Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Kimi Raikkonen - 1st, David Coulthard - 8th )
"Taking into consideration the limited amount of running that we had
as a result of the damp conditions this morning our qualifying went well.
Hopefully our race strategy will compliment the excellent pole position
achieved by Kimi and also assist David in securing a good result."
"A super job from Kimi in the qualifying session, which was exciting
until the very last moment and a great effort from our team. We definitely
expect a thrilling race."
"I'm obviously very pleased for the whole team that we managed to get
pole position today. It's quite an important one and the fact that my two
Championship contenders are a bit further down can only be good for the
battle. I think the session was exciting to watch for the fans around the
world, and we want this race to be the same. We haven't done as much
running as we would have liked but nevertheless I felt very comfortable in
the car during my qualifying lap. I'm looking forward to the action
tomorrow and believe we can put in a strong performance, but it's a long
race and anything can happen. At least we are starting from the best
"I made a slight mistake when I ran a bit wide at turn four which was
caused by a small amount of understeer. At turn eight I experienced some
oversteer, but that didn't cost me too much time. Even from the fourth row of
the grid everything is possible, and I look forward to tomorrow's race.
Congratulations to Kimi on his great lap. Let's hope that it stays like this
in the race."
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( Rubens Barrichello - 2nd, Michael Schumacher - 7th )
Jean Todt: "We expected a very close fought
qualifying and that is what we got, given that the top ten are all within the
same second. Rubens did a great lap, rewarded with a place on the first row.
Unfortunately, Michael is only in seventh place. Now we have to work out the
reasons for this performance. It is clear that, especially in Michael�s
case, we had hoped for a better result. Tomorrow, we can expect another close
fight. Several factors will play their role, including the weather. One thing
is certain; we will do our utmost right to the end to try and obtain the best
"I was hoping for pole position as the car has been good all weekend. My
flying lap was a good one, even though the car felt a bit different to the way
it did in the warm-up and was loose all the way round. It was quite windy this
afternoon, which I am sure affected everyone, so I had to gamble a bit on the
car�s set-up in the hope that it will be good for tomorrow. So, I did not
have the quickest car in terms of its performance this afternoon. I am sorry I
am not in the race for the title where the battle is still very much alive.
The crowd here is fantastic, just like in Brazil and Monza and hopefully they
will see a good clean race. Personally, I love a challenge and I will be
trying to win tomorrow."
"This was a very average qualifying session for me today and naturally, I
am not at all satisfied with the way it went. I am not clear what was going
on, but the car was sliding too much and I could not find any grip. At least
seventh place is on the clean side of the track which is better than being on
the dirty inside line and I will be interested to see what strategy the others
have adopted for the race. In terms of the championship, my closest rival is
only three places ahead of me, so this is not a disaster and so, with Kimi on
pole the title race is a bit more open now. The important thing is to
understand what went wrong this afternoon. Now we will just have to wait and
see what I can do from that position on a track where overtaking is possible.
I hope that, by the end of the race, I can give the tifosi something to cheer
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Toyota ( Olivier Panis -
3rd, Cristiano da Matta - 9th )
Ove Andersson: "I am speechless! In only our
32nd race, we have qualified a Toyota on the second row of the grid after
Olivier took third place with a really impressive lap. It was a shame that
Cristiano had to jump into the T-car, which almost certainly affected his
time, but he drove a solid lap to score ninth and another double top ten
qualifying result for the team. The atmosphere in the garage during that
session was absolutely remarkable and I have to say a big thank you to all
the guys for producing such a fantastic result. The cars have looked
competitive since first thing yesterday morning and if luck is on our side
tomorrow, we should expect to pick up a few points."
Olivier Panis: "This is a brilliant result for
the entire team. I have not started a race on the second row of the grid
since the Grand Prix in Argentina back in 1997. I am looking forward to
having some fun in the race tomorrow alongside some of the most
competitive drivers in the field. We have had a mixed season in terms of
results, but it is fabulous to see the rewards of our non-stop efforts. I
know that we are not yet in a position to fight for victory, but we have a
good car and I expect to pick up a lot of points tomorrow to try and catch
BAR-Honda and Jaguar, our nearest rivals in the championship."
Cristiano da Matta: "All things considered I
think my lap today was okay. Unfortunately, I had to switch to the spare
car at the last minute because the engine was overheating during the
warm-up session and we didn't want to take any risks. The T-car was set-up
for me anyway, but even so you always lose out by some tenths-of-a-second,
which is critical when the field is as tight as it is here. For tomorrow's
race things should be pretty good; the car has been running strongly all
weekend, so I think that if the weather stays dry we should be looking for
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Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya -
4th, Ralf Schumacher - 5th )
Sam Michael: "We
did not qualify where we would have liked to. The cars were not perfectly
balanced in this session. But we are still confident for a strong race
tomorrow. I am sure it will be be an exciting one with the grid the way it
Mario Theissen: "Neither
of our drivers had an ideal lap today, and both of them have not been one
hundred percent happy with the handling of the cars. We will see what the
grid positions four and five are worth when the time comes for the first
pit-stops. Apart from race strategy, an important issue will be who will
manage to overtake on the oval's straight. If you look at the top speeds,
I would say our drivers have pretty good chances to do."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "My
first sector was ok but I had quite a bit of oversteer in the second and
third sectors and this wasn�t ideal, as I lost about three tenths there.
We could have done a little bit better but that�s what we�ve got and I
am still confident we will have a good race ahead of us. I would really
like to please all the South American fans who have come here to support
me. I know I have an excellent race car, we�ve got good power too and
this is important. It�s interesting to see Kimi up there, instead of
Michael: Kimi is always full of surprises!."
Ralf Schumacher: "The
very first part of my lap was very weak, as one can see from my
sector-time. Beside this, we had to change the car a lot from the warm-up
to qualifying, because of the accident I had in this morning�s Free
Practice, when I braked too late and went off track into the barriers, as
it caused me to lose quite a lot of valuable track time. Still I managed
to qualify in a reasonable position so I am fairly happy. I will start
tomorrow from the better side of the track so I hope I will have a good
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( Fernando Alonso - 6th, Jarno Trulli - 6th )
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."
Fernando Alonso: "We have improved the car since this
morning, and I was happier with the handling than during practice.
Nevertheless, it still feels nervous, with understeer in some corners and
oversteer in others. Still, I will be starting from a competitive position
tomorrow. I know the title contenders are close by me on the grid, but I
will be looking to make up positions at the start and drive a normal race.
I don�t want to disrupt the fight for the title and the surest way of
doing that is to finish in front of them."
Jarno Trulli: "Firstly, I want to thank all the
mechanics, who did a fantastic job to get the car ready after my accident
in the warm-up. As for the qualifying lap, nothing felt quite right: I
made small mistakes all the way round the lap, and I perhaps had some
trouble adapting to changing track conditions. It is disappointing to
start from so far back, but we have already shown this weekend that our
package is very competitive. We have chosen a good strategy and I am
intending to drive an attacking race tomorrow."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
11th, Jacques Villeneuve - 12th )
"The team did an excellent job overnight to overcome a difficult start to
our weekend and their efforts paid dividends today with a strong qualifying
performance from both cars and fault-free laps from Jacques and Jenson.
Starting side-by-side from the middle of the grid tomorrow, and with the
possibility of showers during the race, we can expect to see them both
fighting hard to deliver a crucial points boost for the team."
"After a difficult day yesterday we decided to make some substantial
changes to car set-up overnight and after some further experimentation we
finally managed to achieve a much more competitive car. The track temperatures
changed considerably during the morning practice and warm-up, forcing us to
make some last-minute changes, which worked well. Both drivers qualified well
and we look forward to seeing what unfolds in the race tomorrow when we must
continue our fight to secure fifth place in the Championship."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Both drivers put in decent laps
this afternoon. We're just outside the top ten - the times are really tight
and it was a very close session. We're in with a shout tomorrow and I'm sure
Jacques and Jenson will be fighting hard to pick up some more points."
Jenson Button: "We finally got on top of the
set-up with my car this morning and it was working reasonably well. By the
time we got to warm-up, the wind had picked up, the track temperature had
increased and like most people I found myself with a different car. It wasn�t
too bad in qualifying; the balance was there but we�re still finding grip
hard to come by. I think we�ll be quite strong in the race and we�ll be
fighting for valuable points."
"We�ve had some trouble with the driveability of the car this
weekend, mainly due to lack of grip, and this morning it was very close to
being undriveable. It was a little better in warm-up then we made some changes
prior to qualifying, which is always a bit of a gamble. It helped the car a
lot and finally I had grip. There was still some time left in it because that�s
the first lap I�ve done all weekend where the car has been working well. The
car will be good for the race but if we had found the set-up much earlier we
would be a few tenths quicker than we are now."
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( Nick Heidfeld - 13th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 15th )
Peter Sauber: "Nick is right beside Villeneuve
and close behind Button on the grid, and Heinz- Harald is within striking
distance of all three, so this bodes well for an exciting start."
"I'm happier with my lap today than I was with yesterday's in
comparable conditions. The car felt better balanced. Unfortunately the tyres
had begun to grain before the end of my lap, otherwise I could have finished
in front of Villeneuve."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I must confess that this was not one of my best laps. I lost my line
a bit in Turn Six and went slightly off track. It was quite slippery, and
the incident naturally cost me some time. We are nevertheless within our
target, but it is still annoying, of course. We changed the car quite a
bit for qualifying, and it is set up well for the race."
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( Mark Webber - 14th, Justin Wilson - 16th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "We had a solid and productive
morning working on tyres and race set-up. Both morning sessions were
problem-free and the pace going into qualifying was promising � particularly
with Mark setting the fastest time in sector two during the second warm-up
session. We all felt pretty positive in the build-up to the qualifying hour
but we were caught out by the lack of grip. We didn�t make any significant
changes to the car compared to the morning sessions and one can only assume at
this stage that the track temperature went against us. Given that both Honda
and Toyota powered teams are ahead of us, we have a very steep mountain ahead
of us tomorrow and we will simply have to knuckle down and do the best job we
can. The race pace of the car should be competitive and if we can remain
reliable, there is always a chance. Not the performance we were expecting but
there is a considerable race distance to complete tomorrow at a track that
normally carries a high attrition rate."
Mark Webber: "You win some, you lose some and today wasn�t
our day. We lost a bit of balance and grip going into the qualifying
session and it became quite apparent as I came out of turn ten from my out
lap. As I came out, the car understeered considerably and I began worrying
about what was in store for me today. The brakes going into turn one were
fine but the understeer kicked in again and it stayed with me for the
whole lap. It was certainly a difficult qualifying session for us and not
one that we expected given our pace up until now. We will, however, learn
from it, move on and focus upon the job in-hand for tomorrow."
Justin Wilson: "Mark�s words pretty much sum up my
disappointing performance too. The track conditions had obviously changed
since this morning and no sooner had I entered the in-field section than I
began experiencing understeer. The car was quite twitchy in some of the
corners and there was little I could do except my best. Tomorrow�s race
will be tough for us but there is never such a thing as an easy race
anyway! It is a shame to be starting so far back at a circuit which we
know we could have done a better job at today and given that I haven�t
yet finished a race distance for Jaguar yet, seeing the chequered flag
will mean a lot to me tomorrow."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 17th, Ralph Firman - 18th )
"Mixed conditions in the morning meant that the first session was a
bit of a waste of time and Giancarlo had a gearbox problem which necessitated
a gearbox change so he lost any running time potential. The second session was
okay, we got through some work on fuel loads and we went with what we think is
the best thing for qualifying. There are no miracles and our pace is where we
are relative to the front. Hopefully we�ve got a strategy that will keep us
in contention and if a couple of points drop our way we will take them and say
thank you very much!."
"This morning I had a problem with the gearbox and didn�t get
enough laps done so the car was not good in terms of set-up today. Grip is
poor and the set-up we have chosen is more suited for wet conditions in case
tomorrow is wet, which is what I�m hoping for."
Ralph Firman: "It feels really good to be driving here in
Indianapolis after five weeks out of the car and it�s quite exciting as
there are only two more Grands Prix to go. We have been struggling for the
ultimate lap time today but that�s just where we are with the car, we have
problems with grip, and we�re struggling with balance and the lower
downforce set-up. There is a lot of oversteer on turn-in and understeer
through the long corners, it�s a bit of everything really. I had a pretty
good lap with no mistakes, and did the best I could under the circumstances.
Unless it rains I think we might struggle to score any points, but it�s been
pretty showery the last few days so we may get lucky."
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( Jos Verstappen - 19th, Nicolas Kiesa - 20th )
Paul Stoddart: "With the changing track conditions here
today, going out first in qualifying was certainly a disadvantage, with both
drivers struggling to find an acceptable chassis balance. Should the weather
play a part in the race, however, starting from the back of the grid may not
be so bad. We look forward to getting both European Minardi entries to the
chequered flag in tomorrow�s United States Grand Prix."
Jos Verstappen: "It
felt like we had punctures on the qualifying lap, the way the car was sliding
around. I just couldn�t do anything with it. As soon as I really began to
push, the rear just started sliding away. In the end, it was just about
survival, keeping the car on the track and completing the lap. I�m obviously
disappointed by how the car felt in qualifying today, and if it�s like this
for the race, we will have a problem. Hopefully, though, we will find
something overnight to improve the situation."
Nicolas Kiesa: "The track conditions definitely changed
between this morning�s practice sessions and this afternoon�s
qualifying run, which meant the car�s handling altered noticeably. I
was pushing hard and the rear of the car stepped out, losing me probably
three tenths of a second, which I then carried with me for the rest of
the lap. The remainder of the run wasn�t too bad, and the car went
well through the slower corners in the second sector. As is often the
case, I think we have a better car for the race than for qualifying."
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