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German Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
Patrick Head: "This is obviously a great result for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and Ralf, but obviously a pity for Juan Pablo to have the problem with the refuelling rig and the engine. We had a big gap to Rubens Barrichello and so slowed Ralf down significantly. For the crowd perhaps the second half of the race was a bit disappointing, as so many of the cars dropped out."
Gerhard Berger: "It is great to dominate qualifying and then go on and win our home Grand Prix. As engine power plays an important role here, I would like to congratulate the BMW team working in the factory in Munich. As a team with the great crew from WilliamsF1 and Michelin we were virtually unbeatable over the weekend, and I think we can be proud of this. It really is a shame Juan Pablo retired with a broken engine. He was very strong here, setting one lap record after another. It is good we have two top drivers so Ralf could take over the lead when Juan Pablo had his problems."
Ralf Schumacher: "It has been an unbelievable day and I am very, very happy. It is just great for a German driver, with a German engine to win the German Grand Prix. I have to admit that at the beginning my team-mate was faster than me. Before the re-start I changed tyres to be on the safe side, because there was so much debris on the track. I started early on to save fuel and be easy on the engine, as I knew it would be a race of attrition. I want to thank the team who did a perfect job. I am now looking forward to take a couple of days off at home before thinking about Hungary."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am so disappointed I cannot find the words to describe how I feel. Up to the pit stop the race was going perfectly for me. We then had a problem with the refuelling rig and this lost me the lead. I had a safe second and then two laps later the engine just went."
Jean Todt: "This
was a very strange race and tough on the reliability for the cars. Ferrari
has come out of it with six points to increase its lead in the
Constructorsí Championship and in the Driversí classification,
Schumacherís advantage over Coulthard remains the same with one less
race to go, even if his brother Ralf has closed up a bit.
Rubens Barrichello: "Given
that we felt the Williams was on another level, the two stop strategy was
the right decision, as the best we could hope for was to finish behind
them and I was the only one who could match their pace at the start thanks
to that strategy. So I am very happy with this second place. I was already
third before the red flag. After I passed Mika, he hit me from behind and
I was worried the car was damaged, but the team changed the rear wing
before the second start. Mika apologised to me on the grid.
Michael Schumacher: "At
the first start I had a problem with the gear selection. I did not know
where to go and when I saw Burti in my mirrors I couldnít move out of
the way. It was a difficult situation but it could have been a lot worse.
After the pit stop I had a fuel pressure problem and I had to retire.
"Iím delighted. A great result and perfect timing. It was an
absolutely brilliant drive from both drivers and obviously a great
strategy for Jacques. Olivier was on a different strategy which didnít
work in his favour so thatís disappointing for him but we saw a
fantastic display of teamwork between the two of them.
Malcolm Oastler: "The team has worked so hard over the last few months and especially over the course of this weekend so itís a fitting reward. We were fast enough, reliable and both drivers did a great job."
"Todayís result feels great. We havenít been competitive in the
last few months and this was probably the race we expected to be least
competitive in. Qualifying was disappointing but somehow we were able to
get a really good set-up for the race. The car felt great in warm-up but
we werenít very quick on the straights so the big question was strategy.
"The car was much stronger in the race so it was just strategy that
let me down. I thought two stops would be the best option but obviously it
didnít work out for me today.
Falvio Briatore: "I am very, very happy with this result. After the tough time we had yesterday we bounced back and I want to congratulate Renault's engine people at Viry for doing a great job - and also our two drivers."
Mike Gascoyne: "This has been a tremendous result for the whole team, particularly for all the Renault Sport staff at Viry-Chatillon who have worked so hard. This is a difficult circuit for engines, because they run for a long time at full revs and power is at a premium. It is a great result for everybody at Enstone, too, because they have had to endure a lot of criticism despite having worked so hard. This is a tremendous lift and gives us a useful kick-start before the final races of the season. The car was good all weekend, although we had a bad Saturday and didn't qualify well, and the team performed brilliantly on race day. We must make sure this is the norm henceforth, and not a one-off."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "I am very happy, for Jenson and myself. I made a good first start, but didn't get away so well the second time because the drivers ahead closed the door and I lost a few places. I drove conservatively in the early stages and saved enough fuel to do a slightly longer first stint than planned. When I rejoined I was ahead of Jenson and things continued to go well, although I ran slightly wide near the end and lost a bit of time. The whole result is great for the team and I would like to thank everyone who has helped make it possible and a special thanks to Michelin whose tyres were excellent in every respect."
Jenson Button: "This isn't a result we obtained just because lots of cars fell off ≠ we genuinely had good pace. I didn't think we would be in the points, but I thought we'd be very consistent. The car was very good on Friday and I could tell straight away that it was the same today. It was very well balanced and I think we were quicker than the Jordans and the BARs when we were running the same fuel loads. It's great that both Giancarlo and I were in the points and I think this is the biggest boost the team has had all year. A track like this highlighted our potential ≠ and our reliability. I had one slight problem: I pulled my water bottle tube out of my mouth, so it was spraying all over my face whenever I braked. It wasn't an easy race, especially with Alesi right behind, but it was good fun."
Alain Prost: "This was a week-end and a race full of strong and mixed emotions, which ended up happily with one more point. It is an important satisfaction for our team, even though the race circumstances leave us a bit frustrated. We knew we had good assets to achieve a positive result on this track and we have partly fulfilled our hopes, even if Lucianoís accident and our bad starts modulate our enthusiasm. But a point is a point and it is another encouragement for our team."
Henri Durand: "First we must say that the Michelin tyres worked perfectly today, and they helped a lot the handling and the consistency of our cars. Unfortunately we lost it all at the starts. The first one was indeed a terrible moment for all of us. Fortunately, Luciano was OK and the team managed to put him back on the grid for the second start. But it was a very mediocre start for both our drivers and we must analyse our data to understand the reasons for that. After the first corner was gone, the car was consistent and handling well. We chose to go for a fairly high downforce configuration which prevented Jean from being able to overtake and most of Jeanís race was a long wait behind Button. We come out of this week end with the satisfaction of one point more, but also with the disappointment of losing a position in the Championship. But there are 5 races to go and we will continue our intense effort to achieve our goal."
Jean Alesi: "It has been a very positive week-end on the technical side and a very important one for the team since we score one more point today. The Championship is far from being over and we can still improve our position by the end of the season. Each point we gain is a step further towards the achievement of our objectives."
Luciano Burti: "It happened so fast. A few seconds after the start, Michael (Schumacher) had a problem, but I could not see him. He slowed down in the middle of the track among all the cars in front me. When I saw him it was too late to avoid the crash. I think the accident looked worse on TV than what I experienced in my car and luckily I am not injured. I took the second start in Jeanís spare car which, for my surprise, felt even better than mine. This allowed me to have a good pace. The only thing is that I had hurt my left arm somewhere in the crash, and it became very difficult to hold the steering wheel, which felt even heavier to turn. I tried to give my best but the pain was growing so much I simply could not drive any longer. I lost the car in a corner and went off. This is bad luck, but I will definitely be all right before Hungary."
Mika Coughlan: ďThat was a good race and I'm happy to say that the cars performed perfectly. Jos' race was spoilt when Zonta hit him as it ruined his rear tyre and upset the car's handling a little. We had a few concerns with tyres but generally they were okay. We all enjoyed seeing Jos and Enrique racing each other at the end but some of those manoeuvres were a little close for comfort."
Enrique Bernoldi: "I think I was pretty lucky at the start of the race. I got away well from the grid but the next thing I knew there was a car sailing over my head. The wheel landed on my car and broke the engine cover and the rear wing. It was a pretty big hit so I was glad to see the red flag. This was a good result for me, the best so far this year, and I really enjoyed the battle with my team-mate at the end."
Jos Verstappen: "The first start went well for me but I was a bit closer to the accident than I would have liked to have been. The re-start was also good but I had to pit early due to what happened with (Ricardo) Zonta. I locked my front tyres going into the chicane so I got a bad exit. He got a good exit and had moved in for the slipstream. I was over on the right-hand side of the track so it was strange that he tried to pass me on that side where there is no room. He hit me and I had to come in. Still, it's good to get a finish."Paul Stoddart: "What a race! Whoever says Formula One is boring has to be crazy!. At the end a German Grand Prix that provided non-stop action from beginning to end, European Minardi F1 is ecstatic with Fernando's hard-earned 10th-place finish on this, his 20th birthday. The whole team showed true grit and determination, particularly considering both cars had to be removed from the grid due to a fuel valve problem, and Fernando then took the restart in Tarso's racecar and Tarso in Fernando's after the spare car suffered a driveshaft problem on the first lap of the aborted race. We really feel for Tarso, who drove an excellent race, only to retire with a gearbox-related problem. To have Fernando arrive at the chequered flag in 10th place, though, is just reward for the effort the whole team put in today."
Fernando Alonso: "It has been a really tough afternoon because at the second start I was in Tarso's car, which was logically set up for him and totally different from mine. I therefore didn't feel at all comfortable. Frankly, it was more than I could ever have expected to take the chequered flag today. Tenth is my best result so far in Formula One and today is my birthday, so what more can I ask for?"
Tarso Marques: "It is frustrating to retire after all the efforts made by the lads to sort out the car when we had a problem on the grid just before the start. The team did a great job, managing to get both Fernando and myself on the grid again for the second start. It was a miracle because the car I drove, which was Fernando's original race car, was really good. I had a few problems under braking, as I generally use the right foot while Fernando's brake pedal is set for the left foot. Apart from that, though, I was really happy with the performance of the car and it was therefore a great shame that a few laps after my pit stop the gearbox broke."
Eddie Jordan: "A total disaster. There's not much else I can say at the end of a terrible weekend. Jarno eventually stopped with a hydraulic pump failure and Ricardo was forced to retire with damage to the front brake ducts, suspension and a barge board. All we can do now is put this behind us and focus on the rest of the season. There is a three-week break now and, while everyone is ready for it, we will be doing everything to regain our momentum during the remaining five races."
Jarno Trulli: 'It was very difficult and disappointing. I was struggling to keep pace in the first stint and I spun off while battling with Panis for position. He tried to overtake me at the first chicane but he overshot the corner and jumped the chicane, coming out in front of me. The regulations say that he should have let me have my position back, so I tried to overtake him at the next chicane but he closed the door, which I didn't expect. I had to turn quickly to avoid an accident and unfortunately spun off, losing valuable time and positions. This has been a tough weekend and one to forget."
Ricardo Zonta: 'I made a good start, I missed the second chicane at one point and I found myself behind Verstappen. I caught him on the straight and, as I got alongside the Arrows to overtake, Verstappen closed the door on me and hit my front wing. That effectively was the end of my race from that point. I made a pit stop for a new nose cone but, unfortunately the damage went beyond that and I had to stop for good a lap later.'"
Ron Dennis: ďAn obvious race of attrition and unfortunately we were part of it which makes any prediction of our potential finishing positions quite pointless. As always though we win as a team and lose as a team. We will now make good use of the short break in the intensive race schedule to focus on the problems and get some physical recuperation which all of the teams have been looking forward to."
Norbert Haug: "Not the result we would have liked to achieve here. We havenít been reliable enough to benefit from todayís race, which had a high retirement rate. Our World Championship chances are now minimal, but we will not give up.Ē
David Coulthard: "Itís been a difficult weekend and obviously Iím disappointed with todayís result. I had a good battle with Rubens during the first couple of laps but was suffering from a lot of oversteer. I was aware that a number of cars were retiring but unfortunately I added to that statistic when the engine let go immediately after my pitstop. Hockenheim is a tough circuit which todayís race result illustrates."
Mika Hakkinen: ďI was very confident with the car and happy with the situation so itís a real shame that I was unable to finish the race. All of a sudden I felt vibration behind me, saw smoke and the engine stopped. However there is no point in being depressed and Iím confident that we will be pushing hard for the rest of the season.Ē
Peter Sauber: "After our excellent performance in qualifying it is very disappointing not to finish this race with either car. Nick made two very strong starts, and frankly I am unable to understand how de la Rosa could make such a misjudgement in the first chicane. It cost us the chance of another podium finish. Kimi Raikkonen broke a driveshaft, but we don't yet know why. Both cars were highly competitive and clearly we had the right strategy, and at least Kimi Raikkonen was able to confirm the recent progress we have made in race trim."
Kimi Raikkonen: "My car was running perfectly and we clearly had the ideal strategy. Sixth place was easy to maintain, and of course we could have been in contention for the final podium position, but without warning a driveshaft broke on the 16th lap. I made it to the pits, but there was nothing that could be done."
Nick Heidfeld: "I made good starts both times, though my attempt to pass Coulthard in the first chicane went slightly wrong and I had to let him by after missing the entrance. In the restart I arrived at the chicane in seventh place with plenty of space ahead of me. I braked really late and closed right up on Coulthard, and then suddenly de la Rosa crashed into the back of me. I really don't know where he thought he was going. Having seen the race, I feel confident we could have been on the podium."
Bobby Rahal: "I was very disappointed with the way this weekend ended for Jaguar Racing. A promising weekend has not been rewarded and we'll now have to look into the reasons why. It's too early to diagnose the exact problem with Eddie but he was reporting a misfire before he stopped. Pedro was the victim of cars slowing down too much into the chicane, but I suspect it could have been avoided. The on-going development at Jaguar Racing, however, has proved fruitful and we should draw some consolation from the ground we've made up relative to our immediate competitors. There are only a handful of races left to go and as always, we shall be pushing forward very hard in an effort to score as many points as we can."
Eddie Irvine: "We should undoubtedly have scored some points today. Regardless of how many cars dropped out, we were always well placed to fight for points and it's very disappointing to retire in this manner. This circuit always pushes cars to their extreme limit and we were one of many victims today. Big shame, especially since the car felt so good and well-balanced. I made a good start and was looking forward to scrapping with those in front of me. On lap 18 I began experiencing a misfire and had no choice but to pit and call it a day. There are obviously areas that we need to get on top of quickly, especially when you look at the opportunities today of which there are very few in F1."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We all make mistakes and today it was my turn. As I approached the first chicane, the cars in front of me bunched up very quickly and before I knew it, I was heading into the back of the bottleneck. I braked well before the 100 metre board, but underestimated how close Nick Heidfeld was. In the end there was little I could do and I locked-up my brakes. I will apologise to Nick for ruining his race, but that's motor racing. I have been on the receiving end many times and I sympathise with Nick. I only experienced the car for one lap but it felt very good indeed. We will curse ourselves for not collecting points today and with BAR and Benetton scoring points, it's an even more bitter pill to swallow."