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2003 British Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday  

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Reports & Results

What the teams and drivers said - Sunday

Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 1st, Michael Schumacher - 4th )

Jean Todt: "It was a thrilling race! After a man ran onto the track on lap eleven, which forced us to bring both cars in to the pits together on the following lap, we found ourselves with Rubens eighth and Michael fifteenth. Both our drivers drove brilliantly and thanks to a great performance level from our engine, chassis and Bridgestone tyre package, they staged an exceptional climb through the field. Rubens has been quick all weekend, with Friday qualifying his only difficult moment. I am very happy for him.
Thanks to his fourth place, Michael has limited the damage in the Drivers' classification and along with his team-mate's ten points the team has extended its lead in the Constructors.' This was a great result which shows how well Ferrari reacted, along with its technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell and how much work was done after a few difficult races. We know the road ahead is still very long and the season is very closely contested. We will do all we can to maintain our lead in both championships."

Ross Brawn: "An exceptional race! Today showed that overtaking is currently possible in Formula 1. It was incredible. We had a slightly difficult double pit stop shortly after the start, from which we did not emerge in particularly good shape, especially with Michael. Both drivers kept a cool head and started moving up the order, with a great performance.
Rubens has been very competitive all weekend, as he was here in the test after the Canadian Grand Prix. We had a few difficulties in the last few races, but today, along with Bridgestone, we delivered a strong response. The rest of the season will be difficult, but we have shown what we can do and that we are capable of beating the opposition."

Rubens Barrichello: "This is a fantastic feeling. I came in for a lot of criticism after Canada and France and I feel this performance answers my critics. The race was hard work but entertaining. I had a great car today, the result of all the work we have done and the Bridgestones were phenomenal. My engineers did a great job to give me such a good car so that I could attack and overtake. I lost two places at the start because I had to wait a long time for Trulli to come to the grid and my tyres lost temperature and had no grip. But I knew I would be okay once the tyres came to temperature.
My passing move on Kimi was very close and I almost lost my nose. It was an aggressive but fair fight. The team is now working in the right direction to make our car even better and the championship is always open. I always leave my emotions behind when I get into the race car, but it is impossible for me not to want to cry when I hear the Brazilian anthem on the podium. It makes me think of my family and my father who sold his car so I could start racing. Your last win is always your best and this once certainly ranks highly."

Michael Schumacher: "It was an interesting and very busy race. To be honest, it was difficult to have an overview of what happened from the cockpit. Waiting in pit lane behind Rubens for the first pit stop meant we both lost a bit of time and we lost some more as the mechanics had to wait for a gap in the traffic to let Rubens out. But it was definitely the right decision to come in and wait rather than do another lap. Rubens drove a perfect race with some outstanding passing moves to fight his way through the field. He deserves the victory and I am happy for him. As for myself, fourth is not too bad considering what happened and in terms of the championship, my lead over Kimi has only been reduced by one point."

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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd, Ralf Schumacher - 9th )

Sam Michael: "Juan did a very good job today and Ralf would have been further up, but he sustained some damage to the bodywork which required an extra stop to rectify. In summary we have had a good strategy which we adapted around the events of the race. The first time the safety car came out was to our advantage, but the second safety car came out too early for us and as a consequence we had to change our pit stop strategy. But the pit stops worked well and the team did a good job. We are now looking forward to Hockenheim and we believe we can be strong there as well."

Mario Thiessen: "We witnessed a very dangerous situation today when a person ran onto the track during the race, but fortunately no-one was hurt. Juan Pablo had a very good performance today, driving from 7th to 2nd and making the most of the circumstances. Ralf race was good until a guidevane was torn off and blocked the airflow. This caused the water temperature to rise and Ralf had to undertake an additional stop to remove the debris. Without this incident, Ralf would have also been at the front."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "This was the most exciting race of the year, and I really enjoyed it. I was pleased with the pace we showed today as we were able to keep up with the Ferraris. The main difficulty I had during the race was when the safety car came out for the second time, and after pitting I found myself back in p13. But I was able to catch up quickly, and the fact that I was just behind Rubens made it even easier as he was helping to clear traffic for me. My car was strong and I cannot be anything but happy as I managed to move up from thirteenth to second at the finish. These points will certainly help for both Championships."

Ralf Schumacher: "This was obviously not what I expected from this race, and the result was obviously disappointing. The extra stop cost me a decent finish, and after it had happened, the race was more or less over for me. It was just bad luck. So what is important is to forget this race as quickly as possible to concentrate on my home race in Hockenheim."

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McLaren (  Kimi Raikkonen - 3rd, David Coulthard - 5th )

Ron Dennis: "A great race for the TV viewers and spectators alike. Inevitably there will be criticism as a result of one fanatic's actions, but this sort of thing has happened before in other countries and even in other sports. Nevertheless the safety car deployment is a normal occurrence in modern Grand Prix racing, and I feel that the team responded well to that plus the other challenges of this race and our strategy helped the drivers' achieve their point finishes. Kimi's race was unfortunately handicapped by the performance of his third set of tyres whilst David's starting position certainly made things difficult. That said they both drove outstanding races."

Norbert Haug: "This was a great race which saw Kimi keeping his Championship hopes alive by finishing ahead of his main competitors. David drove a strong race and coming into our home Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the World Championship is as exciting and open as it has not been for a long time."

Kimi Raikkonen: "The most important thing is that we managed to close the gap in the Drivers' World Championship by one point. I made a good start to take second and was able to put pressure on Trulli. I saw the weird guy climbing over the high fence but had already passed when he actually went on to the track. I probably could have finished second, but halfway through my final stint I was really struggling with the balance on my last set of tyres and subsequently lost a lot of time. To make matters worse I lost the rear momentarily braking at Stowe which allowed Montoya to get past. At the end of the day you never know, later in the season the one point we scored today might prove crucial."

David Coulthard: "Considering my start position we can be pleased with fifth. Obviously an unusual race with this lunatic on the track, but the safety car was deployed quickly. I was able to gain a couple of positions at the start, but things were looking difficult when my head restraint fixings broke. I had to come into the pits at which point the team also changed the strategy. The balance of the car became better during the race so I was able to do some really quick laps at the end, which ultimately helped me to overtake Jarno and claim fifth."

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Renault (Jarno Trulli - 6th, Fernando Alonso - Retired )

Mike Gascoyne: "A very disappointing end to a competitive weekend. The two safety car incidents ruined our race: Jarno was pulling away from the cars behind and, when he was in the lead, things were trouble-free. As soon as he fell back into traffic, though, his lack of straight-line speed hurt him and he lost places. Fernando lost out by coming into the pits second at his first stop, and thus having to queue. He was driving well to climb back up the field when his engine stalled at the second stop. The car suffered a major electrical problem, and Fernando had to retire when the gearbox would no longer change gear."

Denis Chevrier: "This was a race in which being able to defend one's position was essential, given the number of overtaking manoeuvres we witnessed. The start of the race was in line with our expectations, but was disrupted by some unusual incidents which hurt us, and even though we go home with more points, we can only be disappointed after qualifying so well."

Jarno Trulli: "Mixed feelings for me at the end of this race: on the positive side, I scored three more points, but it's a disappointing result given where I qualified. The car was perfect at the start of the race, and I was pulling away from Raikkonen, but both safety car periods cost me. After my first stop, the car's handling changed, and I lost grip all the way round the circuit. I was pushing all the way through the race, and had to fight hard to defend my position: it was right on the limit a few times, but always fair. Overall, I am not sure whether to be satisfied or disappointed."

Fernando Alonso: "I was unfortunate not to complete the race, because I think I would have finished in a strong position. The car was handling well, and I felt I made the right tyre choice. At my second stop, the idle speed of the engine was very low, and it stalled. The mechanics pushed me to get the car going again, and then I had to drive without traction control: it was a little uncomfortable, but I was quite quick even so."

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Toyota ( Cristiano da Matta - 7th, Olivier Panis - 11th  )

Ove Andersson: "It is a fantastic to finish seventh and to get another two points, taking our tally to seven. This result is important for our progression in the championship and encouragingly reflects where we are in terms of our competitiveness at the moment. We actually led the race for some 18 laps - almost one-third race distance - and it was incredible to see Toyota in first and second for a while early in the grand prix. Cristiano did a brilliant job throughout the race, as did Olivier, who kept third place for as long as Cristiano was leading. The team performed magnificently and made sure our pit stops were once again first class, which contributed as much to these two points as anything else."

Cristiano da Matta: "I thoroughly enjoyed that race and I was quite happy with the way things went for us. Seventh place is a nice reward for our performance this weekend. We had a good strategy and good pit stops, using the first safety car period to come in for fuel, which put me in the lead at that time and Olivier second. I'm very used to leading races, but this was the first time in F1, which is a special feeling. I knew it wouldn't last long, so I enjoyed it while I could and pushed hard to build up as much time advantage as possible. We have been gradually improving over the past few races and we are setting ourselves up to be in a strong position for the rest of this season, but more importantly for 2004."

Olivier Panis: "We opted for a three-stop strategy today and I think we achieved the best we could. When the safety car was sent out for the first time, the team reacted well to call both cars in for fuel, resulting in Cristiano and myself being in first and second positions for a while, which was fantastic for the team to see. We are improving the car race-by-race, and we proved this weekend that we can be competitive throughout qualifying and the race. Overall, it has been an extremely positive weekend for the team."

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BAR ( Jenson Button - 8th, Jacques Villeneuve - 10th )

David Richards: "This afternoon I think that Jenson has demonstrated the full scale of his talent. He drove an aggressive but extremely mature race, pushing all the way, and that one point may well count for a lot at the end of the season. Jacques didn't manage to find the same balance and I am sure the end result is a disappointment for him. Honda did a great job with the engine and the new aero package has given us a real boost. The work the guys did in the pitstops was second to none and that made all the difference in getting that valuable point, so overall the team should be very pleased with their performance."

Geoff Willis: "The cars ran very well this weekend with the new aero kit and Honda engine upgrade, so it is good to leave with a point and finish both cars after such an exciting and eventful race. Jenson drove a very impressive race to recover eighth place after starting from the back of the grid, helped by an excellent second stint and sharp work from the pit crew. By contrast to his qualifying performance, Jacques found his race balance elusive but rallied with a string of impressive laps in the closing stages and in fact set a quicker fastest lap than Jenson. This has been a good performance step forward and reinforces our determination to keep improving the car throughout the rest of the season."

Shuhei Nakamoto: "Both our guys drove really well today and we showed that we've made steps to increase our competitiveness. Jenson scored a point having started from the back of the grid - we must carry that determination into the final races of the year."

Jenson Button: "That was a lot of fun! It was always going to be hard from the back but I don't think we could have done any better than that - it was one of the best performances of my career. I had nothing to lose so I went for it from the start. I made up five places on the first lap so I knew I had a car I could fight with. I was starting to work my way through the field when we had to pit under the safety car after the spectator ran on to the track, and I had to queue for a short time behind Jacques. I dropped back down to 18th and had to start all over again which was massively frustrating! I got a bit of oversteer but it went away, the tyres settled down and the balance was good.
The car felt great. I had a lot of fun carving my way through the field and it was a great feeling for Jacques and I to be fighting with Michael. I got a good second stop to get back on track ahead of Jacques, then I was really starting to reel in Alonso. With him out of the race I was able to start chasing da Matta but in the end we just ran out of laps. It was a really special race for me today and I'm pleased that we have a point at the end of it because the team have worked really hard to get the car back up there."

Jacques Villeneuve: "Today has been disappointing after the good Saturday we had. The new car is definitely an improvement and the engine worked well from beginning to end, but the car didn't work as well in race trim today which is strange because it's usually the other way round. We fought as hard as we could but today the safety car didn't work in our favour. I wasn't able to finish in the points but at least the team got a Championship point which is very important."

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Sauber ( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 12th, Nick Heidfeld - 17th )

Peter Sauber: "I believe that we could have retrieved something from our difficult initial situation. The cars performed well, particularly Heinz-Harald's. The strategies were optimal as well, but the race was packed with incidents for both drivers. Heinz-Harald was not able to start well, most probably due to a problem in the launch system which must await analysis. He then had to chase up from the back. But he was able to attack Panis in the last third of the race. Nick was able to gain some positions before he had to come into the pits because of a flat right front tyre, and after this extra stop he had no further influence on the race result."

Heinz Harald Frentzen: "I cannot say what happened at the start. All I know is that luckily I could stagger off the line. We need to analyse the data. Later I was able to make up some places and I wanted to come into the pits during the first safety car period, but we decided I should stay out. When the safety car was deployed the second time I came into the pits right behind Nick, and lost time. This race was definitely packed with excitement, with the spectator running on to track, Fisichella going off the road right in front of me, and finally Panis nearly hitting me as he came out of the pits."

Nick Heidfeld: "The race was very disappointing, even though I made a good start that won me some positions. When the safety car came out the second time because of the spectator on the track we decided that I should come into the pits earlier than scheduled. Then I had a flat right front tyre and had to pit again, so Fisichella passed me.
That time the team filled the tank to the brim, which had enabled me to make it to the end. But it also made the car's balance difficult, and at the same time I was told to save fuel so I couldn't drive at maximum speed. Then the engineers warned me that the front right tyre pressure was too low, so I was forced to make a third stop."

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Jordan ( Ralph Firman - 13th, Giancarlo Fisichella - Retired )

Eddie Jordan: "It should be very satisfying for Ralph to finish with a good drive in his first home Grand Prix. It was a slightly more encouraging race for us than the last few which gives a bit more motivation with our push to improve performance. And well done, Rubens."

Gary Anderson: "I think that was a good race for punters and TV - it was a spectacle. Our only drama was when Giancarlo had a right rear suspension failure - it was a low mileage component so we'll have to look into why it failed. We tried everything we could with the safety car to help our position, but having taken advantage of the first time it came out, the second time probably didn't do any good for Ralph, and it equalised itself out between all the cars. We were running all right in the race when we got into it and if we had qualified a bit better, we may have been able to get some points. So we should take some encouragement and keep working at it."

Ralph Firman: "The team made a really good call with the first pit stop and we're were up there in points positions for a while. Obviously it was a shame not to score any at the end but we need to be a bit quicker. The car had oversteer during the second stint but it was much better and very consistent for the last stint. All in all, it was quite a good first British Grand Prix so I'm pretty happy."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "The race wasn't too bad today. I was up there fighting, the pace wasn't bad, the car balance felt good, and we had slightly better grip, although we still need more. I had to retire when something broke, I think the right rear suspension failed. I'm disappointed that it's another race I haven't finished due to reliability issues but it's positive that we were better with our pace."

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Jaguar ( Mark Webber - 14th, Antonio Pizzonia - Retired )

Dr. Mark Gillan: "We knew that we had a tough race ahead of us and within the first fifteen laps we had had two safety cars deployed and knew that our race-strategy had been compromised. Both drivers drove a strong race despite suffering some issues, amongst which was Antonio having to change his steering wheel in his first pitstop. The team did a good job and Antonio continued to drive a strong race until lap 33 when he had an engine issue that ended his race. Until we get the car back we cannot confirm the reasons behind this, but of course we will have a full investigation back at the factory.
Mark was also running a strong race, despite being clearly shocked by coming across a spectator on lap 11! I am very pleased that no-one was injured. Overall, after all the hard work that the team has put in for their home race it is disappointing not to reward the team or the fans. However, with this in mind we have collected a good amount of data over the weekend and we will go to Hockenheim with this in our back pockets. The true and accurate pace and performance of the car was not really given the opportunity to be showcased this weekend."

Mark Webber: "That was my toughest weekend and race of the season so far. The afternoon was very long as we battled against debris and spectators on the track. I got caught up behind some traffic after my first stop and that did not help my strategy. However even with all that in mind, I am pleased to have finished and very pleased not to have killed someone in the process.
We have certainly learnt a lot this weekend and I know that we take a lot of data away with us this weekend that we can work on over the next two weeks in the run-up to the next round. Our reliability had gone from strength to strength and despite my points scoring coming to an end I am positive about the next five races and I am looking forward to scooping up some points that may come our way over the next few weekends."

Antonio Pizzonia: "I am disappointed not to have finished the race, particularly because I had started in tenth position and I was in a good place for chasing for points. My car had been suffering from a few issues over the weekend and I was actually racing in my T-Car. The team had done a good job to pull this together and the balance was good.
However, I had a steering wheel issue early on that we had to change and then a small chassis issue that did not help my cause. Despite those I carried on and was enjoying the race. My pace was competitive until lap 33 when I suffered an engine issue that was fatal to my race. We are still working on what the reason behind this was, but realistically we cannot confirm the cause of until we have the cars back. I go to Hockenheim having learnt a lot from our home race."

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Minardi ( Jos Verstappen - 15th, Justin Wilson - 16th )

Paul Stoddart: "In what was an action-packed British Grand Prix with incredible levels of reliability from the cars, the European Minardis of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson completed the race in 15th and 16th positions. Despite those finishing positions, though, we found we were able to fight with the Saubers and Jordans, and are happy that both cars demonstrated excellent reliability, allowing us see the chequered flag again this afternoon."

Jos Verstappen: "It was a very difficult race with little grip available, but it was good we finished. That was positive, as was the fact my neck held up. The pit stops were good -- the team brought me in at the right times, and the guys did a nice job. All in all, it has been a bit of a frustrating weekend, but now we concentrate on the next race, at Hockenheim."

Justin Wilson: "It was quite a tough race, and although it was a shame we weren't close enough to battle with any of the other drivers at the start, it was nice to pass one or two people. Unfortunately, the auto upshift failed to work coming out of Club, and Firman was able to get by. Also on that opening lap, Jos drifted wide at one point and hit my front wing. The damage meant the car understeered until the guys were able to change the nose at the first pit stop.
After that, I just pushed as hard as I could with the aim of getting the car to the finish. The other thing that was really noticeable out there today was how windy it was -- there were about 10 large flags I could see around the circuit, and they were all blowing in different directions every lap. It meant the car would suddenly lose downforce when you weren't expecting it, which was a bit disconcerting. Despite the problems, though, it was nice to finish ahead of a Sauber today."

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