Q. Are you disappointed from the sport's perspective that Peugeot have brought up this appeal?Tom Kristensen:
It doesn't disturb me, apart from people have asked me similar questions. I am a racing driver, I race with what I get. We have something, I've raced it before, and we are here. I'm just surprised, that's all.
I think you have to look at it from their side. I think they might want a reason, maybe to pull out after Le Mans or after the season whether they win or lose. I think they just want to cover themselves.
Last year we were five seconds slower than them. We simply improved and made sure we did the right things, got the medium tyres to last long.Q. You didn't really get an opportunity to run in the dry yesterday, have you lost six hours of testing time?TK:
It could be the other way around. You can also say ideally you want six hours of dry to try to optimize and make the car perfect for dry conditions. Then when it rains you see how that car behaves in the wet. But we were backtracking, yesterday we were trying different things in the wet to put things together to see what we think.
Also, we worked on what helped in the wet to make it help in the dry, because at Le Mans you need to cover yourself. You need a car that can run 90 percent perfect in the dry, then when the rain arrives it should not be undriveable. But you cannot make it a wet car, then it will be very slow in the dry. You need to have a hint of a compromise depending on how much wet you think there will be.Q. What did you pick up from yesterday?TK:
We are watching top speed from our competitors and at the same we are also looking at where we can improve the balance, optimize the ride height, balance between very slow direction change corners and the very fast corners like Porsche Curves. It's compromises and we try to optimise these. We know we are slower on the straight than the Peugeot but we have an idea about how much slower we want to be, so we are working on things like that. At the same time I'm sure they don't want us to know exactly what speed they intend to go through the race so we have to analyse things like that as well.
Tyres are crucial because of the extra 30kg. At Sebring we said we just wanted to have a car we could respond and race. If we lost some seconds, OK because we gain it back because we can go racing - that was the philosophy. It's a different approach in America, a different race. Also, we hadn't run more than six hours in the car in one go before Sebring. The only thing you can take from Sebring is that the car has good handling, reliability for the 12 hours.Q. How much would you have preferred to have had those six hours yesterday in stable conditions?TK:
We didn't have those six hours so we have to make the best out of what we've got and do that today. I'm not whining backwards, I'm looking at what we can optimise now. But you also have to say yes it's a brand new car, but Audi has got a pretty good know-how from the previous years here that has gone into this car, so of course I trust a lot in that aspect.
As a driver you know what you should do and what you shouldn't. So you go very fast but you shouldn't take unecessary risks about running aggressively, so I know what the car has taken before and that's what I try to continue doing here.