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Monaco 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: "This was a fantastic effort by Juan and also a good job from Ralf. The engineers and the drivers worked hard on the set up all weekend. To Michelin's credit it must be said that they have brought to Monaco good tyres, which look strong for the race as well. Also it is positive to see our car on pole on a circuit which rewards downforce and mechanical grip. Now we will concentrate on the race set up in order to get the most out of our good qualifying positions."
Dr. Mario Theissen: "We did not really expect to be on pole position on this circuit. But we have had a very good weekend so far, where everything went according to plan. Michelin obviously supplied us with very strong tyres here and Juan put everything together perfectly on his last run. Regarding the engine every session went smoothly and troublefree so far."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "The car and the tyres behaved very well today. We made quite a lot of changes throughout the morning sessions and during qualifying as well and clearly we worked in the right direction. I knew the time was there from the beginning, anyway. I had a negative weekend here last year but this time things have been working all right so far and I am changing my mind about this track now. It is definitely pretty special to be on pole here, by four tenths, because getting a good lap together on this circuit is very difficult. I expect the tyres to be consistent also throughout tomorrow's race."
Ralf Schumacher: "Unluckily on my first flying lap I was held up by an Arrows. Both the other runs were troublefree. I could have for sure improved a bit if in my last run I hadn't been again held up by some traffic. We had no technical problems at all. It is clear that our tyre supplier here provides much better tyres than their competitors. Congratulations to my team mate."
McLaren ( David Coulthard - 2nd, Kimi Raikkonen - 6th )
Ron Dennis: "An outstanding performance from David. Good teamwork and tyres contributed to his front row position, which with slightly better circumstances could have been his first pole position of the year. Monaco occasionally gives you difficult logistical challenges and nothing could better represent this phenomenon than Kimi qualifying in his fourth car of the weekend. His sixth place is as frustrating for him as it is for us but in the circumstances it's not too bad."
Norbert Haug: "An excellent performance by the team and especially by David. The Michelin tyres worked well. To be on the first row of the grid in Monaco is a good basis for the race."
David Coulthard: "Obviously I'm pleased to be on the front row, but I believe we could have been on pole position. The car and the Michelin tyres seemed to suit the nature of the track and we have been competitive throughout the weekend. During qualifying you are constantly building up, and I could have been quicker on my last run, but as is always the case in Monaco, traffic becomes a problem and I was held up and abandoned the run. I have won the Monaco Grand Prix before and believe we have a chance of a good result tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "A very difficult weekend for me so far and unfortunately things didn't improve today. I went off at St. Devote during this morning's practice and when the marshals removed the car, the rollhoop was damaged which meant I had to use another car for qualifying. As I went out for my first run, I had a small problem with the oil system on the engine and was forced to use David's T-car for the rest of qualifying which is not ideal. Now I have to look forward to tomorrow and I believe things can only get better."
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 3rd, Rubens Barrichello - 5th )
Jean Todt: "For the first time this season we do not have a car on the front row. It proves that if all elements of the package are not running at a hundred percent, the others soon get ahead. We knew this would be a difficult qualifying session, because the opposition looks very strong here. Furthermore, more than at any other track, traffic is a critical factor in Monaco. That was certainly the case for both Rubens and Michael. In any case, there is still a long way to go with the race ahead of us. Even though overtaking is almost impossible here, we can still pick up important points for both championships."
Ross Brawn: "We have had more straightforward days and this time we had to fight a bit harder. The result was as good as we could have expected. I feel we have a good tyre for tomorrow and we are in a reasonable position for the race. We have said many times there will be changes and it is now obvious that the situation is not always that simple. There are some circuits where we have an advantage with Bridgestone and here, Michelin appears to have a slight advantage."
Michael Schumacher: "It was a busy day. After an electrical problem in the morning, I had to abort one run when I came across a big puff of smoke in the tunnel and thought there was oil on the track. Then on one run, I had a traffic problem with Juan-Pablo, which is just down to the nature of this track and after my second run, I also picked up something in my eye. To be honest, we have been a little behind all weekend and there are more Michelin runners than usual near the top. We have always said that the situation could change very quickly and today is the proof of that. However, third place is not far behind and in race trim we should be more competitive. If we are not, then the job will be to bring the car home and pick up as many points as possible."
Rubens Barrichello: "It was not a perfect day. The car wasn�t bad and had the potential to get me onto the front row. Unfortunately, traffic determined where I ended up on the grid. On my second run, I was very quick, but I was blocked by Coulthard. Then again, in the final minutes I ran into traffic. In Monaco, it�s impossible to do a good time if you don�t have a clear track."
Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 7th, Jenson Button - 8th )
Mike Gascoyne: "We are disappointed as we were expecting more from qualifying. As the track got quicker, our drivers were both affected by traffic on their last three runs. Having said that, it's typical at Monaco, and everybody knows that. Up to now, we have had a competitive weekend, and we now look to reinforce our position during the race."
Dennis Chevrier: "From our perspective, the session unfolded without any notable incidents. As is typical at Monaco, the problem was traffic, and there was always something preventing us from getting the most out of the package. On the technical side however, we are optimistic for the race, during which we should be capable of running competitively."
Jarno Trulli: "Seventh position is disappointing when I was expecting to be in the top four. My first run was my only clear lap, and after that I hit traffic each time. Twice, Massa's Sauber didn't move out of the way, even though he was just cruising around. I'm very angry about it. Even so, I want to thank the team for all their work, because I've had a very good car throughout this weekend. It's really frustrating, because we deserved better."
Jenson Button: "The car was good throughout the whole session - I didn't need to make any changes during the hour. I made a mistake on my third run, so I couldn't improve then, but the problem at the end was Massa. He slowed me down, just as for lots of other people, apparently. Something needs to be done about it."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 9th, Allan McNish - 10th )
Gustav Brunner: "Two cars in the top ten, well, what can I say? It was a great driving performance from both men, particularly Allan for his first time at this difficult circuit. The team were superb and it is a great result for us."
Mika Salo: "The car was much better balanced today compared to Thursday. The team performance was very good to get both myself and Allan in the top ten. Our car has been reliable so far this season and starting the Monaco Grand Prix from 9th on the grid is very promising."
Allan McNish: "The car felt better in qualifying than it did in practice this morning, and I found a good rhythm. I touched the barrier on my first run, slightly affecting the car's handling. I want to apologise to Nick Heidfeld for unintentionally holding him up on his last run - it was just an unfortunate Monaco situation."
Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 11th, Takuma Sato - 16th )
Gary Anderson: "I would like to have been in the top ten but today it just didn�t come together. On an entire lap, the Michelin tyres are stronger than the Bridgestones, but we are happy to be the first Bridgestone runner after the two Ferraris."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Earlier this weekend I expected to be in the top ten and I have qualified 11th, which is not a bad position. My engineer and I did a good job together and the car was well balanced, but because I was driving on the limit, unfortunately it was very easy to make mistakes on the track. Behind the Ferraris, I was the quickest with Bridgestone tyres, which demonstrates that our set-up worked well."
Takuma Sato: "Generally it wasn�t a bad session, but we had difficulties in applying all the set-up changes I would have liked, in order to manage the changing track conditions and understeer which I experienced. There was also a lot of traffic on my last runs so all in all I wasn�t able to get a top time from the car."
Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 12th, Enrique Bernoldi - 15th )
Mike Coughlan: �All in all a little disappointed with the result today. We didn�t really get any clear laps as it was bumper-to-bumper out there. We managed to achieve a good balance on the tyres. It would�ve been good to be the first Bridgestone team behind Ferrari, but Fisichella put in a great lap so well done to him. I think Heinz is a little disappointed as he has been very competitive all weekend. I�m pleased for Enrique as he has improved steadily throughout the weekend and I think he�ll fare even better in the race.�
Heinz Harald Frentzen: �I aborted my first run due to traffic but runs two and three were okay. Unfortunately on the lap that counted at the end of qualifying I hit traffic so was unable to improve. Monaco is for sure the most exciting race but it is always extremely busy and you have to search for the gaps in the traffic. We had a few bad breaks today. The top ten is very tight but with a little more balance and grip we could have made it up there. Nevertheless I�m looking forward to racing here tomorrow as this is always a great event.�
Enrique Bernoldi: "I think the end result today was okay. Obviously I would like to be higher up the grid but, as I have been playing catch-up since losing time in Free Practice, I think the result is okay. I decided to go out early to get a good run out of the traffic and did manage to make big improvements with each run. I enjoy the race here much more than qualifying so tomorrow should be fun, especially the start which should be pretty exciting.�
Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 13th, Nick Heidfeld - 17th )
Peter Sauber: "We were not good enough today."
Nick Heidfeld: "Obviously I'm not very happy. In the second half of this morning's session the car was not bad, but this afternoon for qualifying it just didn't have the same level of grip. It's true that I got blocked on a couple of my runs, but even so I wasn't happy with the way the car was going. Now we must look to the race. The important thing will be to finish what is always a hard event."
Felipe Massa: "The balance of my car was okay today and the grip was not too bad. In fact, I think for me a top 10 or maybe a top 12 position was possible. But this is one of those places where you have to be lucky, and I don't think we were today."
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve - 14th, Olivier Panis - 18th )
David Richards: "Monaco presents many unique challenges and we seem to have experienced most of them this weekend. Olivier missed his best lap due to traffic but that�s the same for everybody here. Overall, we just couldn�t get enough grip to challenge the top 10. Just as qualifying is very important here, so the race delivers some extraordinary results. The task now must be to get both cars to the finish."
Jacques Villeneuve: "The balance of the car wasn't too bad considering we've been working mainly with the tyres so far this weekend. On my first two runs I had traffic so I knew there was a better lap to be done than the first two. It was just a question of attack, attack! I've started further back than 14th before and managed to finish in the points so anything is possible here. It's a long race; you have to be fast and not make any mistakes. That's the key to Monaco."
Olivier Panis: "I'm really disappointed with 18th today because qualifying has been much better for me over the last few races. The team have done a good job throughout the weekend and we took the right direction with the tyres. My third run was definitely the quickest and I was four tenths up in my first two sectors, but then I was blocked by Yoong in the last sector and it ruined a good time for me. I wasn't able to improve on the last run and 18th is where I have to start the race. Qualifying is critical here but, unfortunately, the car we have at present is not good enough. It will be a tough race for us now but we have to make the best of it and look for every opportunity tomorrow."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 19th, Alex Yoong - 22nd )Paul Stoddart: "Despite our cars qualifying P19 and P22, today was ultimately disappointing, as the combination of Mark's talent, a well-balanced car and a very competitive tyre from Michelin was denied what should have been the team's best qualifying performance so far this year. It was realistic to think P14 or P15 was possible, and had it not been for the time lost switching over the spare car and replacing a damaged oil radiator, I'm sure we would done just that. Alex performed under pressure after having an �off' on his first flying lap and set a competitive time. We now look forward to tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix, where anything is possible."
Mark Webber: "It was a very frustrating day because I damaged the car when I slid on Irvine's oil in the second session, with the result that we were in a slightly difficult position for qualifying. The guys did an amazing job, however, to get the car ready for the afternoon session. I had quite a good lap on my second run and was looking forward to the next two runs. Unfortunately, when I left to start the third run I had hydraulic problems and had to be pulled back to the pits. This meant we were out on track very late for my last possible run once the problem had been fixed and I found Felipe Massa driving in front of me around 15 km/h slower, so there was no chance of improving my lap time. It's difficult for everybody here at Monaco, but I really feel we should have been ahead of Villeneuve. We know we could have done much better, but it just didn't happen in the last 15 minutes of the session."
Alex Yoong: "I braked at the same spot for Ste Devote as usual on that first run, but the track was slippery, I locked up and slid into the barrier. In hindsight, I should have gone down the escape road rather than try to make the corner, and that mistake really spoiled the session for me. The guys did a great job to convert the spare car to my settings in a very short time, but even so, it wasn't the same as the race car, and it also wasn't fitted with power steering. In the end, we qualified, which is what counts, but I felt it was possible at least to �split' the Jaguars, or maybe even out-qualify both of them today."
Jaguar ( Pedro de la Rosa - 20th, Eddie Irvine - 21st )
Niki Lauda: "We expected a very tough Monaco Grand Prix and qualifying proved no surprise. Eddie was slightly hindered by having to take the T-car after his accident during the second morning warm-up session. A broken stud in the gearbox housing, which holds the rear suspension, collapsed and spun the car into the barrier near the swimming pool complex. Our weekend has been far from easy and getting both cars home is our realistic target for race day."
Pedro de la Rosa: "Not the result that I would have liked, but after my crash on Thursday I am pleased that I had a trouble free session today. Staying away from the barriers is harder than it looks on this circuit and no doubt there will be a few drivers tomorrow who get closer than they would like. My outlook for the race is to enjoy it and to bring the car home in one piece and see what, if anything, we can salvage from this weekend."
Eddie Irvine: "My warm-up session this morning was plagued by an accident with the barriers at the swimming pool area. The car was hit hard at the back as a result of the collapsed rear suspension when it ploughed into the armco barriers that resulted in me using the T-Car for the qualifying session. This was not ideal but the team did a good job today. Tomorrow will be a difficult day for us and I don�t expect anything out of the ordinary. Saying that, Monaco always gives us a good day�s racing and anything can happen at this circuit."