't do it again, that sort of thing. Lewis did his best to fudge it, I would say, without responding completely and directly. I reminded him that I had asked him twice in Melbourne, 'Did you consciously let him (Trulli) past?' And he'd said no, Trulli had just passed him. I then said when the team asked you to let him past, you said 'I've already let him past'. I said to him if you had been surprised by that, surely you would have said, 'He's passed me!' instead of 'I've let him past'. Lewis didn't really have an answer for that. They were trying very hard to get off the important bit of the subject, and trying to divert the stewards' attention elsewhere. That's the impression I got anyway." Charlie Whiting, FIA Race Director
"If you look at the Brawn car from underneath, you can see the suspension. It's a rule set at least 14-15 years ago, and that for many years everyone interpreted in the same way. Ross Brawn and I remain good friends, but one thing is personal relationships, another thing is the professional aspect - and I work for Ferrari." Rory Byrne, Ferrari design legend and aerodynamicist, whose comments refer to article 3.12.5 of the sport's technical regulations, explaining that "Fully enclosed holes are permitted in the surfaces lying on the reference and step planes, provided no part of the car is visible through them when viewed from directly below." Byrne struggles to believe that the three teams' [Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota] comments explaining that small holes in the underside are only to assist airflow.
"I said to them 'why don't you reorganize yourselves like a North American sports league?' When the (Montreal) Canadiens play the Boston Bruins, they don't ask the International Hockey Federation to referee the match. In the world of North American pro sports, each league has a board of governors, a commissioner and vice presidents who manage the business. The owners of the sport manage themselves. The National Hockey League doesn't have to ask anyone if it wants to increase the size of the net by six inches!" Normand Legault, former Canadian grand prix promoter, believes Formula One teams should abandon the FIA
"The teams could leave tomorrow morning. They could call it the Grand Prix World Championship. If you have Ferrari, BMW, Williams, if you have Lewis Hamilton, that seems pretty much like the real thing. To go back to the model of the NHL, if the league administrative costs are $50 million, and overall revenues are $1.8 billion, then that amounts to 3 per cent. In F1, the guy who manages the business costs you 50 per cent of your revenues." Normand Legault, former Canadian grand prix promoter, believes Formula 1 could live without Bernie Ecclestone, and the time is ripe for this to happen, given the absence of a Concorde agreement.
"We were really very upset about that. And it may not be over with how we're going to approach that. That was an outrageous thing that those guys did." Brian France, CEO and Chairman of NASCAR, commenting about the April Fool's Day prank posted on Car and Driver magazine's Web site titled "Obama Orders Chevrolet and Dodge Out of NASCAR"