IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union
Topics: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union
April 10, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our race winner, Will Power. Will, earlier this week you didn't seem too happy with your car. Then you had a change in race strategy, and you seemed to pull off the perfect weekend, winning the pole, leading all the laps and winning the race. Talk about what changed?
WILL POWER: Nothing really changed. We changed the car a little bit from our warm-up this morning. I have to say, it's the first time all weekend that I've had a good balance in the car.
Yeah, it was just one of those days where you put everything together. I was very cool in the car, you know. I'm physically fine.
It was a bit of a fuel race in the beginning there, so preserving tires and fuel. And Dixon gave me a good run for my money at the end there. We were both pushing as hard as we possibly could. It was a great day. Love it. I just think our team as a whole is a lot more solid this year because we've been together a year. It's just all gelling well.
Q. Talk about the last road course race?
WILL POWER: I was in Sonoma that year, but, yeah, my last road course race was Ericsson. I was actually. I hope that Clive, Hal and his wife is okay and makes a speedy recovery. He's a great guy, and I enjoy hearing his English accent there on the radio.
Q. Is he here?
WILL POWER: Yeah, he had to take off. I'm not exactly sure what the deal is.
WILL POWER: It was, yeah, it was about saving fuel. So I really had to lift in the corner to try to maintain lap times. It was quite difficult, and the tires were going off. So I thought if I just pulled a little bit of gap from the second place, I'd make them push out to have his tires go off a little bit more and give me a bit of a buffer, and that was the key.
Yeah, I can't think of a race where I've been so cool, physically fine, and had the strategy and everything go so right. Sonoma last year.
Q. Can you talk about how badly you wanted to win and what happened last year?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it's just satisfying not only to get the win here, because I felt like we would have should have won last year. We had such a good car. I've led every single practice session on the pole, and we didn't get it.
I was very determined to do that this weekend, in a relaxed way. I didn't want to do something stupid. But, yeah, very happy about that. Just happy to get another win this year to get things rolling.
The team and everything, everybody gets confidence, and it all flows from there.
Q. I heard you say it was relaxing.
WILL POWER: I would not is say it was relaxing there at the end with Dixon all over me. But I mean physically. In St. Pete, I suffered for some reason. I don't know why. Maybe I was dehydrated. I was dehydrated for the race.
Here physically I felt great in the car. I wasn't puffing or anything. I was just relaxed and able to get the absolute most out of the car mistake free.
Q. Can you talk about the restart and where you were relative to the center line? Did you crowd a little too much?
WILL POWER: I think that the rule is that you can be anywhere on the track after the start/finish line. Simple as that. That's what I was told on the start/finish line.
I was told on the radio he was upset with me for putting him almost in the grass. I would have given him more room. I didn't realize that's what the problem was. All he did is come up beside me and take a big weave at me. If they told me what the problem was, I would have helped him out there.
Q. He did what to you?
WILL POWER: Weave, whatever you call it. We tried to hit each other, we. Were both going at it there. Fans love that sort of thing. You've got to have a bit of friction between drivers, you know.
Q. Are you going to weave him now?
WILL POWER: I gave him one back with the hand like what? I'm sure if he's leading on the restart and I'm next to him, he's going to crowd me now, you know. But I owe Dario one as well for driving me into the wall last week. It goes in a circle here.
Q. (Inaudible) they got a lot of practice today. Was that worrisome?
WILL POWER: No, it definitely was worrisome. If he got by me on one of those restarts, I wouldn't have gotten back in. I think here you're pretty safe if you're leading because you've got that nice, inside clean turn one. And you get the exit out of turn two and you're fine.
Once I realized that, that was the case, I thought we're great. I'm going to win this thing.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I answered that question before. I'm very satisfied.
Q. Can you elaborate?
WILL POWER: I don't think I can elaborate anymore. But, yeah, I was very determined this weekend. I left last year thinking, man, we had the best car, led every single practice session. Didn't come away with what we wanted.
And all the crew felt the same as well. They all felt, and you saw it on the yellow stop, they pumped out the best stop you've ever seen. Yeah, it was a good day, mistake-free, and everything went right.
Q. Can you he elaborate on that?
WILL POWER: I loved it!
WILL POWER: She must have pitted pretty close to that then. She must have been on a three-stop strategy if that was the case. Yeah, because there's no way you would keep red going off for 30 laps and then go off. They were actually very good and consistent this year. Reds at both races this year have been held on better than last year.
I like it when they go off badly. It makes for good racing. I think they need to make tires like that. That creates passing, and some cars go off worse than others.
WILL POWER: Yeah, actually, no, it's not the same red. It's a little bit different. I think it's the Sonoma red. I don't think they're the same anywhere this year, because I believe they can't use the same chemicals in the tires or I don't know. The tires haven't been the same at any track so far.
Q. Are you looking ahead to Long Beach? It's a pretty good track.
WILL POWER: I think it's going to be really quick there. I just worry about restarts. That's my biggest worry at that track, into turn one. It's just going to be worse than St. Pete.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations and we'll see you in Long Beach.
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