Tomas Scheckter Q&A

Tomas Scheckter is very much in the news at the moment. He currently lies second in the British F3 series, 30 points behind leader Antonio Pizzonia, and has now added an F3000 programme with McLaren to his F3 commitments with Stewart Racing. The South African was invited to replace Stephane Sarrazin at McLaren for the last four races of the International season, and he made his debut at the A1-Ring. Co-incidentally back in 1972 father Jody got his big break with McLaren in Formula 2, before making his GP debut with the team at Watkins Glen. Adam Cooper spoke to Tomas about his new challenge

Tomas Scheckter Q&A



"I qualified for the race in very difficult circumstances. I shouldn't have put it off in first qualifying, but the times weren't getting any quicker anyway. So I only had half an hour to learn the circuit and qualify for the race, which I did. I got a good start, and obviously it was the first experience for me in the dry! I think I was up to 13th, and then I got hit up the back on the first lap. We had to get the car into the pits, and after they fixed the suspension I went out so I could learn something. I got to know the car a lot better, and I did some decent times in the end, so I was happy with that."



"No, not at all. I did half a day at Pembrey."



"With that race I had a day before on the Wednesday, so I could at least get into it. In Austria I jumped straight into it, with a car I didn't know, plus it was wet as well. It was pretty tough, but I learned a lot over the weekend."



"I got a phone call from Mr (David) Brown and Mr (Martin) Whitmarsh, and it sort of just went on from there. They knew we were interested in trying to do the last four races, because they didn't clash with F3. We've been planning from the beginning of the year to do as many races as we can. That's the best experience. I've already learned so much that is going to be really, really beneficial, especially if I'm going to do F3000 next year. It's a break for me. I just have to make it work for me."



"Very, very good, especially David Brown, the team manager, and Ian Morgan, my engineer. I spoke to Mr (Norbert) Haug, and he welcomed me to the team. It's a very good atmosphere. It's up to me to perform now, and I think at Hockenheim, a track I know - I did a European Formula Renault race there - will be a little bit better. I also know Spa, but Hungary is going to be quite tough."



"No it is, definitely. I'm as pumped up about it as ever. This does not mean at all that I forget about the F3 stuff. As soon as I finish an F3000 weekend I go straight back into the F3 again. I'm not doing this because I'm giving up on F3."



"I suppose we gave it away more than he took it, at a couple of race meetings where we weren't really on it and he was. We have to get back on it. I'm not so worried about the championship, I'm just concentrating on winning races."



"You can say yes it is, but you have to do it, you have to adapt, and adapt quickly. I don't think it will be a problem."

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