2002 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
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Teams and driver Quotes - Saturday Qualifying
Jean Todt: “Rubens Barrichello put on a strong performance in today’s qualifying, beating Michael Schumacher by five thousandths of a second, so that we have both men on the front row. The way the session went was a bit strange, with grid positions decided in the first few minutes. We expected the track to dry out, but instead the rain intensified, making it impossible to improve the lap times. In the end, we made the most of the conditions to do some testing in the wet, in case the same conditions occur tomorrow. We honestly did not expect to be in these positions with the modified F2001. I am very happy with the work we have done with Bridgestone. As usual, tomorrow we will be looking for as many points as possible.”
Michael Schumacher: “Two Ferraris on the front row is the best possible start to the season and we are delighted with that. We know our car very well, which obviously helped our performance today. The yellow flag early in the session cost me some time, but worse than that was the red flag, which lost me a lot more as I had backed off. The lap that counted for my grid position could have been better, as I went off onto the grass. I discovered it has less grip than I wanted! But we wanted to be up at the front of the grid and we are, so we can happy with today’s result.”
Rubens Barrichello: “Did I expect to be on pole? I feel that in life things happen for a reason. This is a very good beginning to the season. I had a strong winter testing, I feel very relaxed and I have changed my approach to my job. I only managed two runs before the rain. Rain has helped me so often in the past in my career and today it happened again. Both Michael and myself would have gone faster if it had stayed dry. We were aware it was going to rain, so decided to get a lap in quickly. I had traffic on my first run, but the second was quick. We thought the rain would stop again, but instead it got harder. But I still went out again to get an idea what the car was like in the wet.”
Sam Michael: "We had a reasonably good day given the weather circumstances. Juan Pablo was unlucky to have traffic on his first run. Ralf decided to sit out the first three or four minutes to avoid the traffic and managed to get a clear lap and to put in a good time . But in terms of competitiveness, the car is reasonable. The drivers were quite complimentary about the balance. The important thing now is to capitalise on it tomorrow and make sure we get the best result in the race with a healthy points haul."
Gerhard Berger: "It was very difficult to get the timing right in today’s qualifying, due to the showers preventing us from getting a dry lap in without too much traffic. It worked well for Ralf, but not for Juan. For the race we have many chances starting from our grid positions. We have enjoyed two trouble free days behind us and all the test kilometres we completed in the last two months are now paying off. I hope this will also be the case tomorrow. Reliability is massively important in the first race as all the new cars are at an early stage of their development."
Ralf Schumacher: "Of course I am pleased with my result. As we knew it would start raining, we feared we would miss the best moment for having a quick lap. But our timing was good. It is a pity for Juan, who was blocked on his flying lap, as our team result could have been even better. My car was good. I just had a bit of understeer, which we should get sorted out by tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I had only one run and I think I lost about six or eight tenths because Fisichella held me up. That was a bit disappointing because there was a lot more to come in the car. But anyway, I feel well prepared for tomorrow. In the morning session we have found out quite a few useful things."
Ron Dennis: "In the circumstances our grid positions are not too bad."
Norbert Haug: "The conditions today have been difficult for us from the beginning and David and Kimi were unable to do as much running in the dry as we would have liked. Nevertheless the basis for the race is not a bad one. More rubber on the tarmac should help tomorrow."
David Coulthard: "I came out of the second last corner on my first flying lap and Jacques Villeneuve was on the left. I went to go out on the outside of him, but unfortunately he moved over and squeezed me against the wall, which I fortunately only touched a little. It wasn’t deliberate and luckily there was negligible damage to the car. I managed to get one flying lap before the weather made further improvements impossible. In the circumstances I’m not too disappointed being on the second row of the grid and we will see what the race brings."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I enjoyed my first qualifying session for the team, but the weather really messed things up a bit. We didn’t get enough time to go for it and I made a mistake on my fast lap so I believe I could have been quicker. I hope for a dry race tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne: "A slightly disappointing session for the team overall, as we didn't manage to get both cars into the top ten. Unfortunately, Jenson made a small mistake on his second run when he was caught out by the rain, but Jarno is roughly where we had expected. Our tyres are well prepared for the race and the car is reliable, so we are in good shape to score points."
Jarno Trulli: "A tough qualifying session for everybody, but the team sent me out at the right moment to set my time. On my first run, I lost time in the final sector behind a Jaguar, and so went straight out again on new tyres. By then, the circuit was getting a little wet, and Webber's Minardi span in front of me, but overall it's a good result for myself and the team which shows the amount of work we have done together over the winter. Tomorrow, I hope first of all for reliability, and we'll see what happens after that."
Jenson Button: "Obviously, I'm not particularly happy with my final position. Everything was looking quite good after my first run, and I was fourth when I set my time, even though the tyres were a lap old. But when it started raining during the second run, it meant we couldn't get back out on the track. A very disappointing session for me, but ultimately it's the race tomorrow that counts for the points."
"I am very happy with this result. The car felt really very good –
well balanced and enjoyable to drive, and I think had we had time for more
runs in the dry, I could have moved up another place or two. I said
yesterday my target was to finish in the top eight, which we have
achieved, despite the fact that I only had one proper timed lap (the first
one having been interrupted by red flags), so we have every reason to feel
satisfied with that. The race should go well for us, whether wet or dry,
so we can be optimistic about scoring some points. Reliability will of
course be a big issue, but that’s the case for all the teams, with the
possible exception of Ferrari."
Peter Sauber: "Ninth and 10th positions are satisfactory after an unusual qualifying session, and in several teams it isn't the leader who is in front. I'm quite happy with what we achieved because our aim was to have one car in the top 10 and we have both. Felipe did a good job in his first qualifying and handled all the pressure extremely well. Nick as usual put in a strong performance but was unlucky in qualifying. It nevertheless shows the potential of the C21 that he qualified 10th despite only doing one run in dry conditions. Congratulations to the whole team for a great car."
Felipe Massa: "I wanted to qualify in the top 10 if possible, so I am very pleased to be ninth for my first Grand Prix. I lost a little bit of time on my first run, and made a small mistake in Turn One on my second, but I'm happy with my time, and I'm grateful to the team for all the help it's given me this weekend. I was able to concentrate strongly and do a good performance, and I'm pleased that I haven't made any significant errors. It's a great way to start my F1 career!."
Nick Heidfeld: "It's been a bit of a difficult day, stopping twice on the circuit this morning with a fuel pressure problem and then having the weather spoil qualifying. My first run was good this afternoon, but we were unlucky that it was just starting to rain when I began my second. But that happens. Tenth place on the grid is okay in the circumstances, and it's possible to have a strong race from that position tomorrow."
Olivier Panis: "I continue to feel very positive today, despite a difficult qualifying session. Again, I could not use the car to its full potential because I had only one quick lap. We were interrupted by the red flag and after that, the wet conditions made it impossible to improve. We were unlucky to finish 12th and 13th because I think we could have improved to at least 8th with the car we had today. I hope we get a good warm-up session so we can maximise the car more but I think we have a promising package for the race tomorrow."
Jacques Villeneuve: "It was a very strange qualifying session, first with my incident with David Coulthard and then with the rain. The conditions were bad and we haven't seen what the car is capable of at all. The car is much more competitive than that so we have to look ahead to the race and see how we can improve from 13th on the grid. Things should be more promising tomorrow, for sure."
Ove Andersson: "I think we have done a respectable job for our first ever qualifying. The session was cut short due to the rain, something we have to live with, but 14th and 16th on the grid is pretty good going I think. Our objective was to qualify within the 107% time and we achieved our aim without any problem."
Mika Salo: "Well I just got one
run done and that was a very careful lap just to qualify for the race. As
I was just going out for the second run it started raining and that was
that. I think if the weather had stayed dry we could have done a bit
better, but I‚m looking forward to the race."
Mike Coughlan: “We planned to get all our runs completed as soon as possible this afternoon as we knew there was rain on the way. Unfortunately the red flag delayed things a little and it meant each driver only did one proper run. Enrique had a bit of traffic trouble on his flying lap and Heinz-Harald had a problem with fuel pressure but nothing serious. We could have and should have been faster today but there's nothing we can do about that now so we'll turn our attention to tomorrow's race.”
Heinz Harald Frentzen: “We only got in one proper run today. I had a small problem on that run with fuel pressure so the times would have been better later on if the rain had stayed away. There is not really anything else to say as it's hard to know where we would be if we had done a full session. I hope we can have a good race tomorrow and put on a bit more of a show for the spectators here.”
Enrique Bernoldi: “I lost my first run today as the red flag came out as I was beginning my first flying lap. Everything went to plan on my second run and we decided that for the next run I would do two flying laps. Unfortunately we never got the opportunity to do that so I have to settle for 17th. It's by no means the end of the world though, we will just have to work very hard in the race tomorrow.”
Mark Webber: “It turned out not too bad for us today. It was good to outdo the Jaguars, even though they only had one run, but that’s part of the game – they should have had two, but they didn’t. I think that everybody knows they could have gone a lot quicker with more running in that session but the rain came halfway through. We made a plan to do two runs before the track even got wet. In the end, we had two runs in nice conditions, so the team did a good job.”
Alex Yoong: “It was unfortunate with the rain, as I managed to do only one run this afternoon. I feel just a bit disappointed I didn’t go quicker, but at least we qualified. After the last couple of days, which have been spent sorting out some normal ‘new-car’ issues, I am happy with the qualifying result.”
Niki Lauda: "This is exactly
what I expected before we arrived in Melbourne. When we first began
testing the Jaguar R3 on January 8th in Barcelona, we immediately
identified various mechanical problems that have kept us busy right the
way through to this weekend. For example, it took us nearly four weeks to
replace the suspension uprights and other major components on the car –
not the sort of work that can be achieved overnight. Our key problem right
from day one has been a lack of aerodynamic downforce and unless the car
is mechanically sound, you cannot even begin taking corrective measures on
the aero package. In view of this, we have done very little aerodynamic
work on the car since it first ran and consequently we have no downforce.
This explains why we are slow. We have since corrected the key mechanical
issues and we are now working relentlessly to address the aero issues, Our
new windtunnel in Bicester (UK) is ready from the beginning of next month
and this will go quite some way towards accelerating the programme ahead
of us. That is about as honest as anybody can be at this stage."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We suffered steering problems with my car during the morning warm-up session and that’s why I decided to opt for the T-car for qualifying. I wasn’t exactly on the ragged edge for my first flying lap and while I expected to climb further up the order, it wouldn’t have been anything special. We know what our problems are and there is little point in doing anything else except getting on with the task in hand. Tomorrow will be very tough indeed for us."