Nice to be back in Europe - Neel Jani

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During the official press conference of the Belgian Champ Car, I had a brief interview with Neel Jani, the Champ Car driver of the PKV Racing Team. Everybody who is familiar with Formula One must remember this sympathetic young Swiss as he was the third driver of Toro Rosso last season. At the moment, Jani is 7th in the Champ Car standings.

What are your expectations for the first Champ Car race in Europe?

"It's nice to be back in Europe to race after all these races in America. It feels a bit like a home race to me, although it's in another country, but I could come here with my own car from home, so that's nice.

I hope that there will be a lot of spectators, I heard good things about Assen and Zolder and the weather looks nice for this weekend, so we'll see."

Are you familiar with the track in Zolder?

"I've been here in 2001 for the Formula Renault Eurocup, I was 17 than, so it was a long time ago. And I believe that they changed the track since than."

Do you expect a lot of fans from Switzerland for the event, who will come to see you race?

"I know that some fans are coming from Switzerland to see me, but it's split up between Zolder and Assen. So I hope to put on a great show."

Champ Car is for America what F1 is for the rest of the world. How would you describe the successformula of the Champ Car series?

"I think it needs to get better known in Europe, because everybody knows Formula One, but the racing in Champ Car is very interesting. Most of the time it's even more interesting than Formula One as there is more overtaking. There are more fights, more action.

I think Champ Car has a good chance of gaining popularity in Europe and the two races here in Zolder and Assen are a good start."

You have been in Formula One as the third driver of Toro Rosso, do you want to return to F1?

"I don't know, it depends. I wouldn't want to go back to race with a team where I have to fight for P14, P15 or where I would be at the back of the grid. That's not interesting. There is no motivation in that. I would prefer to stay in Champ Car if I didn't receive a good offer from a good F1 Team. But obviously, as a European, you always want to go to Formula One and win races."

Are there F1 teams knocking on your door?

"To be honest, there have been some talks, but nothing really interesting."

How about Red Bull?

"Obviously I'm in the Red Bull Junior Programme, so I get a lot of support from Red Bull. There is something going on, but we'll see. At the moment I really don't know what I'm doing next year."

Special thanks to Neel Jani