Formula 1 news, results and statistics when you need it
Spanish Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
Download the NewsOnF1.com
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 2nd )
Jean Todt: "It was a dream qualifying session. On our first run, we got both cars onto the provisional front row and it stayed that way to the end of the hour. We have now reached pole number 152 in Ferrari�s history, the 36th with Michael, who put on an exceptional performance today. Rubens also did a great job, being quickest for much of the session. We have also saved one set of tyres for each driver, which could prove important in tomorrow�s race. I have to say, this is the result we had expected since the start of the weekend. We have an excellent car and engine, supported by very good Bridgestone tyres. Having said all that, we know the race will be long and hard and the key to success will be reliability. We are confident we can have a good race."
Ross Brawn: "Rubens is getting more confident with the new car and both our drivers enjoy the competition between themselves. It�s great to have both our cars on the front row again. We are quite happy with the car and tyres, but as for tomorrow, we will have to wait and see what strategy our opponents will adopt."
Michael Schumacher: "I enjoyed this session and the fight with Rubens. It was a challenge, especially as he was quicker on the first two runs. I looked at his sector and corner times to see where I could improve. Sometimes you think you are going flat out and your team mate shows you that you are not. We made some changes to the car which brought it closer to Rubens�s set-up, which seemed to work better. I made mistakes on my first two runs, but on the final one I got it right and the wind conditions had also improved by then."
Rubens Barrichello: "Of course, just as in Imola, I would prefer to have stayed on pole, but it was a fair fight with Michael and wonderful to be pushing one another like that. My second run was not so good, because someone had put some dirt on the track at Turn 9. Then the wind, which had been gusting, seemed to get better, so I should have improved on the last run. I chose to go a little bit early rather than right at the end, but on my �out� lap, I went a bit too quick, trying to overtake two other cars and had to back off. This meant the tyre temperatures were not quite right and the car felt strange at the start of the flying lap. Once again, I will be starting from the dirty side of the track, so I hope the F3000 cars put a lot of rubber down this afternoon! But I am very confident for the race and the car is going the way I like. I will definitely get more poles this year."
Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 3rd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th )
Sam Michael: "We are right behind the Ferraris, which was our realistic target for this circuit. The engineers and the drivers did a good job on the set-up to get both cars on the second row. This was a good effort from the whole team. We have some improvements for this race and they are working well but we are still focusing on the gap to Ferrari. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow when we believe we can have a competitive race."
Dr. Mario Theissen: "We are very pleased to have both cars on the second row. Juan Pablo radioed that he had a misfire. There was no reason for this that we could see immediately on the data but instead of wasting any time we decided to switch to the T-Car. We had to focus on giving Juan the opportunity of three qualifying runs. Given these circumstances he did a brilliant job. For Ralf everything went according to plan and he too did a good job."
Ralf Schumacher: "Yesterday we didn't expect to be where we are today, even if we looked maybe worse than how we actually were, because we were working towards the race. The team did a great job overnight, changing my car quite a lot, which allowed us to improve sensibly. We are pretty happy with the Michelin tyres and I think they look in good shape for tomorrow. It is also positive that Juan Pablo and myself are so close even if we are still too far away from Ferrari. Starting from these grid positions we can aim for points and possibly for a podium."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "If I think how qualifying started for me, I am absolutely happy with position four. Straight after leaving the garage for the first time I noticed an engine misfire and I had to switch to the T-Car. At the beginning it did not go too well with the spare car, but on my last lap I managed to put the best possible lap together. I don't know how it worked, but it definitely did."
McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 5th, David Coulthard - 7th )
Ron Dennis: "The drivers and their engineers have made significant improvements to the handling of the cars from yesterday. Tyre performance was much as we expected and therefore our grid positions are no great surprise. The outcome of the race will be very much a reflection of tyre choice and reliability."
Norbert Haug: "Fifth and seventh places and 1.2 seconds from pole are not the result we would have wished for. Behind both Ferraris there were three Michelin teams with five cars within less than four tenths of a second."
Kimi Raikkonen: "The car was handling well today but there is still no doubt that it will be a difficult race. I had a moment, which made me abandon my first run but apart from that there were no major dramas. We have some work to do to improve further, but I will give it my best and I�m sure we can get closer to the competition."
David Coulthard: "We have taken a step forward with the car since yesterday, and the grip has improved, but we just didn�t manage to get the best out of a run. I had to abandon my third run because I had a lot of understeer through turn three. We have some work to get through before the race, but as always we will do our best and establish the right strategy to maximise the potential of the situation."
Renault ( Jenson Button - 6th, Jarno Trulli - 8th )
Mike Gascoyne: "An excellent session for both drivers. Jenson has been very competitive all weekend, and has reason to be pleased with his best qualifying of the season. As for Jarno, he did a terrific job in the T-car, given that he also lost two runs. In these circumstances, it's fantastic to be in the top ten."
Dennis Chevrier: "We have a number of reasons to be pleased after qualifying today. Although the session was disrupted by a number of sporting incidents, we had no problems on the technical side. Jenson confirmed the level of competitiveness we had hoped for following practice, whilst the relative performance of the two drivers was much more in keeping with normal compared to this morning. During just two timed laps, Jenson managed to give a good account of our position relative to the competition."
Jenson Button: "I'm pleased! The car was very well balanced and handled really well, although I had a little oversteer in the high-speed corners. Seeing as I only managed two timed runs, I'm very happy to have qualified sixth, in front of one of the McLarens."
Jarno Trulli: "Up until now, we didn't understand why I wasn't competitive, so we decided to take the spare car for qualifying. I took it quite easy for the first run, because there are so many unknown factors with a new car. I made a mistake during the second and came straight back into the pits, even though the lap would have been quicker. I lost the third run because of the red flag, which meant I really had to make the last one count. The car was working very well, and I finally found the pace we had been looking for all weekend."
Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - 8th, Felipe Massa - 11th )
Peter Sauber: "Eight and 11th places are good, especially as Nick lost a lap on his tyres on the third run due to the red flag. The Bridgestones performed very well this weekend; they are quick and consistent, and this bodes well for the race tomorrow."
Nick Heidfeld: "I'm reasonably happy with the way things went today. The car was great this morning, and we made some small changes this afternoon that improved it further as the track changed slightly. On the final run we made another change that made the car better still in the high-speed corners but not quite so good in the slower ones; the overall result was very similar but I improved a little more. I had expected the two BMW Williams cars to go quicker after this morning, so I'm satisfied with my best time. It was even closer to the optimum."
Felipe Massa: "I should have gone quicker on my third run, but I made a little mistake in the fourth corner. Then I made a bigger one in the second sector on my final run, when I tried to brake too late. I was a little angry with myself, but the car was great and well balanced. I just need a little more experience in qualifying to get the absolute best from the machine in such circumstances."
Arrows ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 10th, Enrique Bernoldi - 14th )
Mike Coughlan: �Well we knew we had to beat one of the top five teams to get into the top ten and I have to say that I�m surprised it was a Sauber. We have shown our competitiveness all weekend and both drivers did a very good job today. The Bridgestone tyres certainly look very strong for the race so we�re optimistic.�
Heinz Harald Frentzen: �Top ten is great for the team and I�m pleased because the boys all did a very good job today. The improvements we made at Silverstone have helped us to find the right direction so I�m very happy with the result. Results like this also help to lift the team. We have showed that both cars are competitive here and, as our race pace is still stronger than our qualifying pace, we�re hopeful of a good day tomorrow.�
Enrique Bernoldi: "Well I had a pretty good day today. The car was generally well balanced, I had a touch of understeer but nothing major. The session went to plan and we improved the car for every run. Fourteenth is my best qualifying position so far so I�m happy with that and very much looking forward to having a good run tomorrow.�
Jordan ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 12th, Takuma Sato - 19th )
Gary Anderson: "We'd have liked to have been in the top ten but basically I am not too disappointed with this result as we are only just outside that bracket. We've moved forward which is the main thing, and our development program is now under way so we are making progress. This circuit is very difficult but I think the car is ok and I believe in tomorrow's race we should be able to get past some of the drivers currently lying ahead of us. Takuma struggled more with the nervousness of the car and tyre combination than Giancarlo did - which explains the gap between them."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "I feel I got the best out of the car and although it's not that I am pleased with P12, under the circumstances it is not a bad result. We did a good job with the car as the balance was good. We need more downforce to help the grip levels tomorrow plus more power."
Takuma Sato: "All round a difficult session. Circumstances were difficult today and I found the car very nervous. My race engineer had to go home because his wife is about to have a baby so I worked with Dominic who is usually the T car engineer and it was a bit harder for us to find the best balance as we are not used to working together. I suffered from traffic on the second run in sector two which was frustrating as I was up on my previous lap time. I'll be working again with Dominic tomorrow and I am sure we will find a better balance in the morning session which will put us in better shape for the race."
BAR ( Olivier Panis - 13th, Jacques Villeneuve - 15th (16) )
David Richards: "Our qualifying positions in Imola reflect our current expectations so 13th and 16th is less than we�d hoped for here. We�ve been concentrating very much on reliability over the past few races so that we�re in the best possible shape to bring performance into the car later on. For now, we are looking to make the most of every opportunity during the race."
Olivier Panis: "I'm obviously disappointed with 13th position because it doesn't reflect all the good work the team have done over the weekend. I lost two of my four runs because of track incidents and the red flag, and losing so much track time didn't help me to find a better set-up. Having said that, I think we're definitely still moving in the right direction and I certainly feel much better with the car here. As ever, warm-up is going to be very important to prepare for the race, but I'm sure that if we can get back to where we were on Friday, we can expect a better race than I've had so far."
Jacques Villeneuve: "This has always been a good track for me and generally we've been quite competitive here, so I'm disappointed to have qualified 16th. We haven't been able to get my car working well all weekend. I seem to be running better on old tyres and Olivier seems to be better off on new. The engine has helped us a little bit but we've been struggling with a lack of grip in general. I'm not surprised to be worse off than Imola because we knew Spain would be tougher. 16th is a little worse than we expected though. I'm sure we'll be better off in the race tomorrow but we'll be relying on opportunities."
Jaguar ( Pedro de la Rosa - 16th (17th), Eddie Irvine - 22nd (15) )
Niki Lauda: "This is a strange circuit in that small temperature increases have a big impact on tyre performance. We took full advantage of the extra grip this generated and benefited accordingly in terms of grid positions for tomorrow�s race. Why this happens, we don�t quite know. This morning, the track temperature was lower during the warm-up sessions and consequently both Jaguars struggled at the bottom of the time sheets. Our qualifying positions now allow us with an outside chance of scrapping for points. Not an easy task, I know, but if we are honest, we expected to be slightly further back given the aero problems we are presently carrying on the car. Both Eddie and Pedro are doing a good job with what is a difficult car at this stage of its� development. In addition to our drivers, it must also be said that Cosworth Racing is doing a good job on the engine side. This is a fact when you consider that Heinz-Harald Frentzen qualified in 10 th place in Arrows-Cosworth. The Cosworth CR3-V10 is capable of better things than we are currently showing and it just goes to highlight further that we are being held back by self-generated aerodynamic problems. It also goes to prove that we are taking the right course of action and as I said yesterday, we are aiming our aerodynamic programme towards the British Grand Prix in July."
Eddie Irvine: "To be honest, I am a little mystified by how I�ve ended-up in 15th position. There wasn�t anything different on the car compared to this morning and unless the tyres have found some extra grip because of the higher track temperature, I can�t explain it. The car felt better, particularly on my first run, and didn�t seem to suffer as much high-speed understeer as it did before. It also felt better under braking. I could probably have been higher had it not been for the red flag that came out on my last run. I don�t fully understand the improved form and we�ll look into the reasons why. It�s still a very tough race for us, but better than expected so far."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I knew this would be a very difficult weekend long before I got here. After hundreds of kilometres of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, our Jaguar R3 hasn�t really improved at this track � until today that is. This circuit places huge aerodynamic demands on the car and through some of the faster corners, the car has felt very twitchy and nervous. My qualifying position is higher than I had envisaged and I think it�s down to a combination of two things � finding an improved set-up on the car and having more grip in the tyres. The higher track temperature helped me today and let�s hope it gets hotter for tomorrow�s race! It would of course be great to score a point at my home race, but that�s going to be far from easy. I will, however, be pushing both the car and myself to the limit to see what we can take away from this difficult weekend."
Toyota ( Mika Salo - 17th (18), Allan McNish - 19th (20) )
Ange Pasquali: "As expected Barcelona was not going to be easy because we have always struggled on this circuit. The car need lots of downforce, which we do not have. If you look at our progression from the second practice to qualifying, our team has done a good job, just not good enough for the top 15."
Mika Salo: "I am very disappointed with 18th position to be honest. However, we are where we belong in the field with this car. We need to make some aerodynamic improvements to the car soon or we will find it quite difficult to continually improve throughout the season."
Allan McNish: "The car was much better balanced in qualifying trim and we were able to do a lap time quicker than I expected, unfortunately it is just not quick enough. I hit a bump in the kerb on my second run putting me on the grass and I span, thankfully without incident. The car should be reasonable for the race."
Minardi ( Mark Webber - 20th (21), Alex Yoong - 21st (22) )Paul Stoddart: "The front wing failure on Mark�s car today and the subsequent failure on Alex�s car, though not related, have caused me to make the decision to carry out an extensive modification on the components concerned at our Faenza factory overnight. While this is a precautionary measure, as we feel the problem with Alex�s car was due to impact damage with the curb, I believe it is the only responsible course of action for the team to take. It�s times like this where it helps to have an airline at your disposal, and I�m confident that, despite the necessity for Faenza personnel to work all night, we will be able to take part in tomorrow�s warm-up and race. I�m proud of the effort Mark and Alex put in today, both of them recording their best times of the weekend in the most difficult of circumstances."
Mark Webber: "The car ran well yesterday and I was looking forward to a very productive Saturday when, on the first flying lap of the morning, my car suffered a front wing failure. The team immediately withdrew that specification of front wing. We then made good progress in qualifying; however, the team�s decision not to take any further part in qualifying after Alex�s incident and to send parts back to the factory for modification was undoubtedly the correct one. It�s a shame, though, because I know I could have gone quicker on my last run."
Alex Yoong: "I�m actually disappointed today because there was a lot of time still to come from the car. Unfortunately, we missed the first half of the session with an electrical problem, and I don�t mind admitting I was worried, as effectively I had only one qualifying run this afternoon, my first one, which was really intended to be a �banker�. Anyway, we made the race and now I�m looking forward to tomorrow."
Eddie Irvine's time was scrapped due to fuel irregularity. He is dropped to 22nd on the frid.