IndyCar preseason: Marco Andretti Press Conf. Transcript
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Barber Media Day and discussed what he did in the off season to improve his skills on the street courses, testing and other topics. Full Transcript:
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING TO GET OUT OF THIS TEST COMING UP THIS WEEK AND HOW YOU ARE PREPARING FOR THE SEASON COMING UP:
“I guess this test is primarily geared just toward obviously all the road courses. Sometimes when you find something good here you can take it to like a Sonoma or Mid-Ohio sometimes not it’s a finicky place as well. Obviously we race here so it would be good to come up with some kind of a good package for here. (James) Hinch (Hinchcliffe) ran good here last year in qualifying so we have a good starting point anyway just try to build on that.”
HOW ABOUT KNOCKING THE RUST OFF? LONG OFF SEASON CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT AND WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING TO TRY SHARP AND GOOD?
“There are so many miles you can run on a treadmill it gets boring. The off season is too long for me. Is there rust? There is no rust. I would say I’m the kind of person you could just wake me up out of my sleep and I will go drive. Obviously, take it will take a couple of laps.”
THAT FIRST RACE HERE IN 2010 DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WAS ONE THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE WON HERE? DO YOU THINK THIS TRACK OWES YOU ONE?
“I don’t know. If this track owes me one there is a bunch that owes me one. You can’t look at it like that. I think we were in a really good spot contending with Helio (Castroneves). It’s a track position place and we were up front the majority of the time. We kind of ran out of strategy at the end. Our pace was there which I was pleased with that. You’ve got to qualify up front here. Although, I think Firestone has done a great job here in particular at separating the alternates from the primary and I think that actually creates passing around a place that you might not get any passing without that.”
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO RUN SINCE FONTANA?
“I just had a one day Sebring and I attempted another day and we had to stop for an engine thing. So, a day and a half at Sebring.”
I READ IN SOME OF YOUR QUOTES YOU ARE REVISITING THE STREET COURSE STYLE AND THE WAY YOU ATTACK?
“There is no question that I need to up my game on the streets. I think I always knew I was over driving the car and this tire, but I didn’t know how. I was really diagnosing it in the off season. I did all kinds of stuff. I went overseas with a driver coach and everything. You can never be too proud. You can always learn something. Basically, I’m just asking too much of the front tire in the middle of the corner. So, the way I attack the corner I’m over the edge of the tire so I’m creating problems for myself is what he said. Rather than getting the time from the tire it’s actually like almost in a downward spiral because I’m just over the edge of the tire. There is some similar stuff that helped me going up against Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and stuff like that, but we have to just put it to work and see if what I learned is going to work. I’m pretty confident.”
WHO DID YOU WORK WITH? WHO WAS YOUR COACH?
“I’m not supposed to say.”
DID YOU DO MAINLY SIMULATOR OR ON TRACKS MORE WHILE YOU WERE OVER THERE?
“We did some stuff in London and I did the Dallara simulator. That is pretty fun. The first 10 minutes I was a little woozy and then you have to get used to it then everything kind of calms down. You have to get used to that lack of feeling so to speak under your butt you know what I mean. There is that feeling when you are driving the race car that tells you ‘okay there is the back end now you can go to power’ where it is more, it’s still a little ‘video gamey’, but I was very impressed.”
WAS WHAT YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE TIRES WAS ALL SIMULATOR BASED OR WAS THERE SOMETHING ON TRACK?
“Actually, it was road car stuff in the wet. It was like really just driving the finesse and stuff like that. It was interesting because he was supposed to go set a time and I was supposed to beat him. He said ‘just do what you would normally do’ then I beat him. Then it was tough for him to really teach me what I need. I actually picked up a couple of tenths just from the finesse part of it. Something where finesse is not a part of Marco Andretti my first seven years of my career I can tell you that. That has been really working against me.”
DID YOU SPEND TIME LOOKING AT RYAN’S (HUNTER-REAY) INFORMATION?
“I would be foolish not to look at Ryan’s stuff.”
IN THE WINTER TIME DO YOU JUST SIT WITH YOUR LAPTOP AND LOOK THROUGH THAT INFORMATION?
“Yeah, my biggest thing is I brake like Dario (Franchitti) and not huge. I don’t have a lot of pitch. I brake late, but I’m not blaming the tire, but for me what hurt me was carrying the brake too far into the corner. It sounds obvious, but if you are on the brake with a little bit of steering it will put you right over the edge of the tire. For me you have to get the braking done harder and earlier and get off the brake before you turn so I think that will help me on the streets instead of just braking really late and over loading the front of the car. Then you are going to snap if you come off with under steer it just creates a lot of problems.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING A FOURTH TEAMMATE?
“We will see. We all have a lot experience together yet. We were both kind of had our own little mechanicals going at the day we had at Sebring. I’m sure it will be fun.”