Brazilian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - Retired )
Jean Todt: "It was a really great race. We have taken our second win of the year, victorious with the F2002 on its race debut. Michael was fantastic and drove an exceptional race. Rubens was also driving an incredible race, which had taken him from eighth to first and it was unfortunate that an hydraulic problem forced him to retire. The team did a stupendous job as did Bridgestone who supplied the winning tyres. There is still a lot of work to do and we know this championship is still going to be very open and difficult. We have shown great grit and determination in winning here in Brazil."
Ross Brawn: "This win had nothing
to do with luck. Michael drove fantastically well, especially at the beginning
when he made a great start and held his position. We were a little surprised
that Williams were not stronger in the early stages, which let us build a bit
of a lead before the pit stops. As for the closing stages, it is more
difficult to control the race when you are in the lead and have to keep the
other car behind, making sure you make no mistakes. As for the incident with
Montoya, obviously he came out of it worse, but I don�t think anyone was at
fault. Of course we were concerned that the impact might have damaged Michael�s
car and we thought he might have a puncture. But luckily that did not happen.
Michael Schumacher: "Winning this race was not down to luck. We worked hard for it, developing the new car and the Bridgestone tyres. I like this track because it is technically difficult and that makes it a challenge. It was an exciting time through the first two corners. Juan Pablo drove well and I thought I could out-brake him for the first corner, but he left his braking really late, so I prepared to do it at the second. He left me enough space and I got by. I don�t know what happened at Turn 4. I went for the inside line to leave him the outside. Towards the end, it was not that hard to keep Ralf behind. I knew the only place to overtake was at Turn 1, so I concentrated on making sure he could not pass by braking late and getting a good exit. In the infield, you cannot pass unless there is a mistake so I was not trying to pull away. Having won here with the new car I am much more optimistic about our performance on circuits where we struggled last year, even if there is still room for improvement."
Rubens Barrichello: "We had opted for a different strategy to Michael�s as, starting from the fourth row, it was the best chance of making up places in the early stages of the race. Everything was going well and I managed to get into the lead and given the combination of strategies, I think I could have ended up on the podium. Unfortunately, my car developed a hydraulic problem and I had to retire. The F2001 was going well today and I really wanted to give it a great send off with a good result. Despite the fact I have yet to score points after three races, my motivation remains high, in part because I feel I have shown what I can do. The crowd was fantastic. I�m just sorry I had to wave to them walking back to the pits. I would rather have done it at the end of the race. I am happy that Michael has won with the new car. It�s promising for the rest of the season."
Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 2nd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 5th )
Sam Michael: "It was a good day in terms of collecting points for the team as we are still leading the Constructors Championship. Even though it was disappointing that we could not make it to the Ferrari. Also it was a shame that after only one lap we just had one car remaining for the fight to win the race. Anyway, it was a good performance from the team and the drivers and we are looking forward to Imola."
Dr. Mario Thiessen: "Today�s race was a thriller right from the start. It was a pity that Juan retired from the fight in front after the incident. Ralf drove a strong race. We hardly failed to win, but having got six points for Ralf, at least two for Juan, having achieved the fastest lap and the pole position it was all in all a successful race weekend. Furthermore this has been the third Grand Prix weekend in a row without any technical problems."
Ralf Schumacher: "It was an intense battle with my brother. I was not too happy with my car�s balance though, so we changed some things at the pit stop. The car became a lot better and also the second set of tyres worked better. I could catch up a bit with Michael, unfortunately not enough to overtake him though also due to lapped cars. I kept on hoping Michael would make a mistake and brake a bit too late, allowing me to pass him, but he did not do me this favour. All in all we had a successful weekend and I must thank the team for the excellent job."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am really disappointed about how the race went, although I got two points in the end. I started from pole position and got the fastest lap today, it should have been my race. After the start I made a mistake in the first corner, therefore Michael could get in front of me. Afterwards I tried to overtake him again, but he cut across and ripped off my front wing. Again, I am very disappointed."
McLaren ( David Coulthard - 3rd, Kimi Raikkonen - Retired - Classified 12th )
Ron Dennis: "The start which saw us lose places to both Renaults effectively dictated the outcome of the race. Whilst our pace, once we had passed the Renaults, was comparable to the leaders the reality is that we have more work to do. Both drivers drove well which rewarded David with his first podium of the year. Kimi�s wheel hub failure is still somewhat of a mystery when we take into account the extensive amount of testing we did prior to the start of the season. A hard weekend for everybody, but at least the trend is in the right direction."
Norbert Haug: "Unfortunately both David and Kimi were overtaken at the start by the two Renaults. But David�s third place podium finish is some reward for everybody in the team who has worked so hard since the Malaysian Grand Prix. Sorry for Kimi who drove a very good race until his technical problem three laps from the finish. This was a race run under extreme ambient temperatures in which our engines ran reliably."
David Coulthard: "It�s good to be back on the podium that is for sure. I had a really hard race as both the Renaults managed to get past me at the start and I was stuck behind them for 43 laps. I finally passed Jenson Button when he made a mistake at the last corner and I was able to slipstream him. However with Jarno Trulli I had to be patient and wait for the pitstops. Once I was clear, I was able to go at the optimum speed but by then we had lost too much time. It�s great to be in the points and I�m now looking forward to the start of the European season."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It�s a pity that I didn�t finish a race. Like David, I was stuck behind both Renaults for the majority of the Grand Prix but eventually managed to outbrake Jenson Button at the first corner on lap 40, which I held until my car suffered a wheel hub failure with three laps to go which cost me fourth place."
Renault ( Jenson Button - 4th, Jarno Trulli - Retired )
Flavio Briatore: "I'm very pleased with the result. Naturally, I'm sorry for Jarno, who drove an impressive race. But we know the team is still young - these things happen. Having said that, Jenson drove fabulously. It's a good day for the whole team."
Denis Chevrier: "We have a number of reasons to be pleased after this race - most particularly, the fact that we were able to compete with the quickest teams, confirming our speed in qualifying under race conditions. We're now in a position to take advantage of any problems they might suffer. Until Jarno's retirement, the race had been trouble-free. He experienced a sudden engine failure. It's still too early to say exactly what happened."
Jenson Button: "A big thank-you to the team. It's wonderful to finish in front of one of the Williams! The car was a little tricky during the first stint, so we took off some front wing during my stop, and put on old tyres. After that the set-up was perfect, and the changes meant I could hold Montoya off at the end."
Jarno Trulli: "Obviously, I'm gutted. I had a great start, and was lying fourth at the end of the first lap. I kept up a good pace in front of Coulthard, although both McLarens managed to get by during the pit-stops. After Raikkonen retired, I was comfortable in fourth place when the engine went. What can I say? A positive race; a negative result."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 12th, Allan McNish - Retired )
Ove Andersson: "Third race of the season, second point - it is just fantastic. We are very proud of the reliability of our car, which has allowed Mika to cross the finishing line in all 3 grands prix to date. But we still have a lot of work to do before we can score points without the benefit of retirements ahead of us."
Mika Salo: "I am very happy with this point. It�s a great result for the team. The race was hard, but I did not have any significant problems, so what can I say? I don�t think this was a lucky point. The car works well and is reliable, so we deserve this result. It is still the same car that we used in Australia. For Imola, we have new parts coming and I hope we can take another step forward."
Allan McNish: "I made a good start and was making very good progress until Montoya hit Schumacher. I was just behind Mika when he pulled out and I hit Juan�s wing, which was lying in the middle of the track. It damaged the nose of my car and punctured the front tyres, so I was forced to pit. The car�s handling then got worse and worse with oversteer and, at Turn 4, the rear wheel locked up."
Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 7th, Pedro de la Rosa - 8th )
Niki Lauda: "We have made progress in all areas of our race operation and it showed clearly all weekend. The team adopted a very diligent approach to the set-up of the car and we have been rewarded with a much better understanding of where we are now going. The race again highlighted our reliability record that, to the best of my knowledge, is currently the best in the pit-lane on a race mileage basis. Today was a case of �so close yet so far.� I take nothing away from our drivers, both of whom drove a very hard and determined race in what were very difficult conditions. Not only is this track very hot, but the bumps are notoriously painful and given that we are still far from satisfied with the car�s handling, I am very pleased that we brought both cars home today. The progress demonstrated over the past few days highlights our abilities to take this operation forward and I am very encouraged by what we�ve seen this weekend in Brazil. Now, we must look to improve further and put maximum effort into extracting more speed from the R3. The potential is currently untapped and our three-day test programme in Valencia next week should, I hope, generate more results towards our goal of making this car quicker."
Eddie Irvine: "That was a very tough race! Keeping out of trouble was the main objective and as we said before this race, bringing a car home at Interlagos usually ends-up with a reward of some kind. We were a little unlucky not to have made it into the points today, but I am very pleased with the way this weekend has gone. We have learned a great deal about the R3 and there is still plenty of development left in the package. The car felt quite loose out there today at times and keeping it on the road wasn�t always easy. The tyres have played an important part in our solid performance this weekend, but a lot of credit must also go to the team for extracting the best set-up possible. We have made a step forward in one area and we must now look at making progress in others. A good, all-round performance and we must now look at taking this progress further in an effort to fully exploit the capabilities of the Jaguar R3."
Pedro de la Rosa: "From my perspective alone, that was a pretty boring race. I pushed very hard out there today and while the retirement rate was pretty high, there wasn�t really anything else I could have done to get a better result at this stage of our development. I lost a bit of time after my pit stop because the rear tyres were blistering at quite a rate and it wasn�t until the last lap that the tyres began kicking in. Nonetheless, we have a very reliable car that is proving itself as a better contender every race and that is very encouraging. The team�s decision to stick with the R3 was spot-on and we will now apply the results of this weekend to our Valencia test next week. Given that we started the season from the back of the grid in Melbourne, the rate at which we are improving clearly demonstrates the fact that we are on the right path."
Jordan ( Takuma Sato - 9th, Giancarlo Fisichella - Retired )
Eddie Jordan: "Taku raced commendably today. I must say he got his head together and drove a really good race which will hopefully will give him a lot of encouragement. With Giancarlo�s problem at the start and then the engine failure, I�m sure he wants to forget the first three races just like I do. Let�s hope Imola marks the start of better fortunes for him and Jordan."
Takuma Sato: "I really enjoyed the race and the two stop strategy worked well. The first lap was very exciting with a lot of action. I then pushed hard and I enjoyed a battle with the Jaguars of Eddie Irvine & Pedro De La Rosa and BAR�s Olivier Panis. I feel I coped physically very well with the race, although my neck muscles will feel a lot better after a massage! I am looking forward to beginning the races in Europe."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Today was not a good race for me. I started off with a problem with launch control so I had to start manually which lost me my grid position by a few places. On the first lap, some carbon fibre debris from the accident with Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher damaged my front wing and I had to stop to change it. Finally I was forced to retire when the engine failed. I haven�t had a great start to the season, let�s hope my luck changes for my home race in Imola."
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - Retired, Classified 10th, Olivier Panis - Retired )
David Richards: "Jacques' retirement one lap from the finish was a disappointing end to a very average weekend. Not only are we not fast enough but we still have reliability issues to address. We must ensure that the basic foundations are put in place as fast as possible and the changes within the team last week were made with this in mind."
Jacques Villeneuve: "The car was actually better in the race and a little faster than yesterday. I had a problem selecting first gear during the pitstop and lost maybe 5 seconds there. The car felt quite balanced but it just wasn't quick enough. I pushed as hard as I could but it was impossible to get any more out of it. Then we had an intermittent problem towards the end and the engine cut completely just a lap from the finish."
Olivier Panis: "We thought we had solved the reliability problems but obviously not, because today I had gearbox failure. I don't know if I could have finished in the points but if you don't finish you don't get to find out. We really have to work hard on our reliability in testing next week before we can hope to move forward. If we can finish a race, we can at least take advantage of opportunities. I haven't finished the first three races now and that's obviously not good, but I would like to think that I've had my run of bad luck and the next few races can bring me better things."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 11th, Alex Yoong - 13th )Paul Stoddart: "Despite a valiant effort by both drivers today, a bad pit stop, followed by a fuelling issue that necessitated a �splash and dash� near the end of the race, denied Mark a top-10 position. Alex also suffered from the same fuel issue, although it didn�t cost him so dearly. It�s always good to get both cars to the chequered flag, particularly in such hot weather conditions, but it�s sad when a pit stop denies a driver the finish he deserves. We will clearly work hard to resolve this issue before Imola."
Mark Webber: "The car was obviously heavy at the start with the strategy we had chosen, and then we weren�t able to stick to our pit stop schedule because of a fuelling issue. The balance of the car was much better on the second set of tyres, but then I had a touch with Massa, which caused a puncture, and I had to make an unscheduled stop, followed by another five laps from the end of the race, for a final splash of fuel. This was a good Grand Prix to get under my belt. I learned a lot today, but I�ve still got a lot more to do."
Alex Yoong: "I�m happy to have finished what was undoubtedly the toughest race I�ve ever done. I can�t wait for the power steering system to arrive in Barcelona, though � those last 20 laps today were hard. The boys did a good job from where I sat and it�s pleasing to have had good reliability throughout the weekend. Also, the car didn�t change from the beginning of the race to the end, which is excellent."
Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - Retired, Felipe Massa - Retired )
Willy Rampf: "Nick was unlucky to have an unusual problem with a front brake which cost him sixth place, while Felipe was pushed off by another driver. It's a disappointing result, because we could have scored another championship point."
Nick Heidfeld: "I made a good start this afternoon and my car felt fine to begin with, but I think I may have had a slow puncture on the right rear on my first set of tyres as Mika Salo was getting close. I had him under control, however, and after my first stop I had no trouble keeping ahead of him. Then after a while I began to feel some really strange vibrations in the front end so I had to make an unscheduled stop and then was forced to retire. It's disappointing because I could have finished sixth today."
Felipe Massa: "I made a great start and was able to follow Nick in the early stages, but then some understeer got worse and worse and I began to slip back. I had a great fight with Villeneuve and Frentzen but unfortunately, after my stop Mark Webber tried to brake very late and put me out."
Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - Retired, Enrique Bernoldi - Retired )
Mike Coughlan: �We have had no problems with that part until today so we are obviously very disappointed. It looks like we had the problem on Enrique's car this morning but because of the damage we did not realise. Both drivers were running strongly in the race so we look forward to Imola where temperatures should suit us more.�
Heinz Harald Frentzen: �That was a real shame as I was having a very exciting race. Our race set-up was working well and I was really enjoying myself out there. I felt that something was wrong with the rear of the car a few laps before my scheduled pit-stop so I came early. As it was the same problem Enrique had we decided it was safer to retire from the race.�
Enrique Bernoldi: "I've had one hell of a day today. First, the accident I had this morning, then all the dramas in the race. After our difficult qualifying session, it was good to be able to show our pace was good for the race. I'm sorry that my home Grand Prix ended this way as I had a good start and was having a good time fighting for positions.�