With the support of the fans you can always do something more - Doornbos

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After the press conference of the Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix at Brussels today, F1Technical had an interview with the rising star of the American Series, Robert Doornbos. The Dutchman already won 2 races this season and is, at the moment, 2nd in the standings.

It's the first time that the Champ Car comes to Europe, what are your expectations for the weekend?

"The expectations for this weekend are very high, especially since we have been doing so much of public relations for the event. Last weekend I was in The Netherlands for a demo with the Champ Car during the Bavaria City Racing and most of the fans are also coming to Zolder or Assen. So I believe that the fans will be there and that they will be spoilt with an amazing spectacle that you can't compare to Formula One. Champ Car is easily accessible for the fans as they can get closer to the car and the drivers."

Zolder is almost a home race for you. Do you expect many Dutch fans?

"Of course! For many Dutch fans it's easier to drive to Zolder than to Assen, but of course I hope they'll come and support me during both races. But you're right that both races are home races for me. The last time that I won a race so close to home was at Francorchamps in the Formula 3000 and that was an incredible feeling.

If the Wilhelmus (the anthem of the Netherlands) would sound after one of these two events, I would go completely crazy. With the support of the fans, you can always get a little more from the car."

At the moment, you're second in the standings. Do you still believe in your chances to win the Championship?

"Of course that's our aim. I had a bad weekend last race. I lost a lot of points because of something that wasn't my fault and Bourdais won the race. If he has one bad weekend and I have a good one than we equal in points.

But of course Bourdais has the advantage to have so much experience in Champ Car and with his team. I believe that we've done a great job with the Minardi and I don't care if I finish first, second or third in the Championship as long as I win a lot of races."

Bourdais will race in Formula One next season. Do you believe he'll do a good job?

"I think he'll manage. He has a heavy right foot, he's fast enough. Of course there are many different aspects in Formula One that you don't have in Champ Car. Like I had to adjust to Champ Car this season, he'll have to adjust to Formula One next season.

Formula One is of course much more technical and he has to prepare himself mentally for a less successful season than he had here. You can't win races, you can't fight for the Championship as your material is just not good enough. I think he'll have to see it as a challenge to help his team."

This week it was whispered that you have contacts with Williams and Toyota. Could you tell us something more about that?

"Actually I can't. I'm just doing my job at the moment. When you start to win races again, you get attention from Formula One. Everybody knew I was leaving for America and than when they read in the newspapers that I won, the telephone starts to ring again. I'll just wait and see what will happen."

So you're not eyeing a return to F1 in 2008?

"Of course I do. If they are offering me a competitive car, I'm very interested."

So you're not waiting for a call from Spyker?

"No, Spyker doesn't have to call."

Is this also because of what happened with your compatriot Christijan Albers?

"No, not at all. Spyker just doesn't have a competitive car and I have done that. I have raced in the back of the grid in F1 and in the midfield and now I'm racing in Champ Car and as a sportsman I feel much better here. I wish Spyker the best of course, as a Dutch team, but the car is just not fast enough."

Last year you stepped in for Christian Klien at Red Bull. You drove really well in those Grands Prix, but still you didn't received offers for a competitive race seat. Wasn't this a big disappointment for you?

"Yes, I was really disappointed because of that. I was racing with my best team mate ever, David Coulthard, he was really a good criterion. I was faster than him during qualifying and a couple of times during the race. So that gave my confidence a great boost, although I knew that there wasn't anything else waiting for me than a test seat in Formula One. I just had to do something with my confidence, I had to race, so I decided to go to America.

Those three races at Red Bull were really an important test for myself: How good is Robert Doornbos? And I'm good enough to win races at the Champ Car. So that makes me happy."

What is the biggest difference between driving in Formula One and driving in Champ Car?

"I think the technical side of things. Of course they are working with bigger budgets in F1, we're working with 10% of the budget of an F1 Team. So there is much more money for the development of the car in F1 than in Champ Car.

But Champ Car is an incredible Series and with identical chassis, engines and tyres it is very spectacular for the fans and the drivers. In Formula One the material you're driving defines your results for 70%. I think that this is the biggest difference between F1 and Champ Car."

What is according to you the reason that Champ Car isn't popular in Europe?

"I believe that these 2 European races are a way for the European crowd to get to know Champ Car. The fans of Champ Car back here had to get up in the middle of the night to see the races and now they can experience it from nearby, so I believe it's a first acquaintance with the Series for the motorracing fans here."

Last weekend, you were present at RaceSalon and the Bavaria City Racing in Rotterdam. You were the only driver to make so much time for the fans. Is that really important for you?

"Yes, I try to make as much time as possible for my fans. The fans support you even when you're racing at the other side of the Atlantic, they are so enthusiastic, so I think it's normal that I do something in return."

Special thanks to Robert Doornbos