Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -
Schumacher - Retired )
Sam Michael: "It
was another fantastic performance from the entire team. Juan drove an
error-free and superb race from start to finish. The engineers did an
excellent job in preparing the car, and also the strategy was very good.
We were able to pull away from the rest of the field right after the first
pit stop. To be honest, it was surprising to us that quite a number of
teams went for a two stop strategy. For us, the decision for three stops
was very clear. Furthermore the tyre choice obviously was right as they
worked very well in the heat. Unfortunately we lost Ralf's car only a few
seconds after the start, otherwise, I definitely believe it would have
been another one-two victory for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team today."
Gerhard Berger: "It
was important for us to turn our strengths here into points. Especially
regarding the Constructors' world championship we are now within striking
distance of Ferrari. There is a lot that can happen over the remaining
four rounds of the season. Juan Pablo drove a perfect race, but Ralf had
bad luck.. Even under these hot conditions the chassis and our BMW P83
engine have proven to be very reliable."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "A
perfect finish to a perfect race weekend. The car was excellent. I started
from the clean side of the track and basically I just had to be consistent, to
keep the same pace all race and to try not to make any mistakes. It was
amazing how I could pull away and maybe because of this it was not too bad a
race from the physical point of view. I am happy to be only six points away
from Michael now, since there are just four races to go and it is so important
to score points consistently, for me this counts now more than ever before.
Things can easily go wrong for everybody as we have witnessed today when it
happened to both of the Schumachers."
Ralf Schumacher: "It's
obviously a huge disappointment but this is the way motor racing is
sometimes. You cannot think about what people around you are doing and
sometimes these incidents do happen. I was just trying to defend my
position and I didn't make any sudden move or anything so there was all
the time in the world for other cars to move away from me. The impact from
Raikkonen's car crashing into my car, damaged all of the left sidepod and
radiator and the floor and I couldn't do anything but retire."
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( David Coulthard - 2nd, Kimi Raikkonen - Retired )
"Another day of mixed fortunes for the team, but nevertheless an
exciting race for Formula One. Kimi's retirement was a result of a chain
reaction initiated by Rubens making a poor start, but that is motor
racing. David drove an excellent race with the team contributing with a
well-judged switch to a two stop strategy. This certainly influenced
similar decisions to be taken by other teams which ultimately led them
into serious tyre problems. Congratulations to our Partner Michelin who
provided us with some brilliant tyres that had to cope with extremely high
temperatures -- the like of which are rarely seen in Formula One."
"Kimi made a rocket start, but unfortunately he became a victim of
cars touching each other on the run to the first corner. David drove an
excellent race and the team performed a good strategy and showed what
would have been possible for Kimi as well. Congratulations to BMW Williams
and Juan Pablo Montoya."
"I'm very pleased with my result after a difficult weekend. I made a
good start and got past a few cars. Unfortunately Kimi got caught in the
first corner accident which certainly cost the team valuable points, but
I'm happy he is OK. My car was well balanced for most of the race and I
could conserve my tyres, so when Michael and Jarno got problems with their
tyres I was able to attack. I attempted to make the same manoeuvre on
Jarno as Michael had but ran a little too wide at the Hairpin. However I
managed to get past at the Mercedes grandstand when he made a mistake. I
want to build on today's result and look forward to the next race in three
"I got off the line very well at the start and went straight down on
the outside. I was past Barrichello when he hit my rear tyre. There was
nowhere for me to go and I went into the tyrewall. I don't know who is to
blame and it doesn't really matter, because there is nothing I can do
about it, and at least I'm OK apart from feeling a bit sore. We lost a
place in the Championship, but at the end of the day there are still four
races to go and lots of points up for grabs."
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Renault (Jarno Trulli - 6th,
Fernando Alonso - Retired )
Falvio Briatore: "This is good for the whole team, and
particularly for Jarno, his engineers and his mechanics, who have scored their
first podium for Renault. It was a hard race, especially in these hot
conditions, but we chose the right strategy. We will continue working
throughout the next three weeks in order to stay competitive in Budapest."
Pat Symonds: "We always knew this would be a difficult
race, because of the very high temperatures which have a detrimental
effect both on the tyres and the engines. The high quality of both of
these enabled a double points finish for the first time since Monaco, and
our fourth podium of the season. The team and its partners worked well to
earn this result in the face of adverse conditions."
Jarno Trulli: "It is a wonderful feeling to score my first
podium for Renault. I took advantage of the accident at the first corner
and, during the first two stints, the car was very good: Montoya was
faster than me, but I was controlling the people behind. However, fifteen
laps from the end, I started suffering from blistering on the rear tyres.
When the cars behind caught me, I lost two places, but Michael's problem
was a stroke of luck which brought me a podium finish. We had a very good
weekend, we were competitive right from the first session, and this is a
Fernando Alonso: "The result is OK, and it feels good to
be scoring points again. We have been very competitive since Silverstone,
and this is a good result for the team in terms of the championship. From
my point of view, I pushed during the whole race: it was tough, and my
mistake didn't help matters, but finishing fourth is not too bad after
starting from eighth."
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Olivier Panis - 5th, Cristiano da Matta - 6th )
Ove Andersson: "Today's result is a great
achievement by the entire team and two cars in the top six is the proof that
hard work pays good dividends. We have made steady progress in recent races
and we have now showed everyone that we have what it takes to get a strong
result. Both Olivier and Cristiano drove exceptionally well and the seven
points that we have competitively won today means that the Panasonic Toyota
Racing team is now sixth in the constructors' championship - a position we
will try our utmost to defend over the remaining four races of the season."
Olivier Panis: "It was a completely trouble-free race for me
today. The three-stop strategy we had was the right choice and my car was
absolutely perfect. The team did a great job all weekend, as did Michelin
to provide us with such competitive tyres. Cristiano also performed very
well and to have two cars in the top six is such a fantastic result. We
have worked so hard throughout this season and have demonstrated that we
have a competitive package. Heading into the three-week break, Panasonic
Toyota Racing has seven more points and this makes me determined to push
for more of the same in Hungary."
Cristiano da Matta: "Everything ran smoothly for me in the
race today. The car felt good and I got the most out of it. With Olivier
getting fifth position, this is the first time that we have finished a
race with both cars in points-scoring positions and it is a brilliant
result for all the team's efforts. It shows that we are making progress,
which is the most important thing, and we are getting closer and closer.
We have to keep this level of performance up and continue to work hard.
Then the results will keep coming naturally."
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( Michael Schumacher - 7th, Rubens Barrichello - Retired )
Jean Todt: "This was the most difficult and
disappointing race of the season. After Rubens was knocked out of the race in
the accident at the start, we witnessed a very intelligent race from Michael,
who was on his way to bringing home a very good result in terms of both
championships. Unfortunately, with three laps remaining, when he was lying
second, a left rear puncture meant he had to drive slowly round to the pits
for an unscheduled wheel change. He rejoined in seventh place. At least
Michael managed to salvage two useful points.
There are four Grands Prix remaining: Michael leads the Drivers' Championship
by six points, while Ferrari is ahead by two in the Constructors'
classification. It is clear that the final outcome of the fight will be
decided by the performance of the different packages: drivers, chassis,
engines and tyres."
Ross Brawn: "It was a tough race, losing Rubens at the start
and then disappointing at the end when Michael suffered a puncture while
driving like the true champion he is. He waited for the right moment to pass
Trulli, when the Renault driver started to have problems with his tyres.
Losing second place like that was cruel luck. Michael's problem was a
puncture; they happen occasionally, but in this case, it was particularly
harmful, as it happened just after he had passed the pits. That meant he had
to do almost a whole lap very slowly to come back in and change the wheel. Now
we must discover what caused the puncture. Now we will regroup and come back
stronger for the final four races of the season."
Michael Schumacher: "Obviously,
I am disappointed to finish only seventh after a tough race which could have
brought me eight points. Now I only have two, but at least I am still leading
the championship. As I expected, Williams is now emerging as our main rival. I
lost two positions after the start and I had to fight hard to get up to
second. I have to say my car was working well throughout the race, even if I
did not have the pace to catch Montoya, as he had built up a big lead by then.
Towards the end, I picked up a puncture on the left rear and now we need to
find out what caused it. Four races to go; it's going to be very close and the
battle for the title will be very exciting, just as we expected. I am looking
forward to the fight."
"I am very disappointed. I had nowhere to go at the moment of the
accident. I had an average start. I think both Ralf and Kimi took big risks,
especially Kimi who went very wide to get past. Ralf moved to the left and
gave me nowhere to go. I braked and then I was hit while not making any
changes of direction with the steering wheel. A real shame, as today I could
have had a good race and a great result."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
8th, Jacques Villeneuve - 9th )
"It's gratifying to see Jenson picking up another point for the
second race in a row, especially as once again he had to come from the back of
the grid. Jacques' race was also impressive, given that he was hit by Wilson
in the first- corner incident and this upset his planned race strategy. With
the extreme heat this afternoon I'm very pleased that both the cars and Honda
engines ran strongly to the finish and I think this gives us encouragement for
the remaining races and our ability to secure fifth in the championship."
"This was a tough, hot race for both the drivers and the engines, so
we are pleased to have finished both cars and gained a point. Jacques' race
was ruined when he was hit by Wilson at the first turn, so we had to pit him
to check his rear suspension. We took this opportunity to change him to
effectively a one-stop race and in retrospect this didn't quite pay off,
leaving him just outside the points. Jenson did well to finish in eighth,
having started so far down the grid. After the first quarter of the race, we
had a sensor problem on his car, which meant that he was forced to use the
override mode for the differential. This certainly hurt his race pace and made
the car less predictable to drive. Given the championship position, we will
continue to develop the car and engine for the last four races."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Once again Jenson fought his
way through the field to score a point having started towards the back of
the grid. It must've been really tough out there today in this heat and I
enjoyed seeing our guys push so hard. Pretty frustrating for Jacques to
finish just outside the points again but a good performance nonetheless.
We need to continue to score points in the final four races."
"I'm really pleased to finish eight today, it's just a shame that we
couldn't collect two points instead of one. Still, every point counts and we
did a great job from where we started. I have to thank the team and Honda
because we were quick and reliable in tough race conditions. I had a real
problem with my rears locking due to a diff control failure, so it wasn't easy
trying to keep everyone behind - particularly Webber. It's a nightmare
starting from the back and I have to do better in Hungary because I'm just
making life hard for myself. We have to drive our car on the edge at the
moment though and sometimes it's very easy to slip over the limit."
"A frustrating end to a very tough race for me. I got hit from behind
in the first corner and that just destroyed my race. It's a great shame
because the car was good today and we had a good strategy. Because of where we
were on the track, we changed to a one-stop strategy. This wasn't the best
choice in the end, but we decided to take a gamble and it didn't work out. The
engine worked well and the car was quick, so we had a good chance of points
today and it's very disappointing."
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Sauber ( Nick Heidfeld -
10th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - Retired )
Peter Sauber: "For reasons that escape me
Heinz-Harald was hit right after the start by Firman, and Nick could not do
better than 10th place."
"After the start I was able to pass some cars. I felt confident I could
score some points after the accident at the start. To begin with my race was
okay and I got closer to Button's BAR. The balance of my car was good, but I
knew that I had to be careful to conserve the rear tyres. From the middle of
the race I also had be cautious with the brakes, although that didn't actually
influence the car's performance."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"Straight after the start there was a crash right in front of me.
Everyone hit the brakes, but behind me someone obviously didn't realise that
there was an accident and crashed into me. I lost my rear wing and came into
the pits hoping that the race might be stopped and that I could take over the
T-car, but instead the safety car was deployed. My car was too badly damaged,
so that was the end of my race."
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( Mark Webber - Retired - Classified 11th, Justin Wilson - Retired )
Dr. Mark Gillan: "A very disappointing end to our
race. Justin simply found himself to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The left-hand suspension was damaged in the first corner melee and even though
the team did a good job of repairing it, we had no choice but to call him in
on lap 9 and call it a day.
Mark made a very good charge through the field but struggled with grip quite
early into the race. It then became very difficult to sustain the 5th place he
achieved after the first lap and he found himself falling back quite quickly
despite his very determined drive. The pace simply wasn't there for us today
and in an effort to capture at least a point at the end, Mark made an effort
to overtake Button but slid off the track at the penultimate corner. We
obviously have a lot of work ahead over the remaining four races."
Mark Webber: "A very tough and frustrating race. I got onto
the right side of the action on the opening lap and after overtaking the
Mercedes-McLaren of David Coulthard at turn two, I was in 5th place. After
that, however, it was all downhill. The race pace was suffering and I
struggled a lot with balance and we clearly have some work ahead of us. I
fought very hard to keep up and get past with Jenson Button and on the last
lap, I could either choose between a no-points 9th place or take a stab at
passing Jenson for a championship point. I did the latter but with grip and
balance being such an issue, the car spun off in the Stadium section and that
was that. I have no regret about making the move at all. The opportunity for a
point was there and I had no choice but to have a go."
Justin Wilson: "I am very disappointed indeed.
The charge towards the first corner was very strange in that I came into
the corner and literally everyone in front of me braked early because of
the accident. I then saw Villeneuve cutting in front of me and he hit my
front left. As I took corrective action to avoid him, the Jordan of Ralph
Firman hit me from behind. The team did an amazing job of fixing the car
and getting me back out but a transmission issue forced my retirement.
It's been quite a weekend for me and all in all, I walk away having
learned an awful lot, albeit with so much more to learn. The car, team and
everyone involved are great to work with and I can only hope for better
joy at the next round in Hungary."
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( Nicolas Kiesa - 12th, Jos Verstappen - Retired )
Paul Stoddart: "What a way to start your Formula One career!
Full credit to Nicolas for pressing on to the end on a day when all drivers
were struggling with their tyres. He showed true grit and determination and
had a really responsible attitude to being lapped, especially near the end,
when six leading cars came through racing for position -- it was a truly
professional performance. By comparison, it was hard luck for Jos today.
Unfortunately, a hydraulic problem brought his race to a premature end. We now
look forward to Hungary in three weeks' time."
Nicolas Kiesa: "For quite a lot of the race, I was out there on
my own, with no other cars around, and that can be quite hard. You haven't got
anyone to judge your pace against, and you find your self pushing a bit harder
and a bit harder, to the point where it would be easy to lose concentration
and make a mistake. It was definitely a hard race, but I'm relieved to have my
first Grand Prix behind me. I now know what to expect, which will definitely
help me in the future. As for the car, it was good for the first four or five
laps of each stint, but then the handling started to degrade and I found
myself grappling with quite a lot of oversteer. I'd particularly like to thank
everyone on the team, though, for making my Formula One debut a really good
Jos Verstappen: "I got a reasonably good start, and then
saw the accident happening ahead of me and was able to avoid it, although I
did flat-spot my front tyres. The Safety Car helped us, as I was able to come
into the pits and refuel the car. After that, the vibration from the tyres was
so bad it was hard to see, so I was really pleased to come in for my scheduled
stop on lap 24 and change them. I had a problem with the down change just
before the stop, and then it was difficult to engage first gear leaving the
pits. Unfortunately, it seems we had a hydraulic pressure problem and that
caused the car to stop. It's very disappointing, but that's racing."
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Giancarlo Fisichella - Retired - Classified 13th, Ralph Firman - Retired )
"I suppose you might call that an eventful event. Ralph had a coming
together with another car at the first corner and his race ended
prematurely. Giancarlo avoided the accidents and we stuck with our
strategy but then after the safety car went in, he had an electronic
problem which caused the traction control to come in constantly. It caused
a gear change problem and a traction control problem, he lost a lost of
time while we were trying to figure out what to do to recover from it. We
continued to find out about any other reliability issues and eventually he
had to pull out of the race just before the end with a water leak which
caused the engine to overheat. It was a disappointing day."
"That was a disaster for me really! I had a lot of problems: tyres,
the car, electronics, the engine overheating - everything."
Ralph Firman: "It's very disappointing to go
out of the race. I went into the first corner and didn't see anything that
was going on but suddenly everyone slowed and I ended up tapping the back
of Frentzen and damaging my front wing. I thought it might be okay but
then I was off the circuit on the outside when Justin came into the side
of me, and there was just too much damage."
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