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Monaco Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
McLaren ( David Coulthard - 1st, Kimi Raikkonen - Retired )
Ron Dennis: "A tactical race for David and the entire team which was particularly pleasurable as we were able to resolve David�s only problem utilising our telemetry systems. We were a little surprised with Michael Schumacher�s initial pace following his pitstop, which triggered us to make an earlier stop than scheduled. A great result, which not only increases our Monaco race wins to 12 but also demonstrates the depth and commitment that we have to winning. Kimi drove a disciplined race, which with the attrition that is normal for Monaco could have given him strong points finish. Barrichello�s mistake is just one of those racing incidents which cost both of them dearly. That said it�s been a tremendous result for the team and a result well deserved."
Norbert Haug: "A grand drive by David and a good strategy from the team which worked very well. We are especially pleased with this victory as it has been achieved at Monaco, a Grand Prix that is extraordinarily demanding for the driver as well as the car and the engine. I�m sorry for Kimi. Barrichello�s driving error prevented him from finishing in a top place."
David Coulthard: "It�s absolutely unbelievable. I�m so pleased that I was able to win this race for the team as we have had a difficult start to the season and everybody has been working extremely hard. It was a tough race where I was giving 100 percent all the time. I made a good start and was able to take the lead into the first corner but was then under pressure for the vast majority of the 78 laps. This track is so unforgiving and a slight mistake will see you end up in the barriers. After about 30 laps it felt like I had lost a bit of power and then I saw smoke coming out from the back. I radioed back to the team and they told me it was nothing to worry about and fortunately they were right. Victories have been and will continue to be hard to get this season, so I intend to enjoy this one as much as possible."
Kimi Raikkonen: "This has been a difficult weekend for me and today things didn�t get any better. I made an OK start and had a good battle with Rubens for sixth. I think he braked too late at the chicane and went into the back of me. I managed to get into the pits where the team fitted a new wing. I was able to rejoin the race for two laps but there was no balance in the car and I had to retire."
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 2nd, Rubens Barrichello - 7th )
Jean Todt: "We were expecting a difficult race, given how hard it is to overtake at this track, and that�s how it turned out. All in all we are satisfied with the result, which has allowed us to slightly extend our lead in both Championships. Thanks to Bridgestone, we had the quickest car-tyre package, but the nature of the track prevented us from exploiting that. I am sorry for Rubens, who despite a strong performance could not do better than seventh place. His grid position and loss of two places at the start instantly put him in a difficult position, which was further complicated by the accident and the double penalty that followed. Michael drove a perfect race and did everything possible. We set out on the next stage of the championship knowing that, thanks to the car and the Bridgestone tyres, we have the potential to win more races."
Michael Schumacher: "I think our car was fast enough to have stayed in front if we had got there, but David had built a good lead over Montoya. If there had not been some traffic after the pit stop, it might have been closer, but they did a good job and deserve the win. I kept pushing right to the end because in Monaco you never know what can happen, but David drove well and never gave me a chance. It was typical Monaco in that even if you know you are faster you just have to be patient. Actually it was quite entertaining watching Juan Pablo. The car was good today and the backmarkers did a good job of keeping out of the way."
Rubens Barrichello: "In the end it was a boring race. When you have a car which you know is capable of winning and you are stuck behind slower cars it is frustrating. At the start, I lost two places and from then on I had to try and move forward. At one point, I spotted an opportunity to pass Raikkonen. I went from the outside to the inside and as he braked, he closed the door on me. There was nothing I could do and I ran into him. I have to thank the team for building a really strong car, as after the accident, I was able to continue and the car was still very quick, even if it had a bit of oversteer. It�s a race to forget, because as I said earlier, I had a winning car."
Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 3rd, Juan Pablo Montoya - Retired )
Sam Michael: "A disappointing day to come away with only a third place after our strong grid positions. It showed a lack of performance in race conditions on this type of circuit. We had some traction problems that our competitors dealt with better, which forced us to an early pit stop. Ralf then had another stop because of a problem with his rear tyre. Still, we go away from Monaco with more points, which is good."
Gerhard Berger: "Normally one should be pleased with third place, but on the other hand from pole position one is racing for victory, of course. It has been a great weekend for Formula One as we have seen today and in qualifying very good fights for the top positions. David Coulthard drove a perfect race today with McLaren-Mercedes. It is good that Ralf was able to keep third position in spite of his additional stop. It is a pity that Juan retired with an engine failure after fighting brave. We still do not know the reason for it."
Ralf Schumacher: "I am really happy that I have finally finished a race in Monaco, the first since my days in Formula 3 and on top of that achieving a podium. After five retirements here in F1 I was starting to believe that Monte Carlo doesn�t like me at all. We have had a superb car all weekend but this wasn�t enough to beat Ferrari and McLaren. I had to make an additional pit stop because something was wrong with my rear left tyre, but luckily my advantage over Jarno Trulli was big enough to maintain third position. Earlier in the race I could see Michael and Juan Pablo fighting in front of me and I thought that I should stay back as you never know what might happen."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am disappointed I could not finish this race. It�s a true shame that we had an engine failure as the car and the engine had behaved very well all weekend. I had a bad start and lost the lead but during the race I knew the pace was there and I managed to keep my head together, I was ahead of Michael and we could have taken away some points from him, but that�s racing! I felt a loss of engine power and unfortunately my race was finished. It had been a very interesting race until this happened."
Renault ( Jarno Trulli - 4th, Jenson Button - Retired )
Flavio Briatore: "I'm pleased for everybody. Jarno scored his first points after an excellent start and a mistake-free race. Fourth at Monaco is a very good result, for the driver and the team."
Mike Gascoyne: "Jarno drove a fine race, especially given the difficulties he had with the tyres. It was frustrating to be held up by Heidfeld, but we are nevertheless pleased to see him score his first points. As for Jenson, it was a little more disappointing. After the jump-start and the consequent penalty, he was making up places when he crashed."
Jarno Trulli: "It's good to score my first points, both for myself and the team. A perfectly managed strategy allowed me to claim fourth today. I made a great start, but it became difficult to keep up with the leaders as the tyres got more and more worn. After my stop, I was able to push again on a new set, but then Heidfeld blocked me for about twenty laps, even though he was a lap down. There were no blue flags at all, and when I finally managed to get past, I was struggling with worn tyres. So, it's a good result, but I think that once we've analysed the race, we'll view it as a missed podium because of the time I lost behind the Sauber."
Jenson Button: "I think I just got a little excited at the start! Once you lift off the throttle, the launch control doesn't work any more, so I had to wait for everybody to go by before I could get going. After that, I was a bit surprised to be penalised as well, but once I got into clear air the car was working well. Then again, being quick is one thing, but overtaking at Monaco is another! As for the accident, I could see Panis was struggling with his rear tyres, so I tried to pass him at Sainte-D�vote. He didn't see me, and just took his normal line. It's a shame, because the weekend had promised a lot more.�
Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 5th, Takuma Sato - Retired )
Eddie Jordan: "This is the second race in a row that�s we�ve been in the points and while it was encouraging to be fighting with Renault again, it�s important to remember we still have a long way to go. We hope Honda will have an upgrade on the engine for Canada and we have a few other things to try, so hopefully we can make further improvements. The Bridgestone race tyres were excellent again today and we�ve worked hard on the EJ12 reliability and it is beginning to deliver rewards."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It�s a great result for me and the team. I expected do well here as I am confident on this circuit, especially when the car is going well. When I made my pit stop, the car was feeling good and the tyre grip was much better than in qualifying. I was quick and catching Trulli but it was too late to take the risk of overtaking him and possibly losing my position. A few weeks ago it was difficult to imagine that these last two results would be possible. I�m hoping at the next race, with an improved engine, we will be more competitive."
Takuma Sato: "It was an exciting race and I made a really good start, overtaking a couple of cars at the first corner and then I was immediately behind Giancarlo. I was able to overtake him as he seemed to get held up by something, maybe passing other cars. But at the time Giancarlo was slightly quicker than me and because I was ahead of him, the team asked me to let him through. I was trying to let him go past, but unfortunately it was at the exit of the tunnel and while I was trying to make space for him, I picked up dust, slid and lost control of the car. It is a big disappointment but has been good experience for me and I would like to congratulate Giancarlo for scoring points. Brilliant."
Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 6th, Enrique Bernoldi - 12th )
Mike Coughlan: �It was good to get both cars home today, especially as they were running very competitively. Heinz drove a great race, but unfortunately the FIA rig aborted during his stop so we had to call him in again, so we may have missed out on fifth place. The tyre performance was much better during the race so thank you to Bridgestone for that. It was really good to get Enrique home as he drove a really good race and was very unlucky.�
Heinz Harald Frentzen: �I�m very happy with the result today. Like I said in Spain, scoring one point puts pressure on us to score more, but it is the right kind of pressure. This point will keep the momentum going. We made a change to the front suspension this morning which made the car better here but I think you could see that from my position in Warm-Up. I really enjoy racing here and I have to say that the battle with Rubens was very tight but there was no way I was going to let him past!�
Enrique Bernoldi: "I had a pretty normal start and really enjoyed the first part of the race. I was quicker than Massa but when I overtook him he missed the brakes and pushed me off. I rejoined and was behind Irvine and Button and, although I could catch them, I couldn�t get past. There was a problem with my pit-stop as the rear of the car was damaged as a result of my crash with Massa. I then received a drive-thru penalty for cutting the chicane so had to come in again. All in all this was a race that gave me a lot of useful experience and I�m very pleased to finish at such a tough circuit.�
Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 8th, Felipe Massa - Retired )
Peter Sauber: "As anticipated, it was a difficult race for us, but we take heart that the structural integrity of the SAUBER PETRONAS C21 enabled Felipe to get himself out of the cockpit and walk away from his high-speed accident at the first corner. Nick fought for grip all afternoon, and his tenacity and the car's reliability helped him to climb from 17th to eighth by the end."
Nick Heidfeld: "The tyre degradation was worse than we expected so I was not able to run as long as we had hoped before my pit stop, which came on the 44th lap. All the way through I battled for traction, with understeer in the slow corners and oversteer in the faster ones. The car was very nervous. But the goal was to finish, and that's what I did."
Felipe Massa: "I had a pretty exciting first Monaco Grand Prix. The car had lots of oversteer but I had a good battle with Bernoldi, which unfortunately ended when I braked a bit too late for the Ste Devote corner. We both went into the escape road and then I had to do a stop and go penalty. On my 64th lap nothing happened when I braked for Ste Devote, and the car just went straight on into the tyre wall. It was a big impact and I hit my nose on the steering wheel, but otherwise I'm okay. I'll be leaving tomorrow for the Silverstone test."
Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 9th, Pedro de la Rosa - 10th )
Niki Lauda: "A good all round job by the team today. Our drivers did an excellent job today in what were undoubtedly difficult conditions. We encountered more traffic than we expected and it certainly went towards making our race strategy harder. Nonetheless, two Jaguars have crossed the finishing line at Monaco and while we were obviously slower than we would have otherwise liked, our race pace wasn't all that bad today. It has been a long and challenging Monaco Grand Prix and even though both cars started from the back, I don�t think we could have asked for anything else than 9th and 10th places. Just reward for a very tough weekend."
Eddie Irvine: "Starting this race from the back of the grid is not something that normally rewards you with 9th place and from that perspective we are pleased. Our race pace was reasonable today and the car felt much better than it has done all weekend. Scoring points would have been a very tall order today and getting two Jaguars across the finishing line is not bad when you consider that ten cars never made it to the end. Qualifying higher up the order would have certainly made a points chase possible, but until we correct some of the problems on the R3, it will remain a very tough challenge to fulfil. We have people working very hard towards finding a solution and in the meantime, we can only do our best on the race track and aim for the finishing line � something that everyone worked very well at today."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I am obviously pleased with the outcome given where we started this race from. It was a very hard race to drive and didn�t get any easier because of traffic problems and a heavy fuel load. As the fuel load lightened the car became easier to drive. The Sauber of Massa also caused me a lot of problems today. He was driving all over the place and it cost me a lot of time relative to Eddie. I just wanted to race today and to have finished is great. Our team has worked very hard indeed in what have been unforgiving circumstances all weekend. Next is Canada and again we are faced with a race that�s usually characterised by a high retirement rate and we will again aim to finish and pick up whatever spoils we can."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 11th, Alex Yoong - Retired )Paul Stoddart: "Despite having driven a spectacular race, Mark was forced to make a late pit stop, which denied him the top-10 position he richly deserved. It was, however, extremely rewarding to see the caliber of competition he was racing and staying ahead of today,� added team boss Paul Stoddart. �If not for that extra pit stop, P8 would definitely have been on the cards this afternoon. Alex was driving well until he had a brush with the barriers that also necessitated an unscheduled pit stop. Despite the team's best efforts to repair a rear track rod that was bent in the accident, front suspension damage was spotted and there was no choice but to call it a day."
Mark Webber: "This was a really strong race for us. We knew after this morning's warm-up that we were quicker than a number of people in front of us. We therefore decided to run quite heavy at the beginning of the race, but also to stop quite early, because although we were running more weight, we knew we should be able to �leapfrog' quite a few cars when they made their pit stops,� Mark said. �The strategy was working perfectly and we had eighth place easily in the bag until a tyre problem forced me to pit for a new set. The team did a great job all weekend and had quite a bit of damage to contend with � they deserved better than 11th place today. I'm also sorry we couldn't deliver a present for Paul, as today is his birthday, but we definitely tried."
Alex Yoong: "We didn't do many laps in the warm-up, so the first time I drove the car with heavy fuel was in the race, and we had quite a bit of understeer,� Alex said. �As the fuel load became lighter, the car was getting better, but then, after my pit stop, I ran over some debris at the Casino and hit the barriers as a result. A rear trackrod was damaged in the impact, and that was the end of my race. The boys have done a terrific job all weekend and I feel really sorry for not finishing my race today."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - Retired, Allan McNish - Retired )
Ove Andersson: "Overall it has been a very competitive weekend for the team. Practice and qualifying produced our best ever results. We could have finished in the points today, but without the problems a lot of other teams could say the same. It was particularly encouraging to see Mika able to fight for position with a Ferrari."
Mika Salo: "We had an unplanned pit stop near the start after my left rear tyre lost tread, causing lots of vibration. After a change of tyres the car felt great, but I completely lost the brake pedals towards the end, causing me to crash. It was a good 100th Grand Prix weekend and I enjoyed actually racing with other drivers."
Allan McNish: "I was driving very comfortably and the car was feeling very strong. I just touched the inside barrier at Sainte Devote, which bounced the car on to the outside. It was my first time at Monaco and these things can happen. We have had a competitive weekend and we are already looking ahead to Montreal."
BAR ( Olivier Panis - Retired, Jacques Villeneuve - Retired )
"From 14th and 18th on the grid this was never going to be an easy race.
However, as we�ve seen in the past, Monaco is often full of incidents and we
needed to be in a position to take full advantage of these should they occur.
Olivier Panis: "I had a good start and managed to move up to 16th at the end of the first lap. We had a one-stop strategy and this could have worked out for us. The car was running well and I didn�t have any problems, so everything was on target until Button hit me while I was braking and turning into St Devote. I didn�t see him coming and you don�t expect someone to overtake there. It was a racing incident though so we need to forget about it and focus on preparing for Canada."
"We had a problem with the clutch at the start and lost everything
because of that. By the time we started the car I was obviously a lap down,
but only half the cars finished the race today so you have to be there and