Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -1st,
Schumacher - 19th - Time Disallowed )
Sam Michael: "It’s
good to see the pace of the car on this circuit. The tyres are working
well and will play a critical part of our race performance. Juan Pablo did
a good lap, unfortunately Ralf made a mistake in the chicane so he will
have to make this up tomorrow."
Mario Theissen: "In
the first qualifying we have seen the expected close competition between
Ferrari and ourselves. We had no technical problems. Monza is the last
true power circuit of the F1 calendar and as such, it is a big challenge
for BMW as an engine manufacturer. That’s why this circuit’s lay-out
is our reference track for the dyno in Munich. The new engine for 2004,
the P84, has completed this dyno test already in July. On September 4th
during the Monza test we have also tested the P84 for the first time in
its 2004 specification in the running car. This means we are ahead of
schedule and very pleased with the test results so far."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I
wasn’t very comfortable with the balance of my car this morning but we
made some changes which put it back on the right track and I think we
should be pretty competitive now. Before qualifying I wasn’t too sure
about what the car was going to do but it ran as expected, which means we
did a good job. We were quite quick in last week’s test here which makes
us confident for the rest of the weekend. We should perform better
tomorrow when the track will be cleaner. It’s obviously ideal to be
ahead of Michael and Kimi, but what counts is tomorrow, not today, really."
Ralf Schumacher: "My
qualifying today was compromised by a mistake I made just before the
chicane. I simply braked too late and went straight on, which was my
fault. The handling of the car was very good, which is promising for
tomorrow’s qualifying and the race on Sunday. I have tested the modified
tyres today for the first time and must say they are a step forward for
us. Ferrari is very strong here as expected and we need to work hard."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 2nd , Michael Schumacher - 3rd )
Jean Todt: "Our drivers made a good start on
this the first day of our home race, the Italian Grand Prix. Even though
we have not set the fastest time, we have proved to be competitive with
both Michael and Rubens who secured respectable start positions for
tomorrow's qualifying session. We know we still have work to do to
optimise all aspects of our package, but we believe that we have the
potential to run successfully for the rest of the Grand Prix weekend. On
an important weekend like this one, we also received the encouragement of
the Cardinal of Milan, Monsignor Tettamanzi, here to give all his support."
Ross Brawn: "Track conditions were quite difficult this
morning with the wind blowing in a completely different direction to last
week. Running low downforce makes it difficult to find the right balance,
but by the time we tackled qualifying it was looking reasonably good.
Michael suffered a bit because there was some rubbish and leaves on the
track when he went out. We had a pretty good idea about which tyre we
wanted to race from the results of the test. We will now concentrate on
that tyre to be in good shape for Sunday's race."
Rubens Barrichello: "I set quite a good time. There was a
lot of wind which made the car rather nervous. We are very close to our
rivals and I think everything is in place for us to go for pole tomorrow
and to try to win on Sunday. This morning, we had a few problems, but we
resolved them in time for qualifying. We have a good starting point on
which to develop the car over the next two days. The Bridgestone tyres
worked well and we have reaped the benefits of last week's test."
Michael Schumacher: "It was quite a good lap. The fact
that, once again, I was first out on track was certainly not an advantage,
even though this has been the situation so often this season. I am happy
with the time I set and the position from which I will tackle tomorrow's
qualifying session. I think we have a good base on which to work for the
next couple of days. Now we have to see how competitive we are up against
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Toyota ( Cristiano da Matta -
Panis - 10th )
Luca Marmorini: "I think 4th and 10th position
in today's qualifying session is an encouraging start to the weekend.
However, there is over a second between us and the frontrunners, so we
have to keep our feet on the ground. Cristiano did a very commendable job
and set the fastest first sector of the session. It was a shame Olivier
could not do a similar time, but he nevertheless drove a respectable lap
and had a very good second sector time. We are at over 70% full throttle
at Monza - the most of the season - so it is tough on the engine. Things
have run smoothly today, so I think we should be optimistic."
Cristiano da Matta: "I am very happy with my qualifying
time. Since the first few laps this morning we have been more confident
than we were at the test last week. I want to thank the engineers, who
have all done a good job over the weekend to study the data from last week
and to make the car stronger. It makes a difference to have driven the
three days last week, because I have not had to spend time learning the
track this morning and I have been able to get a good feeling with the
car. Fourth place is certainly a good way to start the weekend."
Olivier Panis: "It has been a difficult day for me today, but
I am generally quite happy with tenth place. I wasn't really comfortable
with the car in this morning's session and we had a few small mechanical
problems, so I decided to take the T-car for qualifying. In the end, there
wasn't much difference, but we'll work hard on things tonight to improve
the car for tomorrow. On a more positive note, I am pleased for Cristiano
- he drove very well today."
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 5th, David Coulthard - 14th )
"Our drivers' comments sum up well the result of today's not so
important qualifying session. The most vital part of the day was this
morning's session, which confirmed to us that we should be competitive on
Sunday. All the teams have worked hard and as a result I think we can look
forward to a great race."
"Today's performance in the morning was OK, but our performance in
qualifying was not. I think we will be more competitive tomorrow and on Sunday."
"I wanted to look after the car, but it wasn't as good a lap as it
could've been and not as fast as this morning's, but we should be OK for
tomorrow. Fifth place is not too bad, everything seems to be working well and
I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."
"We had a productive morning session, but on my qualifying lap I made
a mistake at the second chicane. The rear axle locked as a result of the
automatic downshift cutting in and I had to drop my speed, which lost me a lot
of time. Overall I think we are in reasonable shape and if we have a trouble
free session tomorrow we should qualify well."
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( Mark Webber - 6th, Justin Wilson - 15th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "We undertook an extensive tyre
comparison programme during the two-hour test this morning and also worked on
race preparation. We achieved a good number of laps and achieved some pleasing
mechanical set-up work. Unfortunately, we suffered from a gearbox problem on
Justin's car. The problem was corrected quickly and he went into the Free
Practice session using his racecar that then suffered an engine problem during
All in all, he has not exactly had a smooth build-up to qualifying and
suffered accordingly. Mark, however, did a superb job in qualifying and much
better than we expected given that all the teams tested here last week for
three days -- and four in the case of some. We will now focus all our efforts
on race preparation and strategy. On behalf of everyone at Jaguar Racing, I
would also like to add that Michelin's support and responsiveness in recent
days has been nothing short of magnificent. A great job all-round considering
that they partner five teams."
Mark Webber: "I had a rather difficult morning in
preparation for qualifying and I am surprised at having secured 6th place
today. The track is certainly a lot slower than when we tested here last
week and while it's pleasing to have posted the 6th fastest time today, my
focus is firmly on Sunday's race. That was a good lap but the wind here is
a problem. The cars are running in low downforce trim and you really feel
it in Ascari and through the Parabolica corners.
It also takes a while to arrive in 7th gear as you head towards the first
chicane and judging the exact braking point is tough -- as we saw with
Ralf Schumacher today. It's not easy!
The one-lap pace is something we are usually very strong at but we have a
fair deal of work ahead of us if we are to remain competitive over a race
Justin Wilson: "A frustrating day that hasn't
ended too well for me. My morning sessions were both compromised with a
gearbox problem during the two-hour test and an engine problem in Free
Practice. The track is slower and feels different to when we tested last week
and I didn't get any low fuel runs prior to qualifying. This hindered me
considerably, especially when it comes to understanding the limit of the car
and tyres. Nonetheless, Friday qualifying means little and there is still
ample time in which to make a difference this weekend."
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( Jarno Trulli - 7th, Fernando Alonso - 8th )
Pat Symonds: "Surprisingly, the conditions this morning
during the test session were better than those in qualifying, as we did
not have to cope with the gusting wind that sprung up late this morning.
This wind made it difficult for the drivers to understand the car,
especially in low-downforce set-up. Having said that, the car appears to
be reasonably balanced but as we were expecting, we need more grip and to
reduce the amount of time spent on the straights in order to match our
usual rivals. While we may not ultimately be as competitive on this
circuit as we are on others, we have nevertheless spent time on our race
set-up and are satisfied with the result."
Denis Chevrier: "We
are in an area of the grid where a couple of tenths can make as much as four
or five places' difference in terms of the final position. Although today's
positions are not particularly flattering, we managed to learn what we wanted
to during the morning and now have this evening and tomorrow during which to
work on optimising our package. Given how close things were today, extracting
the maximum from what we have available will be critical in order to qualify
Jarno Trulli: "A trouble-free day for me. The car is
handling OK, but we still have some work to do in order to find more
speed. Having said that, we are where we expected to be in the overall
Fernando Alonso: "For my timed lap, the car was a little
nervous in the chicanes and I had a bit too much understeer. With this
low-downforce set-up, it is hard for us to be competitive with our usual
rivals. For tomorrow, we must look to improve the overall grip of the car,
close the gap to those in front and get a better grid position in order
that we can fight for a good result in the race."
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( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 9th, Nick Heidfeld - 12th )
Peter Sauber: "Our ninth and 12th places
demonstrate the continuation of our upward trend of the last few weeks. We
believe that the potential of our C22 is not exhausted yet, and are trying
very hard to realise it."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I had a good qualifying lap and I am happy with my time and the
result. We made some set up alterations to my C22 for qualifying which gave it
a better balance than this morning, and my ninth place confirms our recent
improvement in form."
"I think we have changed the set-up a little bit too much between the
practice session this morning and qualifying, which consequently made it
harder to handle the car. In addition, the track surface was quite dirty after
the break and the wind whirled leaves into the air. However, my time showed
that we are on the right track."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
11th, Jacques Villeneuve - 13th )
"We obviously need to try to understand where we lost time compared with
free practice this morning, when we appeared to be as competitive as we were
in last week's testing. I'm sure that tomorrow morning's two sessions will
resolve this and we will be far stronger for the race."
"Unfortunately we haven't managed to match the time we set this
morning. However, we've got the potential to do well here and I'm looking
forward to a challenging and rewarding weekend."
"This was a disappointing qualifying session for us today and we have
a lot of work to do this evening. Following on directly from our test here
last week it is often risky to draw conclusions until track conditions
stabilise, however we were fairly happy with the car in the morning.
Jacques lost a little track time at the end of the morning when we located
an electrical problem. We are still optimistic that we can be more
competitive during the rest of the weekend."
"It was quite a good lap but I'm a little bit disappointed because I was
quicker in free practice. There was a lot less grip out there this afternoon
and I had quite a lot of understeer in the high speed corners. It's only
Friday though and we're a little more optimistic for the rest of the weekend.
There were quite a lot of fallen leaves and gusty winds out there today, so
when the track picks up tomorrow we should be able to qualify in the top 10
quite easily. Last week in testing we found a tyre that is consistent and when
all of those factors come together I'm sure we can do a lot better."
"Today is not a very satisfying day because we didn't complete our
programme in free practice this morning due to an electrical problem. Because
of that we weren't able to run in qualy spec, so this afternoon it was just a
case of trying to complete a clean lap to leave us in a reasonable position
for the start of final qualifying. Hopefully we will get a better day tomorrow
without any problems and that should make all the difference."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 16th, Zsolt Baumgartner - 17th )
"Giancarlo didn't go as quick as he did this morning, there was a
drop off in the first and last sectors. Zsolt needs to keep learning and push
harder, which is to be expected, but he did a reasonable job."
"It's frustrating and I'm disappointed to be three and a half seconds
off the pace at my home Grand Prix. I used the spare car today because I felt
there was some problem with my race car, maybe we'll fix it for tomorrow."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "I was quite happy with today
and I'm pleased that I was able to do the same lap time in dirtier track
conditions than this morning. I hope tomorrow I can do the same thing again or
a bit quicker with a time closer to Giancarlo. That's the goal."
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( Nicolas Kiesa - 18th, Jos Verstappen - 20th - No Time )
Paul Stoddart: "It has not been one of our better days. To
be honest, this morning’s test session saw Jos get into the 1 min 23 sec
bracket, which I felt was going to set us up for a good weekend. Sadly, it was
not to be, with Nicolas losing most of the practice session to a gearbox
problem, and Jos failing to leave the garage on his first qualifying run due
to what appears to have been an electronic box problem. Tomorrow is another
day, however, and we’ll aim to get back on track with our preparations for
Nicolas Kiesa: "Unfortunately, we had so many
difficulties this morning, I only managed 11 laps, and virtually every one of
those was interrupted by a problem. In the following one-hour session, I only
managed two laps before the gearbox developed a fault. I went into qualifying
this afternoon with just a very small number of laps under my belt, and none
of them at anything like optimum performance. The track conditions and the
weather changed this afternoon, with the wind really picking up, so I wasn’t
sure what to expect on my qualifying lap – it was like going out for the
first lap of the day. Anyway, I hope the team has got rid of all its bad luck
today and that things improve significantly tomorrow."
Jos Verstappen: "The morning test session went well
enough, but then we were slower in the official practice session, so we went
back on our set-up and it would therefore have been interesting to see how we
would have gone in qualifying this afternoon. Unfortunately, when we started
the engine on my car for the qualifying run, it simply wouldn’t run
properly. It is obviously very disappointing."
Gianmaria Bruni: "It was a good test today, from my point
of view. I think I did a good job for the team and set competitive lap times
in the process. Specifically, we tested a new design of engine cover and new
side pod outlet covers today. We went for a low downforce set-up, and after
setting a good time, Jos went 0.3 secs quicker. Still, for only my third
time in a Formula One car, I’m happy with the result. I’m now looking
forward to Indianapolis and the chance to learn another new circuit."
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