Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Kimi Raikkonen - 1st, David Coulthard - 9th )
"An excellent performance from Kimi resulting in a well deserved
first pole position but a disappointing qualifying for David. We have not
compromised our race strategy on either car, and as a result good finishing
positions are more than possible. The continuos competitive performance of the
MP4-17D puts the team in the enviable position of having the option to take an
even more cautious approach to the race introduction of the MP4-18."
"A perfect lap and a career first pole position for Kimi after an
exciting qualifying session. This is the third time this year he has been
on the front row, but the two times before he was marginally away from
pole. Today he is ahead with 32 thousands of a second. Our team did a
great job and with the speed shown so far we have a good basis for
tomorrow's race. From David's place on the grid a good result is still
"It's a bit of a dream and slightly better than the Canadian GP
qualifying and to get my first pole position at Mercedes-Benz's home race
is fantastic. The car has been good and fast throughout the weekend. It's
pretty close at the front and I have been told qualifying was very
exciting, but I didn't have any idea of what times the others did as I was
just sitting in the car waiting to go out and not looking at the screens.
We knew that if we got everything right we could do it and we did."
"The balance of the car was not as good as in the warm-up. The car
touched the ground a bit in some places, and I locked up at turn one, which
cost me time. We will do the best we can in the race tomorrow, and I believe
it will be a case of strategy and reliability."
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( Michael Schumacher - 2nd, Rubens Barrichello - 5th )
Jean Todt: "We witnessed a great battle for pole
position, with five drivers all within less than three tenths of a second. It
is a testimony of the current high level of competition between the top teams,
even though there is the question mark over the different fuel levels in the
Nevertheless, right from the start of the weekend we have seen there is little
to chose between the main protagonists in the championship. Having one car on
the front row and the other on the third is a good result overall. Tomorrow's
race should be very closely contested and reliability and strategy will be the
key points. Bridgestone has done a very good job on the tyre front which means
we can be competitive, given the importance of the tyres in Formula 1."
Ross Brawn: "It was a very spectacular session which puts us in
a good position for tomorrow's race. We have worked hard all weekend and we
know what to expect from our chosen tyre. It will probably be hot tomorrow
which will make tyre performance crucial. The fact we are not on pole is not
too worrying as we have shown that we can win even when we have not been ahead
of the entire field in qualifying. Bridgestone has come up with good tyres and
we have a very competitive car, so we have all we need to fight for the win
"It was very close between the top few drivers, so I think it should be
an interesting race tomorrow. I made a slight mistake, when I locked up a
front wheel, which could have robbed me of pole. In terms of strategy I feel
we have made the right decision, but we won't find out until the race. I think
our lap times will be good tomorrow. In some ways, I would have been happier
with third place, because being second on the inside line the track is a bit
dirtier there and I could lose out a little bit."
"We made a major step forward with the car compared with yesterday and my
time is very close to the pole time. It's a shame I am not further up the
grid, but I am still confident about tomorrow's race, especially as last year
I did not start from pole but in the end I still managed to win the Grand
Prix. I can therefore be optimistic given that we know we can count on an
excellent car-engine-Bridgestone tyre package."
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Williams ( Ralf
Schumacher - 3rd , Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th )
Sam Michael: "Second
row on the grid is definitely a good place to start the race from and we
are quite confident that we will compete well. The cars are well set up
and we have a good strategy for tomorrow's race."
Mario Theissen: "We
have seen a very tight performance in today's qualifying as the lap times
of the top three are within a tenth of a second. For the third time in a
row Ralf and Juan Pablo have demonstrated an excellent qualifying
performance which gives them every chance for a good race result tomorrow."
Ralf Schumacher: "We
can be fairly happy about today's result. In the first and second sectors
of my flying lap I was really quick but then I lost some advantage in the
last part. However, 3rd and 4th are good positions to start from for
tomorrow's race -- especially for me, as I will start from the cleaner
side of the track.
We were expecting more difficulties here at the Nurburgring but today's
result proves that we are working in the right direction with the FW25,
especially because Kimi, Michael and myself are so close together. We have
made the right choice of tyre for the race and I also believe Michelin
have an advantage on this track. It's going to be a long, hot and
interesting race tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I
am obviously a bit disappointed as I was expecting something more from
today's qualifying. The balance of my car wasn't quite as good as it was
this morning and this cost me a place in the top three. However, I believe
we're set to have a good race tomorrow. The car has been working very well
in the last few races and I am confident we have a good strategy."
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( Jarno Trulli - 6th , Fernando Alonso - 8th )
Pat Symonds: "We did not start the weekend in the best of
shape, but a lot of effort by the whole team, including the drivers, has
brought us to a much more competitive position. Bearing in mind the
strategy we have chosen, and the good performance of our Michelin tyres
this weekend, we feel we will have a hard but rewarding race."
Denis Chevrier: "This is a very fair result, which puts us
in position to challenge our usual rivals tomorrow. We have learnt a lot
since we arrived yesterday, and we now have the tools we need, as much in
terms of speed as race preparation, to compete well. After a problem-free
day, we are, as usual, confident for tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli: "I am definitely pleased with my position,
and also with the team's performance this weekend. We have worked hard
since yesterday morning, because we had neither balance nor performance
when we began. After qualifying, however, our position is definitely
promising; I now hope the race will be good to us tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "It was a good run for me: there were no
mistakes, although the car balance still wasn't perfect. I haven't had any
problems all day, and we worked hard to find the right compromise on
set-up. I'm happy to be starting from the top ten tomorrow."
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Toyota ( Olivier Panis -
7th, Cristiano da Matta - 10th )
Keizo Takahashi: "We are very happy with
today's result. We achieved our objective by getting both Olivier and
Cristiano in the top ten. After the unfortunate qualifying session
yesterday in the rain, we did not lose faith in our abilities for today's
qualifying session and we have performed very strongly all weekend. I am
especially happy for all our employees in the grandstands who got to see
such a positive result today. I think this is great motivation for
everyone in the team at our home grand prix and we can be quietly
confident for more championship points in the race."
Olivier Panis: "I am really quite happy with
my lap. We have been very competitive all weekend and I think that
everybody has worked tremendously hard to get the cars to go well around
the Nürburgring this weekend. We had a good car from the first session
yesterday, so it was a shame the rain prevented us from qualifying higher
up on Friday afternoon.
Going out so early on in the today's session was a bit of a drawback,
because I am sure the track improved as more cars went out, however having
two cars in the top ten again is a positive result for the whole team. We
are improving all the time and I reckon we are in good shape for a points
finish in tomorrow's race."
Cristiano da Matta: "I am pleased with the
lap today and with our performance over this weekend. We know we have a
car that works well around here, as we proved in the practice sessions,
and we have actually exceeded our expectations a little bit. We have
operated well as a team and I am sure we can achieve a good result
Both cars have been on the pace since the first session on Friday and the
Michelin tyres are working very well, which will be an advantage for us in
the race. We have to continue in this way for the rest of the season and
keep making this kind of progress."
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( Mark Webber - 11th, Antonio Pizzonia - 16th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "A pleasing day which ended-up
with pleasing qualifying performances from both drivers given their respective
strategies for tomorrow. We have done nothing apart from focus completely on
race set-up and race strategy and from that perspective, we are well prepared.
Both drivers have done a good job so far this weekend, with their lap times
getting better and better on each outing.
Tyre performance will play a big part in tomorrow's race and we have adopted a
strategy that we believe will work well for us tomorrow. We have suffered no
issues with the car all weekend and as long as we have reliability on our side
tomorrow, we should be capable of a points challenge."
Mark Webber: "I am pleased with what was a fairly tidy lap. I
braked a little too deep going into Turn 4 and that forced me to go a
little wide on the outside of the corner. That said we are very pleased to
have ended up in P11 given the focus that we have been putting onto the
race for tomorrow. We've had to compromise a higher qualification position
for this but everything looks good for tomorrow providing we have a hot
The balance of the car is very good and Michelin have again proved their
worth - something they have been doing since Melbourne. They certainly
have the upper hand in the tyre war right now and let's hope we can put
all this to good use tomorrow."
Antonio Pizzonia: "Not the best I could have done
but we have a good race car for tomorrow. I struggled a little this morning in
trying to find a good set-up for the car and that is frustrating given how
well we went in the dry yesterday. The balance of the car on scrubbed tyres is
good and this will bode well for tomorrow but over one fast lap, it got
difficult to handle in places.
It would have nice to have been higher up the order today but finding a good
set-up on new tyres was difficult this morning. Our biggest enemy tomorrow
will be the rain and as long as it stays dry, I can make an impact on the race
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
12th, Jacques Villeneuve - 17th )
"We have been struggling for grip in the dry conditions here all weekend
and therefore Jenson's position in qualifying was probably as good as we could
have expected. Jacques will understandably be disappointed with his qualifying
position, but he usually fares better in the race and is confident with his
set-up for tomorrow. Given the number of incidents that have occurred in the
F3000 race here today, tomorrow's grand prix could be equally exciting and who
knows what might happen?."
"It has been a difficult two days for the team as the car has clearly not
been working well at this track. We had two very busy practice sessions this
morning trying to find a suitable set-up and in the end we are substantially
happier with the car than we were on Friday. A low-grip circuit like the
Nürburgring tends to accentuate any weaknesses with the package and we are
now focusing on these areas for the next race and test.
Jenson's qualifying lap was as good as we could hope for this weekend.
Unfortunately, Jacques made a mistake in turn one which compromised his lap.
The target for the rest of this weekend is to try to collect some points,
which will be quite a tough challenge."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Jenson did a good job today,
considering the fact that he hasn't been able to get the best out of his car
so far this weekend. We're satisfied with the reliability of our engines and I
believe the package is capable of delivering some points in the race tomorrow."
Jenson Button: "I'm pretty happy with my lap
considering the difficult start we've had to the weekend. I had planned to be
a little more cautious through the Veedol chicane but as this was qualifying I
decided to give it some instead! I was pushing hard throughout the lap but we
were still struggling for grip so the car was very twitchy.
It's been a tough weekend so far and we've had to try a lot of things with the
set-up to improve for today. The balance isn't too bad now, we're just not
quick enough. It would be nice to have some rain tomorrow but I don't think
it's going to come. We'll just have to make the most of the strategy and do
what we can from the sixth row."
"Today was a bad day. It's never a good thing to go out first for
qualifying but on top of that I had a bad lap. The car was sliding and I
braked too late into turn one, locked the front wheels and lost a good
half-second as a result.
We changed the set-up just before our qualifying run and it made a bigger
difference than expected. We also ran a good race strategy fuel-wise so there
were a number of reasons for us being slower, but even without the mistake we
would probably only have been 15th today. I'm sure it will be a very tough
race tomorrow because we'll be starting well behind where we normally should
be and that will hurt us for sure."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 13th, Ralph Firman - 14th )
"Qualifying didn't turn out too bad. As always it's hard to know how
we compare to the rest, with different strategies, so we're just doing what we
think is right for us. Having two cars side by side on the grid is reasonable,
as it just shows that is the pace of the car. Ralph's come on well since the
beginning of the year, to be up there almost matching Giancarlo. He's less
than three tenths of a second off and I think it's a pretty creditable
position. We are hoping for a nice safe first corner, a good race and some
points if we are lucky."
"Thirteenth is nothing special but we were able to improve the
balance compared to this morning so it's better than it could have been. As I
said yesterday, I don't think we are competitive enough. It's going to be
difficult to score points in this race."
Ralph Firman: "It was disappointing that I lost a lot of track
time in practice this morning as I think it may have cost me in qualifying. We
haven't had any other problems and it's worked out really well all weekend
apart from that. I'm quite happy with how qualifying went although I did made
a small mistake on the lap. You can never get it absolutely perfect but you
can always aim to get it better and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow.
It will be interesting to see how we end up."
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( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 15th, Nick Heidfeld - 20th - No Time )
Peter Sauber: "Today required strong
nerves! After two engine problems in the warm-up, the causes of which we
are still analysing, Nick's car needed an engine change and Heinz-Harald
had to switch to the T-car. Due to the new regulations it's not allowed
anymore to do an installation lap with the T-car. Under those circumstance
Heinz-Harald's result is gratifying.
In Nick's case we had to achieve the impossible task of changing the
engine in 32 minutes. Already after 25 minutes we were able to fire it,
and after 28 Nick was ready to go. This was fantastic, and a very
impressive achievement. My sincere compliments to our mechanics - if only
everything would go that well! Unfortunately Nick wasn't able to exploit
this excellent work as an as-yet undefined hydraulic downshift problem was
responsible for his spin in the first corner."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I had to change to the T-car just before the qualifying. We didn't
have the chance to set it up properly and I had quite a lot of understeer.
But with my result we are not far away from our target for tomorrow. It's
a shame for Nick. I wish we had two T-cars available!"
"I have to say a big 'thank you' to my crew after they changed the
engine in very little time just before the qualifying session. That was a
fantastic achievement! Unfortunately, I then suffered from a technical
problem with the downshift while braking for the first corner, so I didn't
have a chance to make it."
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( Jos Verstappen - 18th, Justin Wilson - 19th )
Paul Stoddart: "It was slightly disappointing not to be able
to repeat our performance of yesterday; however, it is clear that Minardi
currently needs wet conditions to show its true potential. As usual, both
drivers gave 100 per cent, and we'll just have to wait until tomorrow's race
to see if we can take something positive away from this weekend."
Jos Verstappen: "This morning, in the second session, we
were struggling a little to find a good set-up, and then we lost some track
time with a wiring loom problem just while we were trying different wing
configurations. We then went in a direction with the chassis for the warm-up
session that didn't really work, but we sorted it out for qualifying and the
car was definitely better. I was reasonably happy with my lap time this
afternoon considering the fuel load. This race track is obviously harder for
us than the last one. We need more downforce to improve our lap times here."
Justin Wilson: "I'm fairly pleased with today's
performance. I lost out a bit to Jos in the first sector of the lap, but
we are running different wing levels. Overall, I've been able to push
Jos a bit today, so I'm pleased with that. The car is well enough
balanced now, but we are just lacking grip here. I'm happy with our
strategy for tomorrow and we'll see how things go in the race."
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