Quotes of the Week
"It's like Israel and the Palestinians -- always about to reach an agreement but never quite signing it." Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association, has likened F1's perennial Concorde agreement dispute to one of the world's longest-running political conflicts.
“How many people have to be listed in ‘guarded’ or ‘critical’ condition before we say that's too much? Is it lead changes? If we have fewer than five fans hurt for every lead change, is that acceptable? Does somebody have to die before we've decided we don't have control?” David Poole, late NASCAR racing journalist, criticized NASCAR for not doing enough to make racing at the Talladega Superspeedway safer for the drivers and the spectators in his final column just hours before his death.
"Racing is a dangerous sport in general. Certainly, Talladega has created some very exciting racing and exciting finishes and along the way there have been some incidents that people have been rather outspoken about. We've had several caution-free races here, too. The racing here is unique. I don't think anything drastic needs to happen. It's something we hang our hat on, the sheer excitement. I'm not talking about 12-car pileups. I'm talking about the closeness of the race. My gosh, we have been asking all year for a race like this. Now we get one and it's not appealing to anybody. I thought it was an exciting Talladega race. We'll continue to have discussions to see what, if anything, needs to be done. The answer is not to blow the place up and start over." Rick Humphrey, track president, Talladega Superspeedway, responding to comments about the last lap accident during the Aaron's 499 when Carl Edwards car was airborne and sailed into the safety fence injuring eight spectators from debris.
"I would like to thank the FIA World Motor Sport Council members for affording me the opportunity to answer their questions this morning. We are aware that we made serious mistakes in Australia and Malaysia, and I was therefore very glad to be able to apologize for those mistakes once again. I was also pleased to be able to assure the FIA World Motor Sport Council members that we had taken appropriate action with a view to ensuring that such mistakes do not occur again." Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal, McLaren, commenting on the FIA World Motor Sport Council's decision resulting in McLaren's escaped punishment for the Liegate fiasco at the Australian Grand Prix.
"The sport could survive without Ferrari. It would be very, very sad to lose Ferrari. It is the Italian national team. I hope and think that when a team goes to its board and says, 'I want to go to war with the FIA, because I want to be able to spend 100m (pounds sterling) more than the FIA want me to spend', then the board will say, 'why can't you spend 40m if the other teams can do it?' The message I'm getting from the board of two or three of the manufacturers is: 'if you can get it so that the check we write is not more than 25m (euro), you can consider this a pretty permanent arrangement.' " Max Mosley, FIA President, commenting on Ferrari being enraged at the introduction of budget caps.
"It will be extremely difficult to stop cheating." Sauber also queries some of the details of the extra technical freedoms for the capped teams. "With the front wing an adjustable mechanism is acceptable, because if it breaks then the driver simply gets understeer. A moveable rear wing is insane. If something goes wrong, you just fly off the track." Peter Sauber, Team Principal and Owner of BMW Sauber, has questioned the new rules published by the FIA. The fact that the rules will involve two sets of technical regulations - one for capped teams, one for uncapped teams - is also being criticized by existing teams, while Sauber wonders if the caps can be policed.
"The car is scheisse (shit)." Niki Lauda, 3 times Formula 1 World Champion, commenting on the BMW team's dismal results so far this season.
“It was a perfect weekend for us, it’s what we needed to come here to do, it was the plan so it really did come through. We knew by the pace we set in Portugal that if we came here and everything worked out ok we would be really hard to beat, and that was the way it worked out so it couldn’t have been better. The team are just unbelievable, they are the best team on the face of this earth in motorsport and I believe that fully. Their commitment is second to none and we are the best in this pit lane. These guys left on Friday night after 29 hours in the pit lane, that says it all.” Adam Carroll, A1GP driver, Team Ireland, commenting after winning the race and the series championship at Brands Hatch
"I hope the team enjoys this as much as I do. It's just amazing, man. It's so cool. The car wasn't perfect all night -- it was good, but it wasn't perfect. I knew that when we had practice [Friday]. I kept telling [crew chief] Steve [Addington], 'It doesn't feel bad, but it's not perfect. Steve made the right call on when to pit and when to take four tires versus two tires or no tires or whatever, and it really paid off for us there at the end to be able to have that long run like that and not to have to deal with the 14 [Stewart] and the 31 [Burton]. I knew they were coming. It's great to be able to do this on my birthday week -- it means a lot." Kyle Busch, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing, commenting after winning the Sprint Cup race in Richmond on his 24th birthday.