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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA


April 11, 2015


Juan Pablo Montoya


AVONDALE, LOUISIANA

THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll get started with today's post‑qualifying press conference.テつ We're pleased to be joined by Juan Pablo Montoya driving the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet for Team Penske.テつ Juan, it's been a pretty wet track throughout the past couple of days.テつ But tell us a little about starting from the front and being able to continue your strong start to the season?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Oh, I mean, we were lucky, but at the same time that's why you need the points, when you have days like this, it will pay off.テつ You know, we try something a little different for qualifying, and we made a mistake there with the set‑up, but it is what it is.テつ
I think our car was actually pretty good.テつ I didn't get to run the entire practice session in the morning.テつ Like I put new tires on my fast lap I got‑‑ you know, the red flag came out, and on the lap I was actually up to the point I was running I was on pace with Simon, and Simon was T‑3 or whatever he was, so I thought we had a pretty good car.テつ
You know, I still feel like to win the race I feel like we need a tenth or two to be a little quicker.テつ Going to make some changes for tomorrow, and we'll see what happens with the weather now.テつ That is the big question mark.テつ I think IndyCar did a great job today making an effort to run the qualifying.テつ I think that was a ballsy call, and I think that's what it takes.テつ I think it was great.テつ
To be honest with you, after I spun, when they were bringing me back and they found more water already from those two minutes, it was incredible how much more water was sitting.テつ I don't know how much this is going to last, and it kind of gave me a bit of a smile, but it is what it is.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ It seemed like the track time might give you a little more confidence knowing Team Penske was so strong in St. Petersberg and does seem so strong above the other teams.テつ Would you say that's true?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I think on the street courses we definitely seem to have the upper hand.テつ For some reason we've been really strong.テつ We've been really good in all the testing.テつ This is the only place we didn't do a lot of‑‑ I mean, we tested with the old car, and it was tough the rest of the year.テつ So I think everybody was getting used to it.テつ And we came here the first day with the aero kit.テつ I think personally we're a little behind from where we needed to be.テつ But, hey, it is what it is.

Q.テつ You have no control over the weather, but it's got to be something you think about when you're doing the race set‑ups and debriefs with the team.テつ So how does that kind of change the whole thing when you meet with the team tomorrow?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Well, at the moment you've got to look at the two things.テつ Okay, if it's dry, where are we going to run?テつ And if it's wet, where are we going to run?テつ You have to look at the two scenarios.テつ If it's dry, we're going to go with this.テつ And we're going to try to run here, here and here.テつ And if it's wet, then you've just got to wait to see what the weather does, and how much rain are we going to get tonight?テつ Are we going to have a warm‑up tomorrow?テつ There are a lot of unknowns.テつ
The hard thing is we keep going every time back to a green racetrack.テつ Every time we've run there is a green racetrack.テつ So the track hasn't really rolled.テつ So the question is, okay, we kind of know what it's going to do from testing, but is it going to really evolve enough?テつ We have a lot of entry issues with my car, for example, that we know when it rubbers up, they're going to go away.テつ But every time we go out there, the first time we're like hanging on for dear life.

Q.テつ How well did the track drain water?テつ Did you see any trouble spots developing?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ There is, I think turn 9, the fast chicane, the right‑left, and that left‑hander there is going to be a lot of standing water there.テつ I'm sure there are a couple more spots.テつ I mean, I think five was a little bit, six.テつ The new asphalt on six was slippery, but it's not standing water, so it doesn't matter.テつ There are a couple of apex's where there is lots.テつ
But the thing is if we can keep running, it's okay.テつ Once you stop, you're done.テつ I mean, the first group was lucky enough to run when it wasn't too wet.テつ I mean, it was wet, but there was not so much standing water they could actually start clearing the water.テつ The car starts clearing water, and you start seeing the two‑‑ like you go into the corners and that's awesome.テつ You're looking for the two groups where you want to run the front tires.テつ When that goes away, then you're in trouble.

Q.テつ Juan, I know you're more worried about your car, but this is the first time you've been here.テつ Can you express a little bit of the disappointment from the fans standpoint?テつ The people that came out here today?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, it is what it is. テつWe all want to have a beautiful sunny day, we do.テつ But that is the only thing we can't control is weather, you know?テつ I think the event has been pretty good.テつ To tell you the truth, I've watched a couple of races, that little Miata race, that was pretty cool.テつ You look at that last lap, I mean, they were going at it.テつ I mean, I was entertained watching it.テつ
People see the cars and trucks all days.テつ It was weird we were sitting just waiting for it to run.テつ I mean IndyCar made a big effort even yesterday to try to clean the track, and they went too far, and they went, oh.テつ So, we told them, hey, try to dry it more so we can run, and they did.テつ
We were not even sure if we were going to run.テつ I told the guys, IndyCar made the effort, we should make the effort, and we all ran and it was good.テつ I mean, we're here to put a show and make a good show for the fans, and I think we have done that.テつ Are we disappointed with the weather?テつ Yeah, everybody is.テつ But you can't control that, you know what I mean?テつ A week ago we knew it was going to be raining or ten days ago.テつ Tomorrow supposedly it looks a little better than it used to be.テつ But it looks better because it's not a hundred percent chance of rain.テつ It's like 60 or 70, so that's better.

Q.テつ You can run in the rain, but how much rain can you run in and feel comfortable that you've put on a competitive race?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I don't think anybody knows that.テつ Because there was a lot of rain in that second session, and the problem with the rain is it's when you have thunder, like today.テつ You can't control that.テつ But, I mean, I think you can run in more water than they think they can.テつ It would be really slow, but everybody will be really slow.テつ
I mean, if you know there is a big puddle and you need to slow down, if not you're going to aquaplane, well, then you slow down.テつ You know what I mean?テつ You've just got to know how far you can go.

Q.テつ Are there any benefits that you can see with your driving style racing in the rain, if that is the case?テつ Is?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Normally I'm really good in the rain.テつ Today we struggled, but, I mean, it is what it is.テつ You know, we kind of think we know what happened, and we made a change on the basis of what happened.テつ How you're thinking it's going to be good here, and it wasn't.テつ But, you know, I'm a big boy.テつ I'll take it as it is.テつ What can you do?テつ It is what it is.

Q.テつ A lot of these fans were witnessing qualifying open‑wheel sessions for the first time.テつ The very first time this Session 1 came around the turns and they saw the unbelievable rain from the water on the track.テつ The question I kept hearing over and over was how can you see?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ You don't.

Q.テつ That is my question.テつ The visibility, how do you see?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Normally there are a lot of reference points, and you normally look to the side of the track.テつ Instead of forward, you guide yourself from the side.テつ But that's kind of normal in an open‑wheel.テつ That's nothing.テつ The hard thing is it's hard because you haven't driven enough on the wet.テつ You don't know where the markers are, and you don't know if the guy in qualifying that first stop, did the guy lift it or keep it wide open?テつ If he lifted and you're going wide open, you're going to have a massive‑‑ so you kind of ‑‑ the first time you go, oh, and everybody does it.テつ When I was in Formula 1, I remember the style was like that when you went to the top of the hill, and after a rooster and the long strait in the wet, or the old Hockenheim, those long straits.テつ I remember once in Hockenheim in the Junior Formula, like 3,000 in the Junior Formula, I went to the grass to avoid somebody, and I started 14th.テつ When I made it back to the track out of the corner because I went like 300 yards in the grass, and I was P2.テつ So how that happened, I don't know.テつ I didn't hit anything.テつ
But it is what it is.テつ You know what I mean?テつ You learn.テつ But this place is pretty open.テつ With the wind, it clears pretty fast.

Q.テつ Juan, with the introduction of the aero kits and all the undertray changes they made, was the spray any better, any worse, no difference?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I would think it's probably less because the parts are bigger, but it's massive.テつ Doesn't matter.

Q.テつ Juan, we heard some talk about there be a three‑stop race.テつ With the rain coming and the cars being slower, do you see it changing to a two‑stop race or will it still be three?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I have no idea, because the fuel mileage gets a lot better in the rain.テつ So million‑dollar question.テつ To be honest with you, I haven't really paid attention to that yet.テつ We'll look at that tomorrow morning while we're out there after this.

Q.テつ Tomorrow you're going to start alongside your teammate who is usually very fast here.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I don't know, we haven't raced here.

Q.テつ True.テつ Can you use your push to pass on the start?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ We all do.テつ Like every restart we're like‑‑ honestly, you're waiting, as soon as you get wide open, you think, oh, and get on it and keep going, you know?テつ It is what it is.テつ That's kind of normal.テつ Like every time you've got a long strait.

Q.テつ (No Microphone)?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ You can get even more than several.テつ Think about it, it's wider.テつ It's pretty wide.テつ I mean, the track is wide, plus that extra space behind the curve, so it's really you have some wide to really wide.

Q.テつ How is the visibility in the rain different on a permanent road course compared to a street course since the walls are much tighter?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ In street courses the speeds are so much slower, the water it's not as bad.テつ You saw it get a little on the strait but it's not as bad because, I mean, you're going to slow.テつ Like Toronto last year in the long strait you couldn't see anything.テつ Like zero.テつ You go wide open, and you're just going through the gears, just, hmm‑hmm.テつ Now I think I'll start getting on the gas maybe here.テつ That's how you do it.テつ At least this is how I do it.

Q.テつ Do you think that not just you, but maybe Team Penske as a whole got a bit of a break based on how the other cars were practicing?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, I mean, but it's the way the rules are.テつ You know, they give you the rules to play with, and that's what it is.テつ Were we strong enough to be up there?テつ I don't know.テつ I think in the drive we would have been okay.テつ Were we dominant?テつ No.テつ But I think Simon looked really good.テつ Will looked really good, and I thought I had probably close to the same pace as Will.テつ
But that is what it is.テつ It's the rules that we play with.テつ If we would have struggled on some speed, then we would have started in the back.テつ Sometimes it goes your way.テつ Sometimes it goes against you.テつ Look, Dixon's been really quick, and where is he starting?テつ There you go.テつ He was going to start where I was supposed to start, but we swapped.テつ Thanks.テつ We did.

Q.テつ Who do you consider the best drivers in the series in wet conditions?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It changes.テつ I think I'm really good in the wet.テつ I think Bourdais is really good in the wet.テつ I think Will some days when things click for Will, he's really, really good.テつ But when it doesn't click, it's not.テつ I mean, there is not a happy medium.テつ Helio is really good in the wet, but we were really good here when we came to test the first day with the aero kit, we were really happy and our balance is nowhere near what we had before.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Good luck tomorrow.テつ Thank you.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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