Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
( Rubens Barrichello - 1st, Michael Schumacher - 2nd )
Jean Todt: "A few laps but good ones is how
one can summarise this Friday, in the light of this afternoon's qualifying
result. The weather meant we did not do many laps in free practice and so
it is difficult to get an idea of the pecking order, especially as the
conditions were also changing during qualifying. Having said that, we are
confident about the rest of the weekend. We know we have a very good
car-engine package and have excellent Bridgestone tyres at our disposal."
Ross Brawn: "I hope it rains again on Sunday! The drivers
are happy with the way this afternoon's qualifying went in these difficult
conditions. They suffered from some aquaplaning but it was nothing
serious. Track conditions changed during the qualifying session and this
could have had an effect on the final outcome. Compared with the other
drivers who made their runs at the start, we can say that we gained a
decisive advantage because of the difference in tyre performance."
Rubens Barrichello: "Obviously I am happy with our
performance today. The car handled very cleanly even with all the water on
the track. We had to improvise a bit when it came to the set-up, given
that track conditions changed between the morning free practice and the
afternoon qualifying. The team did a great job, providing me with a very
well balanced car. With so much rain, it is obvious that the tyres had a
lot to do with today's result."
Michael Schumacher: "It was not easy getting used to the
track conditions which were so different to this morning's. There was a
lot of aquaplaning and therefore it was hard to do a time on just one
flying lap. In any case, things went pretty well and it was important to
ensure we start towards the end of tomorrow's decisive qualifying session.
I went off on the entry to the hairpin because of a bit of aquaplaning,
just when I was braking and so I ended up on the asphalt escape road."
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( Nick Heidfeld - 3rd, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 7th )
Peter Sauber: "It was an extremely
interesting qualifying session. Both our drivers were able to achieve very
good results. Heinz's seventh place and, particularly, Nick's third, are a
great source of motivation for the whole team. We should also remember
that Bridgestone contributed to this good result."
"This morning I was struggling with the traffic and didn't really get
a clear run, but my qualifying lap went well even though it still wasn't
optimal. That was not possible under the weather conditions that we
encountered. I am very happy about my result, especially as it is not easy to
drive with so much water on the track and the car aquaplaning everywhere. I
had a very good set-up thanks to my engineers, and now I'm hoping that it
rains over the next two days, too."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I hope that I have less water on the track when I start tomorrow's
qualifying session in 14th position. The system of starting in reverse
order for Saturday qualifying is quite hard, and it is often just a
question of luck."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 7th, Ralph Firman - 13th )
"Ralph drove a good lap, did well to reap the benefits and I'm
pleased for him. Giancarlo's lap didn't go quite so well, he had the heaviest
rain when he went out and suffered quite a bit with aquaplaning. Anyway, we've
got one car at each end of the starting order for tomorrow's qualifying and as
we aren't sure about the weather prediction, it might just work in our
Ralph Firman: "I had a reasonably good lap and was a little
bit luckier with the weather than others were. The important thing is not to
make any big mistakes and the car felt really good on these tyres so hopefully
it will keep raining for tomorrow."
"Unfortunately I went out at the worst possible moment. The rain was
at its heaviest and so I am in the last few places, along with Trulli who went
out around the same time. I'm not really happy but at least it's not Saturday,
which is the important one."
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( Fernando Alonso - 5th, Jarno Trulli - 19th )
Pat Symonds: "Single lap qualifying is, at all times, a
difficult process for the drivers, who must find the correct balance
between speed and safety, and conditions like we saw today only make the
job more difficult. Fernando managed to find that balance today whereas
Jarno seemed to get the worst of the rain, and suffered as a consequence."
Denis Chevrier: "A characteristically unusual wet session,
with big gaps between the different runners, something which is also true
of our drivers. Driving in wet conditions is always about judging the
risks you can take: Fernando came out of the session as the fastest
Michelin car while Jarno seemed to have more difficulty. On the technical
side, the data we gathered during our two 'Heathrow' hours this morning
has been our most valuable exercise today. Given that our direct
competitors could only complete very limited dry running in free practice,
our work today could prove significant for the rest of the weekend."
Fernando Alonso: "First and foremost, I had a pretty
cautious lap today. In these conditions, the main thing is to not go off
the track, which I managed to avoid; our package could have been even
faster I think, but we didn't get much running in the wet this morning and
my timed lap was my first proper 'quick' lap on a wet track. Taking that
into account, I think we can be pretty pleased with our performance today."
Jarno Trulli: "What can I say? As I left the garage, it was
as if a thunderstorm had just started -- it was raining much more heavily,
which meant my lap was much slower than our rivals. The car was
aquaplaning everywhere on the circuit, and especially in the left-hand
curve after the second hairpin. Obviously, I'm very disappointed with
today's result, but the consolation is that this is only the Friday
session. Things can only get better tomorrow."
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 6th, David Coulthard - 8th )
"Variable weather conditions with the inevitable aquaplaning problems
somewhat distorted the outcome of qualifying. Hopefully the weather will
improve for tomorrow and allow everybody to optimise their cars."
"The gaps to the leading cars in these difficult conditions say it
all. In the rain we havenít been competitive today."
"There is no doubt that today was quite difficult because of the
weather conditions. Iím getting used to being the first car out for
qualifying but it does make it more difficult as there are no lines to
follow. I ran wide during my lap but it was really not a big problem and
in the circumstances I think we did the best we could."
"Not a lot to say as it was just too wet for anything, really. There
was no grip and I think we were all just aquaplaning and concentrating on
getting the car back in one piece. However letís see what happens
tomorrow when hopefully we will get a chance to run the car in drier
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( Mark Webber - 9th, Antonio Pizzonia - 17th )
Dr. Mark Gillan: "The whole day has actually gone
quite well for us. The two-hour morning test was completed with both cars and
our job list was fully achieved. We covered set-up, balance and tyre options
as well as undertaking some work in preparation for Sunday's race. Mark had a
slight off this morning at the last corner which was a combination of driver
error and to be honest, balance, which at the time wasn't at it's optimum
because of some wing sweep work we were doing.
We gave Mark the T-car while his race car was repaired but nonetheless, we
achieved a lot of mileage this morning and it's a shame the qualifying session
was so wet. We are, however, very well prepared for the weekend ahead and
credit to both drivers today for doing a good job in what were atrocious
Mark Webber: "I'm pleased with what we achieved out there
given the terrible conditions. It's extremely tough for any driver just to
go out there and manage a quick time. The track has no grip anywhere and
aquaplaning was a big problem. Our two-hour test session, however, proved
very valuable today and while the rain has spoiled qualifying for
everyone, our preparation work from this morning should hold us in good
shape for the weekend ahead - providing we have some dry conditions to
take advantage of."
Antonio Pizzonia: "That was quite frightening
to be honest. Just keeping the car in a straight line was a challenge
because of its tendency to aquaplane in a straight line. The aim of
sessions like this is to bring the car home and not get over ambitious. We
saw several drivers suffer and spin off today and my goal was to nurse the
It is a little disappointing given the good work we achieved this morning
and had it been a dry qualifying session, we could have reaped some reward
from our testing and Free Practice work. It was, of course, very nice to
finish P1 after the Free Practice session this morning but the changing
weather conditions played a big part. The team is well prepared for the
weekend ahead and assuming it's dry tomorrow, we should be able to go out
there and realise our full potential around this race track."
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Toyota ( Olivier
Panis - 10th , Cristiano da Matta - 16th )
Ange Pasquali: "We are happy with how we have
started this weekend. We had a wet, but trouble-free practice session,
which meant we could get our car in a good shape to suit the wet. We are
obviously pleased with the qualifying results of Olivier and Cristiano
given the awful state of the track today. With the track as wet as it was
today, it is impossible to gauge the overall performance of the cars
because no driver completed his flying lap on the same track, but
generally it was a good day with no major problems. If the weather
continues like this tomorrow, the rest of the weekend could be a bit of a
Olivier Panis: "For everybody, it was incredibly wet out there
today, but I tried to do the best lap possible to put us in a good
position for second qualifying tomorrow. I think we have done a good job,
especially considering that I have never previously tested the Michelin
tyres we put on today. In these conditions, things look promising and it
is a positive start for the first day. Of course, I hope it gets even
better tomorrow. We are certainly going in the right direction."
Cristiano da Matta: "It wasn't such a good day for me today.
The conditions varied so much throughout the practice session that it was
difficult to do any meaningful work. It was wet this morning, but it was
even wetter in qualifying, which didn't help grip levels on my flying lap.
It is always a tough challenge in the wet; there is absolutely no room for
error and it is much harder to put a perfect lap together. It was quite a
benefit knowing the track, particularly as we didn't have any proper dry
running this morning."
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( Jos Verstappen - 11th, Justin Wilson - 17th )
Paul Stoddart: "Weíre obviously ecstatic about todayís
performance, although sadly, it has come on a weekend that has so far been
somewhat overshadowed by Formula One politics. In the equalised conditions
created by the rain, where all the Bridgestone teams are on the same tyres and
the Michelin teams likewise, Minardiís true potential was able to show
through. I must particularly thank Bridgestone for the fantastic wet tyres
they provided us with today."
Jos Verstappen: "I
think this was a good performance for us, and it could have been even nicer if
it hadnít rained hard again late in the qualifying session Ė I think maybe
even a top-five position would have been possible. Still, these are the best
positions Minardi has had in qualifying so far this season, and although there
is no doubt the rain helped us with that today, it was very difficult out
there this afternoon. We were struggling a bit with the set-up of the car this
morning, but then improved it significantly, and it worked well on the heavy
wet tyres. Iím very happy with this result, especially for the team, and now
we will see what happens tomorrow."
Justin Wilson: "The conditions were very difficult
this afternoon, just trying to work out where the grip was and where to push,
and where not to. I locked a wheel at the hairpin under braking, which caused
a bit of a moment, but the biggest problem was just trying to keep the car
going in roughly the right direction on the straights. Tomorrow is, of course,
another day, but this result is a great boost for everyone on the team."
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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -
Schumacher - 15th )
Sam Michael: "When
Juan was running he locked up the wheels into turn 7 and that cost him
about one and a half seconds. He was running in quite difficult
conditions. Then when Ralf was out on track it looked as if the rain was a
bit heavier, but anyway these could be the conditions we are going to have
for the weekend and we've got a bit of work to do on the set-up for
Mario Theissen: "The
decisive factors in this qualifying session were obviously the weather,
the very little time one had to set up the car for these conditions and of
course the tyres. Our two drivers used different tyres, Ralf the shallow
wet, Juan Pablo the full wet, but the result was similar. Neither of them
is really happy with their times."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "Not
really the ideal condition for a qualifying lap, today. We decided to go
for the full wet tyre at the very last minute after we saw the other
Michelin drivers who had started before me were struggling on shallow wet
tyres, but it wasn't good either because it was raining too hard. I had
poor grip and the handling of the car was very difficult. We can work on
this and improve our car for tomorrow, when track conditions could
possibly be very different. Anyway, this is what we've got at the moment."
Ralf Schumacher: "I
was quite unlucky in my fast lap, as just before I went out onto the track
it started to rain even harder. If you compare my times to those of Jarno
Trulli who ran right after me, he was three seconds slower, so it is easy
to figure out just how difficult it was to keep the car on the track in
that phase. In the morning's free practice, when it started raining hard,
I was actually one of the quickest. This means that we should be capable
of being competitive in such weather conditions, even if this wasn't
evident in today's qualifying."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
14th, Jacques Villeneuve - 20th )
"It's good to see Jenson back in the cockpit after his enforced
lay-off since Monaco a couple of weeks ago. I dare say that, like the rest of
us, he was hoping for a bright sunny day today to settle back into the car,
but conditions here have got progressively worse. In the morning session we
were fairly competitive in the wet and therefore it's disappointing that we
didn't translate this into a better performance this afternoon. The engineers
are confident that they understand the problem and, with similarly wet
conditions expected tomorrow, I'm sure we'll be in a better position for final
"Both drivers pushed hard today in difficult weather conditions. It's
a shame Jacques spun at the end of his lap as he was looking good through
the first and second sectors. Hopefully we'll be able to show how
competitive we are in final qualifying tomorrow."
"This was a disappointing first qualifying session for us, both
drivers struggling for grip despite the Bridgestones being the better tyre
in this afternoon's tricky conditions. In this morning's free practice
session we had a sensor problem on Jenson's car which lost him some track
time, otherwise both drivers are reasonably happy with the balance in the
damp conditions. Clearly we need to understand our poor performance this
afternoon in order to rectify it for tomorrow."
"It was pretty manic out there because there was so much standing water
and we weren't able to generate the tyre grip. My main objective was to get
the car to the finish and it was a fairly tidy lap under the circumstances. We
haven't yet had the conditions to be able to weigh up where we are, but it
looks like it's going to be a wet weekend so it's certainly going to be
interesting. It's good to be back in the car after Monaco. I haven't had any
dry running yet but I'm feeling good."
"It wasn't a bad lap for these conditions. It's very wet and I just got
caught out at the end there. Today's session doesn't really count so all we
can do is push hard and see where the limit is. I guess I found the limit in
the last corner but the crowd seemed to enjoy it! Tyre-wise we seem OK in the
wet, so I'll be hoping for more of the same conditions for final qualifying
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