Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber), Alexander Wurz (Williams)

Questions from the floor:

Q: (Jeremy Filosa - Broadcast News Radio)
Nick you mentioned earlier the safety issues on this track, a lot of cars not finishing, the safety car coming out, a spectacular accident... Does something need to be done in order to ensure the safety of the pilots on this track?

Nick Heidfeld:
Well obviously we are always looking to improve the circuit and this definitely is not the best one but for me the bigger problems are the marbles off line. I don't know 100 per cent but I doubt that it was just rubber coming off the tyres. I think the circuit was breaking loose especially in turn ten and if that could be rectified for next year that would already be a big step. It doesn't sound difficult to do that, at least in theory for next year.

Q: (Rob Martier - CJAD Radio)
Lewis, two quick questions for you. Fernando didn't have the best of days. At this point do you even care?

Lewis Hamilton:
Of course. That's a bit of a silly question to be honest. He's my team-mate, I've got a lot of respect for him and we're quite good friends. At the end of the day we are a team, we both want to finish at the front. I don't know what happened in his race but we need to have a look and it's not good for him obviously.

Q: (Rob Martier)
You say that you are team-mates and you care about each other, that doesn't always seem to be the case. What might this do to the relationship from here on?

LH:
When does is not appear to be the case?

Q: (Rob Martier)
It's just my perspective.

LH:
Okay, me and Fernando... He's extremely professional and for me, coming into the team, I've got a huge amount of respect for him and I think he's grown to get on really well with me. At the end of the day he's the two-time world champion he'll bounce back without a doubt and I'm sure he'll be extremely quick in the next race.

Q: (Niki Takeda - Formula PA)
You said you were over the moon yesterday. How exactly are you feeling now? Are you on a different planet?

LH:
I am definitely on a different planet. It's just really hard to grasp everything, it just keeps getting better and better. Firstly getting to Formula One, my first tests, becoming the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race driver, having six podiums, already having a pole. You know I got that pole position and going into this weekend I really didn't think it would be my time. I thought Fernando was extremely quick here, perhaps he'll be quick this weekend and he'll get the job done. But that wasn't the case and I think I was fairly consistent, I drove quite well to keep it out of the wall and going into the race today I just had to knuckle down, keep focused and keep my mind clear and that's what I did. I think with the pace cars it made it even easier to do that. I'm looking forward to the next race that's for sure.

Q: (Fr?d?ric Ferret - l'Equipe)
You dreamt of being an F1 driver, you are. You dreamt of getting pole, you got it. You dreamt of winning a race, you did. What are you dreaming of now?

LH:
The next dream is obviously to win a Formula One world championship but, at the moment, we have to be realistic again. It's always good to bear in mind that I'm still a rookie and this is my first season. There are going to be some hard times. I hope that there aren't but it's just bound to happen, it's just the way it goes in this business and there'll be good days and bad days. But at the moment it's been consistent and that's down to the team and all the people around me. I've got a very well-grounded family and I think it works perfect.

Q: (Randy Phillips - The Gazette)
I read this week that you said pole position was better than sex, where do you rank this? (laughter)

NH:
He's too young still.

LH:
Yesterday it was a joke, it's a completely different feeling but... (more laughter)

Alex Wurz:
Did something change since yesterday?

LH:
It's definitely another level of feeling from yesterday, that's for sure.

Q: (Randy Phillips)
And also, what did your father say to you immediately after the race?

LH:
I haven't seen him but, obviously, I could see him in the crowd while I was on the podium and it looked like he had a tear in his eye. So it's obvious that he was extremely proud and you wouldn't believe the amount of work he's put into my career. He had nothing when he was younger. He lost his mum at a young age and just to see his family be successful is a real pleasure to him and I dedicate this race to him.

Q: (Bill Beacon - The Canadian Press)
Nick, I just wonder with Robert... If he has to miss some time will that affect you in any way when you are doing so well?

NH:
No, I don't think it should have a big effect. First of all, I hope he will be fine and returning to the cockpit soon. If not, we have some test drivers, but you would have to ask somebody else what would happen.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
The set-up here is quite similar to that of next weekend. How competitive do you think your car will be? Lewis I know you haven't been there but you've obviously been in the simulator and talked about the track with your engineers.

LH:
I actually haven't been on the simulator but I've seen it on computer games. I don't really know what to expect. I mean I've watched the previous races and onboard footage and looked at data. But I'll be going there with an open mind and having to do the same sort of job as I did here.

NH:
First of all I'm stunned about how quick we were here in race conditions. As I said earlier I think I could have finished second anyway, beaten probably one of the McLarens and both of the Ferraris. It is true that the downforce level in Indy is similar to here, probably a bit more, obviously then there are a lot more corners but this is one of the circuits where I've always done well. Apart from last year when I was flying a bit but I hope I will have better luck this year.

AW:
You have to know that next week we have different tyre choices, Bridgestone brings the super-soft and soft, it will be soft-medium and obviously that has an influence on the set-up. Temperature, grip level, friction level of the track is higher than here. So I think the stiffness of the car can be different depending on what we did here. The kerbing is more aggressive so you have different set-ups and traction control and differential in the end. I don't want to show off here but the details count and even if it is a similar set-up, it's a completely different story.

Q: (Tony Marinaro - The Team 990 Radio)
Lewis, when you take a look at the qualifying times and you take a look at the podium today you must really be excited at the progress the McLaren is making compared to the Ferrari?

LH:
Absolutely. Without a doubt the team has worked extremely hard as they do every year I think. Also Mercedes-Benz have done a great job too to develop the engine this year and that's a big step forward. But we've been very fortunate, the car has been very reliable and I go to the workshop as much as possible speak to as many of the people as I can and they probably get a much better feel of the car and where they want to improve things. They want to win as much as me and Fernando and that's the thing we share in common. We were surprised to see that Ferrari weren't as quick again this weekend but I'm sure they'll be back. So we need to make sure we keep on stepping forward and I'm sure we'll do that.

Q: (Dave Stubbs - The Gazette)
As you were going past the remains of Robert's car did you have a look at it and can you talk a little bit about the safety and integrity of these cars. We saw this accident happen. It was with absolutely tremendous force and the fact that he is apparently ok speaks volumes about the safety of the cars. Can you talk a little bit about the safety and how comfortable you feel knowing that something like this can happen at high speed and that you will do ok.

LH:
I feel great in the car, not worried at all. I know that they've done a fantastic job to make the safety the number one priority. I've not seen the crash but there was a lot of debris and obviously as I came past I wasn't focusing on the car I was focusing on trying not to run anything over. It is good to hear that he's well. I know Robert quite well from karting days and I really wish him all the best and his family. I think it's safe enough as you can see. I think we need to always improve.

NH:
It can never be safe enough. I think we have been extremely lucky that we haven't seen a very bad accident over the last couple of years but you have to remember that if we do more than 300kph wheel to wheel, open wheels, anything could happen. It's fantastic how much the cars have improved over the last couple of years. Usually each year the regulations make it harder for impact for the whole group and I hope it continues like that. I'm not worried but I hope we keep on the same direction in the circuits. In the last couple of years the circuits have also improved massively. Over the next few years we will go to more street circuits and hopefully it will stay that way. I think there are some exceptional street circuits that are definitely a bit dangerous but I think there is a possibility to make even a street circuit meet the normal FIA standards. I hope that will happen

AW:
We all shouldn't be too comfortable to be honest. It is motor racing. Formula One, with the speed is still extremely dangerous. You have to always be careful. If you are unlucky tragic accidents can still happen. I have to say thanks to so many people for pushing the safety. The FIA, the FIA Foundation and the FIA Institute, the teams, the manufacturers, really a lot of people put a lot of effort in to the safety. It's stunning that you know that many people care. The only thing I want to say is that, ok we are all pleased that Robert is fine. But, at the same time, I hope what Formula One achieves in terms of safety standards will be one day translated to the street because we have 1049 people dying in traffic accidents every day around the world and that is too many. So I think an accident like Robert's today shows how much safer cars can be and what you can get away with. I wish that would be the case for everybody in the world.

 

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