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May 29, 2015

Sebastien Bourdais

Helio Castroneves

Juan Pablo Montoya

Simon Pagenaud

Will Power

Takuma Sato


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Juan Pablo Montoya.テつ
You're coming to Detroit, Roger's home track.テつ How great is it to represent your team not only as a member of Team Penske but the reigning Indy 500 winner?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I think it's good.テつ We had a decent practice.テつ Just really couldn't put a good lap together because so many red flags and stuff.テつ In qualifying we made a couple changes.テつ We made it a little better but it wasn't as good as we wanted it.テつ Good thing we got a practice tomorrow.テつ
I had a regular lap coming there.テつ It was supposed to be a 10.テつ It was just on par to be good enough.テつ I said, You need more.テつ To run a 10, you can't get to a place and say, I do what I did before, because it becomes a 30.テつ
Right before the fountain, I just rolled too fast, understeer, couldn't get back to the gas fast enough.テつ Turning, understeer, c'mon.テつ You're suffering.テつ
To tell you the truth, you probably hear other people complain about the bumpiness of the track.テつ But it reminds me of '99, 2000, street course, a lot of personality.テつ There's a couple good bumps.テつ Makes it a little tricky.テつ Has a lot of character.テつ Last corner, man, it's fast.テつ Way too fast.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Also joined by Takuma Sato.テつ
Takuma, you've qualified strong here in the past.テつ Juan was just talking through how physical this track is.テつ What makes this track so challenging?テつ
TAKUMA SATO:テつ Certainly these bumps wake me up this morning.テつ It was massive, the bump.テつ The undulation never stop on the straight with the concrete section.テつ
In the corners it was actually okay.テつ Last two corners present more grip.テつ But other than that, most of the corners were same as before.テつ Turn six to seven was significantly improvement in terms of grip, but the bumps really made it difficult.テつ Again, repeat what he said.テつ But braking into turn seven, there is one big bump, everybody bottoming out.テつ That's real tricky to overtake.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Helio Castroneves joins us.テつ
We were just talking through the challenging aspects of this track.テつ I see you cringing over there.テつ How was qualifying for you?テつ Can you talk about the track improvements you've noticed as someone that comes here a lot.テつ
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Qualifying was awesome.テつ Too excited.テつ The Hitachi car is awesome.テつ Really, really good.テつ Unfortunately off by 2 or 3/100ths of a second.テつ We couldn't make it.テつ
The No. 1 car, they were a little bit better on the strategy, end up having the new tires for the last run.テつ They end up beating us.テつ But we show that the car is really good, the car is awesome.テつ Great job from Roger and my engineer Jonathan.テつ Great result for Team Penske.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions.テつ

Q.テつ What was it like out there on sort of a new track, new concrete?テつ You had rain, heat, all sorts of conditions.テつ How did it feel?テつ
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ I'm glad it was concrete.テつ If it would be asphalt, it would probably take forever to dry.テつ The first group, which I was in, it would be a little bit rough.テつ
No, it's great.テつ Right now it's wide.テつ Let's see what happens.テつ At this point I'm really happy with the performance of the Hitachi car.テつ
TAKUMA SATO:テつ I think rain wouldn't be the problem.テつ As we see the new part of the asphalt is really grinded.テつ You touch it, you can see like sandpaper.テつ Like Helio said, it's going to dry up faster and grip better.テつ

Q.テつ You qualified in mostly dry conditions today.テつ Tomorrow looks like mostly wet.テつ Same for everyone, but how does that affect your team?テつ
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ We got to go one step at a time, see what happens.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I think track position is important.テつ If it's going to be wet, being up front is going to help. テつ
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Yeah, we're glad we're up front.テつ

Q.テつ Takuma, wet and concrete.テつ Is it going to be raceable?テつ
TAKUMA SATO:テつ It is raceable.テつ I mean, what makes it difficult is the compound cannot get in.テつ If it's like a shining concrete, it cannot get into - how can I say - the surface.テつ But because this is grinded, sort of like diamond, sort of like IMS.テつ If it rain, concrete is really slippery, like Toronto we experience.テつ I think here it should be fine - I think.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We welcome Sebastien Bourdais.テつ
Sebastien, you haven't qualified worse than ninth this season.テつ What has been the turnaround?テつ Why have you been so strong to start these race events?テつ
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ But the problem is I can't seem to qualify better than sixth.テつ We'll keep working on it.テつ But obviously we're missing that last little bit.テつ That last little bit today was a lot in Q3.テつ
We didn't quite understand what happened there, to be honest.テつ It's tough to be satisfied when you're a second off.テつ We'll look at it, hope that the consistency is going to remain the same.テつ Obviously the combination of the cars was good all through the seasons so far.テつ We hope to keep that going.テつ We seem to be racing a little better than we qualify.テつ
The car is very consistent all the time.テつ Seems to be taking care of the tires.テつ So, you know, tomorrow will be a very different day and hopefully we can have a good race.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with questions.テつ

Q.テつ Helio, your team does this very well.テつ You don't get to try out the red tires until you show up to qualify.テつ

Q.テつ Your team seems to have good balance.テつ Some teams can't seem to find that.テつ I understand you only get three sets for the entire weekend.テつ

Q.テつ How do you manage that to have them for both races?テつ
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ Well, for the race, we end up getting one set, brand-new set, which is normal.テつ But for qualifying, we didn't use any new set extra.テつ We could.テつ The rules allow us to do it, but we didn't.テつ
Tomorrow is only one qualifying.テつ We saved one set for tomorrow.テつ I think that's the way it's going to be.テつ
At this point we feel that the balance we setting up with blacks seem to be very comfortable and acceptable in reds.テつ Right now all four cars seem to be going, advance to the top six.テつ Both setups, black and reds.テつ
Sometimes the blacks, sometimes it becomes a little bit difficult.テつ You put the reds, it fix all the problems.テつ

Q.テつ Takuma, tell us a little bit about the Honda today.テつ Did it make some strides out there?テつ
TAKUMA SATO:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ Nice to be squeezing into the top six with the Chevrolet's dominance.テつ We've been there.テつ St. Petersburg we were top six.テつ It's not impossible.テつ Hunter-Reay had a really good qualifying at Long Beach.テつ
Once the car got everything together, seems like be able to compete with the highest level.テつ The window is very narrow for our package, so it's very difficult to manage.テつ
I think here as it is so bumpy, you never going to get the consistent cornering anyway.テつ
I had quite a good feeling from last year.テつ So pleased to put everything together.テつ The No. 14 car worked well, and the crew.テつ HPD, Honda, put everything they can.テつ Obviously we made some changes for the front wing for this Grand Prix for the safety reason.テつ One nice thing that we don't have to worry about too many configuration on the front wing.テつ Very simple, up and down front flap.テつ I think it made it okay.テつ Certainly for the race situation, I think we may be better.テつ

Q.テつ You talked about the changes in the track surface, bumps, bottoming out of the cars.テつ Do you feel anything should be done to the track before the races tomorrow and Sunday or is that acceptable the way it is?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:テつ What bumps (laughter)?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ You know what I mean, I think it's hard, because us driving for Penske, everybody thinks it's going to go always great.テつ
In '99, 2000, every street course was like that.テつ I know there's a couple bumps they need to fix probably for next year.テつ But I think it makes it technical.テつ You know what I mean?テつ It's a street course.テつ I mean, go to New York and drive on the roads.テつ
TAKUMA SATO:テつ The one consolation is turn 14, just in front of main straight.テつ There is a big bumps.テつ Really it's going to airborne.テつ I'm thinking about if it's two-wide on the start.テつ For the outside guy, is going to have a little suffer.テつ Hopefully it's nothing to do with safety, but I had airborne, yeah, at the turn 14.テつ If you go on the line, the outside, huge bump.テつ Maybe that one we need to look at with Brian once he arrive.テつ Turn seven braking, I don't know what else can do, grind it off a little bit.テつ I think it's helpful for the fans, for the racing.テつ At the moment, whoever got into the inside is going to lock up.テつ Otherwise we need to obviously raise the car, lose obviously downforce, but same as everyone.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll continue with Simon Pagenaud.テつ
Any special memories of this track from the win in 2013?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Yeah, I mean, first win in IndyCar is always an important thing.テつ It's always cool to come back here, now driving for Team Penske.テつ It's our home event.テつ
Yeah, it's a really cool event for us.テつ Obviously it's great to be showing so well with all four cars.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Also joined by our polesitter, Will Power.テつ
Will, you've been one of the drivers that have been in here promoting this race most, being a part of Team Penske.テつ How rewarding is it to finally get a pole here at Belle Isle?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ It is actually satisfying.テつ I struggled quite a bit last year in qualifying.テつ Really happy to be on pole.テつ We definitely took a risk in the second round to get through by using used tires, just made it by a 10th.テつ In a good position to make pole in the Fast Six, which we got.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions.テつ

Q.テつ Will, I noticed on your last qualifying lap, you seemed really smooth coming out of turn three, and other people were sort of losing it there.テつ Was your car set up differently?テつ Was it the tires or just your driving?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Out of turn three, yeah, actually I had a couple of big moments there, too.テつ It's weird.テつ That corner last year had a lot more grip.テつ
I had new tires.テつ That kind of helped, too, for sure on my first lap.テつ They degraded a bit.テつ But, yeah, it was a very tight session all around for everyone.テつ

Q.テつ Will, you went out about two minutes left.テつ Was that a planned deal?テつ Did you want to go out that late?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Well, we had new tires.テつ I felt like you could only get a couple laps out of them.テつ You may as well go out when the track is good at the end.テつ That's the only shot.テつ
Yeah, that was the plan.テつ

Q.テつ Will, the last few years the biggest contenders for the championship have been you guys and the Chip Ganassi guys.テつ It's early, you're taking it day by day.テつ With the changing weather, with good qualifying, are you surprised you're not seeing the Ganassi guys a little further up?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ I was actually surprised Kanaan didn't make it because he's been very quick this weekend.テつ I don't know where Dixon ended up.テつ I think probably a couple of them got caught up by a red there at one point.テつ
Rest assured, they'll be there in the race.テつ This is usually a pretty mixed-up race.テつ I'm sure they'll be there.テつ

Q.テつ Will, last year when you won this race, you went really, really fast, just left the field, did lap after lap like qualifying laps so you developed a gap time-wise so you could come in and make an extra pit stop.テつ I'm curious of the tires.テつ We heard from some of the drivers the track is like sandpaper.テつ I'm wondering, do you remember if you did that on black tires or did you use more red sets than black sets?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Actually I started 16th last year, so I was quite a ways back.テつ I can't actually remember how it played out.テつ There's a big difference between the red and black tires.テつ It creates good racing and passing.テつ If someone is on those tires, a different stint, it really mixes things up.テつ
But, you know, good thing about this track is you can pass.テつ That's all we can ask, because there's nothing worse than being stuck there.テつ

Q.テつ The first year they tried these doubleheaders, they were having you qualifying today and qualify tomorrow for Sunday's race.テつ Now it's Sunday qualifying for Sunday's race.テつ Do you like that setup?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, I don't mind it.テつ I mean, it's not really any different.テつ If we were qualifying tomorrow, you're still qualifying before a race anyway.テつ

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, I don't think it makes a difference.テつ I'm fine.テつ I really like the doubleheaders.テつ You're here to race, so why not race both days?テつ It's good for the fans.テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ I like it.テつ I like the dual.テつ It's fun.テつ It's good for the fans to race twice.テつ It gives us a little bit of a rest, too, to qualify today, race tomorrow.テつ

Q.テつ Will, running the fastest lap here in Detroit now, did you have a feeling you were running that quickly in the car?テつ Were you surprised at all?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Actually you get updates on the dash how many 10ths you're up.テつ I knew the track was fast, had good tires.テつ The cars are faster this year and the track is faster.テつ Must look fast, I don't know.テつ

Q.テつ We've talked about this a couple times.テつ Could we go back to the turn 13, the last right hand kink, where Josef crashed.テつ Is that almost flat for that corner there?テつ Can you avoid the bump?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ It's close.テつ It's close.テつ I don't know what's going to happen when it really grips up.テつ It's a fun corner right now.テつ

Q.テつ Simon, you're new knew Team Penske coming to the Detroit race, which is a very big race for the Penske Corporation.テつ What is your whole weekend like and how tough is it with all the different commitments?
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Yeah, it's busy.テつ It's not like we haven't been busy for months, too.テつ
It's definitely busy.テつ But, you know, when you see Roger's dedication to the city, promoting Detroit, it's good to be part of it.テつ We represent his name, represent Penske.テつ It's great.テつ When everything goes well like it's good, I'm happy with all four of us in the Fast Six.テつ It's the best way to thank him really.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you.テつ Good luck this weekend.テつ

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