Patrick Head Q&A

It had to happen eventually, and at Indianapolis Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya managed to make contact and run in each other's races, although the Colombian did at least recover to finish fourth. Along the way he'd compounded the team's misery by coming in early after mishearing a radio message (see our earlier Q&A). All this added up to a miserable day for Patrick Head, who was adamant that the white and blue cars had the legs of McLaren. Adam Cooper spoke to the Williams technical boss after the race.

Patrick Head Q&A



"At least it shows they're not perfect!"



"Well, I sort of expressed my view about it before at Austria. There's no point in making a secret of it that both Frank and I have a rather different view than Jean Todt. In the years when one team does a job technically that is superior to any other team, whether it be them or their tyres or their engine or a combination of all of them, then I think they've got an obligation to motor racing. Jean Todt seems to think that the only obligation he has is to Ferrari. I suppose you've then got to say is the health of motor racing more important than Ferrari or not? Presumably the matter has been discussed closely with Luca [di Montezemolo]. Ultimately Frank decides what happens in our team, and I think Frank has a higher respect for motor racing than Jean Todt appears to have."



"They haven't shot themselves in the foot - they finished first and second, and whether its Rubens-Michael or Michael-Rubens doesn't really matter, they are still going to finish first and second in the championship. I think the most important thing in truth is that McLaren and ourselves and anybody else who might be able to stop them being in a position where they can make such a mockery of it in the future."



"We certainly had a car that was easily good enough to finish a very healthy third and fourth. Juan pitted 10 laps too early through not following disciplines and not following procedures, and just not using his head. During those 10 laps he was already closing down David [Coulthard] at 0.75s a lap, so we had a car that was stronger than the McLaren today, but got beaten by them."



"I think between the two of them they showed a distinct lack of judgement in a situation almost equivalent to that which happened at Nurburgring this year. I couldn't really say whether it was Juan's fault or Ralf's fault, and I wouldn't really like to without having had a look at it. But I do know that it takes two people to make an accident. We've had some fantastic drivers, champions - and neither of these two are champions yet, although I hope they will be - and we've had massive tussles between Piquet and Mansell, right to the absolute limit, wheel-to-wheel stuff. But both of them were sensible enough never to bump each other. That just doesn't come under the sensible heading."



"I think we'll be in reasonable shape. I don't think we'll be quick enough to beat the Ferraris, but I like to think we could finish a race and beat the McLaren. There are quite a few magazines that are McLaren minded... Everything you read says how wonderful the McLaren is. Well, sorry..."

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Williams has 'higher respect' for racing

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