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British Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
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What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 1st, Ralf Schumacher - 4th )
Sam Michael: "A good day, the drivers, engineers and mechanics all worked hard, and Juan took a big jump to pole at the end of the session, which was great. It is also rewarding to perform well on this track where downforce is so important, and all the data we have shows us the new aero package is working well. The tyres appear strong, which gives us confidence for the race tomorrow."
Gerhard Berger: "This was a very impressive performance by Juan. We did not expect to be on pole here. His last lap was simply unbelievable - you could call it the Montoya factor. Now that we achieved the fourth pole position in a row, I really hope we will make it onto the podium tomorrow. Ralf has started pretty well but due to some understeer he was not able to improve towards the end of the session. However, having one car in front row and the other one on second row are very good starting positions. We want to re-establish our position in the Championship here."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I really do not know where this great result came from. I was not expecting to get on the first row at all. We did quite a few changes to the car throughout qualifying and obviously it paid off. We will now work on the strategy to make the best choice for the race, but my main concern is to finish and collect some points, which I have failed to do for the last four (three) races. It is great to be on pole here, especially for all the people back at the factory in Grove as this is their home Grand Prix."
Ralf Schumacher: "It is not too bad to start a race from fourth position. At the beginning of qualifying everything was going quite well but at the end it became more difficult and I could not improve. For my last flying lap we made a few more changes, but they didn�t provide any advantage. However, it will be hard to challenge Ferrari in the race."
Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 2nd, Michael Schumacher - 3rd )
Jean Todt: "After this morning�s free practice, we felt we would able to take pole position, but it was not to be. It was a great fight for first place and a shame we could not make it; all the more so as we lost out by just 34 thousandths of a second. It shows that the competition is of a very high level. Every result is very hard to achieve and one can never take anything for granted. The cars went well, as did the Bridgestone tyres. We have everything in place to have a good race tomorrow."
Ross Brawn: "You never think you have it in the bag until the last lap. Montoya�s time was surprising, although we can take comfort from the fact we were doing similar times throughout the session, while he really had to put in an incredible lap. We hope to continue the trend seen in the last few races, where qualifying doesn�t count for a lot in the race. The cars went well and we are happy with our tyre choice for the race, which will be very close. You can overtake here but it is a bit more difficult than at the Nurburgring and therefore, race strategy will play a vital part in deciding the final result."
Rubens Barrichello: "Of course I would like to have been on pole. But I have no complaints and it�s good to be on the front row. I aborted my first run, because I saw a lot of smoke at Becketts and then I hit traffic. It was a busy session after that, because on my second run, part of my seatbelt came undone and I was moving around a lot in the cockpit, but I still pushed for a time. Then, I had a fantastic third run to post my best time. On my final run, I had cars in front of me as I left the pits and when I came to start the flying lap, I think my tyres were a bit cooler than I would have liked. As for the car, we made changes throughout the session and it was quite good by the end."
Michael Schumacher: "I chose to go out earlier than usual for my first run, so that we would have time to make changes to the car. The car was very good in the first sector but I was losing time in the next two. At one point, we changed the nose of the car, but to be honest, we never really got the balance right this afternoon. I am reasonably confident for the race, but it is hard to say what everyone�s race pace will be as we have not done that much running in dry conditions. Starting on the second row, we will need a good strategy and we must wait and see if we can be quicker than the others."
McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 5th, David Coulthard - 6th )
Ron Dennis: "Our grid positions are as we expected and the weekend so far has been relatively trouble free. As has been demonstrated in the last three events we should be stronger in the race especially if the weather improves."
Norbert Haug: "The third row of the grid is what we were capable of in the last race and here as well. What concerns the time gap to the front runners we should look better in the race. Unfortunately Kimi had to change to his T-car after his first run due to an engine problem, the cause of which we will investigate later in the day once the engine is back in the factory."
Kimi Raikkonen: "A busy session indeed. During my second run the car just lost power so I went back to the pits and changed to the T-car, which was set up for me. I remained in the T-car for the rest of the session. I'm a bit disappointed because I think I could have done a quicker time in the race car - not enough to have improved my qualifying position but at least I would have been closer to the other cars in front. Anyway we will see what happens tomorrow."
David Coulthard: "Third row is what we expected. The car felt good on my first run, but with my second and third set of tyres I experienced understeer. My last attempt was the only one without traffic but again I had too much understeer and decided to abort the lap, as I knew I wouldn't be able to improve my time. So far this year our race performance has been better than qualifying, so I'm looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd."
Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 7th, Jenson Button - 12th )
Jean Jacques His: "Our session was hampered by an engine problem on one of our cars. At this stage, we are not certain of the cause. After that, both drivers did the best with the package available to them. For Jarno, it is satisfying to see him confirm the car's potential. Jenson had his session disrupted by the problem, which explains his position on the grid."
Mike Gascoyne: "Obviously, I am very disappointed for Jenson, who suffered an engine failure on his first run. Driving a T-car without the new bodywork and with a lower spec engine, he was always going to struggle. Otherwise, I am sure we would have seen both cars well in the top ten. Jarno did a good job, qualifying where we expected. Certainly, we need to make good starts and score points tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli: "It was a good qualifying session after a difficult day, during which we struggled with the set-up of the car. We worked on the problems with the front end, and definitely solved most of them for qualifying. The car didn't feel too bad, and I'm pleased to be seventh, which means I should be able to score points tomorrow. It's a shame for Jenson, as it would have been good for the team to have both cars where they should be on the grid."
Jenson Button: "It's always disappointing to qualify twelfth, and even more so to do it here at Silverstone. On my first timed lap, the engine went on the entry to Becketts - I don't know what happened. The guys did a great job to get the T-car ready, but it was always going to be difficult because of the differences between the two cars. Even though we worked on the balance of the car, we didn't find the right set-up. It's going to be a tough day tomorrow."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 8th, Allan McNish - 15th )
Gustav Brunner: "That was a masterpiece of strategy! It was a terrible day yesterday with Mika in bed and the wet weather, but we did not get stressed and fantastic team work made today's result possible. Our "don't get mad, get better" philosophy is clearly working. We are all over the moon, and both Mika and Allan did a sterling job."
Mika Salo: "We had a slow morning with only a few laps done and the car was not great. I had a flat battery during qualifying but we sorted that and there were no other major problems. It helped us when the sun came out, and the car works better in hotter conditions. We have a bit of work to do on race set up because I lost both Friday sessions. After a difficult start to the weekend, 8th place is more than good."
Allan McNish: "The car was better balanced in qualifying than it has been all weekend. We still need some more traction and I lost quite a lot in the last two corners. I got held up by another car on my best run. He was on his out lap and I lost a lot of time in the first sector, which was disappointing but one of those things."
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 9th, Olivier Panis - 13th )
David Richards: "Whilst I acknowledge that our objective was to qualify both cars in the top 10, it was still a very respectable performance by both drivers and another small step in the right direction. Jacques has been on the pace all weekend and always looked like qualifying in a strong position but Olivier has had a series of problems and did a great job to record a time so close to Jacques�. Our race performance has always been stronger than qualifying so we have every reason to feel very positive for tomorrow."
Jacques Villeneuve: "I'm quite pleased with 9th today. The car has been working well all weekend in wet and dry conditions and, generally, it seems to suit Silverstone's high speed-corners. My quick lap wasn't as good as it could have been because the gearbox didn't work properly on some downshifts and I lost a little time. We're usually a little better off in the race so I think we'll be OK tomorrow now we've seen that the car can be good here whatever the conditions. I think we would be slightly more competitive in the wet, mainly because the Bridgestone tyres are better suited."
Olivier Panis: "As was the case yesterday, it's been another difficult day for me. I had two different problems in practice this morning, an electrical problem in the first session and an engine problem in the second. As a result, I was only able to achieve two fast laps and I didn't have the chance to work on a proper dry set- up. During qualifying, I did my utmost to put the car as high as possible but I was missing a lot of track time. I'm not satisfied with 13th position at all, even though I'm only a tenth from Jacques. On the other hand, two positive aspects remain. One is the superb effort from my mechanics throughout today's problems, the other is that - once again - we have at least managed to get one car inside the top 10. Now we have to find a way to achieve that with both cars. As always, we have to put in some hours with the engineers now to see how we can improve things for tomorrow."
Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 10th, Felipe Massa - 11th )
Peter Sauber: "I'm satisfied with the performance of the car, which was good today, and both drivers did fine jobs. Felipe Massa was unlucky in the traffic, and I am very disappointed with what happened on Nick's outing when a significant improvement was ruined by Montoya."
Nick Heidfeld: "I'm really unhappy with the session. I could have improved my time by half a second on my final lap, but Montoya blocked me. He was on his out lap, so I don't know what he was thinking. I nearly hit him at Priory. He ruined my best lap. I'm very disappointed because the car has been really good here all weekend. He's happy, he's on pole, but that was not acceptable."
Felipe Massa: "At first I had too much understeer but we made some good progress and improved the set-up of my car all the way through, just by making very small but important changes to enhance its balance. If I had been a bit luckier I could have made the top 10, but I lost a lot of time in the traffic on my last run. 11th position on the grid is okay, though."
Jordan ( Takuma Sato - 14th, Giancarlo Fisichella - 17th )
Gary Anderson: "Needless to say that was a bit disappointing. On Giancarlo�s first timed lap he lost the engine and we never really got to terms with the T-car. Takuma did a very competent job and we have to accept that today�s performance is where we are."
Takuma Sato: "It was a tough qualifying for the team. I had a problem with the nose on my second run and the team is investigating the reason. My first run wasn�t bad but then the car had a lot of nervousness in high speed corners. The track temperatures were rising all the time and the tyres were graining, so I lost grip and couldn�t improve on my time. I think I did a 100% job but another tenth could have put me a couple of places higher."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Obviously this was a terrible day for me, compared to yesterday. We had problems this morning and I lost the first session and most of the second session, doing less than 20 minutes on the track. During my first qualifying run, the engine went, and I am very disappointed. I went out to continue the session in the T-car, but it did not give quite the same feeling. I hope there will be no more problems tomorrow and that weather conditions will be wet."
Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 16th, Enrique Bernoldi - 18th )
Graham Taylor: �Well first of all it�s good to be part of the action again! Enrique managed to improve throughout the session but Heinz had a few problems with understeer. In the last sector on his final run he was four tenths slower than previously as he came across one of the Williams cars. As the grid is so tight that four tenths would have meant a top ten result for us but that�s life. We�re pleased we didn�t have any technical problems after missing out on practice yesterday but a little disappointed as our positions don�t reflect our pace. I�d like to say well done to the team for staying focused throughout the weekend.�
Heinz Harald Frentzen: �We tried very hard today but unfortunately on my last run I caught traffic. It was a very tight session so just one tenth of a second can make a difference of three or four places. You have to get everything together for the last run, as that is the one that counts. I had three clear runs and then on the one that mattered I had traffic.�
Enrique Bernoldi: "I�m pleased that we were able to improve the car with each run today. We are still struggling slightly for optimum balance in qualifying trim but I am hopeful for a good race tomorrow.�
Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 19th, Pedro de la Rosa - 21st )
Niki Lauda: "I am obviously disappointed with our qualifying positions for tomorrow�s race but we knew this weekend would mark the first step in what is an on-going aerodynamic programme. We ran the new package in Barcelona for the first time last week and combined with yesterday�s wet Free Practice sessions, we haven�t had anywhere near enough time to understand it fully. There are definite improvements in certain areas, but we still need to extract more and address some issues. The challenge, however, is finding that extra speed at a quicker pace than our competitors. Nobody is resting on their laurels in Formula One and while we have certainly taken a step forward in finding more downforce, our competition has also moved forward. We will continue pushing forward and I am sure we will exploit the package to its full potential � something we haven�t seen in the very short time since it arrived on the car a week ago. Pedro�s problem today was initially caused by an engine water leak at the entry to the radiator. That caused the coolant to leak and after we had fixed the problem and sent Pedro back out, he reported an electrical misfire that may or may not have been caused by the earlier coolant leak. In the end, we had no choice but to resort to the spare car which was setup for Eddie. Given the many adjustments that needed to be made to accommodate Pedro, we were right up against the clock, but the team did a good job to get Pedro out in the nick of time. Tomorrow�s race will be tough, but it will also be the first time that we�ll see this new aero package in race conditions and we will learn a great deal from this."
Eddie Irvine: "Of course we would have liked to have qualified higher today, but don�t forget the fact that I have hardly tested this new package. Apart from a couple of hours in Barcelona last Thursday combined with the Free Practice sessions here, the team�s knowledge of this package is still quite limited. It will take time for us to understand and exploit the new development. We certainly have more downforce and the handling has also improved, but there are still some issues we need to address. This we will do as part of our on-going aerodynamic programme, but for now, at least we have a much better car over a race distance."
Pedro de la Rosa: "Things like this happen in motorsport and today simply wasn�t my day. The coolant leak problem was then followed by an electrical misfire and as the clock ticked, I began wondering whether I would actually qualify at all for tomorrow�s race. Having got in the car, I pushed very hard on my out lap and managed to get across the finishing line within four seconds of the session being declared finished. The new aero package is an improvement in many areas, but we still do not know enough about it yet. Tomorrow�s race will inevitably generate a lot of valuable data in this area."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 20th, Alex Yoong - 22nd - Did Not Qualify )Paul Stoddart: "Overall, this has been a disappointing qualifying session for the Minardi team. Mark put in another solid performance and will line up 20th on the grid for tomorrow's race. Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort, Alex's lack of experience of the tough Silverstone circuit meant he missed the 107 per cent qualifying threshold, albeit by the slimmest of margins. I am totally confident that if he had been able to run in dry conditions during yesterday's practice sessions, he would easily have made the field today. Unfortunately, though, it was not to be, and now all we can do is focus on our preparations for tomorrow's British Grand Prix."
Mark Webber: "For us, this has been a positive day. The guys did a really good job with the car and made absolutely the right decisions with the tyres and set-up. I really enjoyed today's qualifying session, and that second run in particular I felt was very good. I'm sorry for Alex, though - to have missed out by such a small margin today is tough, but I'm sure he'll bounce back for the next race."
Alex Yoong: "I gave it my best shot today, but unfortunately, it wasn't good enough. I'm obviously extremely disappointed to have missed making the grid for tomorrow's race, particularly by such a small margin. Silverstone is a tough circuit, and with my relative lack of experience racing or testing here, it would have helped a lot if there had been the opportunity to run in the dry yesterday. There wasn't, however, and the car was also suffering from some rear instability under braking today, which didn't help matters. The biggest problem, though, was that we lost a lot of time in the quick corners, a factor that was due, at least in part, I believe, to the lack of power steering on the cars this weekend."