Rear View Mirror: Indianapolis
July 3, 2006 | 9:47 A.M. EST
With eight cars eliminated from Sunday’s United States Grand Prix between Turns 1 and 2, there surely was going to be a heavy dose of blaming as teams and drivers tried to rationalize the incident – despite Race Stewards declaring nobody was at fault.
While PR agents "cleaned up" a lot of quotes about the incident, it was clear that most involved place the blame squarely on the shoulders of McLaren Mercedes’ Juan Pablo Montoya.
"I made a really good start and was quick off the line. However things got messy at the second corner and Juan Pablo hit me from behind and that was the end of the race," said fellow teammate Kimi Raikkonen in his post race press release. "There is no point in blaming anyone as these sort of things happen in racing and especially when you are not at the front."
"It's just so wide and we're funneling into something very tight so, and then Turn 2 is where people always get into trouble," said Williams’ Mark Webber. "Obviously, Juan Pablo (Montoya) got into the back of Kimi Raikkonen, and then Kimi and Jenson, and then me. So much bad luck; you just get used to it."
While there were many other quotes like those above (five more to be exact), there was one driver who was grateful for what appeared to be Montoya’s mishap.
"Firstly, a special thanks to Montoya for his contribution to my points finish! I was up alongside Christian (Klien) at the start going into Turn 1 and could see Tonio (Liuzzi) coming up on the outside," said Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard, who finished seventh on Sunday. "I didn't like the look of it, so I backed off, kept in the middle of the road and let them all go past. I understand that Montoya then created a shunt, so we picked up a lot of places there."
Motorsport Personalities take in F1
Many NASCAR, Champ Car World Series, and IRL IndyCar personalities took the opportunity to experience the Formula One spectacle this weekend at Indianapolis.
Following Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers and Jeff Gordon all flew up to Indiana to watch the United States Grand Prix in person.
"The F1 Cars are amazing," said Johnson, whose wife Chandra went with him to the race. "I’m a big fan of all motorsport. It’s great to have F1 here in Indianapolis, and it’s nice to be here and be part of it."
Other personalities included NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Erin Crocker, Champ Car Champion Sebastien Bourdais, Champ Car Team Owner Carl Haas and IRL IndyCar owner and Grand American road racing driver Adrian Fernandez.
Trulli Enjoying North American Swing
Following the two races in North America, the Canadian Grand Prix and the USGP, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli may not want to race anywhere else.
After starting the season with zero points in the first eight races, Trulli has amassed eight points following his sixth place finish in Montreal and fourth place finish at IMS. Even more impressive is that the Italian was able to finish in fourth place after starting Sunday’s race from pit lane after his crew made changes to his car under parc ferme conditions after qualifying.
"Even though I was starting from the pit lane, I knew we had a big chance today because the car was quick. So it was a pity about (Saturday) but nevertheless I knew we could make up ground by pushing hard," said Trulli. "I had a bit of luck because I could profit from the pile-up at the first corner and the safety car period. But I'm very happy because I was able to match the times of the other runners in the early stages despite having more fuel on board."
"I'm the kind of person who always wants more so we're disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the podium. But after everything that has gone wrong for me this year, it's great to have a day when everything goes right. Now I'm really confident for the rest of the season."
With the two straight point finishes, Trulli is now tied with teammate Ralf Schumacher in the championship standings in 11th place overall.