Formula 1 news, results and statistics when you need it
Brazilian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Download the NewsOnF1.com
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Ron Dennis: "The Interlagos circuit is traditionally very dirty at the start of practice. This was illustrated today with two cars from other teams suffering punctures and our own drivers along with many others spinning. However as the circuit improved we were able to achieve good baseline set-ups not only for tomorrow’s qualifying but also for Sunday’s race."
Norbert Haug: "Although the first session didn’t start so well with both drivers spinning, we had a productive first practice day. However the best time on Saturday is important not that of Friday."
David Coulthard: "I’m quite encouraged by today’s performance and I believe we have taken a step forward since Malaysia. We ran reliably and I got a lot of laps under my belt. There was a small spin in the first session due to a problem with the traction control, but on the whole I’m pleased. Qualifying will be hard, but I’m going to give 100 per cent, get the maximum from the car and aim for that perfect lap."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We have been able to consistently improve the car throughout today but unfortunately I lost the majority of the first session as I spun and was unable to continue. I believe there is still room for improvement, and I’m looking forward to making further progress tomorrow."
Sam Michael: "We went through our standard programme with no problems, which is positive for the Friday of a Grand Prix weekend. We worked on the race set-up and were looking at the two different tyres Michelin is providing here at Interlagos. Mechanical set up is quite important here because of the bumps and for this we found a good direction. Now we have some work to do on the qualifying set up."
Dr. Mario Theissen: "We are very happy with today’s Free Practice. Both the drivers have completed their programme according to the schedule. There was no problem on the engine side, not even the high temperature has brought to the P82 any problem at all. A feature of this track is its height, of 850 meters above sea level. This means more or less a 9% lower air pressure and a similar lower engine power for everybody."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am pretty happy with the job we did today. We worked on different tyres with good results, as the car felt more stable and had much more grip in the end. Traction was also not too bad. It’s a pity I made a mistake in my last set of tyres, right after I achieved the best time (purple) in sector one, but it doesn’t really matter. For a Friday, I think we learned a lot."
Ralf Schumacher: "I am still not happy with the set-up of my car. We are still fighting with understeer. From my perspective our lap times show how strong we can be here. We should have sorted out the set-up problems by tomorrow, anyway. It is quite difficult to evaluate today’s fastest times, as we don’t know how much fuel the other teams were running. I think anyway that tomorrow’s pole position is going to be decided between Michael, Juan and myself."
Gustav Brunner: "Congratulations to Allan and the team. They did a fantastic job, and Allan put in an excellent performance behind the wheel. Mika had a little problem with the clutch, which took time to fix. But there will be another day for him."
Allan McNish: "It was a pretty good start to the weekend. The car was quite reasonable at the end of the second session, although I think we still have to make it better for the race. I was just pushing a bit too hard late-on in the second session, which is why I went off the track. This is my first visit to Interlagos and I quite like the circuit. It is a lot tighter and has a lot more elevation changes than it looks on television."
Mika Salo: "The track was very dirty off-line, but it was the same for everyone. I opted to stop early in this morning’s first session to correct my gear ratios. Additionally, I had a little problem with the clutch. In this afternoon’s session the gear ratios were fine, but the clutch problem recurred, which meant I didn’t get as much running as I had hoped."
Jean Todt: "This is the first time we have brought the F2002 to a race weekend, for Michael Schumacher’s use. The team strived to find the best race day set up for the new car for Sunday, also doing a lot of comparison work on the two types of tyre. Using the modified F2001, Rubens Barrichello worked through his usual Friday programme, although he missed out on the first hour of practice. I think that we will be competitive, both for tomorrow’s qualifying and the rest of the weekend."
Ross Brawn: "As usual, we were concentrating on race day and comparing the two types of tyre. It’s possible the Bridgestones were better on the dirtier track in the morning and the other tyres picked up performance later. In Malaysia we were quick in qualifying, but slower in the race, so we will be placing more emphasis on race set-up this weekend. We had a few problems with Rubens’ car and were not allowed to replace his set of tyres after he had a puncture. We are not concerned about the times, as we don’t know what fuel loads everyone is running, so we are quietly confident for tomorrow. The F2002 ran well on its competition debut."
Michael Schumacher: "This is the first time we have run the new car on this track and so we are learning all the time and so there is still room to improve. It looks as though we should see a good battle this weekend with myself and Rubens fighting the Michelin runners, especially as McLaren seem more competitive here than in the first two races. The changes to the run off areas are very good. If they had not been made, I am sure I would have hit the barriers quite hard when I spun off. On Friday it is hard to read anything into the lap times, but I am quite happy with what we have achieved today."
Rubens Barrichello: "This afternoon, we tried to make up for all the time lost in the morning, when I only managed to do a handful of laps. Right from the installation lap, I had a puncture on the right rear tyre and then I spun because of a problem with the traction control. We still have a lot to do in terms of finding the right set up to deal with the bumpy nature of the track and to finalise our tyre choice for qualifying and the race."
Pat Symonds: "Jenson had a productive day, working on the balance of the car for the race and evaluating the two tyre compounds. Unfortunately, Jarno lost valuable time with his problem in the second session, but we are nevertheless confident that we have found a good set-up for the race on Sunday."
Dennis Chevrier: "We had a normal Friday, evaluating cooling configurations for the race and choosing the correct final drive - an extremely important factor at this circuit, where the end of the long straight offers good overtaking opportunities. However, Jarno's problem meant that we were unable to complete a number of comparisons between different engine configurations, which leaves us short of data compared with where we had hoped to be."
Jenson Button: "I'm quite happy with the car, and managed to find a good balance for the race. Even so, I think there's more speed to be found in the car, and we now need to work on set-up for qualifying tomorrow morning."
Jarno Trulli: "I spoiled my day when I made a mistake arming the launch control at the start of the second session, and the car stalled at the end of the pit-lane. Before that, the car was feeling very good, and I now need to make the most of a good car tomorrow."
David Richards: "We've had a good solid day today and achieved everything we expected to achieve. Now we have to focus on applying what we've learned to ensure we have a positive qualifying session tomorrow."
Jacques Villeneuve: "We had a good first session today with no mechanical problems. It’s a better Friday than the first two races and the car certainly feels better than in Malaysia. The only real change we have for this race is the new Bridgestone tyres, which seem to be helping a lot at this track."
Olivier Panis: "Compared with Malaysia, this has been a better Friday for us. This morning we were running with racing fuel and we tried different set-ups. I had a small engine performance problem which took a little time away from me, but I think we have taken the right direction so far and we have a good idea which way we are going to go with the tyres."
Niki Lauda: "The car seems better balanced but we are still suffering from a lack of aerodynamic grip. Both drivers worked through a usual Friday program and apart from a mechanical glitch on Pedro's car that caused him to spin at the end, there wasn't anything that troubled us too much. Eddie worked through a program of set-up options, but we still have more to focus on tomorrow before qualifying. There has certainly been some improvement on the R3 since Malaysia, but there's a lot of unanswered questions which we are addressing as part of our on-going development program."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We achieved a fair amount of work and undertook some pretty major changes on the mechanical side. The bumps at this circuit are a big problem and we made adjustments to the suspension settings in an effort to find the car's optimum balance. In the end, we found a reasonable set-up, but not perfect. I couldn't make the most of my new set of tyres because I suffered from a mechanical problem that caused me to spin towards the end of the second session. Overall, however, we have more mechanical grip here compared to the last two races and I'm sure we'll improve the set-up before qualifying."
Eddie Irvine: "The car has definitely improved in handling terms. I'm suffering from some high-speed understeer, but that shouldn't be too difficult to dial out. The Michelin tyres are working very well as I expected, but it was hard to push the limit during the first session because of how slippery the track was. Nonetheless, we've learned more about the package today and we've just got to keep going. Our main problems are aero-related and the changes we undertook between sessions made some difference to the car's balance. It's hard, however, at this stage to predict where we'll qualify, but given that we are nearly a second and a half slower than last year, I think we might struggle again. Until we make some fundamental steps forward on the aero side, we can't realistically hope for any better at this stage. With our new windtunnel on-line from next Tuesday and a new Head of Aerodynamics starting in four weeks, I'm sure we'll start seeing some significant progress soon."
Mike Coughlan: “A pretty good day for us today. We got through all the work we needed to do and will now spend the afternoon going through the data. The times were competitive during this morning's session but both drivers feel there are still advances to be made. I'm relatively happy with our pace today and we've shown we can be reliable in hotter conditions than this so our main aim now is to improve the balance of the A23s further in order to get maximum pace tomorrow and on Sunday.”
Heinz Harald Frentzen: “We had a very progressive, trouble-free day today. We made a lot of changes to the car throughout the two sessions in order to improve the balance. We are getting there but there are still improvements to be made so we will work hard on that this afternoon.”
Enrique Bernoldi: “The car feels okay here. We went through the usual programme of evaluating tyres and working on our race set-up. We made a lot of progress but there is still room for improvement.”
"We seem to have lost our way a little this afternoon, although it is
possible the results have been skewed by teams doing different things with
fuel loads. But we’ve had two trouble free sessions and looked ok this
morning, so I think if we do some hard work with the data tonight we can
be back up to where we should be tomorrow."
Takuma Sato: "Overall the sessions were productive as we had no problems with the car. The second session, however, was particularly difficult as we couldn’t balance the car well and lost a lot of running time making changes in the garage I have already driven on this circuit once before, so at least I know it, but that was only in an F3 car when I came here last December. It is a whole new world of course to drive it in an F1 car and you certainly feel the bumps a lot more!."
Peter Sauber: "We spent both sessions working for the race, which we know will be a difficult one because of the high track and ambient temperatures. It was the right decision to invest our time this way, running under race conditions and conducting tyre comparisons, even if our positions on the timesheets do not look so impressive."
Felipe Massa: "We made a good start to our race preparation today. The track wasn't as dirty and difficult to drive as some others suggested, though everyone struggled for traction and grip. The balance of my car was very good and of course we will go quicker tomorrow when we optimise the set-up for qualifying. I'm happy with the progress we have made so far."
Nick Heidfeld: "The car was good to start with today but we need to improve the balance further. Everything we did today was a step in the right direction, however, and my initial impression is that Bridgestone's new tyres are an improvement in the high track temperatures that we experienced."Paul Stoddart: "This was a useful day at the office with both cars and drivers completing full programmes in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying session. Alex lost 0.6 sec in the final sector of his last flying lap this afternoon and, if not for that, both drivers would have been less than three seconds off the fastest time registered today. We’re pleased with that, considering the heavy fuel loads being run in order to work on race set-up. We now look forward to a solid qualifying session tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "It was good to be in a Formula One car for the first time here at Interlagos. We got through some good work and look forward to improving further tomorrow. I like the track a lot. It’s different from most other F1 circuits because of its anti-clockwise direction, and it’s bumpy in places, but it’s also challenging, which is something any race driver relishes."
Alex Yoong: "It’s been a productive day, despite a clutch problem in the first session that meant the engine stalled after I had a harmless spin. We lost time as a result, but then made good progress this afternoon. I feel very optimistic for tomorrow, as I know there is a lot more to come, both from the car and from me."