Champ Car World Series: Molson Indy Montreal
Topics: Molson Indy Montreal
MERRILL CAIN: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for our top three press conference today following the Molson Indy Montreal, Round 10 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. We're joined by two of our top three drivers today. Justin Wilson, who finished third this afternoon, we understand was transported to the Champ Car medical unit complaining of some slight dizziness. Hopefully we'll be joined by him here in a few minutes. If not, we hope you understand and we'll get some quotes from Justin printed out as soon as we can. Let's start out first with driver of the #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Rocketsports Racing, Timo Glock. Timo finished second today. His best career finish in his first laps led this season also today and earned a bonus point for the most improved positions during today's race, starting 11th and finishing second. Timo, talk to us a little bit about the performance, obviously the battle with Oriol is what everyone was focusing on, talk to us how things developed there.
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, it was a really tough race for me, especially because I had to start from 11th. I used a lot of 'push to pass' at the beginning to get Nelson Philippe and Jimmy Vasser. At the end I had two shots left. When I was leading the race, I saw Oriol behind me. I know he exactly will try to get me because he was so many times second and third and he wants to win. That was clear for me. His car was pretty good on entry, rolling entry. He came every time up to me. But I could get him every time at the exit of the corners. At six, seven, eight and nine, the car was pretty good. I could run a little bit away. Then I did one mistake in the hairpin, and he was close, used the 'push to pass'. Tried it the first time, so I had to take the shortcut because there is no way to go side by side through the chicane, otherwise you end up in the wall. So I decided to take the shortcut and go in front of him. I wasn't sure can I take two times or three times the shortcut (laughter). I hope that I can take it three times. He tried it again. I said, okay, I take it again, because otherwise Justin would overtake me on the start and finish straight when I take the chicane slowly. I decided again to take the shortcut. The team didn't talk to me. I said, "That's not a good sign." I said, "Oh, man, that sounds bad." (Laughter). At the end, I could pull a little bit away. Maybe the Newman/Haas guys told Oriol that he can back off a little bit because I took two times the shortcut, and that gives me a penalty. I had to let him pass. The team told me that in the last lap, and I couldn't believe it. I mean, it's disappointing. In one way it's disappointing, and on the other way it's a great weekend for us, to be on the podium after all the races without luck. When we finished the last race in Denver, we could finish on the podium, the gearbox broke. In Monterrey we had the chance to nearly win the race because we were completely out of sequence like today, then I got a stop-and-go penalty because of Jimmy Vasser. All these things went a little bit in the wrong way this year. Then in the middle of the season, we had a lot of problems with the car. It was tough to get out of it. Now we came slowly back. We still have a problem in the qualifying to get the top out of the tire. But in the race, the car is so consistent. I did consistent lap times and pushed in every lap. I never saved fuel. I pushed the whole race to close up the gap because we lost three seconds in the first pit stop. It was pretty tough. But I'm satisfied to be on the podium and to leading the Rookie championship.
MERRILL CAIN: Timo extends his Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings with the second place finish today. It was uncertain watching for us on TV the race. Was there contact between you during either one of those incidents?
TIMO GLOCK: No. It was contact in the full-course yellow when the pace car went back in the pits and I slowed down. In the first restart, I had a pretty good restart, and then Oriol was behind me really close. I knew that he knows what I'm doing. So I stop to slow down the car. He pushed me a little bit on the back. But, I mean, that was not bad.
ORIOL SERVIA: You were playing games.
TIMO GLOCK: I had to play games. That's what you have to do on restart. It was fair. I think I gave him enough space. He gave me no space because I had to take the shortcut. Anyway, it's good for him. I'm satisfied with my result. It's good for him to win the race. I think after so many times he was second and third behind Bourdais, it's good for him to finish on the podium on the top and good for us to be first time on the podium.
MERRILL CAIN: Congratulations, Timo. Career best finish today of second place. We do have a statement from Tony Cotman, Champ Car race director on the incident and ensuing penalty that happened on lap 76 regarding the shortcut of the course by Timo. I will read that to you now. It will be also in the transcript as it appears, the press conference transcript. I am quoting now Tony Cotman. "Car No. 2 had tried passing car No. 8 six laps prior to the incident in turn 15. Car No. 8 shortcut the course to maintain the lead and his team was warned. On the second incident, car No. 2 was alongside if not in front when car No. 8 shortcut the course to maintain the lead again. As the team had been warned, positions were reversed. It was a quick judgment that was made concerning the two drivers who were looking for their first wins. It was a difficult decision, but it was the correct decision." Again, that's Champ Car race director Tony Cotman. Let's move on to our winner today, driver of the #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Oriol Servia. Represents Oriol's first win in 95 career Champ Car starts over six seasons. He's finished second four times in his career, including a couple times this season in Canada, second in Toronto and Edmonton. It is his sixth podium finish and fifth in the last six races this year. He also has some success here in Montreal. Started second in 2003. Led two laps, finished second. Oriol, this one has to feel awfully good for you.
ORIOL SERVIA: It feels awesome. It feels awesome. I'm not going to mention how many times I thought I deserve the win, blah, blah, blah, because the list is so long. But I want to say once was here, in '03, I thought I deserved the win. My good friend Michel passed me on cold tires in the chicane. I had to do the same, I had to take the shortcut, because there was no room for both. I really thought that was going to be my first real win. But it happened today. It happened because Bruno's accident, which is something none of us wanted. But, you know, I was really happy that decided I was the one to go in the car. I know Bruno was really happy they choose me. Since day one, the team has shown great, great support for me. All the guys in the crew, all the owners, and PacifiCare. So it just feels extremely good to be able to show them that they did the right choice trusting me. I'm really, really glad I'm able to give them this win. I hope first of many. They say the first one is hard to get. I can really, really say they're right (laughter). But they also say once you get the first one, you know, you get many others. I'm sure I will because we've been very close. This year at Newman/Haas, everything is easier because they always have great car. Today they show again they have great pit stops. Actually, I passed Sebastien in the pits. So my guys did pass Sebastien guys in the pits. Sebastien is the toughest guy out there. He was the fastest again today. He's definitely, you know, still a step ahead of everybody else in the field. I really feel I'm getting closer. I'm getting stronger. I'm getting more used to his car. You know, every race, I'm definitely more of a contender to him. But, you know, I'm just really happy to be there and to win this race here in Montreal for sure.
MERRILL CAIN: Congratulations, Oriol. A couple quick significant nuggets with today's win. Oriol becomes the fourth winner in four races here in Montreal. A different winner every season that we've raced here. He also becomes the first driver to lead only the final lap of the race since Michael Andretti did it at Road America in 1996.
ORIOL SERVIA: I led so many laps before, and it took me six years to understand that it's the last one that counts (laughter). I'm just really happy I finally did understand.
MERRILL CAIN: Oriol, let's ask you about that. Coming close so many times, did you ever start to think that this may never happen?
ORIOL SERVIA: I mean, I hate to say it, but even today you're thinking, "Now what?" You know, I've shown many, many times I had the speed in better or worse cars, that I'm consistent, I don't do mistakes, blah, blah, blah. Everybody wants wins. I want wins. You know, to answer that question, when is the first one going to happen, it's like, you know, that girl that is waiting, waiting and it's never happening. The more you think about it, the less it's going to happen. You know, I'm just really happy with the breakthrough.
MERRILL CAIN: We'll let that one slide. We'll open it up and take a few questions from the audience.
Q. Oriol, can you talk about the sort of mental discipline I suppose it took, knowing that the win was that close and having twice made the move in the last chicane and not come out first on the road, the sort of mental discipline it took not to take a bonsai move at the hairpin.
ORIOL SERVIA: I was going to make it. In the last lap, I'm sure Timo was feeling I was going to make any kind of move at the end just because I had to. But also to me, it felt, when I saw was in front of me Justin and Timo and no Sebastien, I was just going to go for it a hundred percent because, you know, not that I'm playing any role with Sebastien. If I can, I'm going to win. But for sure you're not going to take stupid chances with your teammate who is leading the championship. You know, when I saw that I really only had Justin and Timo, I said, "Okay, this is my opportunity. I'm going to do whatever." That's why I was real aggressive with Justin. I was really aggressive with Timo.
Q. Timo, I understand Oriol couldn't do donuts for TV. You did some. Can you explain a little?
ORIOL SERVIA: I was really disappointed, you know. First I saw he was joking. Today you cannot do donuts. Yeah, I'm not going to repeat what I said. I was like I was sure he was joking. He was, "No, seriously. You cannot do donut." I think there was something wrong in the gearbox. Gearbox was a little stiff all race. I was like, "You got to be kidding. "Especially today, I'm really happy I won. Zanardi won in Italy today. I'm really, really happy for him. He's a fighter. He's been in that championship, and it's been hard for him because maybe he's not in the best car, and it's been a learning curve for him. He won today. I'm really happy. I heard he did donuts. So I really wanted to do donuts here today.
TIMO GLOCK: For me, the race was only 78 laps. That was the reason why I did doughnut (laughter). I saw that Alex Tagliani did a couple donuts for the fans, and he was fifth. So I said, "I'm second so I can do a couple donuts for the fans. Why not?" That's for the fans, you know. That's the good thing in Champ Car. In Formula One, you never see any donuts for the fans. They put no show on for the fans. That was the reason. I mean, I never did donuts in the last two years, so I said, "Now it's the point to do it."
MERRILL CAIN: We're joined by our third place finisher. We want to get a couple comments from Justin, driver of the #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for RuSPORT, second career podium finish, his best finish since earning his first victory in Champ Car in Toronto earlier this year. Justin, a very difficult and challenging race for you, but you emerged with another podium finish. Talk about how the race panned out.
JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah, it was a great result for CDW, the RuSPORT team. Very excited to be on the podium again. You know, we've worked hard all weekend to make sure we're competitive. We were right there in every session. Even when we have problems, we can bounce back pretty quick. I've just got to thank the guys. They've worked hard all weekend. Pit stops were fantastic. That last stop when we came out second, it was quite a good move. At the end of the day, I think we did everything that we could have done, and we had a good race car. We got the best result we were capable of.
MERRILL CAIN: Wasn't exactly a boring weekend for you in Montreal, I mean with the pit fire and everything else, the contact and running up front, the incidents coming out of the pits. Talk about all that and how the emotional rollercoaster was for you this weekend.
JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah, it's tight. We had the situation on Saturday morning when the car caught fire. So we missed all Saturday morning practice. And that's a crucial time. There's a lot to be learnt in that session. The track is starting to rubber up. You're not really sure what's going to happen. We managed to bounce back pretty strong from that and come back and qualify third. You know, I think the whole team is making progress. We were able to achieve good results and get on the podium there.
MERRILL CAIN: Congratulations on a good run today, Justin. The unofficial top five in points after 10 rounds of competition here in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Sebastien Bourdais retains the points lead now with 276 on the season; Oriol Servia is second now, 215 points total for Oriol; Paul Tracy now slides down to third place with 211; Justin Wilson in fourth with 204; and AJ Allmendinger rounds out the top five with 164 points on the year. Incidentally, Alex Tagliani was the top-finishing Canadian in today's race, finished fifth. We'll open it back up for questions.
Q. Talk a little bit, if you could, describe the two incidents with Timo and actually what you saw from your perspective, what actually happened there.
ORIOL SERVIA: I mean, the first time I thought for sure I had him covered. And when I saw that he overshot the chicane, I made sure I was doing the chicane. I don't know if you saw the Formula One race in Monaco, a little bit the same rule. If both guys overshot the chicane, nothing happens. If you make the chicane and the other guy doesn't, the other obviously shortcutted, took advantage. The first one I thought for sure they were going to penalize him. I was really pissed off they didn't. Hey, it's true, it's the rules. You only have so many shots of 'push to pass'. If we know you're going to have a freebie, shit, you know, I'm going to use it, too. Honestly, I was pissed off nothing happened. So in the second one, I thought nothing was happening. I was really, really on fire in the car. I was like, I don't care, I'm going to crash, I'm going to crash him, I'm going to crash everybody, but I'm going to win (laughter). I'm glad the officials did the right thing, I believe. If not, I can tell you that last lap in the hairpin was going to be ugly. I'm sure Justin was waiting for that.
JUSTIN WILSON: I just kept hanging back and waiting for it.
Q. Oriol, when did you find out, know that he was going to be penalized?
ORIOL SERVIA: Just that same lap. They told me. You know, actually they told me something like, "You have to go by Glock," which to me is not a very clear message. Honestly, I was like -- first I thought, yes, they are telling me he's penalized. Then I thought, "Is he telling me they are not going to penalize him and I really have to pass him again?" Honestly, just in a couple of corners, all those thoughts come to your brain. "Okay, forget it. If he doesn't let me by, I'm just going to try it." But sometimes, you know, radio communication, although was quite clear today, you could understand, but the message is...
Q. Oriol, have you had a chance to talk to Bruno?
ORIOL SERVIA: Yes, actually I spoke on the phone with him because he's already on the airport, on his way to Miami. He was extremely happy. He won this race last year. He's been happy all the year that I took his seat. And he's been really supportive with me and the team. I'm really happy, really happy, you know, at least I'm giving the team and PacifiCare people the same wins that, you know, he was doing before. I'm just happy.
Q. Oriol, it seemed you were challenging Timo quite hard, then you had to hang back because you were occupied with Justin making a pass, occupying your focus. Can both of you go through that sequence?
ORIOL SERVIA: I don't know. It seems like every time you go a little bit of line, you kind of lose, I would say, a 10th or two in the next two corners, takes a little bit to clean the tires. I think I abused the tires a little bit the last laps. So, yeah, I had a couple of corners Timo would go, then I would catch him back. I wasn't really playing any strategy. I was just trying to go as fast as I could. When you are in traffic, behind people, it's really hard to keep close all the time like we were on those last laps. I think it was good for the fans because actually we were all close together. I can tell you, that's not easy.
Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN WILSON: Typically when you have three or four cars in that situation, the hardest job is the guy in second or the guy in second and third because they've got to attack and they've also got to be -- if the attack goes wrong, they're going to get attacked. You're trying to play a situation, make sure that you've got a good run, and when you make a move, you can pull it off, or at least you're going to hold station and not lose ground. It's the game we're all playing out there, trying to judge the risk, whether you go for it or whether you're going to hang back and choose a better moment.
Q. Timo, you made your first pit stop quite early. What was going on there?
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, we started from 11th, and we had to find a way to go out of sequence. I had to push really hard at the beginning. Used a lot of fuel. So we decided to pit pretty early to go out of sequence. That was the reason. I mean, I never had the chance to save fuel because we had a problem with the left rear tire. I think I lost nearly three seconds. I overtook in the first stint Nelson and Jimmy Vasser, and both were in front of me again after the first pit stop. I had to push the whole race pretty hard. The reason why we went out of sequence was only because we started 11th and had to find a way to come to the front, to the top guys in the front.
Q. Has anyone discussed what would have happened if after Timo had been instructed to fall behind Oriol, Justin had passed Oriol in the meantime, what would have happened?
JUSTIN WILSON: You're asking the wrong people, I think.
TIMO GLOCK: It would be good for me, I think.
ORIOL SERVIA: I don't know. I was going to try anything in the last hairpin, honestly. It sounded stupid, it probably was, but at that point. Especially, I didn't see Paul in the mirror, so I thought actually he had gone off. I didn't really know what had happened to him. I know my fight was little bit with Justin on the points, but was feeling kind of comfortable that Paul was not around. You know, I was willing to take more chances.
Q. Timo, because you were out of sequence, your last pit stop I think was 56, other people were going to pit around 59. How close were you on fuel in that last stint?
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, it was enough to do a couple of donuts. But I came in the pits, and it was less than a gallon, I think. It was really close. I had to save a lot of fuel in the last two full-course yellow because I knew I had to attack pretty hard against Oriol and against Justin. I mean, I saved so much fuel, and it was enough for the end. I mean, Rob said -- he won two championships with Alex Zanardi. He knows exactly how much fuel he has to put in the car. He did a really good job and the whole team did a really good job, and in the end it was enough to come back in the pits.
Q. Oriol, you've talked to Bruno and your team. Do you know if and when he's coming back? What happens when he comes back
ORIOL SERVIA: Well, I heard he's been cleared to race in Mexico so far. That's all we know. It would be a real shame if I'm second in the points, fighting for first, and they don't let me finish. But, hey, I would have never got a chance to do that if they wouldn't put me in the first place. I'm all for whatever the team decides. But if we are all in a good position, I would think that it's probably the best team prepared to run three cars.
Q. (No microphone.)
JUSTIN WILSON: No comment.
Q. Oriol, now that you've been with Newman/Haas all season, at this race is the car more suited to your style of driving or are you having to adjust your style to the setup that Newman/Haas comes up with?
ORIOL SERVIA: Obviously, they won here last year. They were dominating here last year with Sebastien. They come here with last year's setup, which is a setup that has been a little bit evolved around the way Sebastien likes it and Sebastien drives. You know, so, basically I have to adapt a little bit to that. I think they've won a little more races than I've won. But, no, every race we are adapting it a little bit to my style. I think it's been shown the last few races that I'm a lot closer to him. Not Denver, we don't really know what happened there. I mean, we know in the race, but...But in San Jose and Edmonton, I was really, really close to him. Especially here on Friday. You know, we start basically on the Newman/Haas base setup but with a couple fine tunings that I believe are good. It's just natural, you know. I think each team always start with a similar setup for both drivers. And then, you know, within a little bit, you just, you know, a couple turns front wing here, camber, little touches to suit each driver.
Q. Justin, before you got here, Timo admitted the second time he went through the chicane, he knew that you were going to pass him if he had to go all the way around. Do you feel the official's penalty was strong enough? Obviously, you might have had a good shot at passing him.
JUSTIN WILSON: It's hard for me to say. If there was a wall there, the outcome would be quite different. You know, you get what you're given. I'm just pleased that we did the best job we could today. We ran strong with Sebastien, managed to pass him towards the end of the race. We've been quick all race. I'm just pleased with the performance we've done.
Q. Timo, what do you think is the single most important factor in your win today?
MERRILL CAIN: He was second, but we understand what you're saying.
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, we have every type of problem with the car in the qualifying definitely. I mean, I don't know why. The car is unbelievable in the race. It showed San Jose, it showed us in Denver when we run third in the race, couldn't finish because the gearbox broke. Today, the important thing was to go out of sequence to have clear laps the whole race. I think that was really important for us. The good thing was at the end, we changed a little bit the tire pressure. The car was unbelievably good in the last two stints and really consistent. That was the key I think for us to finish really first and now second.
Q. The strategy?
TIMO GLOCK: The strategy. I have to save a little bit more the next time, a little bit more 'push to pass' time for Oriol. But things happen like this.
Q. Timo, how much did your F1 experience play into keeping Oriol behind you today on this track?
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, the biggest experience for me, what I had last year in Formula One, was that I can go out. I went the first time out on Friday and said to David, to my engineer, "It's pretty nice to go out a track and know exactly where you have to go." Every track is new for me, except for Portland, because we had a test in Portland. But it was a help for me and we could go a little bit a different strategy on Friday and Saturday because we have to go out pretty early normally on Friday sessions. That destroys our tires pretty hard and makes difficult to find the right way over the weekend. I think it was a little bit an advantage. But Formula One and Champ Cars are so difficult. I think the fire at the end, that didn't help me with experience in F1 here.
Q. Oriol and Justin, everybody's focusing on the last chicane in the closing parts of the race. Obviously, in the first half of the race, Justin, you were able to pass Oriol. Could you take us through that. Didn't look like anybody had to shortcut that one.
ORIOL SERVIA: Yeah, I was a little bit frustrated the first half of the race because I was not able to save fuel. I was actually saving same as them, but I was not able to go as quick as Sebastien or very close. I mean, I think the three of us were actually running very close. You know, so when you are that pace, it's kind of like a gentleman agreement, you're all just saving fuel. But then my friend Wilson decided to use the 'push to pass' and make an attack there. You know, when I saw him coming, was too late. I pushed my 'push to pass', but he had already run on me. I tried to brake late to see if was going to blow the chicane. But he did a good job. He actually touched me. He had no reason for that, but his right rear touch my right front when he just went like this. I think he changed a little bit my tow, which wasn't bad.
TIMO GLOCK: There was no reason he touch me in the full-course yellow (laughter).
ORIOL SERVIA: Apart from that, actually in the later stages of the race, I got him back. You know, we both I think brake optimistic. I blew it. But he blew it, too. Both took shortcuts. I think in that case position stays where you exit.
MERRILL CAIN: Drivers, thank you very much. Very entertaining race. Congratulations. 11th round of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford comes your way September 24th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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