Ferrari up for a fight at the Brickyard 15 Jun 2007
…but McLaren and Renault also in bullish mood for US race
Ferrari have high hopes of taking the fight to McLaren at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, and will be drawing heavily on their six previous victories here since the United States Grand Prix moved to Indiana state in 2000.
I expect a very good weekend, Felipe Massa said. We were one-two here last year, and I expect to have a good race again this year.
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilotn have pushed ahead of the Ferrari drivers in the McLarens, but Massa, and team mate Kimi Raikkonen still believe they can be competitive.
We can still fight to win races and championships, Massa said, while Raikkonen added: I think our two teams are very close, but we will see here where we are.
McLaren and Renault are also upbeat. After a great weekend for Lewis, we now move to a definite highlight of the year for the sport - the United States Grand Prix, the formers Martin Whitmarsh said. It is a very challenging race, and we are not in the position to predict our performance relative to our key competitors.
We are bringing developments on line for the race as we work toward extending the performance gap. This is going to require a lot of hard and focused work, and we will face powerful competition from our rivals.
Despite mixed results in Canada, Renault believe they are turning a corner. The positive thing to draw out of it all, though, is that the car was clearly competitive in Montreal, Giancarlo Fisichella said. We were fighting with Ferrari in the race. Thats encouraging for this weekend in Indy, and hopefully we can round it off with a better result.
We have to go into the race weekend feeling positive. This has always been a good circuit for me, and I think that our pace in Canada was quite good. Our fight in the championship is with BMW at the moment, so our target has to be to try and outscore them this weekend. They were very competitive in Montreal, as well, so we will have our work cut out. But that will be what we are aiming for.
Speaking of BMW, there was disappointment here yesterday for Robert Kubica. The 22 year-old Pole said he felt 100 percent and was ready to run, but after lengthy examination he was told that he could not race by FIA medical delegate Dr Gary Hartstein. One of the grounds was concern over secondary impact syndrome should Kubica crash and suffered another blow to the head so soon after one he sustained in his dramatic accident in Montreal last week.
"Naturally I'm disappointed because I felt absolutely ready to race, Kubica said. But I respect the decision. It was made because there is too much risk to let me race in this grand prix in case I have had another impact so soon after Montreal. I will go home now.
His place will be taken by 19 year-old rookie Sebastian Vettel from Heppenheim in Germany, BMW Saubers nominated third driver and former Friday tester.