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Hungarian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
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What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
Jean Todt: "I am very happy with todayís result. For the seventh time this year we have taken pole position and it is also the fourth occasion on which we have got both cars on the front row. Our cars have appeared to be very competitive right from the start of the weekend, partly due to the great work done by Bridgestone, who have provided us with tyres which are very quick over one lap and also very consistent. Aware of how difficult it is to overtake here, we are obviously happy to have the best possible start positions for tomorrowís race, during which we will be trying to reach our objectives. We know the race will be very long and it will be very hot. As usual, reliability will be very important."
Ross Brawn: "Today we saw a good battle between our two drivers, with Rubens taking a great pole. We had not expected the temperatures to rise so much this afternoon and that seemed to close the gap a bit between us and our rivals. However, our car and tyres have been performing well all weekend. With temperatures staying like this for tomorrow, I think we will see a very close race. One can make up places with a good pit stop strategy, but making a good start will be crucial."
Rubens Barrichello: "Today, to get everything working correctly was very difficult, so I am very pleased with this result, especially as I had to abort my first run, when I was caught up in someone elseís accident. We have improved the car a lot since the morning and the team did a good job. It was very enjoyable to take pole on a circuit where it is always very complicated to set up the car. We made just small fine tuning changes to the car during the session. I did not change the car for the second run. On the third run I made a change which I did not like, so we went back to the original settings for the final run, when I went still quicker, by improving in the final sector. I am looking forward to the race. Starting from pole, I have the best chance as the track is cleanest on that side."
Michael Schumacher: "Rubens did a good job and I could not match it today. There was no sense in trying for a final run, which is why we decided to save a set of tyres for tomorrow. I had a wobble on my final run but it was mainly in Turn 12 that I lost time. Starting on the dirty track certainly wonít help and the important thing will be to maintain position. It would be unrealistic to expect to make up a place from this position. I am sure it will be an exciting start."
Patrick Head: "The team had to work very hard with many set-up changes. Everyone has done a very good job to get the best out of the car. Ralf was happier than Juan so we adjusted his car towards Ralf's set up but it didnít prove to be an improvement for him. Now we want to race at least to the standard of our grid position, but Ferrari are clearly in a league above at present."
Dr. Mario Theissen: "This was really a successful qualifying, considering the gap from Ferrari we had in Free Practice. Ralf especially has shown a great performance and has exploited the whole potential of the car. Such a small margin from Ferrari was not to be expected especially on this track. Juan has clearly had a few problems in getting it together. Nevertheless, itís even more satisfying that in spite of his time gap, he will start the race from second row. We have achieved what we think were the best positions for us here."
Ralf Schumacher: "I must say thanks to the team for having achieved such a good starting position. I really did not expect this. We have had a very difficult weekend so far, going through ups and downs. The car was difficult to drive and I had an off in my third qualifying run. Throughout qualifying we tried dramatically different set up changes from the direction we were originally going and the car improved but it was just not good enough to achieve a better time in my last run. I have never made so many changes to my car than this during a qualifying session."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "Given the Ferrari superiority, especially in Budapest, second row is not too bad. But I am definitely not happy with my qualifying result. I really could not find the right balance for my car. We tried various set ups options and made quite a lot of changes, but it never seemed to achieve a more positive outcome."
"So far itís been a very satisfying weekend. Giancarloís fifth
place is our highest grid position this year and the best qualifying
result today for Bridgestone, apart from the Ferraris, who, after all, are
not in the same league as the rest of us!
Giancarlo Fisichella: "This is another good qualifying result and my best this year, so Iím very pleased. Weíve been quick all weekend and yesterday I was confident that we could be on the front three or four rows. Fifth is great for the race start tomorrow and Iím feeling positive and very strong mentally. Physically, itís going to be a very difficult race, but Iím confident. I like the circuit and I hope to score points."
Takuma Sato: "What bad luck. I aborted my first attack when a Renault spun in front of me and I set my fastest time on the second outing. On the third run I could see smoke coming from the car and some oil was leaking out. I jumped into the T-car for my final attempt but unfortunately it wasnít quite the same as my race car. We had a few problems with it, which limited our chance of improving."
Denis Chevrier: "Today saw the team continue from where we left off in practice yesterday afternoon. Our performance improved throughout the day and the final positions demonstrate how well we worked to optimise both chassis and engine. Sixth and ninth positions have given us a strong platform for tomorrow: if we can make good starts, we should look to score points at the end of the race."
Pat Symonds: "On a circuit where qualifying is so important, this is a good team result and it puts us in a position from which we should score points tomorrow. I am equally happy with our race preparation and although tomorrow's race will be very hard, I am confident that the team can achieve a good result."
Jarno Trulli: "I'm pretty happy with the result, and I especially have to thank my engineers who have worked really well since the start of the day. Basically, we improved the car step by step and achieved a good position, in front of the McLarens and close to Williams. Of course, the improved engine helped as well - I could feel more power and that always helps, even here in Hungary."
Jenson Button: "Ninth is OK, and Jarno did a great job to finish sixth. I did my best lap on the first run, and I'm not quite sure why the other two weren't as quick. Obviously, I was pushing hard - that's why I spun on the first run - but maybe the set-up wasn't quite as good in the hot conditions. Even though I'm starting ninth, I think we can do something from there."
Peter Sauber: "Congratulations to Felipe for a fine job this afternoon in qualifying, and to his mechanics who worked so hard to build him up a new car after yesterday. Well done, too, to Nick, for his commitment and application in working with his engineers to improve his car. Seventh and eighth places are a reward for all our effort, and are particularly important here where overtaking is so difficult."
Felipe Massa: "I am really, really pleased with seventh place, especially after what happened yesterday. I had understeer on my second and third runs, especially in the third sector which is very hard on the tyres. We made a set-up change that helped a lot for my final run and the balance of the C21 was excellent. I had a car that let me show what I can really do today."
Nick Heidfeld: "All weekend we have been chasing the balance on the car, and on my second and third runs it was still understeering too much. For my final outing we changed one thing and it made a significant difference. The balance still wasn't quite right, but considering what we had been fighting against up to that point I am very happy with eighth place. Last year I had a really good race here, and I don't see why we shouldn't repeat that again now."
Ron Dennis: "Our lack of performance in light of the results we achieved in Monaco and Magny Cours, which are circuits with similar characteristics, is something which we at this stage donít fully understand. No specific part of the package is responsible, but we havenít even managed to get the best out of what we have. Obviously the engineers will work hard prior to the race and Iím sure our performance will improve, but itís going to need a very good strategy to get a podium finish when one takes into consideration how difficult it is to overtake at the Hungaroring."
Norbert Haug: "We got it wrong today and definitely have to improve the package to find a good race set-up for tomorrow."
David Coulthard: "Obviously Iím very disappointed. It was extremely difficult to make the tyres work and find the right balance. We have been struggling all weekend and so far we have been unable to find a better performance from the package. We will work hard to try and identify where and how to improve things for tomorrowís race."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Iím clearly not satisfied with starting the race from the sixth row. I struggled with traffic on what would have been my fastest lap and also I made a mistake in one of my runs. However we did struggle with balance and whilst the race is not going to be easy, as itís nearly impossible to overtake here, we will do our best."
David Richards: "The contrast between this morning and this afternoon demonstrated that the team and Honda have made a lot of progress in the fundamental performance of the car, but at the same time, we're not always getting the best out of it when the pressure is really on. From our position on the grid, and the difficulty of passing at this track, we are going to have to rely on the combination of a great strategy and a better level of reliability than the others in the race tomorrow, but we will certainly push hard to pick up some points. On behalf of the whole team, I would like to congratulate our test driver Anthony Davidson on making the grid with Minardi at his first Grand Prix. We are all delighted for him."
Olivier Panis: "My qualifying session today was frustrating and annoying. We had a car to definitely be in the top seven and not where we are right now. For the last two days we have had a number of electronic problems and it happened again in qualifying. The frustration is that all weekend, I have been working hard with the team to find the right technical direction but one of the problems still remains and it is difficult to accept. It shows we still have more work to do on the detail of a race weekend before the team can think about competing with the front-runners. Nevertheless, I will roll up my sleeves tomorrow and fight hard in order to pick up any opportunity for points. On the other hand, I would like to say that Geoff Willis and his people at the factory have done a good job of improving the car for this weekend and the proof of that was shown in this morning's session. I would at least like to thank them for that."
Jacques Villeneuve: "I'm not happy with 13th because we could have done much better today. We had a mechanical problem this morning, which we only found out about at the end of free practice so we didn't have a set-up ready for qualifying. We had to go with what we had and work on improving it during the session. We salvaged it a little bit but obviously not enough. In the quickest corner Sato slowed me down so I tried to compensate by pushing hard into the next corner and ended up spinning off. The Hungarian Grand Prix is a very physical race; it's very hot and there are only a couple of straight lines so you're mainly driving corners which is very demanding over 77 laps. Generally we've got a tough race ahead of us tomorrow."
Niki Lauda: "I really donít think we could have done much better today. We have not found the set-up challenge easy at this circuit and while we expected a tough weekend before we arrived, the very slippery and bumpy nature of this circuit has added to our difficulties. Traffic is also a very big problem here and out of a combined total of seven timed runs, only Pedro managed a perfectly clean lap without being held-up. Eddie had a terrible afternoon and constantly found himself being held-up in traffic. Nonetheless, there is a limit as to how far up we could have qualified today and Iíd say that Pedro is on that limit. The car appears to be quite temperamental around this circuit and tomorrowís race will be very hard for everyone who isnít at the front! Overtaking is almost impossible and unless something unusual happens at the start, I expect a processional race tomorrow."
Pedro de la Rosa: "That was a messy qualifying session because of the traffic problems throughout. I was lucky, however, in that I managed a good clean lap and the time is representative of where we are. The car feels reasonable and has come a long way since yesterday. The team has done a good job on fine-tuning the set-up and balance and weíll now look into our strategy options for tomorrowís race. The heat is normally a killer at this circuit and takes its toll on both drivers and machinery, although I donít expect it to be anywhere near as hot as in the past. Reliability is critical to getting something out of this weekend and keeping on the track is another! All things said, I feel quite pleased about the progress we are making and given how much the gap has now closed between ourselves and the competition compared to earlier in the year, our race pace should provide an opportunity or two tomorrow."
Eddie Irvine: "The car hasnít been to my liking all weekend and getting a decent set-up has been very hard. I am suffering from all sorts of issues ranging from oversteer to understeer Ė depending on how fast I go into the corners. Combine this with horrendous traffic problems and todayís qualifying performance becomes clear. I was held-up by Montoya, Button and one or two others as well. Regardless of traffic though, out best effort would not have boosted our places by much and Iíd say Pedroís performance sums-up our capabilities at this circuit. Our race pace, however, is normally better and even though overtaking is very limited around here, the attrition rate might help us Ė as long as weíre not on the receiving end of course."
Ange Pasquali: "Again we struggled with qualifying with only 17th and 18th positions to show for our efforts. We did not improve our lap times much from this morning's sessions and our priority now is to find out why. All we can hope for is a good start tomorrow, a good strategy so we can make up positions and to get both Mika and Allan to the chequered flag."
Mika Salo: "Like the last race in Germany this has been a very disappointing qualifying with both myself and Allan near the back of the grid. We struggled badly today with a lack of grip and not enough downforce, which is essential here. It will be a difficult race because overtaking is almost impossible and qualifying is 95 percent of the race. Tomorrow we just have to keep the car on the circuit. The car has handled better with a heavy fuel load up to now, which gives us some hope."
Allan McNish: "On the first run the car balance was pretty good, but I was held up by traffic towards the end of the flying lap, which lost me three-tenths of a second. After that we never found the same balance on the car with an increasing amount of understeer on each run, which we have to look into. I'm quite frustrated and it's going to be a hard day tomorrow."Paul Stoddart: "Despite completing todayís qualifying session in P19 and P20, this was an excellent afternoonís work for both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers. The team also derived satisfaction from seeing a useful improvement on last yearís lap times. Both Mark and Anthony extracted the maximum from their cars today and, in Markís case, he succeeded in conserving valuable rubber for tomorrowís race. Full credit to Anthony for a faultless performance over the last two days Ė the whole team wishes him well for his first-ever Formula One race tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "It has been quite a tough weekend for us so far, trying to generate the grip that we need on this circuit, but on every track weíve gone to this year weíve being making some really good advancements on last yearís Minardi times. The balance of the car is not too bad - itís just overall grip thatís our major concern. We are trying everything, but it may be a long race for us tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson: "That was good, and Iím pleased to have qualified for my first Grand Prix, but there was definitely more to come and Iím slightly disappointed that I didnít achieve it. In particular, I wish I could have got a little closer to Markís time today because I know itís in me. I felt my way a little in the first run and then pushed hard in the second to set what I knew needed to be a Ďbankerí. I was then able to have a real go in the next run, but unfortunately, it just didnít quite come together for me. It was definitely a bit nerve-wracking going out for that first run this afternoon, but Iíve always loved qualifying, and the precision and concentration needed to set a competitive time in just one or two laps. The next goal for this weekend is to run consistently in the race, stay out of trouble and get my first Grand Prix finish under my belt. I also need to learn as much as I can about pit stops and race strategy. Iím really looking forward to it."