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Formula 1: United States Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  United States Grand Prix

Formula 1: United States Grand Prix

Rubens Barrichello
Takuma Sato
Michael Schumacher
June 19, 2004


MODERATOR: Rubens, tenth pole position of your career, first this year. You've had quicker weekends here. What is it about you and Indianapolis then?

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: I don't think it's anything specific about Indianapolis. I've always liked it. I have always come here with pleasure. But it's just a fact that I think it's on a high. I mean, I think I finished quite well, Canada, even though the results didn't go, I was expecting a little bit better, but it's definitely on a high.

MODERATOR: Now, you mentioned how the wind changes, how the wind affects. How does the wind affect the car? Where, in particular?

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: Well, I felt it when I started my lap, I went to the bank and it was very gusty and the car was moving around a little bit more. And so, you know, in a way, you just want to be precise more than actually be out in front because you quite easily can make a mistake in those circumstances, even though the car was behaving quite well. And so it was nice to get it done.

MODERATOR: In a way, your first sector was slightly slower but you picked up as you went through the sectors.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: Yeah, I've always thought if I was preparing the tires or anything like this, but my car didn't feel as good as it should on the first sector, but it did feel quite good from there onwards. So, because the mid-series is probably the longest one. It was good to set a good time there.

MODERATOR: Well done. Thank you very much. Michael, in fact, you were very quick on the first sector, and if anything it sort of just eased away from you later on.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: No, not really. I mean, it went away in the second sector, though the last sector I was even quicker. I just slided around too much. I just couldn't keep it on track properly on line and there was a couple of corners against and Rubens found a better way to deal with it.

MODERATOR: Have you been happy with today.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: We are in the front row. I'm fighting against Rubens who has done a fantastic weekend. He's been very strong all weekend long and that's the way it is. That's the way we push each other.

MODERATOR: But you have had bigger margins in other circuits over the rest of the opposition.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Yeah I did, but maybe Rubens didn't get it together as good as I did at that stage, and now he got it together just perfectly.

MODERATOR: You've had phenomenal record in the past races and never finished lower than second.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Obviously, I still aim for one up and then my lowest one, but that's going to be the interesting one between us tomorrow and as well, Takuma and Jensen and whoever is in the position of doing so.

MODERATOR: Takumasan, in fact, you were fastest to the second sector overall, and if anything you lost a little bit in the final sector. Can you say where that would have gone?

TAKUMA SATO: I don't know, it was a little bit gusty, and I wonder if the wind was a factor a little bit. But nevertheless I'm very happy with the result today. I'm particularly -- two cars in the second, last time, as I said. And I think it was a great result for the team, and I'm really pleased about it.

MODERATOR: It's a long straight here. In fact, probably the longest at full throttle anywhere in the championship. What are your feelings about that, particularly has the team made any changes for you, given the reliability of the past few races?

TAKUMA SATO: Well, that's a bit of a gray area. We really don't know about what is going on with the liability issues. Just I was a bit under and also Jensen's engine was quite on edges and anything can happen at any time. I always had a problem this season so far, but obviously the Honda, everybody is working really hard to solve the problem and obviously even the short times from Canada to here, we did a little, not treatment, but a little step for the engine for the liability issue. We hope, we hope this one is okay for this Grand Prix.

Q. What kind of chance do you really have tomorrow to beat these two guys? Is it going to be a question of luck or something more?

TAKUMA SATO: To win the Grand Prix, I think you need everything, but to be honest, trying to beat Ferraris is very, very difficult, as everybody has seen this year so far. But that's our aim and objective. So we're trying and obviously having had this practice session yesterday and today, it seems we picked a little bit of consistency through the longer run which they are always strong. And that's why we are hoping we can catch up with him and getting better and better all the time and that's what we hope for tomorrow afternoon.

Q. Michael, you mentioned how Rubens pushes you, what dies the mean to both of you to have a driver to push each other to keep your competitive spirit up?

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: It basically means that each one has to go 100 percent, otherwise he's going to be beaten and as we are racers, we don't want to be beaten.


Q. Michael, is there a particular style of course that is a trouble spot for you?

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I mean, not on course. Just next to me. (Laughter).

Q. How far does that extend, all the way down? First corner presumably, as well?

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I mean, we all want to sort of aim for the win, and to do this you have to finish and most of us know that. All of us, I guess.

Q. You seem to be particularly quick on this course since you've got here, can you describe what it is about the circuit that just suits your driving style, and where do you feel like you are particularly fastest on your qualifying run?

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: You know, to be honest, as we were talking back here on Thursday, I've been saying that I've been through so many changes in terms of driving and I started the season driving one way, and I was finding it quite good and the pace, but qualifying I couldn't get it doing going. Obviously I did a little bit of adapting and right now I feel that I'm driving the best so far this season. So, I don't think it's specifically the racing track. Obviously, I like it. I think Indy, they could call it Mickey Mouse but it's a quite difficult part of Mickey Mouse; for to you go faster, it is quite difficult. It makes a challenge which for me is something quite nice. But for me obviously I think I've got it right in terms of setup, I'm quite happy with the car with the engine and the tires are, but there's no specific reason why is that. I think Michael has been going quite well on the sector one and probably sector two is the one that, not just in qualifying, but sector two I've always been quite happy with the racing car and making up some good times. Sector three, we are pretty much even. So, probably sector two.

Q. Rubens, you just said driving in a different way, can you be a little bit more specific about what you learned to drive in a different way?

RUBENS BARRICHELLO: Just the fact that, you know, it's just because everyone is asking that. I've been driving a little bit on my left foot more since the beginning of the season. But I'm naturally a right-footer, so obviously I'm kicking with both feet right now and the driver who kicks with both can do it better. I'm doing it both. I have just got better as the season progressed on this thing. I think I'm driving a little bit back to last season right now.

Q. What kind of following do you have in Japan, what do you think -- how infamous are you now over there?

TAKUMA SATO: I think in Japan, I think they are very excited about this season. Obviously, like 15 years ago, we had a massive following for Formula 1 and then kind of we lost a little bit in the late 90s. But then they came back quite significantly this year, and I've got lots of maturing from Japan and I'm really feeling very positive information from all of the guys. So, we are very happy about the progress weâ??ve made.

Q. Tomorrowâ??s race will possibly be the hottest one of the season, thereâ??s been a lot of talk about consistency, do you think the Bridgestone tires will hold their own over a long run versus the Michelins in the hot weather?

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I think the answer is yes. We have a good racing tire. We are doing some analysis on everything. You know, since we have been testing since December, the tire likes the heat, as well. We have proved that in Malaysia, so we are quite optimistic. Of course, we know that the competitors are quite eager to beat us or to win the race, but I think we can be quite optimistic, yes.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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