Tom Kristensen Q&A

Not content with racing in the British Touring Car Championship for Honda, 'TK' found time to win Le Mans and pound around the circuits of Europe developing Michelin's new F1 rubber. He also won the BTCC charity kart event and was chased home by Autosport.com's Deputy Editor Charles Bradley, who only managed to catch up with him after the race

Tom Kristensen Q&A


"For sure, but I feel very fortunate to be in top cars in three very different disciplines of the sport."


"Yes, because the race itself is so big. Having said that, I had plenty of highlights. In the BTCC, I won the last two races of the Super Touring era at Silverstone, and the F1 testing was very special too because I almost completed 10,000km in two different chassis [Williams and Stewart] for Michelin. I might not have been doing it in front of thousands of spectators, but it was very rewarding and I enjoyed it very much...oh, and don't forget the karting, when I beat you!"


"Initially I did not think we were the favourites but, maybe because I was the newboy in town, nobody really listened to me. It took us a bit of time to get going, but after a few races we got really good. Last year, the car we struggled with a very pointy front-end, especially turning into corners. The new regulations banning tyre warmers meant we had cold tyres and no front-end grip at all. That meant we had to run the rear ride height higher than we were planning to, in order to get the grip we needed, but it affected the balance of the car."


"The key to the success of Ford was their qualifying trim, which was helped by their speed on cold tyres. They always took advantage of their grid position, but weren't always the quickest cars in the races, especially from the mid-point of the season to the end."


"I know I'm not one of God's best children, but I never saw Jason in the family! I sometimes felt he did things completely on purpose. I won't say I didn't do some things completely on purpose to him, but I never drove him off the road as far as I can see. We've had a handshake over it now, and he said I should join him at Vauxhall because we'd be great team-mates and would push each other very hard. I think that would be a good idea."


"I'd love to do another year. It was quite difficult to be at the front of the grid but quite easy to learn the circuits. The atmosphere was absolutely great, but now it's the finish of an era, and I can't be more proud to win those last two races. It made the whole season worthwhile."


"It was certainly easy with the Audi, because we were competitive and everything went well, and they could very easily compare me with all the other drivers. Obviously with the Honda it was more of a struggle because it's harder to clear your mind when you're not competitive. Working with Michelin in Formula 1, I just had to concentrate on the tyres rather than the chassis and engine. Everything I worked on had very good engineers and technicians, which helped."


"Yes, for sure."


"I never give up, but I've had a very good season with two different manufacturers which I've enjoyed. With Honda pulling out of touring cars my future probably lies in sports cars, so I hope I can be involved in more ways than I was this year with Audi. But I haven't given up on F1. I know I'm good enough and with the experience I've got now, it would be nice to carry it on somehow. Who has the miles in F1 like I have this year, especially with a new partner coming in? I have no doubt I can be on top of the game straight away."


"My karting career seems not to be over yet if I can demoralise a racing journalist like you! I noticed you started fourth, so if you started on the front row you might have had a good chance of beating me...but then I would have knocked you off straight away. You ask Plato about that!"

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