Formula 1 news, results and statistics when you need it
Italian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Download the NewsOnF1.com
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 2nd )
Jean Todt: "It is a pleasure for us to be here in Monza for the Italian Grand Prix where our fans have given us a really warm welcome. During the course of today�s practice session we have worked mainly on comparing the two tyre compounds we have available. Bridgestone have done a fantastic job by managing to bring us a tyre based on the results of last week�s testing here in Monza. Rubens had a brake problem right at the start of the morning session, but then everything was sorted. I think that it�s going to be an exciting qualifying session tomorrow. We�ll be battling for a place on the first two rows of the grid. Let�s hope that we�ll be able to make our fans happy and also our Gestione Sportiva personnel who will be out in force on their own reserved grandstand. Finally, we would also like to congratulate the Monza management for the excellent job that they have done in renovating the circuit infrastructure."
Michael Schumacher: "I am actually happy with the work we did today. We had quite a full programme which worked out well. We did some tyre checks, we made a few set-up-changes trying to improve our performance, and we can be quite confident, even if at this stage of the weekend nobody knows too much. Compared to the test here last week, which went quite well even if all the times were quite close, Bridgestone have come up with even better tyres. They are quite consistent which is obviously very important. At the start of the practice session it was a bit wet on some spots of the track, but at the end the grip was good. We hope to offer our tifosi a good performance here in Italy, because they really deserve it."
Rubens Barrichello: "All in all, it was a good day�s work. I know that I had to miss almost all the morning session because of a brake problem, but we�ve already done a lot of running here last week and, in any case, in the afternoon we were still able to collect a considerable amount of data. Tomorrow we think that it�s going to be a really tight qualifying session: the tests last week showed us that the times of the leading cars are going to be very close to each other. We think that we�re going to be very competitive here."
McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 3rd, David Coulthard - 16th )
Ron Dennis: "A relatively normal Friday session which as usual saw the team concentrate on race set-up and tyre selection. David�s off was the only problem of the day."
Norbert Haug: "Kimi did a lot of laps to set up the car and compare tyres and he continuously improved. It�s a pity that David couldn�t do more laps. Qualifying will be tough and as always Friday�s lap times are difficult to compare, so let�s concentrate on tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Two uneventful sessions for me where we worked to find an ideal set up and as I didn�t do the test here last week I reacquainted myself with the Monza track. We made a lot of progress and obviously I plan to be as fast as possible tomorrow, but whether I can keep third place we will have to wait and see."
David Coulthard: "At the start of the second session the rear of the car locked up at the second Lesmo, and I�m not sure whether it was a problem with the brakes or the gearbox, but we will investigate further. It�s a little frustrating not to have completed more laps, especially in view of tyre evaluation, but with the information we gained from the test last week we should be OK."
Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 4th, Pedro de la Rosa - 8th )
Niki Lauda: "A pleasing all-round day which has given us a good measure of the car�s capability around this very fast circuit. Our three-day test programme last week was quite encouraging and we came here in a positive frame of mind knowing that the Jaguar R3 is quite competitive under these conditions. The long straights and sweeping fast corners are very conducive to extracting the best from our Cosworth V10 engine and of course, the competitive Michelin compound is suited well to Monza. Our programme today was very similar to the usual Friday job list although we did concentrate on several specific areas in preparation for the punishing race conditions. Engines are running at full throttle for over 70% of the lap and like us, I�m sure everyone has concerns about the demands placed on brakes because of the chicanes at the end of the straights. Nonetheless, we will endeavour to prepare ourselves thoroughly in an effort to make the most of the strengths we have at this circuit."
Eddie Irvine: "The good news is that we are quick, but the bad news is that we are worried about the brakes. We have suffered from a brake issue all season and if there is one circuit that exposes the fact more than any other, it�s Monza. Having said that, I�m sure we�re not the only ones concerned about this and we�ll just have to do the best we can. Outside of that, however, I am pleased with the balance and speed, but let�s wait until qualifying tomorrow. Everyone is working with different fuel levels and tyres and subsequently there is no point in reading too much into today�s times. Suffice to say that we are pleased with the pace of the Jaguar R3 but let�s see where we stack up after qualifying tomorrow."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I�m very pleased with today�s results. The car feels well balanced and feels like a solid race car. It hasn�t, however, come as a big surprise given what we have learned during our tests at Monza. Combine this with the on-going work being undertaken to correct issues from earlier in the season and we are now beginning to reap some reward. The Michelin tyres are very good and the Cosworth V10 is a major asset around this super-quick track. Today was a problem-free day apart from a narrow escape in the second session when I ran wide at the Parabolica. I went off at very high speed, kept my foot buried on the throttle and somehow managed to correct the car and find my way back onto the track. It was a lucky escape which could well have ended-up as a big shunt. One has to explore the limits and let�s just say that I now know where the limit is around that particular corner."
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 5th, Ralf Schumacher - 7th )
Sam Michael: "It was a productive day in terms of working through some set-up changes, and doing our work for Sunday on the tyre choice. Michelin have brought two quite different tyres to Monza and the challenge will be to get the grip in qualifying. It appears that Ferrari still has a big advantage on everybody and we will be working overnight to minimise that. We did not have any mechanical failures."
Mario Thiessen: "As usual to interpret Friday's result means speculation. I just know that we do not run in qualifying conditions during these sessions. Both our drivers have completed their program according to plan. The set up work for both the car and the engine was completed. We had no technical problems and feel confident for tomorrow's qualifying."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "Overall I had good day. I am happy with the balance of the car, which gradually improved throughout the sessions. The tyres behaved well which is a very important factor on this circuit. I think this is going to be an interesting weekend for us, as we seem to be in quite a good shape on this track."
Ralf Schumacher: "My practice session went quite well. There is still some work to do to optimise the car, but overall I am confident. A lot will depend on our tyre choice. This track is also hard on the brakes. Before the first chicane we brake down from around 350 km/h to approximately 70 km/h. For the drivers this is less extreme than it might appear from the outside. Now we are working on the set-up for qualifying."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 6th, Allan McNish - 18th )
Ange Pasquali: "A reasonable start to the weekend. Mika's car seems to be fine, apart from some balance problems. There was a problem on Allan's car in the second session, which we suspect is gearbox-related. The mechanics did a superb job changing the rear of the car in such a quick time, but we have to look deeper into the problem now. Generally, the cars are showing good speed, we just need some fine tuning on the set-up, which we will work on tomorrow morning."
Mika Salo: "We are again at a circuit suited relatively well to our car. We can use the engine to good effect and the low downforce requirements are working to our advantage. We tested here last week, and it looked quite promising for the race. We had no major problems in today's two practice sessions other than some small issues with handling. The car generally seems to be fine and I am quite happy."
Allan McNish: "We had a difficult day with a big imbalance in the car from the start. We did some changes, but that didn't cure the problem. In the second session we tried a launch start but had a gearbox-related problem and the guys did a really good job changing the rear end. You can't afford to lose any time on Friday, let alone effectively two sessions. It is a bad start to the weekend, but hopefully we can recover the car we had in testing last week and it won't be so much of an issue."
Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 9th, Jenson Button - 10th )
Denis Chevrier: "We might term this a studious day's work. Concentrating on tyre comparisons and long runs in race configuration, we managed to complete the most number of laps of any team today without any technical problems. Our level of performance is respectable, and I feel we can legitimately challenge for places among the top ten tomorrow."
Pat Symonds: "Two very good practice sessions for the Team, and it was encouraging to find that the car's behaviour was similar to our recent test. This meant we could therefore carry on with some of the things interrupted by the weather last time. In general, both cars seem well balanced and the tyre behaviour is very consistent. Even though this type of circuit doesn't suit us perfectly, we have seen that we can be competitive on Sunday."
Jarno Trulli: "We had a good day and managed to get a lot of work done on set-up and the tyres. The car balance is very good and I'm confident for tomorrow. Overall, we made progress today."
Jenson Button: "A pretty good day from my point of view. We managed to get lots of set-up work done, although it's still only Friday and we can't really be sure where we stand overall. Having said that, I'm definitely higher up than I expected to be at the start of the day."
Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 11th, Takuma Sato - 14th )
Gary Anderson: "Takuma lost about 15 minutes because of a misfire which we thought we had detected but unfortunately the cause was not what we first thought. We did a good tyre back-to-back comparison with Giancarlo and decided which tyres to use tomorrow, which was pretty straightforward. Giancarlo didn�t really have any problems and we got through what we wanted to do. The tyre competition will make qualifying tough as it is very close in the midfield."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "We worked on a number of things today including different fuel loads for the race. At the moment we have some difficulty with tyres because they need three laps to get them working, so qualifying will be very tough. We will work a bit more on the set-up but for the moment the balance doesn't look too bad and the engine has been reliable. I think it may be difficult to be in the top ten."
Takuma Sato: "We started today in damp conditions so it was fairly difficult to judge our set-up direction. At the end of the session I had a small electrical problem, so I couldn�t do any tyre comparisons, which I�m disappointed about. Generally it was not a good day for me but we have plenty of information to analyse in order to decide the right way to go with set-up for tomorrow."
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 12th, Olivier Panis - 15th )
David Richards: "As always, it�s difficult to read too much into a Friday. We�ve had a reasonably productive first day�s running but we have some way to go yet to maximise performance from the overall package. We�ve had a couple of minor mechanical problems which the team were on top of very quickly so let�s hope we can now look forward to a reliable weekend."
Jacques Villeneuve: "We made some progress during the two sessions but we�re not as competitive as we should be. Plus, we had a hydraulic leak and I lost time at the end of the morning session. Monza is a great track but we carry so little downforce here that it�s hard to get the set-up right � tyre choice is always difficult because you�re trying to find more grip without blistering the tyres. We got some good runs in though and tried some different things and in the end we managed to get the car quite well-balanced once we�d put some laps on the tyres. Obviously we have some work to do yet so we�ll try to do what we can to improve the car for the race
Olivier Panis: "It�s difficult to judge where we stand after today. We have addressed some minor problems on the first session but now we have to work more on the set-up
Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 13th, Nick Heidfeld - 17th )
Peter Sauber: "Felipe's position is about what we expected after the test last week, but we need to analyse why there is such a gap between his time and Nick's."
Felipe Massa: "This morning my car felt pretty good when I was seventh quickest, and we had taken a definite step forward since the test last week when the handling felt quite nervous. This afternoon we went a different way on set-up and I lacked grip and was slower. I think for sure that tomorrow we should go in the direction we went this morning when the balance and grip were good."
Nick Heidfeld: "My car was very difficult today. It had low grip in general, and I could feel the chassis bottoming many times on the road even though it shouldn't have done that at the ride heights we were running. I can't explain why this happened so we need to investigate that."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 19th, Alex Yoong - 20th )Paul Stoddart: "Both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers have enjoyed a good opening day to the Italian Grand Prix weekend, recording significantly faster laps than the best times set by the team in last year's Friday session. Impressively, Alex's quickest time today also represented an improvement of over a second compared with his qualifying time at Monza in 2001. It suggests that the break he took from F1, followed by the test here last week, have been beneficial for him. It has been a useful day, and we'll aim to make further progress tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "It was a good thing coming to the test here last week, but as a result of that test, we also had some preconceptions about the car was going to behave, and it didn't quite work out that way today. We had some problems balancing the chassis in the first session, but then made progress. Tomorrow, we can work on the car with a lot less fuel on board, and maybe we can get away with running a little more wing as well, because I think we were a bit light today. All told, though, it wasn't too bad a day, and we'll work on further improvements tomorrow."
Alex Yoong: "It has been a good day. I felt comfortable in the car and it was good to be out there again. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be quick tomorrow. We made a change to the car this afternoon, which made it very nervous, and I had a spin as a result. I couldn't get the car going again, so had to sit out the remainder of the second session. Other than that, things went well."
Arrows - Did not participate in either session due to financial problems