Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
Williams ( Ralf
Schumacher - 1st, Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd )
Sam Michael: "It
was a fantastic day today. Ralf and Juan drove superb races and the team
did a great job in terms of preparing the cars and strategy. The mechanics
also did an excellent job at the pit stops. It is a great result for our
team and also for the championship. We know our car is competitive and we
are looking forward to being strong over the next couple of races. We will
maintain our aggressive development programme for the up coming races.
Juan overtaking Michael was a fantastic manoeuvre that should be a normal
part of F1. The fact that Michael spun was a racing incident."
Gerhard Berger: "It
was just a perfect weekend for our team. First we finalised the extension
of the contract and then we achieved a one-two victory on BMW's home
ground. I feel really happy for the team and especially for Ralf. Today he
demonstrated to everybody that he is a first-class driver. I would suggest
we have all earned a glass of champagne now."
Ralf Schumacher: "It
is great to win after a long time and especially after I failed to turn
two poles into victory in the last two races. I had a very good start and
for some reason Michael did not. I took the chance and jumped into second
position into the first corner. I think that seen from the outside that
manoeuvre looked more spectacular than it actually was. I believe I could
have caught Kimi, even if it would have been difficult. We had a perfect
car with perfect tyres today and if we consider we were about ten kilos
heavier than the others at the start, it was a very good performance."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I
am pleased with second position, especially because after the start I dropped
into 5th place. I had some problems with tyre graining, so I decided to change
only the rear tyres at the first pit stop, but it wasn't the right choice so I
changed all of them at the second stop. On new tyres the car felt much better.
With regards to the overtaking manoeuvre on Michael, I braked late and gave
him enough room to go around the corner on the inside. We touched and he spun.
It was a racing incident, even if I must say that overtaking Michael at his
home GP was much fun."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 3rd, Michael Schumacher - 5th )
Jean Todt: "We expected a close and tough
fight and that is what we got. Third and fifth places for Rubens and Michael
respectively have brought us some valuable points for both championships. A
first analysis of the race reveals that our chassis, engine, tyre package was
not the quickest out on the track, but its reliability allowed us to get both
cars home in the points. Michael was fighting for second place, when he spun
after a collision with Montoya who was trying to pass him. Thanks to the track
marshals who pushed him out of the gravel, he managed to continue, going on to
score very important points in terms of the championship. Rubens drove a very
solid race to get to the third step of the podium, which was the best we could
Ross Brawn: "It was a difficult race for us. Our rivals proved
to be clearly more competitive and there was not much we could do to change
that situation. I don’t think there is one specific area that was to blame
today. We must work on the whole package to improve our performance level. It
was our reliability which meant we got both cars home in the points, thus
extending our lead in both championships."
"You are never really happy with third, but considering the difficulties
I had with the balance of the car, this is a fairly good result. I had a good
start and managed to pass Juan Pablo. After that in the first stint, I could
match the pace of those ahead, but could not catch them and I was also
conserving fuel a bit at that point. It was disappointing that Montoya got
past me in the pit stop. However, after the pit stops, the balance of the car
was not as good with the full fuel load, and it improved a bit as the car got
lighter. I was a bit happier on the second set of tyres and was catching
Michael quite rapidly. Basically, I was fighting the balance of the car all
the time and we tried fixing it by changing tyre pressures and the front wing
settings. Now, I am hoping we can go better at Magny-Cours, although it should
be another tough weekend."
Michael Schumacher: "Considering
that my lead in the world championship has now increased to seven points, I
cannot really complain about the result of this race. Especially as with the
new points system it takes longer to catch up, except in the case of a
non-finish. As for the collision with Juan Pablo, in my opinion it was a
straightforward racing incident. He was faster than me, tried to pass, gave me
just enough room to survive. Maybe I could have wished for a little bit more
space, but I have no problem with Juan Pablo over this. No one was to blame.
Of course, I am happy for Ralf, keeping it in the family at our home race."
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(Fernando Alonso - 4th, Jarno Trulli - Retired )
Flavio Briatore: "I am very happy with the result. I'm
sorry for Jarno, who was very quick all weekend and did a fantastic job
during the race. As for Fernando, he didn't crack under the pressure and
scored some more valuable points."
Symonds: "A very hard race for Fernando, who had to push all the way
through to hold off the challenges of David and Michael. He withstood the
pressure well, to give us a satisfying fourth place. Jarno provided an
excellent performance all weekend, and was looking very comfortable in the
race until what we believe was a fuel pressure problem stopped him out on the
circuit. The cars performed well in race trim, and our tyres were well suited
to this track."
Denis Chevrier: "This was a race run under constant
pressure. There were no surprises with the conditions, and we didn't
suffer any problems on Fernando's car. There is still a question mark over
Jarno's retirement, as the car stopped in a telemetry blind spot out on
the circuit. However, we believe he suffered a fuel pressure problem. In
summary, this was a good race where we showed ourselves to be, if not
capable of beating the front runners, certainly in a good position to
Fernando Alonso: "A good race for me, and a strong result
after a difficult weekend. I had a good fight with Jarno in the first few
corners, which he eventually won coming out of Turn 4. I managed to get
past him when he pitted before me, but I lost some performance during the
last stint, even though we made small aerodynamic changes at both stops. I
was under a lot of pressure during the last stint, first from Coulthard
and then Michael, but I managed to keep my position. Ralf's win means I
have lost my third position in the Championship, but I'm not too worried:
we did a good job this weekend."
Jarno Trulli: "Unfortunately, I think my car stopped with
a fuel pressure problem. Until the retirement, I was having a good race: I
managed to keep up with the leaders at the start, but then lost time
behind Fernando during the second stint: I was a little bit quicker, but
could not overtake. It looked like we were going to get two points
finishes today, and it is therefore a shame to leave with just one."
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( Mark Webber - 6th, Antonio Pizzonia - 10th )
Dr. Mark Gillan: "Our tyre choice, race
strategy and yet another fine drive from Mark has earned us a precious
three championship points today. We were quite comfortable going into this
race knowing that we had opted for a race strategy all weekend as opposed
to putting too many eggs into the qualifying basket. This paid off today!
Both drivers made a good start and even though Mark lost a couple of
places at the first corner, he recovered very quickly to stamp his
authority further up the grid. We modified our strategies to suit the
changing race order and both drivers pushed very hard out there today.
Antonio was unlucky to have suffered from a stop-go penalty and we'll have
to look at the data to see exactly where the offence was committed.
Nonetheless, we are clearly making an impression on our reliability
targets and combined with the competitiveness of the Jaguar R4, we will be
looking for more points in Magny-Cours next weekend. Michelin, Cosworth
and the team have done a great job this weekend in that we haven't
suffered from one issue since we arrived. Credit must also go to everyone
back at base who has done an excellent job and with back-to-back races,
have another hard week ahead of them. Excellent work all round."
Mark Webber: "A tough and sometimes frustrating race but one
which has given us three more championship points -- both on the
Constructor's and Driver's table. I'm a little disappointed not to have
achieved a better balance on the car and at times, the rear tyres were
simply too good. I suffered understeer during the first two stints but
after my second stop, the car came good and very competitive. It was
interesting and quite enjoyable to fight the BAR-Honda of Jenson Button
out there today and in the end, my pit-crew did a great job to help get me
out ahead of him. I kept pushing very hard towards Jenson and once ahead
him, the aim was to keep driving hard and away from him. The balance of
the car was very good and Michelin have done an incredible job here this
weekend. The reliability is also clearly much better and with seven races
left on the calendar, we are far from finished in the points battle."
Antonio Pizzonia: "A frustrating race for me
in that there was some confusion between myself and the pit-crew when it
came to the tyre change during my second stop. We are looking into how
this happened, but it appears that the wrong tyres were put onto my car
and this didn't make for an easy race. The car was difficult to drive and
coupled with my ten-second stop-go, I was forced to finish outside the
points. I've struggled to find an optimum set-up here all weekend and we
have made several changes to the car to try and help cure this. The
reliability, however, keeps on going from strength to strength and
combined with the competitiveness, we are clearly making good progress.
Just a shame not to have shared some championship points with Mark today."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
7th, Jacques Villeneuve - Retired )
"Jenson drove a faultless race, although we have to accept that our
final position was achieved through attrition rather than pure performance
this weekend. Having said that, the increased reliability and performance
provided by Honda is has made a significant contribution. Nonetheless two
points are two points and we now move into a clear fifth place in the
Championship. Jacques’ race was very disappointing with an early spin, a
pitstop requiring a new nose, then ending with a transmission failure which we
now have to get to the bottom of. With only one week before France and the
summer testing ban looming on the horizon, there’s not going to be much rest
for our team over the next three weeks leading up to the British Grand Prix."
"This has been a difficult weekend for the team so it is very good to
finish with two more points. Jenson drove a solid race, particularly resisting
the pressure of those behind him during the middle stint of the race. A great
deal of credit must go to the pit crew today; they did an excellent job to
change Jacques' nose in record time and get him out before Jenson came in on a
scheduled stop just 10 seconds later. Jacques had a fairly dismal race; he
started poorly and dropped to 19th, then had to fight his way past the
Minardis. A subsequent mistake at the chicane saw him damage the front wing
and finally his race came to an early conclusion with a second-gear failure,
the cause of which will now be investigated."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Jenson drove a good race and
I'm pleased the team is back to points scoring form. We're encouraged by
the overall performance of our engine this weekend and look forward to
being fully able to demonstrate its capacity at Magny-Cours. Jacques
obviously had a hard day. I hope he'll be back refreshed in France next
"I'm very happy to finish where we did because we weren't really on
the pace at all today. The start was poor and there must have been a 30-metre
gap between me and the guys in front, but I caught up at the first corner and
managed to get past Webber in the process. I was really struggling with
oversteer and I had to take it really easy on the first couple of stints to
conserve the tyres, otherwise it would just have been oversteer all the way.
It's been a tough old weekend here so I'm pleased we were able to get a couple
of points into the bargain because the boys deserve a bit of a boost. Their
work in the pits today was incredible with Jacques and I in on the same lap. I
hope we can all expect something more in Magny-Cours next weekend."
"I'm pleased to see the end of a very bad weekend. Once we got going
the pace wasn't too bad, but it was hard to be stuck behind the Minardis. I
made a couple of mistakes as well and I was lucky to recover from my spin in
the chicane. Just as it looked as if I was at least going to be able to finish
the race, second gear broke and it was over. I guess we just have to hope for
a better weekend in Magny-Cours now."
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Nick Heidfeld - 8th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 9th )
Peter Sauber: "To score one point after
starting the race from the pit lane is a fantastic achievement, particularly
considering our current situation! The fact that both Nick and Heinz-Harald
finished in the top 9 clearly shows the good performance of our team and, of
course, the drivers. In comparison with our competitors the improvement in the
performance of the car was also clearly visible.
Unfortunately we couldn't make more out of it from our starting positions.
Thank you to the whole team. This weekend for us was like sitting a really
tough exam, which we have passed."
"After I didn't get a timed qualifying lap yesterday I decided to start
the race from the pit lane. At the beginning it was not easy to pass both
Minardi drivers and I also got stuck behind Villeneuve. But after that the car
was going well. I am just very happy about my result!"
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"My congratulations to Nick! I am happy for him and for the whole team!
We have scored one point and also both cars were undamaged today and we were
both able to finish the race. Normally, this shouldn't be unusual, but after
yesterday's qualifying session our results today are a surprise to me. At the
beginning I was fighting with Firman, but then I was able to get on with my
own race and I'm happy to finish in the top 9."
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Jordan ( Ralph Firman -
Giancarlo Fisichella - 12th )
Eddie Jordan: "Obviously it's disappointing
to work so hard and not get anything in return, but it was positive to
have two reliable cars get to the finish. We are doing everything in our
power to get ourselves into a better position."
"That was a tough race. Three stops here penalised us - all the cars
that did three stops ended up together in the results so that proves
something about the strategy. We thought it was worth a shot to see if we
could pull anything out of it, but it didn't work. I'm impressed with our
reliability, but the reality is we need to be faster to score points."
Ralph Firman: "I had a good start and first
couple of corners, but straight away the circuit was very different from
yesterday. The car had oversteer and I struggled with that through the
whole race - even when the circuit picked up grip we didn't make up any
lap time, which is obviously quite disappointing. It was a very difficult
race so I'm looking ahead to the next one."
"My launch control didn't work very well at the start and the engine
nearly stalled so I lost a few places. I had understeer for a couple of
laps and then huge oversteer for the rest of the race which made it very
difficult to make up time. Three stops maybe wasn't the best strategy, we
didn't get the best car balance and we were not quick enough."
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( Justin Wilson - 13th , Jos Verstappen - 14th )
Paul Stoddart: "It was a tough race, but both drivers did a
fantastic job in difficult circumstances. This was a weekend when we simply
had no grip in the dry. It’s always good to get two cars home, so we leave
the Nurburgring proud of the job done by the team and drivers, especially in
the pit stops, and hopeful that there will be more grip available for us in
Justin Wilson: "It was quite an interesting first stint from
my standpoint, as I had a good battle with Jos and Jacques Villeneuve. Jos was
able to drive down the inside of him at Turn 1, but I couldn’t quite make it
and had to tuck back in before the next corner. I then went a bit wide at the
corner and couldn’t shut the door, which allowed Heidfeld to get through. I
was able to close on Jos, though, who was clearly struggling with his car,
before Jacques had a big spin, which allowed both of us to get by him again. I
eventually caught Jos, passed him and was able to get away. During the first
stint, the car was sliding really badly, but after the first pit stop, the
tyres seemed a little better in terms of grip. I just concentrated on driving
smoothly and keeping the car on the track. The pit stops today were spot on
– the guys did a good job this afternoon, and I’d like to thank them for
that. In the end, it was nice to get the car home again."
Jos Verstappen: "That was probably one of the worst races
I’ve ever had – the car had so much oversteer and so little grip, it was
like driving on ice. I just couldn’t do anything. I pushed as hard as I
could for the first half of the race, but then just decided the best strategy
was going to be to try to bring the car home in one piece. I feel particularly
sorry for all the mechanics in the team, as they worked hard all weekend, but
that was the best we could do today."
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( David Coulthard - Retired - Classified 15th , Kimi Raikkonen - Retired )
"Our drivers' comments and the obvious outcome of the weekend say it
all. With seven races to go our objective will be to put today firmly
behind us and concentrate on the remaining part of the season, and we must
not lose sight of the fact that we have a very competitive package."
"Kimi was the fastest man on the track today. He was clearly ahead
when an engine failure finished his race shortly before half distance. He
did everything right during the weekend and I feel very sorry for him.
With regards to David's incident it looked as Alonso slowed down very
suddenly and David had to take evasive action to avoid having a high-speed
accident. We will work hard to reduce the seven points deficit to Michael
Schumacher at the next race in France this coming weekend."
"A frustrating weekend for the whole team. During the race I was
benefiting from what was happening at the front and as a result was making
good progress. In the latter part, I was fighting with Alonso for fourth
and there were a couple of incidents, one in particular at turn eight when
I ended up on the grass. However a few laps later I was forced to take
evasive action to avoid running into the back of him as he braked
incredibly early and that was the end of my race. I have my own views on
the incident which I will discuss privately with Alonso, but at the end of
the day it's for the Stewards to decide."
"Obviously I'm extremely disappointed as we could have won today. I
made a textbook start from pole position and was able to control the race
and was pulling away until I had to retire with an engine failure. I had
no indication that it was going to happen and the car was feeling great.
However that is motor racing and we have to focus on the French Grand
Prix. The gap to Michael can easily be closed with a good result and that
is what we want to achieve next weekend."
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Toyota ( Cristiano da Matta - Retired,
Olivier Panis - Retired )
Ove Andersson: "Words cannot explain how
upsetting this result is for the whole team after the strong showing we
achieved on Friday and Saturday. The reason for Cristiano's retirement was
quite clearly an engine failure, but the exact problem will have to be
investigated. Olivier was suffering from intermittent brake locking, which
made his car difficult to control, ultimately resulting in the spin that put
him out of the race. But, again, we do not know the precise cause of this. We
now travel the short distance back to the factory in Cologne, where we will
study the race data in detail to determine exactly what went wrong. I
absolutely refuse to be downbeat. The team and drivers have done an impressive
job this weekend and we must simply learn from the race and look ahead with
optimism to next weekend's French Grand Prix."
Cristiano da Matta: "Not a good afternoon for us
unfortunately. I made a reasonable start, retaining my tenth place and
everything ran smoothly until about a third of the way through the race,
when my front end plate was damaged. This meant an unscheduled pit stop to
change the nose, but the guys did an outstanding job to get me back out
quickly. In the end, my retirement from the race was down to an engine
failure, most likely to be the result of an oil leak, or something
similar. We'll have to look closely into this to find the exact cause."
Olivier Panis: "I was in eighth place by lap ten and gaining
on Alonso, but then the front brakes locked up, which made it impossible
to turn, causing the car to spin. Luckily, I kept the engine going, but it
happened again later in the race and on this occasion the engine stalled
and I was unable to continue. We don't yet know what the reason was. It
goes without saying that I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of
today's race. I was so sure we could pick up a good points finish after
such competitiveness in practice and second qualifying. The team has done
a good job and I am very positive about the next race in Magny-Cours - my
home grand prix."
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