Allan McNish Q&A

The French GP proved to be an eventful race for Allan McNish, who inadvertently ensured that the World Championship was settled a week earlier than we expected. It was McNish's oil that led to Kimi Raikkonen running straight on and allowing Michael Schumacher to sneak inside and take the lead. Until then it had been a relatively good race for Allan, who had gained ground during the first corner skirmish and stayed on team-mate Mika Salo's tail until a problem at the first stop dropped him back. Adam Cooper spoke to McNish about his weekend in France and the upcoming German GP

Allan McNish Q&A



"I'm not proud of it! I didn't know what was going on, I didn't know who was leading the race. In reality I had no control over the situation. You don't want to be involved in deciding the world championship, but I think Michael was going to win it anyway. The only question was whether Kimi won the race..."



"I was pointing in the direction of the cars coming towards me. Kimi locked up and was basically heading straight for me. At which point I was just praying he would turn left or turn right, I didn't care as long as he went around me! At the last moment he dived right, but he was very far out, and blind. Michael was behind him and obviously saw what was going to happen, and took the normal line. I don't think it was an outbraking under yellow flags incident. If a car goes off in front of you do you stop and wait and see if he goes into the gravel, or what do you do? It was a bit of an unfortunate situation, really. But at that point I was more concentrating on Kimi not hitting me more than anything else. I couldn't do anything about it."



"I was an interested spectator in that! I gained because they all went off in front of me. Mika and I just both sort of followed into line and the next thing there was a whole load of cars going off."



"I was behind Mika for the first stint, but when I came into the pits I had a problem with the left front tyre, which wouldn't go on. We lost a lot of time and dropped behind a Minardi. Then at that stage I had huge understeer for some reason. Then towards the end of the stint it got a little bit better. On the third set it was actually pretty good, and I was able to push, but then the engine failed."



"The engine note changed about 20 laps before, but I didn't think it was anything like that."



"We struggled for grip especially in the low speed corners. In the higher speed, if you look at the sector times, it was relatively good. But from a personal point of view it was a positive weekend, in that I got pretty much the best out of the car. We had a problem with the second set, but after that it was running pretty well and relatively competitively."



"I think it probably balances things out a little bit. I wouldn't say it favours us, but it certainly reduces our deficit. It looks to be quite a high downforce place. It used to be big long straights, chicanes and a bit of infield, but now it looks to be medium straight at best, hairpin, medium straight and a lot of infield."



"I was always quick in F3000 on the old circuit, but we always seemed to have mechanical problems and never finished the races. I enjoyed the old, old circuit when the chicanes were faster. Every time they changed the circuit in my opinion they made it a lot worse."



"I didn't like it in the end because if you've bounced off one chicane you can bounce of any chicane. There was nothing to it - no finesse. If you had a car that you could drive straight over the kerbs, and you had a reasonable downforce/power package, then you were good in Hockenheim. If you didn't have that, or your car wasn't good over the kerbs, then forget it."

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