Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Fernando Alonso - 1st, Jarno Trulli - 6th )
Pat Symonds: "A great lap from Fernando to take a
well-deserved pole position. Unfortunately, Jarno seemed to get oversteer
in the second half of his lap, which compromised his time. It's a great
shame, because the two drivers have been running at a similar speed all
weekend. Not only does this put him down the grid, it also forces him to
start from the dirty side of the circuit. In spite of the changes to the
circuit this year, we still expect it to be difficult to pass, and
therefore pole position is all the more valuable."
Denis Chevrier: "Firstly, it is pleasing to confirm the
promise we demonstrated yesterday: we are competitive with the very top
teams at this circuit. However, the gap between our pilots demonstrates
that the balance between getting the right set-up and the correct rhythm
is extremely delicate. Tomorrow, we will have to maintain our pace for
seventy laps on a demanding circuit for both cars and drivers. The new
engine spec also met our expectations, and it is a bonus to christen a new
development by taking pole position."
Fernando Alonso: "It is a great feeling to get my second
pole position. Our car has been competitive since the start of the
weekend, and I don't see any reason why that should change tomorrow. I had
some problems yesterday, but the mechanics worked hard to sort things out:
I want to thank them, as well as my engineers. As for the flying lap, I
didn't have any problems, but I was driving right on the limit towards the
end of the lap. I think we are on the right strategy for tomorrow, and I'm
looking forward to the race!."
Jarno Trulli: "Sixth position is disappointing after
yesterday's result. I made some mistakes on the flying lap, which must
have cost me three or four tenths, and the car also lacked grip.
Nevertheless, sixth isn't a bad grid slot, and I think I can fight for a
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Williams ( Ralf
Schumacher - 2nd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th )
Sam Michael: "It
looks like this starting grid promises an interesting race. We are
reasonably happy with our qualifying positions. It is obviously good to be
in front of our direct rivals in both Championships. We have a good
strategy for the race and the race set-up works well."
Mario Theissen: "We
are pleased with the qualifying result, although there were surprises at
the top of the grid. Alonso was fantastic, especially in the second and
third sector. Whereas Ralf set a faultless lap, Juan's was not as perfect.
However, grid positions two and four do provide good chances for
tomorrow's race, although it means that both our drivers have to start
from the dirty side of the track."
Ralf Schumacher: "Being
on the front row is obviously nice. It is obviously a big relief that my
10 places on the grid penalty was cancelled and I can actually start from
the place I fought for. However, I am starting from the dirty side of the
track which is not the best place to be. I was very quick in the first
sector but lost quite a bit of time in sector two and three and the reason
for this we need to investigate later, when we will have a look at the
data. During qualifying my car felt ok, thanks to the team who could set
it up at the best. I believe we have a good race strategy and also the hot
weather conditions forecast for tomorrow should be helping us."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "The
car felt really good during today's qualifying. I could have gone quicker
than I actually did but after being very fast in sector one I took the
conservative way and really paced myself because I wanted to make sure to
get a good lap in. I am fighting for the Championship especially with
Michael, of course, and the most important thing is starting ahead of him,
tomorrow. I think we've got a really good race car and it's going to be an
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( Mark Webber - 2nd, Justin Wilson - 12th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "A good day all-round that has
seen us suffer no reliability problems and some pleasing results in the form
of 3rd and 12th place on the grid for tomorrow's Hungarian race. After a
frustrating day yesterday we managed to achieve some good laps this morning
that allowed us to work on our race strategy and balance. The qualifying pace
of the car has been good for some time now but it was the race pace over the
last couple of races that has let us down. I know that the team are working
very hard to prepare the cars and it appears to have paid off today.
Mark had a stunning lap and to be honest, there wasn't much left that he could
have extracted. With Justin we made a few mechanical changes to the car just
before qualifying and these again appeared to improve the car's performance. I
know that Justin was slightly disappointed with his lap as he feels that there
was more he could have taken from the package.
With that said, we are pleased with where we are on the grid for tomorrow and
of course we will be making the most of any opportunity to grab some points.
Our aero package has improved dramatically since last year and coupled with
the steps-forward taken by Michelin we are certainly more confident about the
package that we have."
Mark Webber: "I am very happy with that. It was a really nice
lap and one that I enjoyed immensely. The track was getting a little
quicker towards the end but nonetheless, that was a very clean lap. I knew
going into the first corner that the lap had potential. The car felt very
good under braking and as I went through turn two, I looked at my read-out
on the steering wheel and saw that I was up on my quickest time from this
morning. The team did an excellent job on the car and starting from 3rd on
the grid is very important for us indeed given how closely fought the
chase for the last few places in the championship is.
The added bonus is that I am starting the race on the clean line and
maintaining position into the first corner is the challenge. It will not
be easy and nor will the race itself. The grid is certainly mixed-up with
the championship fighters behind us and let's hope for a good race
tomorrow which rewards us with some much-needed championship points."
Justin Wilson: "My lap was an improvement on this morning and
I am happy although it could have been better. There was more time in the
car and I just needed more time to extract that. There is an awful lot to
learn in what has been a short space of time with Jaguar but I am happy
with progress to date. I am starting from the 6th row tomorrow and unlike
Hockenheim, I want to avoid any dramas at the first corner and make it
through to the end of the race. My mileage with the Jaguar is still very
low and getting through a race distance tomorrow will be very valuable for
the team and me. Anything above that will be a bonus."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 5th, Michael Schumacher - 8th )
Jean Todt: "It was a disappointing qualifying.
After this morning's free practice and the warm-up, I thought that getting
both our cars onto the top three rows of the grid was within our grasp.
Unfortunately, that is not how things turned out, with Rubens fifth - with the
same lap time as Montoya - and Michael eighth. It is clear that in this
situation, we can expect a difficult race, considering that despite the
changes to the layout, there are few overtaking opportunities. We will do our
all to get the best result possible."
Ross Brawn: "I am not very happy with the result of this
session as I thought we were going to do better than we did. Michael did not
feel he had the same level of grip which he had found during the warm-up and
had too much understeer towards the end of his run. We did not really optimise
the car and the tyres for qualifying. It is disappointing, because up until
now, the cars had been going well this weekend. Rubens had very good first and
second sectors but then also had too much understeer in the third sector. Now
we have to wait and see what we can do tomorrow."
"It was a rather difficult qualifying session and it was surprising to
see Alonso and Webber so quick. I am happy with my own lap, as it was the best
I could do, especially as I had a bit of understeer at the end of the lap. I
am quite hopeful that our tyre choice will be good for the race tomorrow.
Given how dirty the track is here off the racing line, I think that fifth
place might actually be better than fourth for the start. The changes to the
track do seem to make overtaking a bit more of a possibility than in the past.
A lot will depend on everyone's race pace and the different strategy choices.
I am still in a positive frame of mind."
"Obviously, I am a bit disappointed, because this morning and in the
warm-up, I seemed to be on the same pace as the others and the car felt good.
Now we have to try and understand why our qualifying time did not match our
expectations. The outcome of the race will now depend on strategy, which is
always the key factor at this circuit and the Scuderia has usually done a good
job on this front. Anything can happen tomorrow afternoon, so now all we can
do is look ahead."
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 7th, David Coulthard - 9th )
"Traditionally it's been impossible to overtake at the Hungarian
Grand Prix due to the nature of the circuit. It's therefore understandable
that some of the teams have adopted extremely 'racy' strategies. I very much
doubt that the finishing order tomorrow will reflect the grid positions. It
should be a great race."
"A grid which promises an exciting race. It will be interesting to
see what influence the various strategies have had on the grid positions."
"Not too bad. I made a little mistake in the last sector at corner
12, which cost me some time. We improved the balance of the car from the
warm up, and it feels good. I might have an advantage at the start
tomorrow compared to Michael as I'm on the clean side of the track, and
I'm also not too far away from Montoya. We will see what happens in the
race, and at this circuit the first corner is especially crucial."
"I had a small problem with the clutch when we were ready to leave
the garage as it wouldn't clear. However the guys found a quick solution and
ultimately we got out on time. We know from previous experience that our race
pace should be good and I believe we have chosen the right strategy. In
addition I'm on the clean side of the track which could be crucial at the
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Toyota ( Olivier Panis -
10th, Cristiano da Matta - 15th )
Keizo Takahashi: "We came into this Hungarian
Grand Prix expecting it to be the hardest of the four remaining races of
the year, so I think that to get a seventh consecutive top ten qualifying
result today was a good result. Going out second in the running order,
Cristiano suffered a bit with dustier track conditions, but also had some
oversteer, which affected his overall lap time. Olivier had a trouble-free
lap to take tenth, achieving our top ten target for qualifying. I am
hopeful that we can also achieve our race target, namely more points."
Olivier Panis: "I am really pleased with my
lap. It was quite a strong run and I don't think we could get any more
from the car. I made no mistakes and pushed to the limit, so now we have
to wait and see what happens tomorrow. Top ten on the grid was the aim and
we have achieved that today, so from there we are looking to score more
points in the race - this is the what we need to achieve in the remaining
races of the season."
Cristiano da Matta: "Obviously that wasn't my
best qualifying lap, but I decided to take a conservative approach after
spinning a couple of times during the weekend. I have had some handling
problems today with oversteer in my car and generally the grip levels have
not been as good today as they were yesterday, which has affected the
overall performance. From 15th on the grid, it's going to be a tough race,
but nevertheless I'm going to push for points."
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( Nick Heidfeld - 11th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 17th )
Peter Sauber: "Nick was able to endorse the
upward trend we have shown recently and was able to achieve a strong lap ahead
of our two direct competitors, Jordan and BAR. Heinz-Harald couldn't use the
potential of his C22 to the full. We are now looking forward to an exciting
race, which is surely guaranteed when you look at the mix of the starting
"I'm quite happy with my lap time even though I made a bit of a
mistake in the second corner. In general, this result confirms the
improvements we have made recently to the C22. This morning we did some
long runs and improved there, too, so I'm optimistic for the race
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"The car was oversteering quite a bit which made the handling
difficult. I think to do better was not possible. My mistake in the second
corner didn't actually cost me that much time, but we need to look at the
data analysis before we can understand why I lost time in the second
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 13th, Zsolt Baumgartner - 19th - replaces Ralph Firman)
"A very trying weekend so far to be honest! Ralph had an accident
very early on today and I'm pleased to say that he's fine, which is the most
important thing. Things like that shouldn't happen but unfortunately sometimes
they do. I'm very pleased for Zsolt that he is able to step in, having done
the running here yesterday, he did a competent job given how few laps he's
Fisichella did a good solid job. I think we've got a very good tyre for the
race, very stable and we are really looking forward to it. We're in a
reasonable position to have a go at some points. Unfortunately for Zsolt he
accidentally switched to the fuel-saving map on his timed lap rather than his
in-lap an easy mistake for a novice to make with so much going on - that
possibly cost him a second."
"It's been quite a good qualifying for us, with maybe the quickest
lap of the weekend for me. We did a very good job, the lap was clean and the
car balance was good. We did our best."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "It went quite well, I was quicker than Kiesa,
although I was imagining to be in front of both Minardis, I'm not that far off
Verstappen. I'm happy that I didn't make any mistakes on the track and this is
a great opportunity for me. I'm upset about what happened to Ralph and pleased
he's okay. I'm excited about the race tomorrow and want to finish without any
mistakes. I'm the first Hungarian driver to race in Formula One and that's a
big aim for my country because we've had a Grand Prix for eighteen years.
Everyone's dream will come true now but I didn't think it would happen this
soon, and at our home Grand Prix!"
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
14th, Jacques Villeneuve - 16th )
"We came here expecting to face a tough task and unfortunately today's
qualifying performance has rather proven the point. The race tomorrow will
test everybody's stamina and in this respect I feel confident that the car and
our drivers are up to the challenge, although starting on the dirty side of
the grid will not make their life very easy. Track temperatures are expected
to be in the mid-forties, therefore tyre endurance and general reliability
will be critical factors. On the face of it, challenging for points looks a
tall order but we've proven before that we make the most of
"Our day started reasonably well and we were expecting a stronger
performance in qualifying after better practice sessions than yesterday. There
is no denying that this is a poor qualifying result for the team. We have
found a good balance on old tyres but are struggling to get the car to work
consistently in each sector for one lap. Jenson lost nearly four tenths in the
middle sector as a result of errors and, like Jacques, suffered from far too
much understeer in the last sector. We have had excellent reliability from car
and engine so far and we know we will be stronger in the race, but we will be
starting from the dirty side of the track so it will be a difficult."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Starting from 14th and 16th on
the grid is going to be tough. However, I know Jacques and Jenson will push
hard in the race - we must take every opportunity to pick up some more points."
Jenson Button: "My lap was a little too messy I'm
afraid so I'm not too happy. We made some set-up changes since warm-up but
realistically I think I was pushing a little too hard and made a few mistakes.
At the exit of the first corner I tried to get on the power as soon as I could
but it just caused oversteer. In a few other places also I just wasn't as
smooth as I could have been. I'm comfortable with our strategy for tomorrow
but we really didn't want to be this far back on the grid. We have to just
hope that the car can conserve the tyres so they don't go off as quickly.
It's a very difficult circuit to drive anyway but it's very dusty and the car
is bouncing around all over the place. With fuel on board and the intense
heat, tomorrow is going to be very demanding physically. We've demonstrated
that we are quite good at fighting when we lose out on grid placings, but we
have to take a hard look at what we can do to fight for something more
"The car was much better today and the first two sectors of my lap
were good, but we didn't manage to keep the front tyres working until the end
of the lap so the last sector was really poor. For the last four corners there
was no front grip and that's where we lost all the time. It should be better
for us in the race; the tyres will take five laps or so to clean up and start
working but after that the car should be quick. It's still going to be a tough
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( Jos Verstappen - 18th, Nicolas Kiesa - 20th )
Paul Stoddart: "Despite the hot and windy conditions
today, both drivers did the best possible in this morning's interrupted
practice sessions to prepare for final qualifying, the result of which was P18
and P20 for Jos and Nicolas respectively. I think tomorrow's race is going to
be a test of both man and machine if these weather conditions prevail.
Hopefully, if we stay reliable, we can score a point or two."
Jos Verstappen: "It
was a good lap and I have to say I don't really know what we could do to go
any quicker. We have to be happy with today's result, bearing in mind the
resources we have available to us. I think our strategy is the right one and
we'll do the best we can tomorrow. It will be a tough race for everyone, I
Nicolas Kiesa: "We've simply run into a set-up problem
with the chassis, which has resulted in a lot of understeer along with
rear instability, and unfortunately, I don't have the information or the
experience of Formula One yet to be able to assist in fully resolving
it. We need to understand the problem in order to find the best
solution. I'm obviously disappointed with this performance, but I'll
just try to do my best in the race tomorrow with the main aim being to
get to the chequered flag again."
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