Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 3rd )
Jean Todt: "It was a great qualifying session
with very exciting moments, given that it is all decided on just a single lap.
Having Michael on pole and Rubens in third place is heart warming, both for us
and for our tifosi. Everything went well today; the car, the engine, the team,
the drivers and the support from our technical partners, especially
Bridgestone and Shell. However, this is just one step in a crucial weekend.
Tomorrow we have another 53 steps to tackle before crossing the finish line at
the end of a race which will play a key role in the final outcome of the
season, given that there is everything to play for in just three Grands Prix."
Ross Brawn: "We must not get carried away, but this result is a
great boost for the whole team. Both our drivers are on the clean side of the
track, which could help us compete for good positions at the start. This
result is a credit to everyone and a reward for all their hard work. We have
been a bit under pressure over the last few weeks and this pole is fantastic
for Ferrari and for Bridgestone. We have a great package at our disposal.
There is no particular area in which we have improved since the last race: it
down to all the work we have done with our technical partners."
"It is a while since I have been on pole, but I guess this is the right
time to do it. It is the nature of this sport that you go through ups and
downs and in the last two races, we have been a bit unlucky and were not very
competitive. Now, we have turned this situation around thanks to the hard work
of everyone in the team and at the factory. Our President has helped us to
focus on the problems we experienced in the last two races, but we have not
been put under any extra pressure here. We have made improvements to all areas
of the car, while Bridgestone has given us a very good tyre. For the race, it
will depend on who has the most consistent performance package over the
distance. Tomorrow we will see who has got it right."
"It is a pleasure to be here with two Ferraris on the front two rows, in
front of our tifosi. This morning, I was not so happy with the car, but it was
good in the warm-up. Then we did some work on the brakes and maybe they were
not up to temperature on my run. I think this was the reason why I locked up
the fronts. This meant I made a minor mistake in Turn 1 and lost speed in Turn
2. It is a shame as the car was good and the last two sectors were fine. I am
hopeful of doing well tomorrow, as last week I did a lot of work to ensure the
car is consistent over a race distance while still having good speed. It is
going to be a long race."
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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -
2nd, Marc Gene - 5th - Replaces Ralf Schumacher )
Sam Michael: "It
was a good qualifying session for the team. Juan produced a good lap,
despite a little mistake in Ascari, which cost him pole position and he is
well placed for the race tomorrow. Marc did a fantastic job today after
jumping into the car at short notice."
Gerhard Berger: "It
was the anticipated close dual between Ferrari and ourselves, and this
will continue in the race. Michael Schumacher and Juan Pablo are separated
by just a fraction and Kimi Räikkönen is close behind ready to pounce. I
am curious to know what fuel level each driver was carrying. Every test
driver hopes to get the chance to compete in a race, even if on very short
notice such as Marc's call-up this morning. Now is his chance to use this
opportunity and he made an excellent job of it in qualifying."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I
had a pretty good lap and saw the first two sector times on the dash that
confirmed I was quickest. But then I had quite a lot of understeer, and I
made a small mistake at Ascari when I went too wide, but I could not
afford to be conservative. I believe we have a very good car and strong
tyres for the race tomorrow even if I am starting from the dirty side of
the track. Marc did an amazing job especially as he started first, and the
track improved a lot during the session. I am looking forward to the race."
Marc Gene: "I
thought I was still dreaming this morning when I was woken by a surprising
call telling me that I was standing in for Ralf. I was fortunate to test
on this track last week. It is also beneficial that besides my job of test
driver, I have been busy racing in other series and I therefore have
plenty of race practice. I hope I can support the team here in their
battle for the Championship and I am sure that Ralf will be okay for the
next race. However, my qualifying lap wasn't the best ever as I made a
couple of mistakes in the first and second chicanes, but my best
qualifying in F1 so far was 15th on the grid."
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 4th, David Coulthard - 8th )
"Hopefully our race strategy will further demonstrate our
competitiveness this weekend. It should be an exciting race."
"A very good lap by Kimi. The fact that the all three title
contenders are placed on the first two rows of the grid is a good basis
for a great race."
"A pretty good qualifying lap. 1:21.466 is the best time we have done
so far this weekend, and the gap to the front is less than before, so I'm
very pleased. Of course we would like to be on the front row, but
everything is possible from the second line. I think we will be more
competitive in the race as the car is working well, and we have a good
strategy, so we will see what happens tomorrow -- I'm sure it will be a
"A reasonable lap where I set almost the same time as in the warm up.
I was a bit cautious and there was no drama. I expected the track to get
faster and faster as the session went on and it did. However I hope for a good
start and with our strategy we should be able to maximise the situation in the
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( Jarno Trulli - 6th, Fernando Alonso - 20th )
Pat Symonds: "A great effort from Jarno, which has given us
a better grid position than expected. The new Michelin tyres are
performing very well in race trim, and this strong starting position gives
us confidence for tomorrow. Fernando, on the other hand, was extremely
unlucky. It appears there was a major electrical failure on his car as he
started the timed lap, which effectively knocked out all the control
systems. Without warning that this had happened, he lost control of the
car as he exited the first chicane."
Denis Chevrier: "Mixed feelings for the team after
qualifying. Jarno's performance has put us in a competitive position for
the race, although Fernando unfortunately suffered an incident which will
make things a little more complicated for him. Overall, I think we can
note that our level of performance in race trim is better than we were
able to show in Friday qualifying, and that at least one of our drivers
can fight for points tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli: "It was a good lap and I am happy with the
result, particularly here at my home race. Having said that, I think I
could have gone a little faster: the car had the potential to be a bit
quicker. I have got a good balance, and the new engine spec ran well: from
the driver's seat, you can feel the difference. I am confident we can
score points tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "There's not
much to say really. I went into the first chicane as normal, but the car spun
on the exit because the traction control was not working. As you would expect,
I am disappointed, but tomorrow is another day. We know it is possible to
score points starting from the back, so it's not over yet."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
7th, Jacques Villeneuve - 10th )
"It's great to have both the cars back in the top ten and to have
qualified so well versus our key competitors in the fight for fifth place.
Both Jacques and Jenson have the opportunity to score well in the race, and I
will certainly feel much more comfortable if we consolidate our championship
position. Today's performance is a direct result of all the hard work that
Honda and the test team put in last week here at Monza."
"It's good to have both cars qualifying in the top ten once again. After
a disappointing session yesterday we had to spend a lot of time last night
identifying the sources of the problem, and so made quite a number of changes
to the car for today. This morning, Jenson was a lot happier with his car,
Jacques rather less so. By warm-up, however, we were happy that we had a good
set-up on both cars. We resisted the temptation to make any changes and were
rewarded with a very good lap from Jenson and a solid performance from
Jacques. We are confident that we have a good set-up and strategy for tomorrow
and we'll be aiming for a points finish with both cars."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "That was a pretty good session -
both drivers were pushing really hard and it's great to be back in the top
ten. We're getting positive feedback on the latest evolution of the engine and
things are going well. Our strategy looks okay so we've got a good chance to
fight for a few points tomorrow."
Jenson Button: "I'm really happy with seventh.
It's been a while since I've done a really good qualifying lap so it feels
great and I'm really pleased for the team. It felt like a very smooth lap and
that's what you need here. It felt like I hung it all together and it's
fantastic to be starting from the fourth row of the grid, which is where we
should be. Tomorrow is a crucial opportunity for us. We have a good strategy
and can definitely get points, so we'll be pulling out all the stops to take
us a step closer to fifth in the championship."
"I'm quite happy with my lap; it was much better than yesterday. I
made a small mistake in the second chicane when the brakes reacted differently
to how they did during free practice this morning. The car wasn't working well
earlier. We had a few problems and we just about got it right for warm- up,
then as the temperature went up my car seemed to work better. If it's like
this for the race we should be OK for a points-finish."
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Toyota ( Olivier Panis -
9th, Cristiano da Matta - 12th )
Keizo Takahashi: "This qualifying result is
satisfying for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team. I am pleased with Olivier
setting the ninth fastest time, given that he missed one of this morning's
free practice session due to electronic problems. Cristiano's car was not
as competitive as yesterday, but I think both cars should be in reasonably
good shape to challenge for points in the Grand Prix tomorrow."
Olivier Panis: "This weekend has been pretty
difficult for me, so I am pleased with my qualifying lap today. We had
some electronics problems in practice this morning, but everyone has
worked well to improve the balance of the car for today's session. We are
now in a good direction for the race and starting from ninth, I think we
will again be in a position to fight for points tomorrow."
Cristiano da Matta: "Not a great qualifying
lap for me this afternoon. I made a small mistake at Ascari and probably
lost two or three tenths, which was a shame. Even so, the level of our
performance today was not as high compared to yesterday's sessions and we
need to figure out why. The Italian Grand Prix is a long race and quite
tough, particularly in terms of reliability, but I am confident that we
can reach the finish and get a good result."
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( Mark Webber - 11th, Justin Wilson - 15th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "A productive day but the pace of
the Jaguar R4 around this Monza circuit is not completely to our satisfaction.
The team has done an excellent job today in working through a comprehensive
programme aimed at race preparation. Both drivers also performed well and
managed clean laps that were an improvement on their best times from the
As always, we have worked hard on our qualifying lap but we are very much
looking towards the race distance as it will be tomorrow that the points are
up for grabs. We have not suffered from any reliability issues today after
what has been a good number of laps between both drivers. A tough race beckons
tomorrow and it will be very interesting indeed to see the strategies of our
competitors against what we have decided."
Mark Webber: "I am pretty happy with that lap. I do not think
there was much more time left to extract from the car and it will be very
interesting to see what happens in the race tomorrow. Monza has been a
tough build-up for us and we are certainly not as quick here compared to
some other circuits we have raced at this year. We are, however, learning
all the time and trying to maintain the upward trend. Our problem here has
been compounded a little by how competitive we were in Budapest. The car
and tyre combination was strong and naturally the expectation level goes
up but it is extremely hard to be on that kind of pace at every race. We
are a little disappointed, yes, but anything can happen tomorrow. The tyre
war is very close and it will be a tough fight tomorrow throughout the
Justin Wilson: "After what was a frustrating day yesterday,
today has been much better. The track is certainly better without the
strong winds that were evident yesterday and I am pleased with my lap
given the strategy I am on for tomorrow's race. There was quite a bit of
grip out there today but I was being careful not to overdo the lap. There
is obviously more time in the car but it is very important that I generate
the required experience with the team and discover fully the limits of the
car. Unlike other circuits where overtaking is tough, the starting
position here at Monza is not the be all and end all. Overtaking
opportunities are plentiful and given that I have yet to finish a race
with Jaguar, my aim is to make it to the end of 51-laps tomorrow."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 13th, Zsolt Baumgartner - 18th - replaces Ralph Firman)
"Let's wait and see what unfolds tomorrow!."
"It was a good lap and the car is better than it was yesterday. I
hope to get to the end tomorrow because I haven't finished the last few races.
It's going to be difficult to score points but it's my home Grand Prix and I'm
giving it my best as always."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "I think qualifying was okay. I hope that
tomorrow I can get in front of Verstappen and it's my goal to finish the race.
In Hungary I couldn't do that, so I'm really looking forward to this
additional chance to race in a Grand Prix."
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( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 14th, Nick Heidfeld - 16th )
Peter Sauber: "We prepared ourselves for Monza
with great intensity, worked hard and invested a lot. Taking all this into
account it is disappointing that this afternoon's results are rather modest."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I had problems with the tyres and couldn't brake as heavily as I
wanted, and though my first two sectors were good I lost time with
oversteer in the Parabolica. It's a shame we weren't able to make optimal
use of our new aerodynamic package due to balance problems, because it was
very promising in last week's test here."
"Already in the practice sessions this morning I was struggling with
poor balance on the car and in addition to this mine had less top speed
compared to Heinz-Harald's. Then during the pre-qualifying warm-up I
experienced difficulties bringing the brakes up to optimum temperature so
I opted to be a little cautious under braking during my qualifying lap. It
then transpired that they worked fine and that I could have been more
aggressive, which was frustrating."
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( Jos Verstappen - 17th, Nicolas Kiesa - 19th )
Paul Stoddart: "On a weekend when 40 per cent of the
field starting tomorrow's race formerly drove for Minardi, I'm pleased with
the team's performance. Nicolas undoubtedly had the 'save' of the day at
Ascari, and if not for that spectacular moment, would undoubtedly have
finished ahead of a few cars. I believe we can build on P17 and P19 in
Jos Verstappen: "It was an excellent
qualifying lap from where I sat -- it was a better time than I set in cooler
conditions this morning. The car felt good and I was able to push hard. It was
definitely one of my better laps this year, so we're still learning. I'm very
happy with what we have done today, and hopefully the strong performance will
Nicolas Kiesa: "Coming into Turn 1, the braking power
felt good, and as a result, I ended up braking too soon and lost time. It was
early in the lap, so I knew I had to push hard to see if I could regain some
of the time. I had a good middle sector and then, coming into Ascari, I had
the car positioned perfectly for a good exit. So far during the weekend, I
have gone through there with 97 or 98 per cent throttle applied in fourth
gear, but as it was qualifying and I needed to go for the best possible time,
I tried 100 per cent.
Unfortunately, on the way out of the corner, the rear stepped out and the car
started to slide. I caught it, and didn't lose too much time as a result, but
then I was slower down the next straight. Anyway, qualifying is all about
taking chances, and I had to take a chance. If it had worked, I would have
liked to see the time!."
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