Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -
Schumacher - 2nd )
Sam Michael: "It
was a solid job from the team to get both the cars onto the front row and
it puts us in a strong position for tomorrow's race. The aerodynamic
improvements we brought to this circuit are clearly another step forward.
Also Michelin once again provided us with a very good tyre for the heat.
We are obviously feeling confident going into tomorrow's German Grand
Gerhard Berger: "It
was a trouble free and just perfect qualifying session for us. It is what
you dream of for your home grand prix. We are obviously ideally placed for
the race and we hope we will fight for victory here. But with these high
temperatures, it is extremely difficult to predict how tyre degradation
and general reliability will be over the race distance."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "Finally
I've got my first pole of this season, It's taken me a long time to get
it! It's the second time I am on pole on this track, after 2001. The car
was working really good today and we've pulled together, got through a lot
of hard work and it's paid off. I am also confident that we are going to
have a good race tomorrow. In these conditions tomorrow's race will be
hard both physically and mentally. It will also test the reliability of
all the cars. Hopefully we can score some good points for both
Ralf Schumacher: "I
am pleased to be on the front row, especially because I had big understeer
in the last two corners, which cost me some time. Thanks to the team who
did an excellent job, since the car wasn't that perfect yesterday morning
or this morning. Last year I was a bit unlucky on this track and I hope I
ca make up for that disappointing race. Tomorrow the tarmac could be as
hot as 55�C and in such conditions anything can happen."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 3rd, Michael Schumacher - 6th )
Jean Todt: "Once again we have witnessed a very
closely contested qualifying session. Rubens' time was only beaten by the two
Williams, which ran right at the end of the session. The qualifying result
might not necessarily reflect how the race will turn out and I hope we will
see a different order tomorrow. As usual, when it comes to the race,
parameters such as reliability and car, engine and tyre performance will be
key factors. We hope to notch up a good result for both championships and we
know we are capable of doing so."
Ross Brawn: "All in all, it was a good qualifying session. I
don't think we could have beaten the Williams, but I still feel we are in a
strong position for the race. Our tyres seem to be consistent, which means we
can face tomorrow afternoon with confidence. Having secured third place,
Rubens will be able to get away from the clean side of the track. Michael did
not get a good second sector, otherwise he would have been much nearer the
"The car is a lot better than yesterday and for that I have to thank the
engineers and mechanics for all their hard work overnight and this morning. I
was very close to pole, but I was on the limit and could not have done better
and I did not want to compromise my race. Most of our improvement came in the
third sector. The tyres survived well and I know they can do the same over a
It seems that the race could be almost as hot as Malaysia, but I know what to
do to look after my tyres in the race. So, I hope to make a good start, keep
up with the Williams and then we will see who can do consistently good lap
times. It might not be looking quite as good as Silverstone, but I am still
confident for tomorrow. I am aiming for the top step of the podium."
"The handling of my car was not ideal this afternoon, so like yesterday,
this was not one of my best qualifying runs. I lost time in the second sector
and things just did not work out the way I would have liked. Sixth place is
not great for the start, especially with the Williams on the front row.
However, from a championship point of view, Raikkonen is alongside me so that
is not too bad. However, we know that our car performs well in terms of
consistency over a long run, so we will have to wait and see how things
develop. As usual, I will try my best."
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( Jarno Trulli - 4th , Fernando Alonso - 8th )
Pat Symonds: "Another extremely good lap from Jarno, and a
well-deserved fourth place. Fernando had a problem with his car that
seriously compromised his ability to qualify well. At the moment we are
not sure what it is, but as he is eight kph slower on the straight, and
because we have also seen a problem with the braking system, we will start
looking there. In terms of the race, we still feel very confident with our
tyre choice. Of course, it will be on the limit, but that is what racing
is all about!."
Denis Chevrier: "Today's results are in line with our
expectations, even if we can be a little disappointed with Fernando's
position. We continued where we left off yesterday, with a well-managed
programme. There are no changes expected in weather conditions for
tomorrow, and I think we are strong enough in the areas that will be
important during the race. Starting from where we are on the grid, we can
legitimately hope for a good result tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli: "It was a pretty busy day, but the result
is a good fourth place in qualifying. We tested a lot of things during the
different sessions, and the car is well balanced. I am pretty confident
that our race pace tomorrow will be competitive."
Fernando Alonso: "I had a clean lap but, in the end, it
wasn't particularly quick. I didn't make any mistakes and I was relatively
pleased with the car's handling. However, the lap time just wasn't there:
we now have to take a long hard look at the data to understand where the
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 5th, David Coulthard - 10th )
"A difficult session for everybody, and the high temperatures, which
I'm told will increase tomorrow, will continue to play a significant role.
Tyre performance will be critical and our Michelins are performing well at the
moment. We look forward to an interesting and very hot race tomorrow."
"Taking into account that Kimi will start the race from fifth but
ahead of Championship leader Michael Schumacher his qualifying result is
not too bad, and we will try to achieve the same in the race.
Unfortunately David had to qualify in the T-car which affected his chances
of achieving a better result. We will only see in tomorrow's race what the
grid positions will be worth."
"I thought my lap was OK but not quite good enough for a top three
position. During the last couple of corners I got a bit too much
understeer and lost a little bit of time, but things are not too bad. We
are in front of Michael and you never know what strategy the others are on
for the race. The Michelin tyres seem to be working well and I'm on the
clean side of the track and have made a few good starts recently so it
should be an exciting race tomorrow. It's very hot out of there and they
say it will get even hotter tomorrow, but its not too bad once you are in
the car working."
"Until this morning's second free practice session everything was
going according to plan and I felt we were making steady progress.
Unfortunately I went off during the second session following a set up change,
the effects of which we underestimated and had to qualify in the spare car. I
was not as comfortable and seemed to be losing out at the low speed sections
of the track. However I have started from the fifth row before and made my way
up the field during the race so let's see what happens tomorrow."
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Toyota ( Olivier Panis -
7th, Cristiano da Matta - 9th )
Keizo Takahashi: "Another very encouraging
qualifying session for Panasonic Toyota Racing and I am overjoyed that we
managed to get two cars in the top ten for the third time this season. Of
course our new engine specification played a part in our qualifying
results, but I would like to extend our thanks to Michelin for their
competitive tyres and also to Olivier and Cristiano for a job well done.
Tomorrow, we expect a very hot day but we are fully prepared to push hard
in the race."
Olivier Panis: "It is good to see that we are
continuing our good form with another top ten qualifying position. I am
very pleased with my lap and everyone has worked well this weekend. I
think we have developed a good stability within the team, which is being
reflected in these positive results. This morning, we worked very well to
develop the car and to find a good balance. Cristiano also did a good job
and with both of us in the top ten things are looking good for the race
Cristiano da Matta: "Despite claiming another
top ten grid position, I am really not happy with my qualifying lap today.
The car definitely had a much better lap time in it, but I lost around
half-a-second at the last corner. I was simply pushing a bit too hard and
made a mistake. The car felt good and we improved the handling through
free practice and again in the warm-up session, so it is frustrating not
to be a bit higher up on the grid tomorrow, although we should be in
reasonable shape in the race."
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( Mark Webber - 11th, Justin Wilson - 16th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "While we should have been higher
up the order today, we must respect the fact that we all have a very long,
gruelling and what looks to be a very hot race ahead of us tomorrow. Our
strategy for tomorrow is in good shape and we certainly do not blame our
drivers for what was nothing more than commitment in action. Both drivers
over-cooked the car and driving to the limit is what they are here to do,
albeit sometimes it is easy to over-step the limit.
Mark was doing another excellent job until turn 16 where he ran too wide and
lost a few tenths. Justin suffered from understeer in the last two corners and
then in an effort to make up the lost time, pushed too hard. It is
disappointing because it does not reflect the true pace of the car. Mark
managed a 16.4sec lap this morning in the Free Practice sessions - almost
three tenths faster than his qualifying effort and that's what we were aiming
for this afternoon. Both drivers are some what disappointed with themselves
but we'll pick ourselves up and focus on what will be a very tough race
tomorrow for all concerned."
Mark Webber: "A relatively clean lap but I lost time in the
penultimate corner that cost me around three to four tenths. I could have
been up there with Alonso and Coulthard but that's one lap qualifying for
you. There simply isn't any margin for a mistake and when it does happen,
the price to be paid is high. We've done a lot of good preparation in the
run-up to this session and it is disappointing not to have got the maximum
out of it. On the other hand, if you don't push to the limits, you may as
well go home. Today, I pushed but slightly over-stepped the fine-line.
Nonetheless, we are running an honest race strategy for tomorrow and we'll
endeavour to do our absolute best in the search for any points that the
front- runners leave behind."
Justin Wilson: "Like Mark, I just pushed way too hard towards
the end of the lap to give my lap time a push. I lost a fair bit of time
in the last sector but that's where my inexperience with Jaguar and
Michelin comes in. While I am not making any excuses, the fact is that I
have never driven the car in anger until this weekend and consequently my
knowledge of the Michelin tyre performance is limited given that I have
come from a Bridgestone team in Minardi. Understanding what the car and
tyres are capable of will take a bit of time but in the meantime, I am
very pleased with the way things are going at Jaguar. The car is great to
drive and I am certainly looking forward to going racing with it tomorrow."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 12th, Ralph Firman - 18th )
"Giancarlo drove a very good lap. We used the new spec engines for
the first time and it obviously helped, which is a good thing. I'm quite
pleased, the balance of the car seemed quite reasonable and I think we've got
a good strategy for tomorrow. Ralph's car had a bit of oversteer, although I'm
not sure what changed between warm-up and qualifying."
"The car today was better than yesterday and I did a very good lap, I
honestly did my best. I'm pleased compared to yesterday and I hope to score
points tomorrow it will be very difficult but we're going to do our best."
Ralph Firman: "Today was very disappointing. I had a good day
yesterday but I couldn't capitalise on it, and ended up with a lot of
oversteer in qualifying, although the car had understeer in warm-up. Let's see
how we go in the race."
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BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve -
13th, Jenson Button - 17th )
"On the face of it one would assume we're not too happy with today's
qualifying positions, however our focus throughout the weekend has been on
race set-up at a circuit where overtaking has historically been a strong
feature. I'm totally confident that the tyre choice and fuel load that
determine our strategy, together with the top speed that we demonstrated in
qualifying, stand us in very good stead tomorrow."
"The car and engine are working well and we focused on race set-up today.
Although we are having difficulty in making the tyres work for a single
qualifying lap, over a run the car is very consistent and we have good top
speeds. Since we made our tyre choice for the race rather than qualifying, we
were expecting this afternoon to be tough, although we still hoped to have
both cars in the top 12. Jacques dropped a couple of tenths towards the end of
his lap but we are reasonably happy with his position. Jenson found that his
car balance had changed considerably from warm-up and made a big mistake at
the end of the lap, which dropped him down the grid. We now have to
concentrate on getting the best out of the car in tomorrow's race."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Clearly both drivers were
pushing really hard today. As Jenson proved at Silverstone, we can challenge
for points from any qualifying position, so I'm looking forward to scoring
more points in tomorrow's race."
"The car is lively and the balance is not bad so I could push hard
today. The hardest thing was to get temperature into the tyres for one lap
because they take around five or six laps to really start working. I lost some
time in the last two corners when I picked up a bit of understeer and the
tyres grained a little. We had the choice of a tyre that was better on one lap
for qualifying but which we couldn't race well, or a tyre that would get
better with the race. We chose the latter and I think we'll see the benefit of
Jenson Button: "It was a pretty terrible
qualifying and very disappointing because the car is strong here. I had too
much oversteer throughout the lap and the car was just skating around at the
back. Then in the second to last corner I made a big mistake when I got a lot
of oversteer and ended up running off the circuit. It's strange because we
haven't made any changes from warm-up, when the car was quick and we still had
more to come. I think that the track temperature increasing by six degrees
probably had a big influence as that can really unsettle the handling. We
should have been inside the top 10 today so this has compromised us for sure,
but I'm confident that we'll be better in the race. I had a good race at
Silverstone against all the odds so I'll have to pull another one out of the
bag here tomorrow now!."
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( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 14th, Nick Heidfeld - 15th )
Peter Sauber: "This is the result that we
expected after this morning's practice sessions. The weather forecast for the
race tomorrow says that it's going to be very hot again, with an ambient
temperature up to 34 degrees Celsius, and track temperature up to 50, so tyre
performance will undoubtedly play a deciding role."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I am quite happy with my qualifying result. In contrast to yesterday
I did a good lap without any mistakes. The first sector especially was
good, and overall it was a good lap."
"I am not happy with my lap time. The warm-up went pretty well and
things looked promising. I had problems finding a good balance this
morning, but after trying scrubbed tyres in practice we were confident
that would help for qualifying. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. This
afternoon I had really bad understeer again, particularly in the first
corner and the first sector in general, which ruined the handling."
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( Jos Verstappen - 19th, Nicolas Kiesa - 20th )
Paul Stoddart: "In a day of somewhat mixed fortunes,
Nicolas had an off this morning, which prevented him from taking part in the
second free practice session. Despite this, he set a very creditable time in
qualifying. Considering his lack of time in the car, I think it was a valiant
effort. Jos, as usual, completed his full programme during the sessions and
recorded the 19th fastest time, but with a fuel load that could put him in a
good position for tomorrow's race."
Jos Verstappen: "I
chose the harder compound tyre on offer because this morning we tried both
compounds and the softer tyre ended up developing blisters. As a result of
going with the harder tyre, we suffered a slight penalty in terms of our
qualifying lap time, but we still managed to go as fast as on the hard tyres
this afternoon as we did on the softer ones this morning. The car was
reasonably well balanced for the qualifying run, and although the grip was
good in the first sector of the lap, we were definitely losing grip over the
remaining sectors. If we have heat like this tomorrow, then I think the race
will be very interesting, bearing in mind the number of spins and incidents we
had today. The main thing will be to bring the cars home."
Nicolas Kiesa: "At the corner just coming into the
Mercedes stadium, I was slightly early on the brakes, and that's where I lost
most of my time on the qualifying lap. The car was definitely better than me
today -- I'm just not experienced enough yet with F1 performance to get to the
limit of the car in qualifying. On the one hand, I was very conscious that I
needed to set a time after yesterday's qualifying problem, and on the other, I
wanted to get as near to Jos's time as I could. In the end, I was nearer than
I thought I might have been."
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