American heads to Indianapolis after tough weekend
Following the early crash that eliminated him from the Canadian Grand Prix, Toro Rossos Scott Speed headed straight to Indianapolis to begin preparations for his home Grand Prix this weekend.
Two days earlier, on the opening day of practice on Friday, Speed clashed with Mark Webber, who drives for sister team Red Bull Racing.
The track was very slippery today, Speed said after posting the 16th-fastest time of the day, but thats always the case here and on top of that. We are running very low downforce, so I think that when the track develops some grip it will benefit us.
During the last few laps of Fridays practice, Speed had a run-in with Webber. They were running closely during the session, and tempers were getting a little edgy. It ended with Webber, who finally passed Speed, slowing down, which resulted in Speeds Toro Rosso ramming the rear of Webbers Red Bull.
At the end of the session, for some reason I dont understand, Mark did the most strange thing I have seen since Ive been in F1, Speed said. I havent been brake tested like that since my karting days. Ill be interested to see what Mark has to say about that!
Webber said Speed had been acting up out on the track, as well. Race officials called both in for a hearing and gave Webber a reprimand.
In qualifying on Saturday, Speed turned in his best performance of 2007. For the first time this season, both he and Toro Rosso team mate Tonio Liuzzi made the cut in the first qualifying session and made in into Q2. Liuzzi ended up setting the 12th-best time while Speed lined up 16th in Montreal.
That was my first time through into Q2 this year, Speed said. I think I should have done that a few times this season, but I always seemed to be unlucky with traffic. Today I didnt have any traffic, which is why I got through. The car felt good in the first part of the session, but then as the track rubbered in I picked up quite a lot of understeer, which we were not able to fix by adjusting the wing. In the race, I hope for some points, but that might require a few people to break down.
There were few cars that suffered mechanical failures in the race. But accidents eliminated a number of cars, and Speed became the first member of that group when he collided with Williams driver Alex Wurz at the hairpin on Lap Nine. Wurz suffered some rear wing damage but went on to finish third. Speeds day was over.
While his race in Canada didnt go well, Speed is enjoying his time in North America because of the support from his fans.
Last year when I was Indy, I had a huge reception, he said, and so far since I have been here in Canada, I have had huge reception. I definitely feel very welcome here in North America. I am looking forward to Indy.
The United States Grand Prix will take place this weekend from June 15-17.