Quotes of the Week
"Before the start, I used a French cycling analogy to describe the crew of the No. 8 car as 'sprinters', the No. 7 crew as 'road sprinters' and the No. 9 drivers as 'warriors'. Today, it was the 'warriors' who won. I really sense that the public and Automobiles Peugeot wanted this result. We faced a huge challenge and we succeeded in rising to it. We were here as challengers, and our mission was to try to topple the favorites. And that is exactly what we did, essentially by steering clear of the different potential pitfalls in our path. It turned out to be a terrific race, and Peugeot Sport is a truly magnificent team. I am so proud of all the people who were involved in this project. This win is Peugeot Sport's win." Olivier Quesnel, Peugeot Sport Director, commenting about Peugeot's dominating win of the 24 Hours of Le Mans after years of getting beat by the mighty German Audi team.
"Today we weren’t so faultless as usual. All sorts of things happened to us. The crews worked fantastically well and effectively ironed out all the mistakes that occurred in engineering and the organization. They are to thank for the third place we took. Congratulations to Peugeot! They demonstrated what is usually said about us, namely a mistake free race. You just have to accept and analyze such, then you emerge from it 100 per cent strengthened. We should view it like this, and next year we’ll win the big trophy again!" Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director, Audi Sport Team Joest
"A lot of people enjoyed it. A lot of people hated it. I guess those are the ones with 88s tattooed on their arms, or maybe still 8s. I got no issues with Junior; it’s his fans that are crazy.” Busch said he never thought the guitar smash “would get that much attention” and added “it certainly drew the ire of the fans. “I said I was going to buy two guitars after the race, but I didn’t know it was going to be in the spirit of both of Sam Bass’s personalities" Bass smiled for pictures with Busch in victory lane but later said publicly that he was shocked and heartbroken over his broken artwork. Busch said all the uproar about the incident “made me think about it, but in the end, I’m kind of like, no, I don’t regret it. It was fun, and while I was doing it was fun.” Kyle Busch, NASCAR driver, Joe Gibbs Racing, saying he didn’t regret smashing the one of a kind Gibson trophy guitar after winning the Nationwide Series race at Nashville last weekend, and added a shot at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s fans.
“It’s like raising a child. You start out with nothing and you finish it and you hope people will take care of it. And it was stunning, absolutely stunning to see that thing destroyed within seconds of him getting it. It’s his trophy, he can choose to do with it what he wants. But I’m not going to lie about it. If he had asked me, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about destroying that trophy guitar whenever I win it, what do you think,’ of course I would have told him, ‘No! Please don’t. Let us give you a prop guitar.’ ” Sam Bass, longtime NASCAR artist who painted the Gibson guitar trophy smashed by Kyle Busch after the Nashville Nationwide Series race said he was “stunned and heartbroken” to see his work destroyed in victory lane.
“You only have to look over the pond to see what happens when you split a championship [referring to the 1996 CART/Indy Car split]. It's difficult enough to draw people into one particular sport, so what will they make of two separate championships? It would just dilute it. The last few years have been really appalling and lots of people have asked questions about the administration of the sport. That's what the issue is all about. It’s entertaining in the same way that the Jerry Springer Show is - not for the right reasons - so it’s a turn-off as well.” Damon Hill, former Formula 1 World Champion, has pleaded for Formula 1 powerbrokers to reach a solution to the current crisis and avoid the prospect of a breakaway series.
"After the first three races I was still extremely annoyed. Your expectations are so high and yet no matter what you do you cannot fulfill them. The disappointment was enormous; I could have exploded, like a volcano, but I had to leave it inside and it ate away at me. I have a new goal. There are ten races left, and at some point I want to challenge Jenson Button. I want to beat him or at least have one podium place, and then for me my season would be saved." When asked what Hamilton would do if he was able to design his own car, he said: "I would take the Brawn - it already has the super Mercedes engine - I would add our KERS, and then spray the thing silver!" Lewis Hamilton, 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, McLaren, commenting on McLaren's uncompetitive car this season
"Right now I am pissed off with the situation, but tomorrow is another day. I cannot see him (Button) running away. All our three years together we were so fair and square, so I don't see him better now and winning every race this season. At some point there will be a drop and I want to be there to conquer." Rubens Barrichello, Formula 1 driver, Brawn GP, wondered aloud whether he was receiving equal treatment to teammate Jenson Button.
“Everybody sees what is happening in Formula 1. I do not understand the reason. Anyway I think our conditions are constructive, are very clear: governance, stable rules – the people don’t understand any more rules that change every six months, one day it’s KERS, another day it’s standard engines – and looking ahead to have a balance between cost and revenues, to let new commerce enter. I’m very pleased to have new teams, and when I say teams I mean Formula 1 not Formula 3. I don’t think it is possible to compete at the maximum level, I mean to try to win in too many series. I think there is Formula 1, there is racing like Le Mans, and racing in the United States which is extremely challenging – as I mentioned before, Indy or something like this. Our intention is to continue to participate in Formula 1 if there are the conditions. If not, as I say to our tifosi all around the world who have been in touch with us on our internet in an unbelievable way, the DNA of Ferrari is competition. If we stop in F1 we will do something else, and for sure Le Mans will be one of our first priorities. There is a historical connection between Ferrari and the 24 Hours and I am glad to be here to start one of the races of which I admire the spirit of competition you can feel here. We have many things in common; for example the connection to the territory: I can see the people living here and they are happy and proud to host this great event and collaborate to set it up, just like it happens at Maranello. It’s true that many years have passed since the last overall win of a Ferrari in this race and I have a dream, which is also a wish, to see sooner or later an official car starting in the race." Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari President, commenting during his visit to the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he was the official starter
"It is not a very exciting situation that we are facing, especially (for) the sport that I have participated most of my life in and that I really love. To see what is going on there, it is not very great. It [Ferrari's presence] is so big in this sport. It became big due to the sport but it actually grew the sport at the same time. You cannot see F1 without Ferrari or the other manufacturers who have participated for so long. I really believe that somehow they must find a solution, and the solution can only be that it suits those teams that have built up F1 to the state that it is now. You cannot expect drastic changes to be accepted by such important manufacturers. Yes, you have a target; yes, you want to reduce costs; but you have to do it step by step, you cannot turn the world around in one day. That is impossible." Michael Schumacher, 7 times Formula 1 World Champion, fully backed the manufacturer teams opposing FIA President Max Mosley's radical budget-capping regulations imposed for the 2010 season.
"This is a great championship for most people because they like having Brawn and Red Bull at the front rather than Ferrari and McLaren as usual. This has happened because of the rule changes and because we have stopped testing in a season, which I was always against. What has happened here this year is exactly like when Colin Chapman ran Lotus when he was the guy who introduced the ground-effect car. Everyone said he was cheating, it was just that Colin spotted what he could do and other people couldn't. Ross Brawn and Adrian Newey have come up with the best cars this year, different styles, one with diffuser, one not, at the start. It shows it can be done with the right people. Don't forget that Ferrari spent a fortune and didn't win the title for 10 years. Money doesn't buy success. It could wreck the sport. As for the drivers, they want to win the FIA F1 World Championship or some of them would be elsewhere getting more money to win a title that means less. I don't think they will get a series going. The teams had a chance to sign the 1998 Concorde Agreement which would have protected them from Max's technical changes, but they said no." Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Association, believes this year's Formula 1 championship race, which sees Brawn GP and Red Bull leading the pack, is proof that money doesn't buy success.
"I don't know anything about cars. A business is a business and I think I can learn about cars. I’m not that old, and I think the business principles are the same.” Edward Whitacre Jr., 67 year old newly appointed Chairman of General Motors