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Canadian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Ron Dennis: "An encouraging first day’s practice with good progress being made by both drivers throughout the sessions."
Norbert Haug: "A productive first day of practice where the team made a lot of progress."
David Coulthard: "A good and enjoyable session and quite a good start to the weekend. We evaluated our tyres and worked on finding the right balance. At this track it’s particularly important to have a stable car as it allows you to attack more. We still have work to do, and I believe we can get more out of the package. I spent the first couple of laps familiarising myself with the new circuit lay out and the grip levels have improved. We will now wait and see what happens tomorrow and hopefully we will be able to qualify at the sharp end."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We did a lot of tyre evaluation today especially in the second session when the track surface was less slippery. I like the modifications, which have been made to the track. It’s only the second time I have been here, and I feel that I’m still learning and believe there is more to come as I become increasingly familiar with the circuit."
Sam Michael: "We had a good day and went through our normal race programme work on the car for Sunday. Obviously this circuit demands a lot from brakes and tyres so we had an extensive test on both cars and we came away with some very good answers. We are reasonably happy with our position for Sunday. We now start looking at qualifying. We had a minor problem with Juan’s car, which shouldn’t be an issue in the future."
Dr. Mario Theissen: "Juan Pablo’s car experienced some problems when firing up the engine. This hampered his job especially during the second session. However both the drivers have completed an extensive programme and there have been no engine problems on the track. We are definitely happy with Friday’s result. With 55% of full throttle this circuit is one of the most demanding tracks in the F1 calendar for the engine’s performance."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I feel that we are going to have a strong weekend here. We knew we had a good chance on this track based on last year’s result, as the car was very competitive and Ralf won the race. The Michelin tyres look strong again and we know we’ve got a powerful engine. It will be a challenge tomorrow and in the race on Sunday, as the margin between the teams at the top is very tight."
Ralf Schumacher: "I am very pleased with my car. The balance is good even though there is still room for improvement. It has been a trouble free practice day, where we have completed the programme we had scheduled. Also the tyre choice should not be a difficult one. I think that tomorrow we should be aiming for a place on the front two rows."
Jean Todt: "Once again, I can say this was a typical Friday. We worked towards the race, trying to find the best set up. We also ran a comparison test with the two types of tyre available to us. All in all, I can say this was a positive day, with no major problems. The times are lower than on Friday last year, and that is mainly down to the changes to the track layout. I expect tomorrow’s qualifying to be very tight. As far as we are concerned, we have everything in place to get both our cars onto the two front rows."
Ross Brawn: "We concentrated very much on race work and it was a reasonable session. We managed to do a good tyre comparison with Michael. At the moment he seems to favour one particular tyre, but we have not made a decision yet. We had some brake issues with Rubens, which we have not yet resolved. We will have to look at the data relating to that tonight. We tried different brake configurations but he was never really happy with them."
Michael Schumacher: "As usual on a Friday, we have concentrated mainly on tyre comparison in order to make our decision tomorrow. Because of that, we have not done much work on car set-up for qualifying, but we have plenty of time to do that tomorrow morning. The gap to the quickest today is pretty small. Last year, we were struggling a bit at this track, but I don’t think that is the case now. I brushed the wall this morning because I was just going too fast and ran wide."
Rubens Barrichello: "Overall the car was going pretty well. I just have a few problems with the brakes in the second hour and have not yet found the right settings for them. Apart from that, I am not worried as the car is quite well balanced. The car works well; we just have to find the right settings now. It’s true that pole position is far less important here than in Monaco, but that does not mean we will not be working to be in front tomorrow afternoon."
Ange Pasquali: "Today was very constructive for our first time in Canada. The team worked well, we learned a lot and we have a clear idea in which direction to go tomorrow. Mika's time was quite encouraging. A bit disappointing for Allan, who had an oil leak, but that will be fixed quickly."
Mika Salo: "The car felt reasonable for our first day at the circuit. We still have some work to do, particularly on car set-up and gear ratios, but we will sit down and do our homework this afternoon in order to improve for tomorrow."
Allan McNish: "We followed our programme making some changes in between sessions, which helped to improve the car. I had an oil leak in session two, which meant taking off the rear of the car and the engine. It was unfortunate because it is our first time in Montreal and track time is vital."
David Richards: "Today saw the first major evolution of the car this year and I’m sure it is a step in the right direction. It’s a credit to all the team, particularly those back at base who worked throughout the holiday weekend to complete all the parts that will allow Jacques and Olivier to race with the new specification this weekend. It’s now down to the drivers to make the best of the package."
Geoffrey Willis: "It’s always difficult to get a true picture on a Friday but so far, so good. We’re pleased with where we are in terms of brakes, cooling and balance and both drivers are happy to see some improvement with the car. There’s more stability and a little more mid-corner grip so we’re pleased with what we’ve achieved today. We have to switch focus to tomorrow now when we’ll get a better idea of where we are."
Olivier Panis: "We’ve had a good first day with the new car and we’ve been able to put in a lot of laps again. The new aero package certainly helped us to get better grip today and the car feels a lot more stable going into the corners, so we have to feel encouraged by that. We did a lot of work with the tyres as we usually do on a Friday but we were trying lots of other things today to ensure we know as much as possible about the car ready for tomorrow. I have to thank the team for all the hard work that has been done to get the new aero package ready for Canada, especially the people back at the factory."
Jacques Villeneuve: "The car definitely feels better than it did previously and the new aero package gives us more stability. However, we had a different strategy to a typical Friday so our lap times today aren’t that representative. Because we have a new package, it was important for us to do a comparison between high and low fuel to find out now if there is any difference in the way the car feels. That way, we don’t have any surprises tomorrow. Today has been a good start with a new car but we have to be prepared for the fact that we may not look quite as competitive tomorrow. Qualifying will give us a more accurate picture of where we are compared to everybody else."
Graham Taylor: “Well we ran through our programme and had a constructive day. Enrique had a small hydraulic leak this morning that stopped him on the track and we also spent a bit of time in the garage changing gear ratios but that was well worth doing. Our balance was great on the circuit when it was ‘green’ but, as the rubber goes down and the temperatures go up, we start to lose the balance. We’ve got a fair bit of work to do tonight to get on top of that. Enrique is struggling with the brakes a little but he’ll be fine once he gets used to them.”
Heinz Harald Frentzen: “I had a pretty productive day today, working on race balance throughout both sessions. The car certainly feels good here in race set-up. I’m now looking forward to tomorrow when we will fine-tune the car for qualifying.”
Enrique Bernoldi: “In general today was okay. I lost a bit of time this morning with a hydraulic problem but still managed to get through the job list so I’m pleased about that. The brakes we have here take a bit of getting used to but overall the car feels good. I think the changes made to the circuit are positive ones.”
Niki Lauda: "I am reasonably pleased with today’s free practice sessions. The relatively higher temperature here suits our set-up with the Michelin tyres. We run through our checklist for the weekend and at this stage, everything is as well as can be expected. This track can often throw difficulties at you with the tight chicanes applying more pressure on the brakes than normal. Remaining reliable will be the key focus for us during the weekend and as has been proved so many times here, crossing the finishing line generates rewards in terms of points. Far from an easy task, but certainly not impossible as Pedro proved last year."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I quite pleased with today’s programme, particularly the tyre evaluation. We did some long runs with heavy fuel loads to check brake wear and tyre blistering – none of which proved to be a problem. I am approaching this race with an open mind and as long as we have reliability on our side, there is always a chance to fight for points. With that in mind, we are doing everything we can to ensure that we have a capable and bullet proof package in place for Sunday."
Eddie Irvine: "A normal day in that we worked through our set-up options and concentrated on tyre choice for race day. The high track temperature allows us to extract more from the package here than at some other circuits we have raced at this season. The Michelin tyres are working very well and Sunday’s race should prove to be quite an interesting spectacle. We have made small gains here with some set-up options that we are trying and we’ll continue to work on these tomorrow morning before qualifying. Nonetheless, the Friday Practice times are never worth reading into too much and while our weekend has started well, the real test is yet to come."
Gary Anderson: "I am quite pleased with what we've done. With a little bit more work on the car we'll be ok and just continue trying to get the car good for the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It has been a good day, particularly the first session when we did a good job with the set-up and I was very competitive. When we changed to new tyres it was completely different, with massive understeer, so tomorrow we will need to start again. We have a lot of work to do for qualifying."
Takuma Sato: "It was a difficult day for me. We had something wrong with the initial set-up. Then we had problems with the electrical systems which messed up my first session. We have not really got the perfect balance yet."
Peter Sauber: "We were able to do a lot of good preparation for the race during the two practice sessions today. Both cars together completed more than 100 laps, without any mechanical problems. We did a lot of work on brake configurations because historically this is always a hard race in that area, and we are satisfied with the results."
Nick Heidfeld: "The positions don't look so good, but we were doing a lot of work for the race and for sure we are in a lot better shape than we were in Monaco. We did a lot of long runs and I'm quite happy with what we achieved. Today was not about lap times."
Felipe Massa: "It was okay for a first day. This is a nice track, no problem to learn. It was still pretty dirty, however, and on old tyres my car was quite nervous and I made a few mistakes. But for sure the track will be a lot better tomorrow, and I'm confident we will be competitive."
Pat Symonds: "A very poor day, at a time when it is important for us to do our homework for Sunday. It is extremely disappointing to have lost half the day with technical problems on both cars. Overall, our level of competitiveness does not look good, as we must assume that our competitors were running with the same fuel loads as us. We have a lot of work to do tonight to rectify the situation."
Dennis Chevrier: "A bad day for us as neither driver was able to complete their full programme. As a result of our problems, we failed to obtain some of the information we had wanted to today. Even though we managed a constructive afternoon's work with Jenson, this wasn't at all what we had hoped for today."
Jenson Button: "A tough day. I lost the first session after an engine problem, which I felt straight away on my first flying lap. We worked well this afternoon, but I still haven't found a good balance. We've got a lot of work to do before tomorrow morning."
Jarno Trulli: "It wasn't a good day for me. At this type of track, which improves significantly throughout the day, it is important to be running during the afternoon, which I obviously didn't manage to do. The car was behaving fairly well, but I couldn't make the changes I had wanted to during the second session. I hope tomorrow will be better for us."Paul Stoddart: "Today, the KL Minardi Asiatech drivers completed a large number of laps and recorded very respectable times at a circuit neither had been on before. Despite a small technical problem on Mark’s car at the end of the second session, both completed their scheduled programmes for the day. We’re hopeful for a similarly positive outcome tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "We made good progress today, although I didn’t get the best lap when we ran new tyres this afternoon. The car is generally running well, and the guys did a good job between sessions sorting a couple of small problems. I like the track and am looking forward to tomorrow."
Alex Yoong: "It was a useful session for us. The car ran reliably and we put in a lot of laps, which is good. Now we have to try and decide what tyres to use tomorrow, because the set we thought was going to be quicker turned out not to be. We tried some new suspension settings, which changed the car, but it’s still not quite right - there is a bit more to come yet. All in all, though, it was a productive day."