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USA GP: Thursday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
14/06/2007

Takuma, your feelings after your excellent race in Canada.
Takuma Sato: Yes, first of all, it's great that nobody was hurt in the last race, demonstrating that Formula One's safety level is so high after a lot of investigation a few years ago. That was the very first point that I had to make, and a big thanks to the teams. Personally, our team feeling is absolutely fantastic, that was an outstanding result for our team in the last one and half years. Obviously, it was a difficult race, so many things happened and such an eventful race and given the choice, I think everybody has got a chance, and everybody had slight difficulty, but at the end of the day, we made the right call. It was so exciting to race on the last few laps. I got my position back which was really exciting, I am very very happy with that.

Round the outside going into the final chicane, quite an overtaking manoeuvre.
TS: Montreal is difficult but nothing is impossible. I think overtaking after a long straight, heavy braking is possible but obviously you need to get a good exit out of the corner before. Not only that, you need a good car under braking and stability. Obviously, when I was battling with Fernando, his car had very good speed down the straight and at one stage he pulled away, even though I got a big tow, and that was quite surprising to see. But at the end of the straight I had the opportunity to go side by side, braking late and I was confident. I was totally controlled and comfortable because the one thing in the last race that affected everybody was the marbles, because the situation with tyres or strategy was unusual, so trying not to make any error was extremely important, so we had to figure out how to do it but I'm very pleased that we handled it very well.

What about here: you've been third on the grid, you've finished third, you've been on the podium; what about this race?
TS: Yes, personally I have great memories of Indianapolis. It's such a nice feeling, there's such a great momentum from last week and two consecutive races are always logistically difficult but from a driver's point of view, it's nice to have a race again straight away. I think it's going to be incredibly difficult to repeat what happened in Canada but I'm confident that our team prepares the best we can and hopefully we will have a strong weekend.

Jarno, obviously a shocking race for you in many ways last weekend.
Jarno Trulli: Well, the weekend was a bit dramatic at one stage, but fortunately we could overcome the problem with the front suspension and we shouldn't have any problems in the future. The part has been redesigned and we'll get it soon. But the race was also quite a chaotic and dramatic, because there were so many accidents, because of the safety car, because of the new rules, so many things happened, and obviously it was a difficult race. I think the people who won the race really deserved it but many others got lucky or not, losing or gaining position on the track, and probably I was the one who lost position and who lost a result. Unfortunately, after the accident with Robert I had to pit because I had a flat tyre and from then on I was just lying at the back of the field and I couldn't do much with the safety car coming out every time. It was very difficult.

How affected were you by that accident? How much were you thinking about that accident during the race?
JT: My race was basically spoiled there because I had to pit for an extra tyre change, so obviously I dropped down the field and there was very little I could do at that stage, but then on top of that, when you're involved in an accident, you are always concerned, especially when you see someone else's car completely destroyed, so it was very difficult. No one had any information about Robert until the end of the race, so I was a little bit concerned. I guess everyone was concerned.

What about this race? You've been on pole position here, four times you've finished fourth, twice from 20th or lower. What are the chances here?
JT: Well, if you look at the statistics, Canada has never brought me luck, whereas here I've always had very good races. I just hope I can bounce back, because it's now three races that I haven't scored points because of bad luck, and I just want to make sure that I have a troublefree weekend and try to do my best, and try to get the best out of the car.

Heikki, obviously a good result last weekend. How much of a relief was it to have that result?
Heikki Kovalainnen: Honestly, not so much. I've always felt confident, even after a lot of mistakes and after bad races, I haven't lost my confidence and I've always felt the team has been 100 percent behind me, so in that way it wasn't a big relief. It was good to score points, and to get five points is very important for myself, for the team and to get the championship going, now our car is getting better. So I think that's more important, but other than that, it doesn't really change my life and our team's life much at all.

Tell us about improvements in the car. Is it a lot better now?
HK: Yes, I think so. Already in Monaco the car was performing a lot better there and at the end of the race, my pace – even though I was driving at the back of the queue – was pretty good and Fisi had a strong result there. And throughout the weekend in Canada the car felt pretty good but obviously a couple of mistakes, one on Friday and one on Saturday, completely compromised my race, especially qualifying. We have to make sure that we get the full potential out of our car. I think we should be able to fight for top ten positions now on a consistent basis. When we get there, then the races become a lot easier, then we should also score points more consistently.

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