Q & A with Robert Doornbos
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, January 29th 2007, 11:04 GMT|
Q. What are you plans for the year?
Robert Doornbos: I am the third driver again here (Red Bull), as the official reserve. It is good. I raced with the team, they know what I can do but it was a shame it was too late in the season last year to make a change. They were good races for me though.
I tried to race at Toro Rosso but there were some uncertainties there, so I decided to go for certain - which was the third driver role. And I am going to race in the States for sure.
There are two teams which I am close to signing to, although I have to be quick because there are only four days left of proper testing and then we go to Las Vegas so I think it is going to be a busy year for me collecting air miles, flying a lot, but what I was looking for was another year like 2004 when you can actually fight for a championship and have targets and goals.
It has been a very heavy ride in F1, with testing, eight races, testing, and three races. It is really strange.
Q. The Toro Rosso option is finished?
RD: To be honest, until it is inked and dry in the States then there is still the chance, but I think it is going to be Champ Car. I would have loved to have race at Toro Rosso, because if you see this car then you get excited. It is goes as fast as it looks, then you think you are onto a winner. Anyway, I think it is important to start winning again and spray champagne. I think it's a possibility.
Q. And the focus is still very much F1?
RD:Yeah, I am happy not to have lost the link. Red Bull said straightaway after the last race, we would like to keep you onboard, but for 2007 we can only offer you this. On the other side it is lucky that the guys only have one year contracts, so if I do well and have a good year there is the possibility to get a fair chance for a seat. Last year there wasn't a fair chance as it was already signed (before he raced), but nevertheless I enjoyed it a lot.
Q. How much running will you get in Formula One this season?
RD:They could not clarify it specifically, and I understand why because if I would be the race driver I would be the same and ask for as much mileage as possible. But it is early days, but say Mark or David gets bored then I am there. If they call me in the States then I will be there, obviously not for a shakedown but for some good stuff. I am looking forward to combining it, I don't think it will be difficult driving both cars.
Q. Will Champ Car interest increase because of Bourdais' F1 link?
RD: His status is obviously very high, Bourdais in the States is a three-times champion which says something. And speaking to some guys at Toro Rosso, he has a good right foot in an F1 car. I think he can be good on both sides of the Atlantic and my aim, it would be good for him to challenge him.
Q. How close is the deal? Could it be announced over the next few days?
RD: Yeah it has got to happen. We have got two days at Houston and two days at Laguna Seca and then we are off to Las Vegas. So I need to interact with the engineer and team. I tested with Forsythe which went really well, but with a teammate like Tracy you have to watch out that it doesn't become a wrestling match! Although he has experience and the team are proven winners. Let's wait and see.
Q. Is the choice between your two options close, or is one much better than the other?
RD: I just need out the best choice. One team has a very good engineer, and the other team is a proven combination but they just lost somebody, an important man, because strategy is very important there with yellow flags. And cold tyres again -- that's something really special