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British Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Ron Dennis: "So far, so good."
Norbert Haug: "Today’s practice was a good beginning to the weekend. The team worked on the race set-up. I’m pleased with the performance of both Mika and David and both made good progress with their work."
Mika Hakkinen: "Its good to be fastest and I aim to be in the same place on the grid tomorrow. I believe that we have a good set up for the car and that we have put the things we learnt during the last Silverstone test to good use."
David Coulthard: "I’m reasonably happy with the progress we have made today, but you always want to be quicker and have more grip. However as always we will not know where we really are until the end of tomorrow’s qualifying."
Jean Todt: "Given that the weather forecast predicted rain for the afternoon, we opted to work on evaluating tyre choice right from the start of the morning. We also worked on preparing the car for the race, looking to find the best set-up. I would say that in this area, there is still room for improvement. Tomorrow morning, we will start to look at qualifying preparation and I expect the afternoon contest to feature the usual contenders."
Rubens Barrichello: "The track conditions are slightly different to those we experienced at the test here last month. In the first hour today, the car’s braking was not quite right, but in the break we did a lot of work and this afternoon’s times show we have made good progress. I am fairly optimistic for the rest of the weekend and I think we will be very competitive."
Michael Schumacher: "It was the usual Friday job list. The car was handling pretty well and to be honest I would have preferred to have had a longer run in the rain at the end of the session to evaluate the rain tyres. I think we can expect variable weather conditions through the weekend, which will make life tough, especially as McLaren looks strong. It won’t be easy, but I expect that in this race we will see only two teams fighting for the win and not three as has been the case recently. We know we have a good car and that we are competitive. I am not thinking about the 51 wins, but certainly I feel on top form at the moment."
Tim Holloway: "It was the usual Friday doing race set-up. With Bridgestone bringing a new tyre for the race it was important that we did a good back-to-back comparing the tyres. We have got a lot of data to look through tonight. Heinz did a good job considering he lost a bit of running due an oil leak - nothing serious but it took a short time to put that right. We're generally happy with the way things went. When it started to rain towards the end of the second session, both cars went out with intermediate tyres because we needed to pick up what information we could, although the track wasn't quite wet enough."
Heinz Harald Frentzen: "We think it may be wet tomorrow and during the race, so we have to be ready for all circumstances. More or less everything went according to plan today and we achieved what we wanted to achieve. Of course, because Silverstone is our home track, we already have quite a bit of information although surprisingly, considering the British weather, if it rains tomorrow it will be the first day for me at Silverstone in wet conditions! I have mainly tested in the dry."
Jarno Trulli: "I did many laps because I wanted to check the feeling and balance of the car in race conditions. It's not too bad, so we will look at the information and concentrate on what we are going to do tomorrow. So far, so good."
Peter Sauber: "We had a satisfactory day's running and are in good shape for the race. New developments on the car are working well. It's a pity that we were not allowed by the race director to run on wet or intermediate tyres when it rained at the end of the second session, because the experience would have been useful."
Nick Heidfeld: "Obviously I'm quite happy with my lap time. We made a lot of progress setting up the car from the first session to the second, and even my long run was pretty good despite the track being damp in places. It was a shame that we were not able to get a run on intermediates, because we were all ready to go and I think that would have been helpful if the weather is like this tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "In some ways it helps a little to be on the first circuit so far this season that I know really well, although in reality it probably only makes a small difference to performance. The first session was not so good, but we made some changes and the car was a lot better in the second."
Bobby Rahal: "A nice summer day at Silverstone was always too good to be true! It was a shame for Pedro to have lost the morning session but as he correctly says, we have considerable experience of this circuit and the impact wasn't as bad as it could have been elsewhere. Both drivers completed a fairly lengthy job list in preparation for tomorrow, but we still have a few things to try out during tomorrow's warm-up sessions. The changing weather doesn't lend itself very well to planning and preparing for Qualifying, but I guess it's the same for everybody. A wet Qualifying hour may work for others, but it certainly won't do us any favours. There's still more pace to be had from the car, but it's an encouraging start so far."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I lost the morning session through a fuel pressure problem but it wasn't too much of a hindrance because we know this circuit well. The general set-up of the car feels good and we learnt a fair amount from the different tyre compounds we tried. Overall, I am pleased with how the Free Practice session went but we could certainly do with better weather and higher temperatures that would allow us to get more from the new package."
Eddie Irvine: "We made some good steps forward today and the new aerodynamic package is proving useful around this circuit. We said right from the start that this wouldn't be our strongest circuit, but I am more optimistic now than I was after the first session. We made some set-up changes to the car after the first session and it felt a lot better. We'll find out a lot more about the package tomorrow, especially if it's dry. It's too early to be making definitive statements about how we will perform, but I'm optimistic after today."
Patrick Head: "Certainly we didn't start the practice that strongly but progressively we have improved the car and some useful homework has been done for the race. We have tried both of the Michelin tyres. The weather is probably going to make the tyre choice quite tricky, but we will now concentrate on setting up the car for good grid positions tomorrow afternoon."
Ralf Schumacher: "As we already knew from the test, Silverstone is a difficult track for us. We have a lack of grip and it is just that the combination of tyres and chassis that are not as compatible as at other circuits, but we will work hard to improve for tomorrow. Apart from that we had no technical problems."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a pretty good day though we struggled in the morning a lot with the set-up. PM was pretty good, though we put the new tyres on a bit late and it started to drizzle so we couldn't really get a lap on them. I think for the race we should be quite competitive. I don't think it is a weekend when we are looking to win, but we seem to surprise ourselves sometimes on Saturdays. We will see. Let's hope it stays dry as with the wet weather it is going to make life a bit more difficult and it may be a bit of a lottery for the race."
Malcolm Oastler: "We haven't had too bad a day today. We put in a good day's work with both drivers to find the best set-up and the tyre choice. We had a little problem with Jacques' car in this afternoon's session but that didn't cost us too dearly. Given the changing weather conditions here today I can't make any predictions because you never know how things may turn out on the day. At this stage in the weekend though, we're all reasonably comfortable. We can now focus on making the cars quicker and hopefully finding the improvement in our qualifying performance that we've been looking for of late."
Jacques Villeneuve: "Today was a normal day at the office really. The car is working quite well - I did have a little ‘off’ but it was nothing major. We were able to put in plenty of laps and finish up halfway through the field so we’re reasonably happy with how things have gone so far. We’re not quick enough yet but we have a good basis to build on throughout the weekend now. The weather changed quite dramatically so we should realistically expect the same but we have no idea how our traction control works in the wet. The only real wet driving we’ve done is in Brazil but we were quick there. It’s always a gamble in the wet and the kind of gamble that isn’t fun when you work so hard all weekend to find what you think is the best set-up. I enjoy racing at Silverstone and I like most of the track. There’s a good rhythm, some high-speed corners and the circuit is generally quite demanding. I’m not as keen on Vale and Abbey - the two tight chicanes - but the rest of the track is beautiful."
Olivier Panis: "I feel quite positive about how we ran today. The car felt good straight away this morning so we were able to concentrate on trying to find the best set-up and maximising grip. We also played around with the tyre options to find the best overall package. It was a bit windy in the first session so that affected how the car was handling a little. The rain came quite late thankfully but it gave us enough time to see how things might go in those conditions. For me there were no major problems. I like to drive in the wet so the weather isn’t normally a problem for me. I’m looking forward to the race and hope we can do well at the team’s home Grand Prix."
Alain Prost: "We always approach the British Grand Prix with carefulness. Silverstone is a difficult track which most of our competitors know extremely well, and weather conditions will be once again very changeable. Therefore the results we have set today are pretty satisfying when we know the set-up work we still have ahead of us. We focus on making the best use of the car's latest aerodynamic evolutions, and will have to pay a lot of attention to our tyre choice. These will be the two strategic elements that will allow us to be at our best in Sunday's race."
Jean Alesi: "This first day was important for us as our last tests at the Silverstone track were not completely satisfactory, which means we lack certain references here. Besides, the new parts we introduced at the French Grand Prix did not work out as we expected and left us confused as far as the car's aerodynamic behaviour is concerned. Therefore we had to test a lot of different things today and we particularly focused on the way to set-up the car properly. We will continue in this direction tomorrow."
Luciano Burti: "It was a troubled first day of practice for us. This morning on my first run, I had a set-up problem with traction control which made me spin, and flatspot my tyres. I lost one set of tyres, and all the rest of the session has been quite difficult. We managed to improve the car a bit this afternoon. Unfortunately, I did not have a proper run on new tyres as I made a mistake on my first new set, and on the second one, I had a problem with my gearbox. It was a bit unlucky, but we have room for improvement tomorrow morning."
Graham Taylor: “We've had a productive day today, mainly concentrating on getting a good balance for the cars. Jos and Enrique have both tried out the different tyres and we feel we have a conclusion with regards to choice. Jos did a practice start in the dry session and Enrique did one in the damp conditions which will give us some useful data to look at. All in all a good day and it's a good feeling to see both cars running reliably.”
Jos Verstappen: “We got all our work done today which is always good. We tried out the two different tyre compounds and I have to say there is not much difference between them, especially on longer runs. We think we know which ones to choose for the rest of the weekend. I'm pretty happy with the car as we made a few changes and it steadily improved the balance. We've got all the information we need and that's what Friday is for so we're quite happy.”
Enrique Bernoldi: “My comments really match Jos' today. We got all our work done, know what to do about tyres and generally developed throughout the sessions. I went off at the end as the track was pretty slippery and I was on the dry tyres but we did get some track time in the rain which will help our preparations for the wet weather we may have this weekend."
Pat Symonds: "Overall this has been a productive day for Jenson, who improved his car throughout both sessions and was happy with his balance on today's fuel levels. Things were more difficult for Giancarlo, because he needed an engine change and ended up using one of our older-spec engines. Considering how much fuel we were running compared to other Michelin teams, I think we looked more competitive than normal. The track conditions today have been cooler than at recent races, and I don't think that suited the tyres we have available this weekend. Hopefully, the weather will pick up tomorrow."
Jenson Button: "Things weren't too bad this morning. We didn't run any new tyres, but the chassis balance was quite good, even though overall grip levels were quite low. We put new tyres on after lunch and it made more of a difference than I had expected, but the balance was still good. The car feels absolutely fine in slow-speed corners but we could do with a little more grip in the faster stuff - even on new tyres. The good thing is that we managed to get a number of laps on new tyres. I am fairly sure that a few of our rival teams did low-fuel runs, too, which we didn't. Our position might not look terribly good on paper, but realistically I think we are in better shape and that should show tomorrow. On another positive note, the practice starts I did felt pretty good, too - especially as I was running on dry tyres in the wet."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It has been a very bad day. We had an engine problem in the first session and in the second the car's balance wasn't great. We did a lot of work but we didn't find the level of improvement I was hoping for. The rain at the end did not help and I can only hope that things go better tomorrow."Paul Stoddart: "Silverstone lived up to its reputation insofar as the rain we had been expecting during the morning finally materialised in the last 10 minutes of the afternoon session. Despite that, European Minardi F1 had a productive, if generally uneventful Friday. Both drivers completed the technical programmes that had been set for them, and Fernando provided a boost for the team when he ran as high as 16th. We intend to carry on with the good work tomorrow and are looking forward to the qualifying session."
Fernando Alonso: "We tried a number of different car settings, which brought some good results. One of today’s objectives was to try and put in as many laps as possible here at Silverstone, and in the end I believe we succeeded, thanks to a car that is feeling more and more reliable. Tomorrow’s efforts will be focused on achieving a better performance compared with today’s, which was still not as good as it could be. That said, I think we are close to the maximum result for our car’s present potential."
Tarso Marques: "We tried a completely different set-up configuration today and it worked well, improving the car quite a lot. When I went for what should have been my fastest lap, the gearbox selected sixth gear at the wrong time and I lost the lap. A problem with the rear suspension in the morning session caused me to lose some valuable time – otherwise, the performance could have been even better. I believe there is still room for improvement tomorrow."