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What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Ron Dennis: "Two trouble-free sessions with both drivers re-evaluating some of the work conducted at Silverstone last week. We will work hard to keep the positive momentum going throughout the weekend."
Mika Hakkinen: "I’m very pleased with our performance today and its good to be quick. Everything we tested at Silverstone last week worked well. Today we worked on different configurations and tyres and I’m confident for the weekend."
David Coulthard: "A usual Friday where you can’t put too much into the times as today is only part of the weekend. We worked with our programme to get the most out of the car. I have a bit of oversteer at the chicane and into the last corner which gives some problems finishing the lap, but overall I’m pleased."
Patrick Head: "We had a useful day evaluating tyres and race set up. Not much else to say as both cars have run without problems. Juan Pablo has reacquainted himself with the Nurburgring quite quickly, as the last time he was here was in '98 in an F3000 car."
Ralf Schumacher: "It was actually better than expected. We improved from the first session and the car felt quite good. It is good that my home Grand Prix is starting well."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a good day when I evolved the car a lot so I am pretty happy. It is not qualifying, but I had traffic on new tyres and I had people spinning in front of me in the first sector, so lost about half a second. My car is working well, we are making progress and finding the direction to go."
Jean Todt: "Today was the standard Friday which saw us work mainly towards the race. We ran a tyre programme with both cars using the three sets allowed, as we did a lot of laps. I think we can improve the performance of the car is a few sections of the track. Rubens had a very slow in lap because of a problem with the accelerator, which was quickly sorted out in the pits. It is reasonably cool for June and temperatures are expected to be slightly higher tomorrow. I reckon that three teams will be in the fight for pole."
Michael Schumacher: "It’s always good to race at your home grand prix and everything has gone to plan today, so I expect we can be up at the front tomorrow. I am not worried about the gap to the quickest car today, as I feel the situation here is similar to Canada, where we were not quickest on the first day, but on the front in qualifying. As far as tyre choice is concerned, we will decide tomorrow morning. I am quite confident, but we still have some more work to do to find the right set-up but it won’t involve any major changes."
Rubens Barrichello: "It was not a particularly exciting day, although we saw quite a few spins caused by the wind and the dirty track. Circuit conditions here are very different to those we encounter at other tracks. I had a problem with the throttle pedal halfway through the second hour and I am not entirely happy with the performance of the brakes on my car. Apart from that, I am reasonably confident about our performance level."
Tim Holloway: "A mixed day. Jarno got through a lot of work for the race, and we're looking quite happy there. Heinz lost most of the second session when he went off at the last corner, which makes it very difficult for him, especially when coming back after the problems he had in Canada. No problems with either of the cars although the cool conditions haven't helped. It's the same for everyone, of course, and it's nothing new at the Nurburgring because we've been here earlier and much later in the season."
Jarno Trulli: "A routine first day. We were working on the set-up for the race, trying to balance the car as much as possible. We still have quite a lot of work to do for tomorrow. This morning, the car was not far away from the right set-up. We still need to improve it but we haven't really found a new direction to follow. We'll sit down now, check the data and see what we can find that might help for tomorrow."
Heinz Harald Frentzen: "We got through some work this morning. Then, unfortunately, I spun off and couldn't continue. We were making some progress but, obviously, I have a lot of work to do. Apart from the obvious disappointment, I feel fine otherwise with no ill-effects after the problems I had in Canada."
Peter Sauber: "It's Friday practice as usual. We concentrated on race preparation and made good progress."
Nick Heidfeld: "It’s good to be back in the car after my problems following the shunt in Montreal, and I’m feeling fine again. We had a good day, but some changes that we made to the car didn’t have quite the effect I was hoping for. It felt nervous, which made it difficult to drive."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I had some traffic on my quick lap and didn’t really get the best out of my tyres, but otherwise things were okay for me today."
Alain Prost: "Today has been overall very positive for our team. Our car behaved very well on the tracks which hosted the last two Grands Prix, and, as we have not introduced any important modification on the cars for this race, we were really looking forward to see what we would be capable of doing here. The Nurburgring is a specific circuit that looks like no other and we are satisfied with our overall performance today, as we have been able to complete the usual Friday work without difficulty. Luciano’s engine problem, which unfortunately cost him some time on the track, has been identified and solved. Therefore the encouraging performance achieved today gives us confidence we can be competitive this weekend and our objective will be to improve our positions on the grid. It is the main aspect we have to work on now."
Jean Alesi: "We spent the first part of today’s practice working on race set-up, running on high fuel levels. This gave us a lot of positive data. Then this afternoon we concentrated on tyre choices for the qualifying session and the race. The car has shown a high reliability today and I have been able to set some good times. I am confident the work done and the information gathered will allow us to have a competitive car this weekend."
Luciano Burti: "This is another new track for me to learn. Luckily, the balance of my car has been pretty good from the start this morning. With only a few changes we made between the two sessions, it was even better this afternoon, and I could improve my lap times a lot. Unfortunately I had an engine problem which put a premature end to my first practice day at the Nurburgring. The pity is that I did not have time to test the balance of the car on new tyres. However we’ll have plenty of time tomorrow morning to recover this little delay, and I am confident we can do a good job because we have already a very good basis."
Craig Pollock: "We've had a much better start to the race weekend than we had in Canada so everything is looking positive so far. We were all very heartened to hear that both Jacques and Olivier are relatively comfortable with the car at this stage and they feel the new aero package is making a real difference. We do still have quite a lot of work to do on the car overnight in order to get the extra performance required for a strong race and result but, all in all, there are no major headaches. We've made a very good start and look forward to continuing the weekend that way."
Olivier Panis: "We worked very well today and I'm happy that we were able to put in many laps. I'm positive about the car but we need a little more work to find the best set-up and to ensure a good performance in the race. But everything feels OK so far and I'm quite excited for the qualifying session because I feel that we have the car to fight for a good position here. This is my 100th Grand Prix and I'm very happy about that - I feel that I've had a good career so far and, with British American Racing Honda, I have the car now to get good results and opportunities. I look forward to another 100 more maybe!."
Jacques Villeneuve: "I'm quite happy with the way things went for the team today, the new aero package seems to work well so I'm excited for the rest of the weekend. We did a lot of work today but we just need to get the tyres to work a little better for us. I got a bit sideways this afternoon then I caught it but I need to have a look at what caused me to spin because after that, everything seemed to be working fine. We're not doing badly for a Friday and we should be OK for qualifying tomorrow, especially as the aerodynamic improvements are helping quite a lot."
Bobby Rahal: "It's a little early to be over critical of the tyres around here especially when you consider that the track temperature is much lower than everybody thought it would be. The car, however, is handling quite well and we now need to work out how best to adapt it to the tyres and conditions we face. The weather is notoriously capricious here and as we saw yesterday, the track temperatures change very quickly indeed to the extent that we may well have a completely different set of circumstances to deal with tomorrow. A hotter day would not go amiss."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We're slower than we expected and we know why. We are struggling for grip and after having tried both Michelin compounds we're no nearer to finding a solution at this stage. The team will obviously work hard on the chassis to try and adapt it to the tyres we have but there really isn't a great deal of grip out there. The balance of the car is fine and I'm sure we're not the only ones suffering from this problem. The temperatures have also caught us out in that it's much cooler than envisaged and this of course has impacted the tyres pressures."
Eddie Irvine: "There is an extreme lack of grip on this circuit and it's also very bumpy. The rear end of the car is quite prone to stepping out and traction is being made very hard to find by the lack of grip we are suffering from. We will try and compensate for this with set-up changes for tomorrow. My first Free Practice session was halted because of a fuel pump problem but that's now been addressed. After having to prematurely leave the Silverstone test last week because of a neck problem, I'm also pleased to say that everything is back to normal working order. I have experienced no problems today and I'm keen to get on with improving today's performance."
Pat Symonds: "This has been quite a productive day's testing for the race. We lost some time with Giancarlo during the morning part of the session because of a problem with his gearbox's oil system, but nevertheless we completed the tasks we set ourselves. We made some good progress with Giancarlo's car, but we need to find a better balance for Jenson and to improve the chassis so that both drivers can attack the kerbs a little more. We suffered with a general lack of grip today, but we don't appear to be the only ones. Watching on the TV screens, it looked more like there was a rally going on than a Formula 1 race."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "I was a bit unlucky this morning because a gearbox problem cost me the last part of the first session. In the afternoon things were reasonable. We completed a lot of set-up work, although we still had a bit of understeer in the slow corners. If we can qualify 14th tomorrow it wouldn't be too bad. The car feels a bit better than it did in Canada, but we could do with better weather to help us generate a bit more tyre temperature."
Jenson Button: "We didn't go out early in the first part of the session because the track was very dirty. The chassis had a bit of understeer to begin with, so we worked hard to get that fixed. It's vital to make the car ride the kerbs properly here, but we haven't quite got on top of that yet. We have a few things to try to make it ride the bumps better tomorrow."
Mike Coughlan: “Enrique went through his programme and is now reasonably happy with the car. We tried out different aero configurations and are happy with the way things are going. Jos suffered from a lack of track time due to a hydraulic problem this morning so we've still got a lot of work to do before qualifying.”
Jos Verstappen: “We had a very hard day today. We didn't get much done in the first hour of practice as the power steering was playing games. This meant we had to change a lot on the car to run again so we also lost the first quarter of the second session. We did a lot of short runs, adjusting the car to the circuit but to be honest we haven't really learnt a lot today.”
Enrique Bernoldi: “We made good progress today doing a lot of laps and slowly developing the car. We've made our tyre choice and generally worked on race and qualifying set-up. The car felt better on each run so I'm pleased with the work we've done today.”Paul Stoddart: "The European Minardi team completed a useful day, despite losing the whole of the first session on Tarso’s car as the result of an electrical problem. The team worked on set-up for tomorrow, with Fernando in 17th place for much of the second session. Tarso used the time this afternoon to acclimatise to the circuit and also to work on chassis set-up. As usual, we did not elect to run in qualifying trim today, so the true picture of where we are in relation to our rivals will become clearer tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "It turned out to be a profitable day as we managed to work through our programme, which was focused particularly on trying one or two new things on the car. Our interest was not in setting quick lap times, but in testing these possible technical solutions. We have obtained a good result from today’s free practice and will obviously try to improve further tomorrow."
Tarso Marques: "It was a shame to lose the whole of the first session with an electrical problem because I was looking forward to testing some new items today, among them, revised brake and throttle pedals. The second session turned out to be decidedly better, although I came out of the pits a bit late. During the afternoon session, we made steady improvement, which was pleasing. The balance of the car is not yet ideal, but I believe we are going in the right direction."