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

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Drivers Championship Constructors Championship
Reports & Results

What the teams and drivers said - Sunday

Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 5th )

Jean Todt: "It was an incredible race! Michael delivered a perfect performance despite suffering with brake problems for much of the race. Rubens also did a good job. When he pitted on lap 2 to change the nose, damaged in a collision with Alonso, we changed his strategy, allowing him to bring home valuable points in the race for the Constructors' Championship. Today's was the sixtieth win since I joined Ferrari and probably one of our most hard won victories.
The team did an excellent job in terms of strategy and during the pit stops. Also vital was the help which we received as usual from our technical partners, especially Bridgestone who provided very competitive tyres and Shell, with a fuel which was ideally suited to the characteristics of this track. We have reached the halfway point of the season, leading both championships. We can expect the second half to be very tough because the opposition is very strong. We think we have all the elements in place to reach the targets we set ourselves at the start of the year."

Ross Brawn: "This was one of the best races I have ever seen. I am delighted with Michael's win and it is a shame about Rubens, as he too could have been up with the front runners. Michael did a very good job of controlling the race despite brake wear problems right from the early stages. We breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the chequered flag! The strategy worked well, but the deciding factor was the way Michael drove."

Michael Schumacher: "This was the ideal result at the end of a very tough and tight race. I had to be careful to look after the brakes so I did not push too hard at first, just maintaining my pace after a very good start. I was able to stay close to Ralf and only really pushed hard in the period around the pit stops. There was a time when I thought I was going to pass Ralf, but then his tyres seemed to improve and I could not get by. But the mechanics did a great job in the pit stop to put me in the lead. Of course, it is important to be leading the championship in what I have always said will be a hard season with a tough fight to the end. As for having 999 points, in Germany that number means you have to buy everyone a drink, so we will see what happens tonight!."

Rubens Barrichello: "My race was conditioned by what happened at the start. We were all very close and, with Webber on the outside of me, I touched Alonso under braking and damaged the front wing. As I had to stop to change it, we changed the strategy. Then, during the race, I had problems with the brakes and also the gearbox electronics. On top of that, after I lost the left turning vane the car was no longer perfectly balanced. Despite all that, I was able to control Raikkonen when he closed up, thus managing to finish fifth. All in all, I can be happy with the final result as I was fifth on the grid, but virtually last after two laps."

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Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 2nd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 3rd )

Sam Michael: "It is a good result for the team, although it is a shame we could not overtake Michael. He was quick on his first stint, but had to slow down from his second stint onwards for some reason. It is obvious that the performance of our car package is definitely improving, and the whole team did a good job here. We are looking forward to the Nurburgring where we will have some more improvements."

Mario Theissen: "It has been an exciting race from the first until the very last lap. Michael Schumacher was the one to beat here, he was strong as expected. It means a great deal to our team to be with both the drivers on the podium again, the last time this happened was at Hockenheim last year. Locking out the front row and coming second and third in the race here confirms the performance we have shown in Monaco. We have also demonstrated that we can achieve top results on a circuit which presents a very different challenge."

Ralf Schumacher: "Eight points for me and six for Juan, these two podium finishes are super for our team. Obviously it is a bit disappointing again not to win after I have set pole position but I could not quite achieve the victory here. There was no way I could overtake Michael even though I was stuck on his tail. Also my left rear view mirror broke and it was bothering me as it was even hitting my helmet in some corners. I never changed my front tyres during this race because after having experienced some graining problems in the first part of the race I did not want to drive through a performance dip again. This result clearly shows how much we have improved and that we are on the right way up after a difficult start to the season."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a good performance from us today but we had hoped for an even better result. I made a mistake on lap two and lost a few positions so I had to fight my way up again. I had a hard race. Due to some brake problems I missed the chicane a couple of times and from lap one I had to use the manual downshift, which I am not really used to. I had the same problem Ralf had with the rear mirror which broke and was flopping in front of my face and was distracting me. In the end I could catch up with Ralf and Michael but had no chance to pass them. To-day we proved again that our cars have improved and that we are definitely on our way up."

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Renault (Fernando Alonso - 4th, Jarno Trulli - Retired )

Flavio Briatore: "To finish just barely two seconds from the winner is an incredible result for Fernando. We had good pit-stops today and the whole Team, both on the engine and the chassis sides, did a fantastic job. We are pleased to have strengthened our fourth position in the Constructors' Championship, and for Fernando to have confirmed his third place in the Driver's."

Pat Symonds: "After such a fantastic race, it is frustrating not to finish on the podium, but that does not detract from a fantastic result. Fernando drove impeccably, and the car and tyres were faultless. It is unfortunate that Jarno was unable to join his team-mate at the end of the race, but the damage sustained in his collision in the opening laps affected his car, eventually causing his retirement."

Denis Chevrier: "From a sporting perspective, it was an extraordinary race for Fernando, who drove brilliantly throughout. On a circuit which we didn't expect to favour us, we showed ourselves capable of placing at least one of our drivers amongst the leaders. On the technical side, we saw one of our cars run without any problems, while the other suffered problems from the grid onwards. Notwithstanding this, the real motive for satisfaction at the halfway stage of the season is to have confirmed our status as legitimate challengers for race wins."

Fernando Alonso: "I'm happy with the result, especially because I finished the race in the leading group. For the first time this year, we were really fighting for the win, and it was a good feeling! I lost some time during my first stint, but managed to catch it up again at the end, even though I could not get past the cars in front. It has been a very positive weekend, and I particularly want to thank the team because I didn't have a single problem with the car all weekend. We go to the next race in a strong position in the Constructors' and the Driver's Championships."

Jarno Trulli: "To put it simply, nothing went right for me today. At the start I seemed to find a lot of traffic on the run to the first corner, then Pizzonia hit the rear of my car in the second hairpin on lap two, which punctured the tyre. After that, I was having trouble controlling the car and I pitted a second time, where the Team identified a broken left front wheel. When I got back out on the circuit, I spun on the exit of Turn 10 with a traction control problem, and then had to retire because of the damage sustained in the collision. To say it was a bad day for me would be quite an understatement."

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McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 6th, David Coulthard - Retired )

Ron Dennis: "A hard day at the office. David's retirement was caused by a transmission failure whilst Kimi's progress was slower than possible as a result of higher brake wear than we anticipated. Kimi's puncture cost him fifth place, but nevertheless his efforts were rewarded with three valuable points. The pace of the car was enough to win the race, and we will therefore maintain our low risk strategy for the introduction of the MP4-18."

Norbert Haug: "The outcome of the race is acceptable taking into consideration that Kimi started last. Our lap times during the race were competitive and three points away from the top at the half way point of the season are not a lot. I'm sorry for David who also could have finished in the points today. We are now looking forward to the next Grand Prix at the N�rburgring where we will try hard to keep the fight for the World Championship open."

Kimi Raikkonen: "Today's result is not a disaster at all and the gap to Michael is only three points with plenty more races to go. I started the race from the pitlane but after 10-15 laps, the team told me to save my brakes so I was not able to push and if you don't push, you don't gain places. However I was able to make some progress through the field. I lost one position to Barrichello when I had a puncture on my right rear tyre and had to go into the pits a bit earlier than scheduled. The whole team and myself look forward to fighting back at the next race."

David Coulthard: "Obviously a non-finish is never good, but that is the way it went today. Initially I lost fourth and fifth gear but it was possible to keep going to try and score some points. However, eventually I also lost seventh gear, which made things impossible. Until then the race was encouraging as we were on the pace and once I was in clean air we were running as fast as the guys at the front. So we have the pace we just need to qualify better and ensure reliability. Let's hope that happens at the next race!."

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Jaguar ( Mark Webber - 7th, Antonio Pizzonia - Retired - Classified 10th )

Dr. Mark Gillan: "Overall, we have had a difficult weekend, particularly with the weather conditions which hampered our preparation, albeit the two-hour Friday testing session helped considerably in compensating for this. Achieving reliability was the target we set ourselves and we are very pleased to have scored points at what is regarded by everyone as a 'car breaker' circuit. Only nine cars finished the race and while we suffered some niggles like brakes, for example, we are very satisfied with the speed and balance of the car.
Mark's race went pretty much according to plan today. He made a good start and maintained position very well. His first pit-stop was compromised slightly by a fuel hose problem but apart from that, Mark's day went according to plan. Like everyone today, we suffered from the punishment the brakes take and towards the end of the race, Mark backed off a little in an effort to preserve the car and bring it home in a pleasing 7th place. Antonio also made an excellent start and made up a couple of places before a coming together with the Renault of Jarno Trulli. This caused severe damage to his front nose cone and we had no choice but to call him in and put a new nose on the car.
We topped him up with fuel, made an adjustment to the strategy and sent him back out, albeit his brakes suffered so much that he had no choice but to retire one lap from the end. We do, however, walk away from the weekend with more championship points, an awful lot of information and achievement in certain target areas that will now allow us to progress onto the next stage of development with the Jaguar R4. We still have a long way to go before we challenge the front runners on a regular basis but the fact that we continue to take positive steps forward on all fronts is key."

Mark Webber: "Yet again the Jaguar has come home strong today and proved it's pace against the front runners. I made a good clean start and got through the notorious first corner without any problems. In fact, I was trying to sneak onto the inside of Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) as we entered turn two but couldn't pull it off. After that, I was happy with the pace and balance of the car. Our top speeds were quite encouraging but it was hard to maintain the pace through the third sector. Our strategy worked well today and the only real issues I suffered from were brakes and oversteer.
The oversteer kicked in after my first stop when we changed the rear tyre only and combined with the excellent worn fronts, I fought oversteer for a few laps. Because of the terrible weather this weekend, we have suffered from limited dry running and given this, the team did an excellent recovery job to help pull-off a 7th place finish today. The direction and approach this team is adopting is paying dividends and as long as we continue to maintain this upward curve, I'm sure more points will follow quite soon."

Antonio Pizzonia: "A frustrating end to what should have been a good race for me. I made a good start and passed two cars that put me into 11th place before the end of the first lap. Our good work, however, was undone when I collided into the back of Jarno Trulli who was being passed around the outside of Turn 10 by David Coulthard. Jarno braked very suddenly and in the process, I lost the front cone off my car. The immediate pit stop put me one lap down and after that, there was little opportunity to make an impact on the race.
Nonetheless, generating race mileage is important for my development and being out there for a race distance was valuable experience for me and valuable data for the team. We came very close to having both Jaguars finish today but my brakes were completely worn towards the end and I had no choice but to call it a day on the penultimate lap. Team wise, we have learned an incredible amount this weekend and in addition, we have two more championship points to take away with us. A tough weekend but one which ended-up with reward in the end."

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Toyota ( Olivier Panis - 8th, Cristiano da Matta - Retired - Classified 11th )

Ove Andersson: "It has been a encouraging weekend for the team. We are obviously sorry that, Cristiano was forced to stop so close to the end of the race from a points position. Both drivers performed exceptionally well over the whole weekend. At the end of the day the team has picked up a point, which might sound something small, but for us it means a lot. It is a reward for all of our hard work and determination over the last few disappointing races and if you look at the competitiveness in the top 8, it is a nice achievement for us to get a point. I have to say that I am particularly pleased that Olivier has got on the scoreboard. From here, it is onwards and upwards."

Olivier Panis: "I think this eighth place is a very good result for the team because everybody has done a fantastic job this weekend. I am a little bit disappointed for Cristiano because he drove a strong race, but this is my first championship point of the season and for me it is now the first step. The car went very well throughout the weekend and, from here, we need to continue to build on the car's performance for the second half of the season - starting from the next race at the N�rburgring."

Cristiano da Matta: "I am very disappointed. I don't know what happened really. Something just wasn't right with the car's suspension at the exit of the chicane and I simply couldn't continue. Everyone did a great job and everything was running normally until the end. At least we can take one point home as a team - I think we deserved it after our combined team performance. The car was handling reasonably well in the race and I think we were running as quickly as we could have, so to miss out on certain points like that so close to the end is extremely annoying."

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Minardi ( Jos Verstappen - 9th, Justin Wilson - Retired )

Paul Stoddart: "In what has been a rollercoaster weekend for European Minardi here in Montr�al, it was great to see both our drivers not only setting competitive times in today�s race, but also fighting for top 10 positions. Justin�s first stint, which saw him climb from 18th to 11th, was simply amazing, and yet again proves he must be one of the fastest starters in Formula One. As the race settled down, it was clear both drivers were challenging for top 10 positions, and were it not for a gearbox failure on Justin�s car, we would have scored a World Championship point today. As Minardi moves back to Europe for the second half of the 2003 F1 season with our new partner, Bernie Ecclestone, we look forward to being able to show the true potential of our car."

Jos Verstappen: "I was happy to finish today�s race in ninth place, as it�s our best result so far this season. It�s a shame we weren�t able to get eighth place and the Championship point that goes with it. The car ran really reliably in the race, for which I must thank all the guys. I had to let the frontrunners through after my second pit stop, which inevitably slowed me down a bit, but you can�t ignore the blue flags, even though you almost have to coast down the straights at times to let people pass you. It�s a good result for the team, though, and I�m very pleased with it."

Justin Wilson: "The car was fantastic today � I could do what I wanted with it and position it where I wanted it on the track. Everything was going to plan, the car hadn�t missed a beat all afternoon, and then, just a few laps from the end of the race, I heard a bang as I was coming down the back straight and lost all drive. I was able to coast into the pits, but there was nothing that could be done. It�s such a shame, because I think we could have had two strong finishes for Minardi here in Canada. It�s good for the team, however, that Jos got a top 10 finish."

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BAR ( Jenson Button - Retired, Jacques Villeneuve - Retired )

David Richards: "A frustrating weekend for the entire team and especially for Jacques at his home Grand Prix. In wet conditions we looked to be very competitive and, even with our poor qualifying result on Saturday, a solid race performance looked perfectly feasible. We now have to get to the bottom of the problems on both cars, which on the face of it look relatively easy to resolve and that is why it is so frustrating."

Geoff Willis: "This has been a very disappointing weekend for us, having underperformed in both qualifying sessions and with neither car finishing the race. Although we have been a lot more competitive during the practice sessions, our failure to convert this into a strong qualifying performance will be a matter for some consideration this week.
After a reasonably good start, Jacques made good progress up to ninth place, but then he reported a long brake pedal which steadily worsened. We pitted him early to investigate the problem, but it was only as he pulled away from his first stop that we discovered brake fluid on the inside of the left-rear wheel rim. We pitted him again immediately and it was clear that we would be unable to rectify the problem within a sensible time, so unfortunately we were forced to retire the car.
Jenson had a steady race, climbing up to 10th place. Shortly after his second stop, he reported that he had a problem shifting through fourth gear. As the problem steadily worsened through the lap, we decided to retire his car as well. It is now our priority to investigate and solve both problems before the next race. We are testing new aero and engine developments at Silverstone this week in preparation for the Nurburgring and we will continue to improve the car whilst also addressing our reliability problems."

Shuhei Nakamoto: "We had a really strong package here this weekend and I was looking forward to seeing the results. However, it was not to be. Today has been particularly tough on Jacques, being his home race, but it's also a shame that Jenson was forced out of the action. We'll be back fighting at the Nurburgring."

Jenson Button: "This was always going to be a difficult race for me given my grid position. The car felt good early on but I was stuck in a lot of traffic for most of the first stint. I got more and more understeer in the low-speed corners and it was impossible to overtake. The second stint was much better because I had clean air and I was catching Panis and da Matta, but then I had a problem with fourth gear. I was trying to short-shift but gradually I lost fifth then sixth then seventh. It's a very disappointing end to a difficult weekend for the team. We had an improved package for this race and we were hopeful of better things, so I don't really know what happened here."

Jacques Villeneuve: "Obviously it's very disappointing to face yet another retirement. I had a good start and I'd moved up to ninth. The car felt really good and it was well-balanced, so it's a shame because we could easily have picked up some points today. Gradually I started to lose my brakes and the pedal was getting longer and longer. I came in for my pitstop and the team tried to pinpoint the problem and cool the brakes. I went back out for a lap but I had to come in again because by that time I had nothing under braking.
Sometimes only seven cars finish a race so the team tried to fix the problem. They started to replace the left rear caliper and stop the leak but it was clear that our race was over. I've had mechanical problems in six out of eight races so it's becoming very frustrating now but we just have to keep working hard. I've had a lot of support here this weekend and it would have been nice to at least finish in front of my home crowd."

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Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld - Retired, Heinz Harald Frentzen - Retired )

Peter Sauber: "Apart from the subsequent technical problems our chances of points had gone already after the start. Both drivers lost places and got stuck behind Villeneuve as the rest of the field got bottled up behind him. Heinz-Harald had to retire due to a defect in the electronics, and Nick suffered an engine failure."

Nick Heidfeld: "In my opinion we have suffered from too many engine failures this season already! Apart from this the main problem I had today was the launch control. Usually I have good starts, but today it simply didn't work out. As a consequence I lost some places on the first lap and got stuck behind Villeneuve, which cost me time. Later on I was able to make up two places but the fact that I had to retire once again due to an engine problem leaves me feeling very frustrated."

Heinz Harald Frentzen: "At the start I lost some places but I was just about fighting to come up again when the automatic gear system failed and the revs suddenly soared. There was an electronic problem between the engine and the gearbox, but the cause still needs analysing. Of course I am very disappointed, and it is also a shame for Nick. I think in better circumstances we should have been able to score points today."

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

Gary Anderson: "We're disappointed, obviously, as I think we were doing a pretty reasonable job recovering from yesterday. Giancarlo had a problem with his gearbox and Ralph had an oil leak which caused an engine failure. I think we had the pace to score points in this race so it's a shame that both cars were forced to retire."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I was having a great race but then I couldn't get first gear after the pit stop, I think it might be a problem with the gearbox. I worked with my engineer to get a good set-up and strategy and our pace was looking really good. I think it would have been easy to score points today, but unfortunately I stopped. I'm very disappointed."

Ralph Firman: "We decided to change the strategy to one stop and it seemed to be working out really well. I'm not quite sure what caused the failure but the engineers are looking into it. I'm disappointed as it looks like we would have been able to score points today and it's a real shame for the team that I wasn't able to finish."

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