Home Page About Us Contribute

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

GM Icons
By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Car Racing Media Conference

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  CART

Car Racing Media Conference

Emerson Fittipaldi
Karl Kainhafer
November 13, 1995

Q. I did get your release that I'm still a little confused here about a few things. You really hit me by surprise. Karl, who's calling the shots in the pits here? And Emerson, who's paying you?

KARL KAINHAFER: I can answer both of those, that I will be doing both of those things, is that correct, Emerson?


Q. So do we essentially have a totally new team, here?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, I guess you'd say it's a totally new team, but it also has certain ties to Emerson's past team or one that we're associated with, because we will be using Penske cars, and we will be using Mercedes-Benz factory engines, which will be rebuilt in Penske shops. But as far as the team is concerned, it's a new team with Roger and myself, and myself as a majority owner, and Emerson has contracted with us, and we're looking at this as a real opportunity. I am, for myself, and I hope for Emerson that it will just give us a little added impetus.

Q. When a couple of questions, Karl, what was the reason you and Bobby Rahal decided to part company?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, I think it was very simple, that Bobby felt that we had had four good years together and he wanted to go on his own, and he informed me sometime in June that it was his intention at the end of the year to go on his own, which very truthfully caught me by quite surprise. So we finally, you know, negotiated a settlement where we each would go our own way.

Q. There's a popular rumor, Emmo, that you will hang up your helmet and goggles after the Indy 500. Is there any truth after this? And also tell us about the Brazilian race track.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I have no intention to stop racing, I think it's a great opportunity with Karl and Roger, the new situation. We have all the advantage of running a basic team, and at the same time I can be completely separate units away from the day-to-day setup of Junior and Paul, I can have my own setup on the car, I have Paul Brown as my engineer, Rick Rinaman as the crew chief. For Karl it's a great opportunity for him and me, too. Because I'm sure I can perform. We can have results. And, you know, no intention to retire from racing.

Q. I understand the car will be stationed outside of Redding, will that be a handicap that you won't be in the Penske arena for repairs and consultation?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: No, I think you got the information wrong. The car will be ready.

Q. It will be ready?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Yes. And talking about the race in Brazil, Andrew Craig was in Brazil on Thursday last week, he flew to Brazil to see the track. There being a lot of work being done on the track. They are going to go to the three kilometer minimum length, that's what FIA asked the Brazilian organization to go for and they will go for. And the race will be three kilometers length. I mean that's maybe two miles long, 1.8, 1.9.

Q. Right. What about the race distance?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: They haven't decided yet. But they are working very hard on the facilities and I mean it will be ready for the race in March.

KARL KAINHAFER: It will be basically a two hundred mile race, right Emerson?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Right. Around that.

Q. A couple of questions. First one for Karl. Can you kind of take us through the process in coming to this agreement with Roger Penske. And then for Emerson I'm curious, Emmo, I know how hard you've worked to expose Indy car to the people and the fans in Brazil. How you feel about the process of being able to cultivate the up and coming drivers in this process? And how key a role did that play in your decision to come on board in this program?

KARL KAINHAFER: I think the way the process evolved with myself is that once Bobby and I decided to split at the end of the year it was really pretty late to start a whole new team and to be competitive, right off the bat, which is after all my years in racing, which is the only way I really care it to race. What happened is some people did come to me and express the desire that I stay in racing. And one of them was Roger. And Roger and I have been friends and competitors for many years. And he and I talked about this and I think, you know, he has been very generous -- he's never, other than in 1989 for Emerson built new cars for anybody. And he agreed to build new cars for us and supply engines from his shop. And it was just a natural. And like I say, I've tried to help Roger and he's tried to help me and various races and we've done it. So it gave me an opportunity to get right back into racing with a first class team. And when we were discussing drivers, as far as I was concerned, I told Roger I'd love to have Emerson drive for us, because I really think it will give us a new opportunity, I'm enthused, Emerson is enthused and so is Roger. And it sort of gives us a whole new excitement to what we're doing. So, you know, that's sort of a brief way of going through it. But we decided to do it and we formed a new corporation that's based in St. Louis, as far as the corporate structure. So it just seemed like a natural.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: And following Karl's explanation, for me it was, I think it was just the right time it happened. And to go a little bit of my background of 21 years of Phillip Morris, I was the guy who took Phillip Morris to go from the one racing, and we have been very successful. The first year we won the world championship for Marlboro, for Phillip Morris. And we achieved many things together. When I was racing states, going to Indy car, I approach Phillip Morris to start getting involved in Indy car racing, and they liked the idea. We got together and we've been very successful. We were in the prize for the championship. And when Phillip Morris had the deal to put together this new project, looked for young drivers from different countries, and get involved on an international level of Indy car racing through Phillip Morris Latin America for all these reasons. I've been on board with Phillip Morris for so many years, I should be the driver, to go forward and it's a very lucky situation that we could get it all together. And accept the new project, and new situation and go for it. I'm very happy that I can do -- it's a new challenge for my career. And it's a new goal I have and go for it. I'm looking forward to next season.

Q. How active will you be in mentoring the young drivers that you guys are bringing up through this project?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I think my -- I'm sure my number one motivation for the young drivers is going to be my right foot. (Laughter) As long as I use that, they'll be motivated to follow me.

Q. I have one for Karl and one for Emerson. First for Karl. If CART goes ahead with this boycott of the 500, will all the Phillip Morris teams be in the same place next Memorial Day or does this give you an option to split up?

KARL KAINHAFER: No, there's no option to split up at all. Phillip Morris has given us the right to go where we think we should go. And of course I'm sure Roger will, with his team, follow where CART goes, and of course I will also. So, you'll see no separation at all.

Q. And this is for Emerson. If this deal hadn't come along with Karl, was Roger prepared to do a three car team this year?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: We had the committee meeting and he was going to run the three cars anyway. And I think that's, like I mentioned before, was a very lucky situation for everybody, that just made, you know, a good effort, good team. But we would carry on the same situation as before.

Q. Good afternoon Emerson, Karl. Congratulations.



Q. A question for Emerson, I guess. The last time that you were associated with a separate team running a Penske was a fairly successful season for you. Do you feel obviously confident that maybe you can repeat that success from 1989?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I think you're right. It was a very, very successful combination. And I think it's going to give me the freedom and more options to set up the car my own way, my own style. We have a very intensive program before the season starts. We are very motivated, and I think that's going to give a new energy on the whole team aspects. And being one unit by itself I'm sure we can work very hard and at the same time we are going to get information between the three cars, but I can work by myself if I want.

Q. Emmo, you've mentioned a couple of times that you're going to be able to set the car up the way you want to. That begs the question from me, was that a problem last year in that you couldn't get the car set up the way you wanted to? Was that any kind of a problem last year?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I think most of the tracks on Friday I would start basically on the setup. And through Saturday I would have my setup and the car was a little late on the qualifying. And you're working one day behind. And that was affecting me a lot last year. And that was not the case in '94. In '94 most of the tracks I come with my setup on the car. And that means all the background information during the winter testing, that starts soon, you accumulate for the first race and accumulate for the season. And that's the way my car would be set up for most of the tracks. My style of driving, Junior has a different style of driving, a different way of setting up a car. And I think on a situation like that happening you can start losing your own performance, you can start losing your own setup and going from track to track and arriving Friday already competitive. I was always one day behind.

Q. Karl, if I might ask you a question. It looks from the press release like perhaps the sponsor decals may be changing from race to race. First of all, is that true? And secondly, what is going to determine which sponsor belongs on the car from Phillip Morris?

KARL KAINHAFER: That's probably a little bit of a misnomer. Actually, the car will have Marlboro on it and it will have Tang and that's the only thing that will be on it. I think what they're really saying in the press release that the various major companies of Latin America are behind this program. I think that's what they're trying to say. But truthfully, it will just be Marlboro and then on the rear side plates of the rear wing we'll just have the word Tang on each side. And that's really it.

Q. I have three questions. First of all how long do you plan to work together, if your contract is also for the '97 season? Second question is how it's going to work that exchange of information between the two teams, Penske and Hogan-Penske. And third if you have any news about a new Mercedes engine that can be used next season.

KARL KAINHAFER: Emerson, you want to answer or do you want me to?


KARL KAINHAFER: No. 1, being a new team we're really looking forward to this year. As far as a length of contract I think Emerson and I would agree that we would like to go as long as we're successful. I think that's the real key. And it certainly is not intended to be just an one year situation at all. As far as the information between Team Penske and Hogan-Penske, I think it will be somewhat similar to various teams that run Volvos or various teams that run Fords or various teams that run Reynards. We will be in the only other team running the Penskes. We will be sharing information between the two teams as to the Penske chassis and of course the engine. As far as the engine situation, as recently as last week the information we had was that the new Mercedes engine is going to be very competitive. I think they have found things they were looking for. I think they are finding some feedback from Formula 1 that's been very good. And the information that we're getting is that by the first race of the year at Homestead we should be very, very competitive with the new engine.

Q. I would like to know what about testing? Because when you were with the other team you always had -- sometimes you had racing testing for both you and -- besides you being part of that also. But now you're going to be on your own for testing purposes?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Karl do you want to answer?

KARL KAINHAFER: As far as testing, I think we will certainly be doing our testing. I'm sure with the Team Penske, Junior will be doing some testing, and that also Paul will be testing. But in any team as I said where you're running the same chassis, we will be exchanging information back and forth as to the various setups that prove more competitive of various types of tracks. I think the thing that we feel good about is that we can get all this information and we can assimilate the information, but then we can tailor it to only Emerson's style. We have our own team manager and Tom Wertz who's come on board who had been eight years with Newman Haas, he was the crew chief for Nigel, a few years ago. And we've assembled a team that we think is absolutely first class. So we'll have all the information available. Now it's what we do with the information that's important. And I think with Emerson now he's going to get individual attention. What he wants is what he'll get. And I think that's going to be important from the attitude standpoint. I think it's going to be important from the performance. And it's really going to give the incentive for all of us to go out and prove ourselves.

Q. Gentlemen, you've answered several of the questions we've had. But the one other question still remains to Karl, I suppose, what point do you make the decision that the IRL is not going to work out for you? What point do you make the decision about Orlando?

KARL KAINHAFER: Unfortunately I think the decision has been made for us, real. And I'm not going to get into a situation where I'm pointing fingers at anyone, but I will say that there was a very small committee formed which I was a member that we offered to have a meeting with Tony George and his people. There was some dialogue back and forth for a few weeks as to what we would talk about or what we were going to do. And the information came back to us that they didn't feel, meaning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway people didn't feel that there was any reason to have a meeting. We were also told that they did not intend to change their rules for the Indy 500 in May. Now, as far as Orlando and the other races, really and truly our position has been all along that anybody can go there that wants to, as long as they participate in our races, also. But when they came out with the very, very limited qualifying for teams other than IRL teams for the Indy 500, it really gave us no choice, because we really were not going to go under those circumstances. Having the whole month of May with nothing to do, which is quite a new thing for us, we sought to have another race, of course. I think in all reality that we only have another couple of weeks and the announcements are going to have to be made because of television sponsors, selling tickets and everything. So unless there's some dramatic change, I think very truthfully the decision has already been made for us.

Q. So you're saying for the May deal you're going to have to -- everything is going to have to be announced maybe by the --

KARL KAINHAFER: I would say by the first of December, yeah.

Q. Now we finally got this thing to work. Good afternoon gentlemen. Karl, first question is to you. Had you not been able to make this deal with Roger, is there a chance that you might have left the sport again?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, very truthfully that was never an option because these other things came up and other people talked to me. So, I really had not gotten to that point. It was not my intention to do it, whether I eventually had to do it would be whether I ended up with a competitive situation. But it certainly never entered my mind.

Q. Second question, of course, is to Emerson. Did you see 1995, and we spoke to your colleague a moment ago about setting the car up. Did you see 1996 as really tough to handle with three teams with Roger?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I feel much more optimistic for the situation to performance in '96. I think we'll be on a very strong position. We're going to exchange information between the two teams. We can be much more in a strong position, ourselves. But we have to remind everybody that the new rules can change the performance between, you know, what's happened to the Penske chassis. We hope it will be in a strong position. And I know that Nigel is working very hard on the new car. They're going to be in a very competitive situation. But going back again to the '95 to make a projection for '96, it's very difficult to project. The only thing I can say now is that it will be a very, very competitive season. Because every year goes by Indy car races get more and more competitive. And I think any part on the car you can gain time, even qualifying will be a major, significant part of the racing results would be to qualify well, on any grid to do well on the race. So we have to get all the ingredients together so make sure that we can be in a very competitive situation. I'm looking for a very competitive situation to 96, I'm very pleased.

Q. Karl, final question for you. When we have watched you over the past few years, and the way that you've worked with the former Rahal/Hogan team. Is Emerson Fittipaldi -- it seems like a great fit between you and Fittipaldi?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, I don't want to make any reference to the past, particularly. But I will say that with Emerson I feel there's a certain amount of maturity between Emerson and myself and with Roger that we've been racing a long time. I've been in the management of racing 25 years. I feel a lot more comfortable right now than I have the last few years. And I think that we have the facilities, that we have the equipment to do the job. And I just feel with Emerson being a driver only and concentrating on the driving part, and with me concentrating on the business part and some of the logistics and technical stuff. And with the facilities that we have with the Penske chassis, the Mercedes engine and the racing we have, I mean I'm really excited as Emerson is with the makeup of our race team. It's a very experienced group of guys. And no matter what you say, I think racing still is very important as far as people is concerned. And this is one of the things I think that Emerson and I are both very excited about, is the makeup of our team.

Q. I agree a hundred percent?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I agree a hundred percent.

Q. I think the two of you are looking forward to having a great time this year and a lot of fun. And thinking about that, Karl, have you played gin rummy with Emerson already? (Laughter).

KARL KAINHAFER: No, I haven't been asked to play gin rummy, and I hope I don't have that many rain out days that I have to play gin rummy, but I guess if necessary we'll play a few.

Q. Once I was playing gin rummy with Emerson, he said you're playing according to Peruvian rules.

KARL KAINHAFER: And that was true, too.

Q. Better watch out with the Brazilian rules.


Q. Emerson, here we have question after question, people writing and calling from all Latin America, about this Brazilian race, and everybody is calling and asking where is it going to be. What is the feeling in Brazil? Because they all call and say now we have IRL. And everybody calls and says who's going to IRL? Who's going here? How is the feeling in Brazil?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: We're very excited about the first Indy race in Brazil. I think we're excited about the launching of the team in some parts of the world. Flew the car down to San Paolo the first time, I had a real Indy car in San Paolo, Brazil. We had about 500 people in the press, from all over the world. And it was very, very successful. And I think the impact that is going to happen in Brazilian motor sport with the Indy car races is going to be very great. We are all expecting -- as we all know, in Brazil racing is the same level. So soccer is No. 1, split with soccer sometimes, and in the World Cup soccer had a bad audience, but in the World Cup like next year, we are going to beat soccer on the international level. And I think we are very excited waiting for the first Indy race in Brazil.

KARL KAINHAFER: I think it's important to add, too, that Andrew Craig was at the announcement last Friday night and I think that added a lot to the importance that Indy car racing puts on the Brazilian and the Latin American market. And I think that added a lot of stature to the whole thing.

Q. Emerson, my understanding, and you can correct me if I'm wrong on this, is that you have the TV rights for Brazil for the IRL series. If you do, why did you -- why did you purchase those? And have you found a network to sign on for those? Have you made a deal with any network to show all the races?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, the reason is very obvious, for 11 years I have the TV rights for the Indy 500. And I want to secure for next year as well. And I hope like Karl told you before, we tried to put together and work together again. I'm looking forward that the whole thing is going to come together again. And that's my wish as athletes, as a racing driver. And I think the sponsors, the car owners, the race organizers, hope it will get together. Because Indy car race has never been as strong as '95. And it's a shame if you have to split. But that's a business decision. I had that always commitment myself, and I'm sure that's my opinion, we're going to work together in the near future, everybody again.

Q. Have you been able, besides -- I know some of the sponsors in the states have kind of bridled at the fact they're trying to sell the whole thing as a package, you can't just sponsor an Indy, you have to take all five races. Have you found any kind of resistance in Brazil to having to take, let's say, four other races that they may not know who these people are?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I think a similar situation happened here. I heard that the pilot ABC is going to do very well, is that correct? ABC, that's who does a lot of our race. I think it will be similar in Brazil. I think we'll be asked to do the IRL race, the same group that's going to do the Indy car race is going to go.

Q. You mentioned alot of the cars will be sponsored; maybe new teams or existing teams, and can you give us any names as to who might run them. And the second question is will there be any rolling stock in your side of the garage that meets the 1996 IRL specifications?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, as far as the two Indy car drivers, I don't know -- have they announced, Emerson, yet, who's going to run that?


KARL KAINHAFER: I don't know if they announced it or not. It is going to be Tasman. And as I understand it, Emerson, they're going to be looking at a variety of drivers and have not made that decision yet, is that correct?


KARL KAINHAFER: And Emerson will be part of that decision making in looking at these up and coming drivers. As far as other cars in the garage, I mean, as far as our garage, I have two 1995 Lolas that I still own, if that answers your question.

Q. Good luck, you guys.

KARL KAINHAFER: Appreciate it.


Q. Again, question for Emerson. Coming off last season, which obviously wasn't your best season. It seems to me that there's a whole lot of different factors now that really would be strong motivating factors for 1996. As I said, you're anxious to rebound after last year. You have a new team, that whole thing. And also the -- as you've said, this culmination of sort of a lifelong dream of yours with the Marlboro Latin America program as well as the Brazilian Indy car race. All of these things seem to be coming together obviously at the same time.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I think you're right. And that's very important, as long as you have the motivation to succeed and to be competitive. And most of them are good ingredients to give the motivation, yes, I agree. And sometimes, you know, many people asking me, why to carry on the racing, why you want to carry on the racing, and I always say, as long as I have the love and the motivation to win races, I will carry on. And I think the whole picture is getting a lot of motivation to win races and carry on.

KARL KAINHAFER: I'd like to add something to that, if you don't mind. I think it's very interesting that Emerson and other people feel that they had a very poor year last year, because there's a lot of people that never win a race, and he did win a race. So, you know, it's very interesting of what we're looking for in Emerson, and their expectations are so high. But we do have to realize that it was not a total loss.

Q. Exactly right. Sure. And also could well have won Phoenix, but for the fuel problems and what have you, for sure.

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, as I said in Brazil, I think that people do not realize that for the first couple of races, because of electronics the Penske cars were that competitive last year. So you take a couple of races at the end of the year, and you take the Indy race away, Indy 500, and it's the opposite, I've always liked to come out early, and if you took Bobby Rahal's third at the first race and second at the second race away, you know, second place in the second race, those two points away, we would not have had a Goodyear. So you sort of have to put things in the right perspective, I think.

Q. Emerson, I want to follow-up on David's theme, here, with regards to all the good things that are going on for you right now and seemingly at the same time and add to that that the fact that Christian will be in a competitive situation. And I'm curious about how you view this period of time in your career as it relates to any other part of your career, whether it goes back to your days of success in Formula 1 or your initial success here at Indy car. And then as a follow-up to that, could you show share some of your thoughts to your recent trip to the Vatican this summer.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Two different issues. (Laughter)

KARL KAINHAFER: Very much so.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, the first issue of competitively the different parts of my racing career what happened. I always say to people it's very nice to walk in the trophy room and see all the trophies and have good memories of racing. But I'm always looking ahead. And I think the past is a good experience, the results of there, but you have to achieve more of the future; tomorrow is another day, next week is next week, and next year is next year. That's the way I face myself, it's not being, you know, -- not to mind about the past, the background I have, yes, it's great. But I see my background in racing it's not the result, I'm looking for always more results next year. We had a fantastic experience at the Vatican. We all know Father Phil DeRey (phonetic), who is our Indy priest. I invited him to get myself and Theresa married at the end of the year in San Paolo. And he say sure, Emerson I can do the ceremony for your friends, to your family, because my friends and Theresa's family is from San Paolo. And then he suggests two weeks later say why don't get married at the Vatican in September. And it was a dream to me and to Theresa. I think it was an incredible experience that I never expect to happen to us, and it was just a -- just fantastic. I mean everything went very smooth and we had an incredible time. And everything went very well. We had the blessing from the Pope. I think to me it was very special, to Theresa, to our family, it was just -- it happened and was lucky that it happened to us. And I'm very happy, very, very pleased.

Q. Emerson, a follow-up on the question regarding the Indy Lights team and the Tasman Sports, what will be you look for in a young driver?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I look for someone who can win the championship, the first thing. As a team manager I would look for that, a guy who can deliver the part by winning the championship. And I think that will be my major way to qualify a driver. But when you look at the ability of driving fast in a racing car you can -- (interruption in transmission).

Q. As you were saying, the U.S. Grand Prix was only your fourth Formula 1 race.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Yes, and for me it was a very special race because the race before that, the Italian Grand Prix, my teammate passed away, it was a tragedy for us. And then Chaplain decided not to go to Canada and not to race one race, and suddenly I was the No. 1 driver on the team. It was a lot of pressure on myself. And I come here to the U.S. Grand Prix with a lot of pressure. At the same time I was a very good friend of ^ z because we raced Formula 2 together. And he wanted me to be his future replacement, his Formula 2 team, that he had at that time. I was going to drive for Yorkin (phonetic) and for Bernie on the Formula 2 team. I arrived in Watkins Glen. I remember qualifying. And I wasn't happy with my qualifying. And then the race went on. And as the race start I focus on the race, itself. I focus what I have to do in the race. I forgot the pressure, I forgot what happened to Yorkin (phonetic). And halfway in the race I was catching Rodriguez who was winning the race at that time, and I say, well, I'm running second, very strong second. I think I can win the race. And I think when it was about 15 laps to go, there was no way I could catch him. I and remember seven laps to go he run out of fuel. I took the lead and I won the race and I saw ^ Chapman throwing -- his classic movement, when he was swinging hat up in the air at the finish line. And for me it was a dream coming true. I couldn't believe I won my first Grand Prix. And that's how this happened. It was exactly 25 years ago. By the way, I never expected to be carrying on another 25 years, and to motivate for next year.

Q. Emerson, we were cut off just before you were finishing my question to you regarding what you look for in a driver. You were talking about the fact that of course you're looking for a driver that can win the championship. But is there more in a young driver than just being able to handle himself on the race track?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, I think today's motor races is getting very big worldwide. To behave outside of the racing track is very important. Any major sponsor, any major company who wants to commit themselves to a racing team, they want to know who's the driver, you know; his public relations ability, his behavior. And I think that's very important that the athlete has to have a structure to carry on all the pressures, the sponsor, the team, you know, the racing pressure that by itself is very difficult.

Q. Karl, how difficult has it been to create a team of this magnitude, basically from the ground up?

KARL KAINHAFER: Well, I guess one of the things that was important is that I wanted to first make sure that Bobby and I ended our relationship in the proper manner, and I think that was done, and I'm very pleased with that. And then, of course, starting over was difficult to some extent except then of course Roger is giving me a lot of help in this. Paul Morgan from Ilmore was more than helpful in talking to me. I've got some support from Goodyear. When these people came forth and said, hey, we're with you for next year. And then talking to Roger, we then discussed that and talked about the driver situation. And, of course, Emerson, I'm delighted with and was my first choice. So it was difficult, but it happened in a really rather quick way, and from that I'm very excited.

Q. If I can ask you just a couple more questions about the Watkins Glen and everything, then I'll let you go.


Q. Once again, sorry to make you switch gears here back and forth between 1995 and 1970. But if you can again thinking back to Watkins Glen, you know, not only was that your first win and obviously a huge thing in your career, but at the same time that win also solidified the championship for Renn (phonetic). And that also would have been another thing about it that was very satisfying for you?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: I remember Jack Eatkins had a chance in the Ferrari to win the championship and I think he finished second behind me, and that's a different point for Yorkin (phonetic) to win the championships. Well, it was very gratifying for me to be able to -- to be in that position. And to help Yorkin (phonetic) win the championship was another special situation there, as well.

Q. Again, your first, your previous three races in Formula 1 earlier that season, you know, you qualified, but hadn't qualified or been particularly competitive, then at Watkins Glen as you said you were fourth or fifth on the grid, say pretty dramatic improvement over where you had been in your first couple of races. Was there any particular reason for that?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Well, again it was like the tournament was the first race I was driving the Lotus 72. I started the Lotus 49, then I race two races, the German Grand Prix with the Lotus 49 and the Ulstan Grand Prix. And then with Yorkin's (phonetic) tragedy with the race, and it was my first race with the Lotus 72 that was a competitive car. And by the way, the last Grand Prix started the Lotus 49 there was a classic car that really many champions, Mario Andretti, his first Formula 1 ride, and Jim Clark, that was the last time the Lotus 49 start the Grand Prix was the Ulstan Grand Prix in 1970. And I was put in a competitive situation that I had to perform anyway. There was no excuse.

Q. So then again jumping ahead I'm just trying to point out in a story that I'm going to be writing how in many ways your career has a lot of very important things have happened in your career in the United States. Your first win at Watkins Glen, then in 1974 you secured your second world championship. And referring back to what you said earlier, also Phillip Morris's first world championship at Watkins Glen, as well. Another important chapter in your career.

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Yes, and then coming back from retirement was here in Florida, in Miami, I come here for four days, I'm here 11 years now (laughter) and I have two kids born in America. And here we go.

Q. But then again as I said, as I referred to earlier, this whole program, here, with Phillip Morris Latin America, Brazil, you know, recharging your career also with Karl and this new thing, it just all must be a very exciting time for you?

EMERSON FITTIPALDI: Yes. I tell you, when I saw the car for the first time on Friday, I was very impressed. And the car looks beautiful. I'm really looking for next year. It's a beautiful red. The whole car is full red, and typical Hogan-Penske style, very clean, very nice. You guys are going to see the car, you are going to love it. I hope it goes as quick as it looks.

KARL KAINHAFER: This is the first year we're also going to have the Pope's blessing. (Laughter)

Q. What a combination, the Pope's blessing, the Irish influence from Hogan, the Brazilian influence. It's global. It's more than global, it's cosmic, I think.

KARL KAINHAFER: Okay. That sounds good.

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute