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2002 European Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Friday 

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What the teams and drivers said - Friday

McLaren ( David Coulthard - 1st, Kimi Raikkonen - 3rd )

Ron Dennis: "A constructive practice, which allowed us to evaluate thoroughly the two types of tyres that Michelin has supplied for this event. I think that all the teams are somewhat surprised by the poor surface quality on some elements of the new circuit but as always the challenges are the same for everybody."

Norbert Haug: "A good first day of practice. David�s best time is not so important, but what is important for us is that we have learnt a lot for the race. The new Mercedes Arena obviously suits the Nurburgring well."

David Coulthard: "A normal Friday practice session where we evaluated our tyres and various set-ups. We went through our pre-planned programme but as illustrated before Ferrari and Williams might be quicker tomorrow, but we will wait and see. The new section of the track is fine but it�s very bumpy which might result in not a lot of overtaking at the first corner. However overall it�s good."

Kimi Raikkonen: "We developed the car throughout both sessions and I believe we have arrived at a good basis. I like the changes, which have been made to the track, but it�s a bit bumpy particularly at the first corner, which makes it easy to lock up. As a result the first session was a bit messy for me and I flatspotted a few of my tyres, but all in all a good day. We will now see what happens tomorrow but I�m fairly confident."

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Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 2nd, Rubens Barrichello - 4th ) 

Jean Todt: "At the risk of being boring, I have to say again that this was the usual Friday routine when, as usual, we worked towards the race. We concentrated on set-up and tyres. This is the first time we have run on the new layout here at the Nurburgring. As expected, cars are lapping around 15 seconds slower than in the past. We noticed that the kerbs are rather steep. One aspect which has been different to what we were expecting is the temperature, which is cooler than in the past few days. That should be the trend through to the end of the weekend. Tomorrow, we can expect the usual battle for the front row places and our aim is to get both our cars onto the two front rows of the grid."

Ross Brawn: "We concentrated on race preparation as usual. We tried both types of tyre available to us and one of them proved to be quicker but a bit less consistent. Now, we will study the data to make a choice for qualifying and the race. It is very difficult to find the right balance for the car. The new section of track is quite interesting and demanding and the drivers don�t yet seem to have found the right way to tackle it. We used the new engine cover this morning, which produced the results we were expecting. This afternoon, we ran the old one to make a comparison. All in all it was a pretty positive day."

Michael Schumacher: "It was the usual Friday, spent preparing for Sunday�s race. We tried a few changes to the set-up on the car and worked on a comparison programme between the two type of tyre. There is still some work to do in terms of finding the right set-up. Nevertheless, I am pretty optimistic for the rest of the weekend, as we seem to be very competitive on all types of track and there is no reason why that should not be the case here."

Rubens Barrichello: "This morning the car felt very good. We were learning about the changes to the track layout. We made a change to the car, but this afternoon it did not seem to have gone the way we expected. It would have taken too much time to go back to our initial settings, so we stayed with the same settings for the rest of the session. However, we have learned quite a lot for the race. As for tomorrow�s qualifying, I am reasonably optimistic and I think we will be fighting against our usual opponents for the top four places."

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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 5th, Ralf Schumacher - 6th )

Sam Michael: "We had a normal Friday doing race homework, system checking and evaluating tyres to make sure we make the best choice. We are working towards getting a better balance for tomorrow. Now we start looking at qualifying and what we need to do to the balance to make the right tyre choice. In the second session Juan had a problem with the exhaust and we had to change it which took away some of his track time."

Dr. Mario Theissen: "Both the drivers completed their set-up work programme according to schedule. Precedence was given to aerodynamics, suspension work and tyre choice. With regards to the engine, we have tried a few different traction control settings."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It hasn�t been a very positive day for me as I am still struggling with the balance of the car. I also had a problem with an exhaust, which I experienced halfway through the second session which hampered my work. Last, but not least, I think that the new chicane is much too slow for me, I preferred it as it was before. Let�s see how we can improve the car for tomorrow."

Ralf Schumacher: "I had a very low-key start to my race weekend here at the Nurburgring. We didn�t have any real problems and we could work quite well on improving the car. As usual for a Friday, we concentrated on the set-up for the race and I tried both the tyre compounds that Michelin has brought here. In the second session the grip level sensibly improved, particularly in the new part of the track, which I find a bit too slow, by the way."

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Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 7th, Jenson Button - 8th )

Pat Symonds: "As well as conducting our usual race preparation today, we obviously needed to evaluate the circuit changes. Although it is rather slow, the new part of the circuit seems OK overall, but the bumpy entrance to Turn 1 has posed us a few problems. With the circuit still quite green, tyre choice was difficult today, and we will probably wait until tomorrow to make our final choice. Other than that it was a routine and quite successful day."

Dennis Chevrier: "A normal Friday's running, without any problems. Naturally, we had to learn about the new part of the circuit and assess its impact, and our day unfolded without any difficulties. Overall, we are positive after the first two sessions even if, as ever, Friday's times don't necessarily indicate the full level of performance of our competitors."

Jarno Trulli: "Today wasn't too bad for me. We concentrated on set-ups for Sunday and tyre choice, but we still have some work to do in order to balance the car properly. Overall, I'm happy with a productive opening day."

Jenson Button: "The car is OK at the moment. We didn't start off with a great set-up, and had to work hard to improve it. There's still a bit to go, especially for one flying lap, but overall, it's a good start to the weekend, except for England's defeat in the World Cup this morning."

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Toyota ( Mika Salo - 9th, Allan McNish - 18th )

Gustav Brunner: "All went reasonably well today with no major drama. We have been effectively learning a new circuit, very similar to the old Nurburgring with a little ditch at the first corner. The team is working hard on the set-up, but we had no problems with both of the cars running relatively trouble-free."

Mika Salo: "Not many problems today. We are trying to find a good set-up on the car. I am suffering from slight understeer and some other bits and pieces on the electronics side, but nothing major. I really like the new circuit layout, especially turns 2 and 3 - the circuit is quite tricky and more demanding."

Allan McNish: "I had a puncture at the start which meant changing tyres and doing our tyre comparison early on, which was not an ideal time to do it. I had a bit of understeer throughout, which lost a lot of time round the slow corners, but we will work on that before tomorrow. The new first corner is very bumpy but the other corners themselves are quite nice, but pretty difficult."

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BAR ( Olivier Panis - 10th, Jacques Villeneuve - 15th )

David Richards: "As always, you can�t read a lot into the times that Friday produces but nonetheless, we are continuing the progress made in Canada whilst at the same time integrating Honda�s new engine for the first time. The drivers feel there is more to come tomorrow, which will hopefully lead to top 10 qualifying positions for both of them."

Olivier Panis: "The team did a very good day�s work today so I�m quite pleased. I was able to put in a lot of laps again and we changed the car slightly after each run and managed to keep improving throughout both sessions. 10th isn�t too bad for a Friday and we�ve ended the day in a good position to prepare for qualifying. The track was very dusty today but it will obviously improve tomorrow and I�m sure we�ll be able to get more from the tyres. We have the new engine today but we should have more power when we use it for qualifying tomorrow. I think it will be an interesting race on Sunday because of the changes to the first section. I don�t really understand why they�ve changed it like this but, anyway, we have to work with it and see how things go."

Jacques Villeneuve: "We spent a lot of time working with the tyres today and we didn�t get to spend enough time on set-up. I wasn�t that happy with the way the car felt this morning. We worked on the car quite a bit in between and improved it a little. It was better towards the end of the second session but we�re still not quick enough. We still have a lot of work to do before qualifying tomorrow. It�s hard to say where we are at the moment but I guess we�re expecting a similar qualifying performance to Montreal. Then we just have to make the most of whatever opportunities the race presents. The first corner is going to determine a lot I think. It�s bumpy, it doesn�t have very good rhythm and it�s going to be very hectic with 22 cars going into it and braking late."

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Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 11th, Felipe Massa - 16th )

Peter Sauber: "Nick and Felipe amassed 95 laps today, so we had a pretty intensive test. The Sauber Petronas C21 is well suited to the track, and we gathered a lot of valid data that has given us good direction for the race, and for qualifying tomorrow."

Nick Heidfeld: "As usual I'm quite happy with our Friday running. The car seems well suited to the track and we were quite quick for much of the time until other teams began running on low fuel. Our interest wasn't in lap times today, so you shouldn't read too much into our overall performance. We're in good shape for tomorrow. As for the change to the track, I like it. It's been well done and now all the new corners are quite difficult. You need to be very precise. I hope Turn One is going to be better at the start, and I'm sure it will be because it's quite wide whereas the old layout was more like a chicane."

Felipe Massa: "I flat-spotted my first set of tyres braking too hard for the first corner this morning, but the car was quite well balanced on the second set. Later it understeered too much on the third, but the main aim today was distance running so we didn't try to change the car too much to eliminate that. Overall I'm very happy. I had a good day of useful race preparation, and of course Brazil is through to the next stage of the World Cup. I love football and the Brazilian team, and now I'm sure they can go all the way."

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Jordan ( Takuma Sato - 12th, Giancarlo Fisichella - 17 )

Gary Anderson: "That was not too bad, although the car has a bit of understeer which makes the tyres grain. We have been able to do the work required to try and understand the car for qualifying and the race. Our focus was on race work, but a lot of people seemed to be running with lower fuel. As always, we�ve got work to do but no dramas."

Takuma Sato: "We were in good shape early on but near the end of the session I lost all power and had to stop on the track, probably at the furthest point from the pit lane. The last ten minutes of the first session were lost while I got back to the garage and also I lost the first ten minutes of the second session while the team finished the repairs. We have been improving the set-up step by step and there is still work for tomorrow. But I found the circuit okay and the car feels alright, so I�m generally happy. It is very interesting to drive in Formula One at Nurburgring, as last time I was here was in Formula Opel in 1998. The changes to the first part of the circuit are excellent, as I think there are more opportunities for overtaking, which is quite exciting."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "Not a bad day, considering I was running with lots of fuel and didn�t do a single lap on low fuel. We had no problems at all with the car, which is very important. There is still work to do in finding the best set-up, as at the moment we have a lot of understeer in slow corners and graining with new tyres. It will be difficult to be in the top ten but that is our target. I don�t like the changes to the circuit as it makes everything too slow."

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Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 13th, Enrique Bernoldi - 19th )

Graham Taylor: �We struggled a bit today with the compromise between the low speed and high speed corners�what you gain in one, you lose in another! We got through our tyre assessments and did our analysis work for the race. We�ll be looking at our data this afternoon to find the step forward we need to make.�

Heinz Harald Frentzen: �We had a fairly productive first day of running, evaluating the balance of the car and racing fuel levels. I�m not yet happy with the balance but we are working on that. I like the new track layout. I�ve got used to the new combination of corners now and I think it will create some overtaking opportunities in the race on Sunday.�

Enrique Bernoldi: �I lost a lot of track time today after my spin in the first session but I think we pretty much caught up with ourselves. I had enough time to evaluate the tyres although we still have a bit of work to do with the balance of the car as we are struggling a bit there. The changes to the track are okay but the new complex is pretty slow.�

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Jaguar ( Pedro de la Rosa - 14th, Eddie Irvine - 21st )

Niki Lauda: "Today hasn�t been about Formula One � today has been all about football. The F1 paddock has found it very difficult not to be distracted by today�s events in Japan and South Korea. The England versus Brazil game dominated our morning here and given that we are a British team, emotions amongst the troops ran understandably high. It�s sad that England have been knocked out of the World Cup, but my attention is now focused on the German battle against America. Let�s see whether the underdogs can do it this time round!."

Pedro de la Rosa: "Quite a normal morning for us. We undertook a tyre evaluation and concentrated on scrubbing tyres for the weekend. The track temperature isn�t high enough yet for the tyres to be working at their optimum. In addition, there were some very dark clouds around and I cannot see us getting through the weekend without rain � something that will inevitably make for a harder life around this circuit. I don�t mind the new layout and overall, I think it�s quite good. It�s certainly feels more challenging, but the downside is that we have again sacrificed speed. There are too many slow corners and with our present downforce handicap, it hasn�t helped."

Eddie Irvine: "I seem to be suffering from understeer on most parts of the circuit and as suspected, this weekend will be hard on us. The car�s behavioural characteristics are not well suited to this track. The tyres seem to be working OK, but we could do with higher temperatures that would allow us to extract more from the tyres. The more rubber that gets laid down, the better too. We did, however, learn a lot through the sessions and we�ll build this knowledge into our programme for tomorrow. As for the new layout, I don�t like it at all. It�s slow and completely unnecessary, in my opinion."

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Minardi ( Mark Webber - 20th, Alex Yoong - 22nd )

Paul Stoddart: "Like every other Formula One team here this weekend, the challenge for KL Minardi Asiatech was to learn the new layout of the Nurburgring. Both drivers acclimatised to this during the first session, which was completed without problem. Mark suffered a technical problem at the start of the second session, however, and the mechanics did an excellent work to repair the car as quickly as they did and get him back on the track. While his technical programme was delayed slightly as a result, we were very pleased with his lap times today, and there is undoubtedly more to come tomorrow. Sadly, Alex suffered an engine problem later in the session, which hindered his progress, but he will undoubtedly make up for lost ground tomorrow."

Mark Webber: "We had a pretty good day, working through our normal technical programme, and also went through a tyre assessment for Michelin. The guys did a great job sorting a problem with the rear of the car early in the second session, although we did lose a bit of track time as a result. We�re looking forward to making further progress tomorrow."

Alex Yoong: "Everything was going smoothly until we had a mechanical problem just over halfway through the afternoon session, and therefore were not able to try the new tyres. The Nurburgring was always a bit of a �go-kart� circuit, but now, in its latest form, it really is just that, the new corners making it even tighter and twistier than before. Personally, I don�t like it, but we just concentrated on working through our technical programme today and will aim to make more progress tomorrow."

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Session 2002 2001
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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