Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes), Heikki Kovalainen (Renault), Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), Takuma Sato (Super Aguri), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso), Jarno Trulli (Toyota)

Questions from the floor:

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Scott, tell us what you saw of Robert's accident?

Scott Speed:
Well, actually after my accident at the very beginning of the race I was kind of stranded on the track without a way to get back to the pits. So I was using a chair and watching the big screen in front of me about three metres away from where Robert hit the first wall. So I was quite startled to say the least. Initially I was just really, really concerned because it was such a huge looking crash, especially as close as I was to it. Yeah, I waited like everyone else to make sure he was okay.

Q: (Ed Gorman - The Times)
Robert, can you tell us what you remember of it, yourself as you went through the accident, what was going through your mind and exactly what you can remember of that?

Robert Kubica:
Well, I can't remember a lot, of course. What I remember is what you see. We were racing with Jarno, the corner was going to the left. I showed up before the corner on the left-hand side of Jarno. Then as the corner was a left-hander, I thought Jarno would go there and I went on the right-hand side, but apparently Jarno thought I would be on the left one and he went a bit wider. I was not expecting it, we touched, the front wing went under the car and I had no more control. When I was on the outside of the track on the grass, suddenly I took something which lifted up my car pretty much and I hit the wall. When I stop, I stop. (Laughter) You know, nothing more. It shows, that - reviewing images - it looks how shocked I was, and in reality I was because when I stopped, I realized I was not in bad shape. That was very important for me. I have already been involved in one accident a few years ago. It was in a road car and I knew straight away that something was really bad. But this time when I stopped and I was checking myself, moving and I wanted to see what was going on. I felt a bit of ankle pain and that was all. So it was very important. It shows that the FIA's push for safety, to the teams and that the crash tests - everything - has shown a big improvement. And also big thanks to the FIA because in the end they are pushing for safety, and probably ten years ago we would not be speaking here, and this time I'm like nothing has happened.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Robert, you were still conscious at the end of the accident, how difficult was it to get you out of the cockpit?

RK:
Well, apparently it was not difficult but the problem was for me that there was some water or oil coming out from the car and I felt a lot of burning. As soon as the marshals were slowly pulling me out of the car, I felt burning on my shoulder because there was oil probably on the ground and it was really hot. But everything went smoothly, and thanks also to the rescue team and to everybody who was involved in my accident, from the doctors, from the rescue team, from the marshals - they have done a great job.

Q:
Just as a matter of interest, are drivers told not to move if you've had a big accident like that, are you asked just to stay still in the car, don't try and get out, don't try and undo your belts? Are there specific instructions? Perhaps Jarno is the most experienced.

Jarno Trulli:
No, we don't have any specific instruction. Obviously, as Robert says, the first thing you do is you check yourself. You try moving around if you're fine. It's important in such a big accident not to move your neck and spine too much because that's one part that can be really badly injured. But I think straight away you realize yourself if you're fine or not. Then it's up to the doctor the way they extract you from the car, that's what is important.

Q:
But you're not really expected to get out on your own after something like that?

JT:
If you can, if you feel okay, you will get out of the car by yourself. Because in a way, if you have a big pain, I don't think you will move much. You would feel a lot of pain.

Q: (Andreas Gr?bl - Die Presse)
Robert, did you actually get the chance to get on the radio and talk to your crew or was that system destroyed in the crash?

RK:
Well, looking at the pictures I think that the radio was not there anymore. I don't know what has been left in the car. I haven't seen it. I mean I've seen the pictures, this is a bit of a strange question I think. How do you want to talk? There was nothing left.

Q:
Is there a standard procedure of getting in contact with your team and saying: "I'm ok"?

RK:
Of course. There is but after such a crash you don't think to say something to the team, you think about yourself. As Jarno said it was important to not move. I could have gone out of the car by myself because I realised I was ok, but of course I could have been under shock and then the danger can be much more. So that's why marshals and the rescue crew and doctors said "Stay calm, we will pull you away from the car slowly." That's what is most important, keeping everything under control.

Q:
And how long honestly did it take until you thought "will I be able to race in Indy?"

RK:
I realised very quickly that I'm quite ok, of course you never know how you will be the day after... your headache... your neck... Everybody was saying the morning after would be the worst. The first thing was I woke up and then on Monday morning I stood up and tried to move and I had no pain at all. So I said: "Whoah, that's good." Of course I want to come back straight away but I know first of all it's about safety and it's your own body and mind that you have to listen to. Of course if I am not 100 percent I would say by myself I don't want to race because in the end it's not only me on the track but other drivers, marshals and everybody. But I feel very good so we have to wait for the FIA decision and then we will see.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Takuma, the car is much more competitive this year. How much of that is that you have a very good chassis and how much is that it is the second year for the team, you are much more gelled this year?

Takuma Sato:
Yeah, it is extremely important to get the momentum from last year. To be honest, obviously, last year's team was standing in an extremely difficult position with very limited resources. With 90 days to go to Bahrain, all we had was a four-and-a-half years old SA23 chassis. It's now a famous story, but I was also stuck in the Melbourne airport for long time...The build-up to take it back and build up the car like this... Through the season we consistently made little upgrades and every time they've led to good results. That obviously gave us confidence and we are doing a fantastic job and by the end of the season we were in 10th place in Brazil. So in our second season we wanted to improve from there, but we knew it would be extremely difficult to do that but we've done it and we are so happy to see the all the results come together. To be honest we didn't expect this type of result on the second year but the important thing was understanding what was good and what was not. I think our team is very strong on that point. We just earned a point and that is why we are here. I'm not expecting to do that job in every single race but we are continuously working and of course it helps with the communication that we are such a small team, that's been extremely important. Also you know we had a lot of great support from Honda and the relationship with them and the Super Aguri team is fantastic. I'm very very happy with them and very proud to be a part of it.

Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo)
The images of the accident show us that the protection of the cockpit was ruined by the first impact, leaving your head to move to all sides after that. Don't you think it is something to review in the safety standards?

RK:
I think you are not right. Simply.

Q:
It wasn't like that?

RK:
Yes.

Q:
Lewis, I think you have had a bit of an exciting journey getting here?

Lewis Hamilton:
I was in New York for a couple of days, I had an appearance for Mercedes Benz. Then I went to Washington yesterday for another appearance for Exxon Mobil and getting back the flight was delayed from 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock half an hour at a time, then eventually it was cancelled at nine. So we ended up staying in a hotel and luckily we flew out this morning.

Q:
Tell us about your feelings about the reaction to last weekend?

LH:
As I've said I've been in New York so I've not really heard too much about it. I know that I had the front pages back in the UK on the Monday which is awesome. But other than that I've not really been able to feel what has gone on around the world.

Q:
I think the reaction has been phenomenal but it's extraordinary that you haven't been able to gauge that.

LH:
I think that's been quite good to be honest, I've been able to relax. I have had something like 200 text messages from friends and it's almost impossible to reply to them all but I'm trying.

Q:
And your feelings after last weekend, coming into this race?

LH:
Well, obviously it's a big stepping stone in my career and in my life. It was a great feeling to get the first win and definitely not expected going into my sixth Grand Prix. Especially at Canada which wasn't one of my strongest circuits. I think Fernando was probably quicker than me there. But I did a solid job. It's obviously very positive for the team, we've extended our lead in the constructor's championship... great points for me... and coming here we've got to continue with that performance. I know the guys back at the factory are still working very hard and we are not taking it lightly that we are ahead.

Q:
Are you expecting Ferrari to be more competitive this weekend than they were in the last two races?

LH:
Possibly, after the last race they were probably scratching their heads and definitely focusing very hard to improve for the next race. In only a week you can't make too many improvements. But I don't know why they weren't as quick as us last weekend. As you can see they've been very quick here in the past few years so surely they'll be quick here. But fingers crossed we will be able to match them.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, I don't know if you know what Fernando said to radio, Spanish radio. He said that the team supports you more than him because you are British. Do you feel there is all this support from the team, there is not equal support between the two drivers?

LH:
I find it strange he said that because I feel that ever since he joined the team, the team have been extremely motivated to push us both toward winning. Ron and the other guys on the team have been working very hard to make sure we have equal opportunity. It's probably always going to be difficult in a business, but obviously I've got a great relationship with all the guys in the team because I've been with them since I was 13. At the end of the day when Fernando came into the team, they were extremely excited and I feel built a very good relationship with him. So I don't see why he would say that. But I guess because he is Spanish and I am English, he might feel that way, but I don't agree with it personally.

Q: (Marco Evangelisti - Corriere dello Sport)
Lewis, now you have the possibility to become not only world champion but even the youngest world champion ever, do you have any particular feeling about that?

LH:
To be honest, I try not to focus on that. I think I came into the season with a very open mind and being realistic of the fact that I am a rookie and I've got a lot to learn. It is still very steep learning curve, and yes, I have a great opportunity to be in the best team and have one of the best drivers to compare myself to. But I still feel there's going to be times during the season which will be some lows, some highs, and I think it's way too early. Eleven races to go, I think it's way too early to even start thinking about the championship. I just have to approach every race exactly the same as I always have and to try and do a solid job. Each time I go out in the car, I learn something new. I'm becoming more and more comfortable in the car, with the team, with the controls and with the rules and the regulations and just the whole racing. I'm always learning bit by bit and I will continue throughout the season.

Q: (Paulo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, do you think that Fernando is surprised by your results? That's probably why he said these things? He was not expecting you to be as quick and to win so early?

LH:
I doubt very much that he was expecting me to do as well as I have. But I don't know whether that's why he would be saying what he's saying. But definitely coming into the team, he's the two-time world champion and he's not really been challenged -- well, I think he has some challenges in the past but not really had probably someone as close as me and as good a friend off the track probably. So it's a very difficult situation.

Q: (Dan Knutson - National Speed Sport News)
Scott, you've been in town a couple of days. What sort of welcome have you had from the fans and the people of Indianapolis?

Scott Speed:
Yeah, I think very similar to last year. It's like my homecoming of the year. Certainly I have a lot more support here than the rest of the races. It's nice to be back in America. I'm enjoying my time here very much.

Q: (Steve Keating - Reuters)
Lewis, when you were out and about in New York and Washington, did you get recognised at all yet by Americans?

LH:
I got recognised a couple of times, but I think it was a Spanish couple (laughter). No, no, actually I was quite surprised. They said we're Spanish but we support you. And then there was a couple of English tourists out there. But none of the Americans have noticed. I was able to walk around as free as everyone else.

JT:
The Spanish couple was lying. (more laughter)
Q: (Derek Daly - Speed TV)
Takuma, you mentioned how quickly the team was set up last year and I presume the factory Honda team gave you a lot of help. Have they asked for help back yet? (Laughter)

TS:
To be honest, as the same Honda family, we are both competing with each other to improve the performance now. But I think at the end of the day it's still up to the individual team. No, we don't do this, but our team's ambition -- my personal ambition is still same. Not beating one team but beating everybody else. If anybody is in front of you, there is opportunity. If you are aiming towards the head, you have to overtake everything and pass them for the team. So hopefully this situation made us even stronger, but I think with either team, it's the same Honda family but I think we are competing with each other in very nice way.

Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto Motor und Sport)
Lewis, in a race like Montreal, how much were you aware in the cockpit that if the safety car comes out at the wrong moment your race could have been over, whatever advantage you have before and what do you think about this rule in general?

LH:
Obviously, I was aware of it going into the race. It's always going to be an issue. So far this year I think we've all been very fortunate where it's not hampered us but obviously it did in Montreal. But I was obviously in the right place at the right time. Very fortunate that the team made a good decision, got me in a lap early and I avoided the first safety car. My views... I have not really had too many troubles with it, so I don't have any bad views of the rule but I can't say it is the best idea. I think the previous years were maybe a little bit better.

Q: (Ren? Hofmann - S?ddeutsche Zeitung)
To Robert, could you tell us what have you done the last few days? When did you arrive here? When did you leave Montreal and what did you do in between?

RK:
Well, of course, I tried to relax and just cool down and make sure that I will be a hundred percent fit for this Grand Prix and we tried to do some rehabilitation. We did some relaxing, walking. The ankle is improving a lot and now is a hundred percent back to normal. So this was very important to get done, even the small problem that I had to be fixed and now it's fixed. So I thank to Ricardo and Joseph (Team members) who helped me in these three days, we have done good job and I'm able to be here.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi - La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Lewis, coming here as a winner, how is your feeling to be in this monument of motor racing? And have you, something that you remember about this track, the 500 miles? And a question for Robert. If you thought after accident, about the fact that you have the image of John Paul II in your helmet?

LH:
I come here feeling exactly the same as I have for every race, very excited. I have literally just driven into the circuit and I haven't had time to see anything. It's an amazing opportunity for any driver to come here and compete. Watching the Indy 500 over the years, it's an awesome race and I've always wanted to go and watch and be a spectator. But to be here racing on the circuit is pretty cool. Just flying over, I could see what the track was like. It's quite a nice complex.

RK:
I think it's quite personal question, so I will not comment. I mean I think it's not related to racing, so I keep it for myself.

 

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