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Your thoughts on the Malaysian GP
15 - 17 March News
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17-Mar: At the post
Race press conference for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Ralf Schumacher
described his race as 'almost perfect' and said "It was almost a perfect
race. But the team did a fantastic job, the car was just there, almost perfect
the whole race, especially the second stint where there was even more rubber
on the circuit. It was just an easy game. I was amazed at how quick the car
was today. I still can't believe it to be honest. It's all down to the team, I
Juan Pablo Montoya was furious at the decision to
penalise him as he didn't think he did anything wrong and said "We had to
go around the outside of Michael because he moved to the right. We got to the
corner. I gave him enough room. I talked to him already and he said he had
quite a bit of under-steer. He touched me and that was it. To me it was a race
incident. I was a bit pissed off because I thought he under-steered off into
me, which is why I went like that to him, but that was it. It was a bit
frustrating because the car was very good. I did the fastest lap of the race.
Michael Schumacher described his view on the first
corner incident and said "You can see it from two ways. Obviously, if he
had opened up more, we wouldn't have touched, but wasn't willing to do this so
there wasn't any room for me and we touched. I didn't see a drama in that. It
was a shame. I lost my front wing and had to come in for a pit stop and
obviously lost a lot of time on that lap, plus the pit stop. But it was an
exciting race in the end."
17-Mar: What the teams and drivers said following the Race in Malaysia ... Report
17-Mar: Malaysian GP – Race: Ralf Schumacher wins ahead of team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher. Jenson Button, Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes
17-Mar: Malaysian GP – Warm-up Session: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and Jenson Button make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes16-Mar: At the post Qualifying press conference for the Malaysian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher was surprised that the pole time was actually slower than last year's and said "I don't know that it's so good when you imagine how much money everybody has invested to go faster and then we go a little bit slower from one year to another. I can only explain it by (saying) the circuit asphalt may be being less rough, or something like that. There is no other decent explanation than that."
Michael expects a close fight but is aiming for another win and said "Everybody was feeling bored after Australia and thinking it's going to be an easy season and you see what's going to happen: things are tight and we're going to have an interesting race tomorrow. The weather conditions are going to be a big factor, and there's a possibility of showers, as we had last year, and in these circumstances, it's very unpredictable, honestly. Our aim is clear. We want to be finishing the race as high as we can. Whether we're going to do it ? There's a couple of cars behind us that want to change that."
Juan Pablo Montoya was frustrated at losing pole
given that he would have grabbed pole if he added his fastest sectors in the
different runs and said "It's a bit frustrating. The car was really good,
I was especially losing time in the last sector. In the first two sectors, I
thought it was good and really put the third sector together, and it was a
matter of putting it all together. The first sector wasn't very quick, just
over a tenth off. I tried a bit harder in the second sector, but I made a
little mistake, but that was it. I aborted the lap."
Rubens Barrichello was happy with third place after taking it from Ralf Schumacher on his final run and said "I'm happy with that. It took a while for us to find a better set-up because the car doesn't seem to have been the same as this morning. This morning, the car felt a bit more together, but I'm happy. I think a final run like that is always under pressure. You have traffic, so many things, so it's good to be at least within a small gap towards the front row and we can always aim for a fight."
16-Mar: What the teams and drivers said following Qualifying in Malaysia ... Report
16-Mar: Malaysian GP – Qualifying: Michael Schumacher grabs pole position ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barrichello. Ralf Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes
16-Mar: Malaysian GP – 2nd Saturday Practice Session: Juan Pablo Montoya sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes
16-Mar: Malaysian GP – 1st Saturday Practice Session: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen. Juan Pablo Montoya, Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes
15-Mar: At the Friday press conference for the Malaysian Grand Prix,
Flavio Briatore has once again indicated that his Renault team is not
yet ready to challenge the top teams and believes that 4th or 5th in the
championship would be good for them this year. He said "I'm sure we'll
have the pace. I'm sure everything is a little bit better but honestly, we are
not ready to fight with Williams, Ferrari and McLaren. In Formula One, it's
not a miracle. You need to work very hard. There's a year of consolidation. As
everyone knows, the engine is quite new and normally and historically you need
three years in Formula One to be at the top. We've changed a lot in the team
and you need a bit of time but we hope to finish the season as close as
possible to the top teams. I believe that if we finish fourth or fifth, it
will be very good for us. This is our target."
Niki Lauda indicated that next week there will be a
real test between the R2 and R3 and if the R2 is more than half a second quicker
then they'll race it at the San Marino GP. He said "All we have to do
here now is see where we qualify tomorrow. If it is not much better than in
Melbourne, we're going to compare R2 and R3 next week in Barcelona, to do a
real test between the two cars and then we have to take a decision.
Nick Heidfeld still thinks about his retirement from
the Australian GP at the first corner and hopes to make up for it here. He
said "It took us a couple of days to get over it (The Australian GP) and
obviously still now we think about it. But in the end, we saw that our car is
quite competitive, we don't have a lot of problems with the car, as we've seen
here in practice as well so I'm confident.
Takuma Sato indicated that his debut in Formula 1 was very tough and said "Truly it was a tough weekend for me. Of course everything was new for me and so many dramas happened to me, so it was a very very busy weekend. But I had a good race which is very important and I was happy to race. The start was obviously a big thing, when lots of things happened. I managed to avoid the accident and the debris because I was far back enough. But unfortunately I had to stop because of an electrical problem but at least I experienced a Grand Prix start, for me the first ever, which was really exciting."
Both tyre suppliers (Bridgestone and Michelin) were also present. Both indicated they were using new compounds here. As for the big difference between the 1st and 2nd practice sessions, they don't believe the times give any true indication and that we'll have to wait until qualifying. Both suppliers also indicated that neither of them received any request from the Phoenix team for the supply of tyres.
15-Mar: What the teams and drivers said following the Friday Practice sessions in Malaysia ... Report.
15-Mar: Malaysian GP – 2nd Friday Practice Session: Kimi Raikkonen sets the fastest time of the session ahead of David Coulthard and Michael Schumacher. Ralf Schumacher, Mika Salo and Juan Pablo Montoya make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes.
15-Mar: Malaysian GP – 1st Friday Practice Session: Michael Schumacher sets the fastest time of the session ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld. Bernoldi, Button and Sato make the top 6 ... Timed Results ... Report ... Notes.
Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix Schedule: