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21 June News
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21-June: At the Friday press conference for the European Grand Prix, Norbert Haug (Mercedes) was pleased with McLaren's strong performance during the Friday practice sessions but doesn't expect them to challenge for Pole and said "It would be nice but I don't think it's quite realistic. Friday times do not mean that much. We learned quite a lot and have quite a good baseline, but my judgement is not that we are fighting for pole position."
Haug added that they are continually developing their engines but have a long way to go and said "We continuously develop the engine and make steps. We introduced a new step in Canada. We will use that tomorrow and in the race again. We did not use it today, but we are improving. There is still a lot of room for improvement but I think we've made quite significant steps since the start of the season."
As for what is lacking from McLaren, Haug indicated that it is the total package and not just a matter of straight-line speed and said "If you judge engine power on straight-line speed it's just wrong. I think Ferrari has got a very good combination and in the last races they have very good straight-line speed. They certainly have a lot of power as well, but you cannot judge the engine performance by straight-line speed, that's not possible. I could make it easy now and say we were in front of Ralf Schumacher and he couldn't overtake us so we must be at least as powerful, but it makes no sense. At the end of the day, the lap time counts. I think we improved in Monaco and Montreal, we did better lap times in Montreal. We were quite competitive in terms of lap times and it was a step. It wasn't a huge step but certainly a step in the right direction, and we're going to continue in that way."

Mario Theissen (BMW) has indicated his satisfaction from their results so far this season despite having 3 engine failures in the last 2 races and said "We gathered quite a lot of points in the early races. We were satisfied with the competitive situation as well after having been able to close in a bit on the superior car this year. We were quite strong, and surprisingly strong in Monaco, and we were about as strong as expected in Montreal, we just didn't finish the race. So we have been working on reliability primarily in the past two or three weeks but other than that, I have to say, we are satisfied with the season so far. We are certainly where we wanted to be, maybe a bit better even."
Theissen indicated that reasons for the 2 engine failures in Canada and said "It was two different problems. Juan Pablo's engine had a valve failure and on Ralf's engine... Ralf crossed the finishing line with the engine okay and immediately after that a piston gave up. I have to say that it wasn't a quality problem with the piston, but rather due to the operation conditions of the engine. And certainly we have taken some counter-measures for here, for this weekend, and I'm confident it will work."
As for his expectations for Qualifying given that Williams have been on Pole in the last 2 races, he said "Well, I would prefer to get a few points instead of pole position."

Kimi Raikkonen indicated his satisfaction with the way his qualifying is going given that he has out-qualified his more experienced team-mate 5 times to 3 but hopes that his luck will turn in races and said "It is not the ideal year for me, but so far the qualifying has been very good and unfortunately I have only finished two races from eight and I have had a lot of technical problems with the car. And even in the last race, when I finished, we had a problem with the refuelling and I was just driving around on the circuit, saving fuel so that I could finish the race. It is sad not to finish and score more points because if you score more points it is good for the team and it looks better on the table. But I think soon the luck will start to turn around and I will score more points this year. I am not too sad about what has happened but of course it would be nice to finish all the races."
As for the new changes to the track, he said "I think it's something different, for sure. For me it's okay. The only problem is that it makes the circuit quite slow now because there aren't many quick corners anyway and the first corner is really tight and the two after that also. Maybe it gives a few more opportunities for overtaking in the first corner, so it should be more interesting for the spectators."

Heinz Harald Frentzen believes Arrows have the potential to be in the points more often and said "I would really appreciate it if we could grow together this season and get some good results. I feel that the people and the team have the potential for being in the points more often. I think it is up to us to get the best of it and I also try very much to help them with the information I can give them and I am fighting very hard to improve the circumstances there."
Frentzen indicated that a lack of a 'works' engine hurts them and said "It would be nice if the Arrows team had works support so the sponsors they have got do not need to pay for an engine. That is some extra budget that would be nice for developing more and doing more testing but unfortunately that is the way it is. We have to live with what we have got."
As for his thoughts on the changes to the track, he said "For us drivers, it's not a problem if we like it or not. We will get used to it in the circumstances. If the spectators can enjoy it, because they can see maybe some more overtaking or they have the opportunity to see the car better in the infield then that's okay, we're happy with that. I'm happy."

Nick Heidfeld believes Sauber should have scored more points this season because they have the speed and said "I think speed-wise that is not the case, apart from Monaco because we really struggled there. I was seventh in qualifying in Canada, in Austria I was fifth, so the speed really is there and we have just been a bit unlucky in the races. That is also why I am not so happy at the moment. We should have scored more points this year."
Heidfeld doesn't believe there is a drop in there performance and said "We are still developing the car all the time. We have a new aerodynamic part of the car here and we are also always trying to make progress on the electronics side. And as I said, I think speed-wise we are still there.
You always want to push for more, but I think the race results from the last couple of races doesn't really show our potential."
As for his thoughts on the changes to the track, he said "I think it's well done. I like the new part. I think it's quite difficult to drive, especially the second and third corners. You will see a lot of cars struggling there with the balance, not only the car balance but also to find the right balance driving through there is difficult. So it's quite nice. The biggest problem for me is braking into the first corner. It's very bumpy. That's quite a big problem."

21-June: What the teams and drivers said following Friday Practice at the Nurburgring ... Report

21-June: European GP 2nd Friday Practice Session: David Coulthard sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. Rubens Barrichello, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes

21-June: European GP 1st Friday Practice Session: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld. Allan McNish. Felipe Massa and David Coulthard make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes

European Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule:

Session Time (Local / GMT) - Current local time
Friday Practice Session 1
Friday Practice Session 2
Saturday Practice Session 1
Saturday Practice Session 2
Qualifying Session
Warm-up Session
11 AM Nurburg Time / 9 AM GMT
1 PM Nurburg Time / 11 AM GMT
8:15 AM Nurburg Time / 6:15 AM GMT 
9:30 AM Nurburg Time / 7:30 AM GMT
12:15 PM Nurburg Time / 10:15 PM GMT
9:30 AM Nurburg Time / 7:30 AM GMT
2 PM Nurburg Time / 12 PM GMT
Go to the European GP Page

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