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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

Scott Speed
June 29, 2006


THE MODERATOR: Scott, obviously your first half of the Grand Prix season over, and here you are at your home race. Give us an assessment of your season so far.
SCOTT SPEED: For me it's been fantastic. You know, when you first get into Formula One, there's always a question, Do I belong here? Am I good enough to stay? I got a lot of confidence now with that. My team has been very supportive of me. Just feels great to be back here at home, I got to tell you.
THE MODERATOR: The good parts? The bad parts?
SCOTT SPEED: Those came in the same weekend. The good part was briefly having a point in Australia and the bad part was getting it taken away.
THE MODERATOR: What are the major surprises for you?
SCOTT SPEED: I think after the first race, there hasn't been so many surprises. You always have to do your first Grand Prix sometime. It's an experience that you have to go through. There's a steep learning curve at the beginning. Now we're just all trying to improve as much as we can. It's a bit difficult for us because of our engine situation, to keep up. Having a 10th place last weekend was a great result for us this late in the game.
Team is doing some big steps forward.
THE MODERATOR: You have the V10 Cosworth engine as opposed to everybody else's V8s? Is it an advantage or disadvantage?
SCOTT SPEED: Certainly at a track like Canada and here it's going to hurt us because we don't have the top horsepower. But surprisingly we were still pretty competitive in Canada. I'm still optimistic for this weekend.
THE MODERATOR: I'm sure there will be many more questions for you. Thank you.


THE MODERATOR: Some more questions, please.

Q. Scott, is Formula One as difficult or a lot more difficult than you anticipated?
SCOTT SPEED: I'd say it's for sure more difficult because the Formula One race is very long and there's a lot of different things that happen, with the fuel loads and the tires. To always be at a hundred percent of what the car can do is very difficult, for sure.

Q. When you talk about being a hundred percent, I would single out Michael here, many people do it, but the ability to run almost every lap, every race, like a qualifying lap, do you think you do that?
SCOTT SPEED: I certainly try. I can say it's very difficult because, like I said, there's a lot of different things that go on with cold tires, safety car periods, to always have the car on the limit, in the tricky circumstances, likes cold tires, high fuel, really worn tires, it's a bit more difficult.
But in normal race trim, yes, I think I do.

Q. Scott, what do you need to become a winner in F1? Obviously you had tremendous success in some of the junior formulas. How do you step up and become a winner in this series?
SCOTT SPEED: You know, I think compared to the American forms of motorsports, Formula One is very much more of a team sport. You have to think that these teams make their own cars, their own engines, their own electronic systems that control the cars.
I think that Red Bull and Toro Rosso is on the right way. But it's certainly not something that's going to happen this year. Maybe next year, if things go very well, we develop at very good rate, maybe a podium could be possible. But this is also being a bit optimistic. I think it's more of a three-year program.


Q. Scott, you sort of had a non-stop couple days here of radio interviews, TV interviews, newspaper interviews. How hectic has it been? How have you found the reception from the media here in Indianapolis?
SCOTT SPEED: It's been fantastic. Now when I go back and everyone asks me how Formula One is starting to shape up in America, I can tell them it's going really great. It's the first time I sort of have been able to experience the media in America. It's been a very, very warm homecoming for me, for sure.


Q. Scott, what is the secret for an American to get to Formula One, for a lot of these guys that want to end up over there?
SCOTT SPEED: Yeah, to have the opportunity to go to Europe where you have to go through the proper ladder series. For me I think that the European racing is much more competitive. And if you stand a chance in Formula One and you don't want to step in and look silly, you have to go over there and compete and do well against the Europeans.

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