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Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
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Team and Driver Quotes following the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix Qualifying
Williams ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd, Ralf Schumacher - 7th )
Sam Michael: "After making a lot of changes to our cars we managed to get a good race set-up this morning. The set up here is a compromise between the slow infield versus the rest of the track which is fast. Both drivers did a good job in qualifying and it's a good way to finish the partnership with them. With such a tight grid here it will be interesting to see what happens when the various strategies unfold tomorrow."
Mario Theissen: "As in Suzuka, our team had another strong qualifying session. This time it is Juan Pablo who starts from the front row. Behind the quickest, Barrichello, the lap times are very close together. However, I believe we have a strong position from which to start the race. Regarding engine performance it is nice to see that in all sessions our drivers were always the fastest on the long up-hill section that comprises the third sector."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It's very nice to be on the front row
here, because Interlagos is the place where I nearly won my first F1 race
in 2001. Still I am very happy with this result because I think I was not
able to beat Rubens anyway. I lost most of the time on my lap in the first
sector where you can gain or lose it all and unluckily I did not get it
Ralf Schumacher: "Seventh is not too bad a place to start the race from because I will start from the clean side of the track. I know we have a good race car and a good strategy which makes me confident to be in a position to collect some valuable points for the team tomorrow."
McLaren ( Kimi Raikkonen - 3rd, David Coulthard - 13th )
Ron Dennis: "An excellent lap for Kimi. Commiserations to David as the whole team would have loved for him to have a more successful final qualifying. I think we have a strong strategy for tomorrow and are looking forward to the race."
Norbert Haug: "An exciting qualifying session. Kimi did a strong lap and our strategy for tomorrow's race should see us in good shape. A shame for David to start his last race for the team from 12th -- anyway he should be able to come in the points."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I have been happy with the car from the very beginning of my Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. The times are so close and I actually think we could have been on pole position. It was a good qualifying lap, but the rear was a bit loose at turns one and nine, so I might have lost a little bit of time. As always it's difficult to predict what will happen in the race, but I think we are in with a strong chance of ending the season on a high."
David Coulthard: "Obviously not the result I had hoped for in my last qualifying session for the team. I had a short moment at turn three and experienced some oversteer in the middle sector, which cost me precious time. A few people got caught out by the changing track conditions today including me. However, I know that my car has got the pace and I am looking forward to a strong race, I always go well here."
Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 4th, Giancarlo Fisichella - 11th )
Peter Sauber: "It is very important to be able to improve right up until the last race. Congratulations to the team, to Bridgestone and, of course, to both drivers for a very good performance. I am particularly happy for Felipe, who was able to cope with the pressure of racing at home and to deliver a fantastic performance for us and for Brazil. I think we will have an interesting race!."
Felipe Massa: "I think that was a pretty good lap! But you know, all day I had the confidence to be flat in Turn 11, and then in qualifying the car had a big snap oversteer there and I lost a tenth of a second or so and maybe even a front row position. But so soon after China it is great to repeat that grid result and I am sure I can do a very good race tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It was not too bad for me, to qualify just outside the top 10. Yesterday the car was quick in race trim, and though today it was a little strange in places with some understeer, I am confident that I have the right strategy and can achieve a good result in my last race for a great team."
BAR ( Jenson Button - 5th, Takuma Sato - 6th )
David Richards: "The last qualifying session of the year and another very solid result by both drivers. All eyes will be on the sky tomorrow as we wait to see if the rain arrives prior to the race, which appears to be a distinct possibility. Regardless, it's the end of the season and let's just hope it's a great race for the spectators and TV audience to round off what, for B*A*R, has been a quite exceptional year."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Both drivers have done a good job to qualify near the front which will allow us to fight for another podium finish. As it is the last race of the season we want to have a strong race to maintain our momentum into the off season."
Geoffrey Willis: "After this morning's running we were
expecting to qualify a little better than the third row, nevertheless we are
confident of racing well tomorrow. Jenson had the more obvious problems in
qualifying when he found the car balance had changed too much to oversteer
Jenson Button: "Considering the lap, P5 isn't too bad, as I expected to be further back than that. In the final session I made a mistake in the second sector though when I got a bit of oversteer through turn five, which cost me quite a bit of time. Nevertheless, I think we can expect a strong race tomorrow and we'll all be doing our best to end the season on a high note and secure that all-important championship position we've worked so hard for this season."
Takuma Sato: "The car was a bit twitchy into turns one and two and I was losing grip. I possibly needed a harder outlap to achieve the right temperature for the grip required at the start of the lap, but the rest of the run was quite strong so I am reasonably happy. 6th place isn't the best result but here we have good overtaking opportunities and I hope our strategy is strong. It will be a tough race but I am very much looking forward to it."
Renault ( Fernando Alonso - 9th, Jacques Villeneuve - 14th )
Pat Symonds: "Neither driver found the car quite as well balanced as he would have liked on this bumpy circuit and our qualifying positions are a little disappointing. However, it is quite probable that there is a mixture of strategies and we may not know who has chosen what until mid-way through tomorrow's Grand Prix. However, we remain confident in the work we have done so far and feel a strong finish is very achievable."
Denis Chevrier: "A short circuit like Interlagos often makes for
a very tight grid, in which a small time difference can represent a large
number of positions. Jacques certainly suffered from that today and his
cause was not helped by the restricted running time in third practice this
Fernando Alonso: "I am confident we can be more competitive tomorrow than we seemed this afternoon. The car was understeering a bit too much in the slow corners during qualifying but the overall balance was still quite good in spite of this. We will need to wait for the race to see what strategies our competitors have but I think things will be better for us. The R24 was setting constant and competitive times on the long practice runs we did yesterday and today."
Jacques Villeneuve: "I had a bad lap - it was as simple as that. The car was handling better this morning but then started understeering on the qualifying lap and I couldn't hook things up as I would have liked. Tomorrow's race will be demanding but I am still hoping for a points finish."
Toyota ( Jarno Trulli - 10th, Ricardo Zonta - 15th )
Mike Gascoyne: "It was a mixed qualifying session. Ricardo
struggled with a lot of understeer on his car in both sessions and wasn't
able to match his times from this morning, which were set on similar fuel
loads. Jarno was happier with the balance and produced an impressive lap
to qualify inside the top ten.
Jarno Trulli: "I am extremely happy with our performance in
qualifying. It was a very good lap and the car was well balanced. I believe
that I pushed the car to the absolute limit which makes me particularly
satisfied. I am also quite confident for the race because we have been
consistent over the long runs in the practice sessions.
Ricardo Zonta: "I was happy with the balance of the car in the
morning practice, but we had to make some changes to the car to avoid wearing
the floor too much. Unfortunately, the car became very understeery and
although we tried to solve the problem, it was too late for the second
Jaguar ( Mark Webber - 12th, Christian Klien - 16th )
Dr. Mark Gillan: "Despite the shorter session this morning we
completed our full programme of testing ahead of qualifying. Both of the cars
had good balance although we were making changes to keep up with the on-going
changes of the track conditions, with increases in temperature and changes to
Mark Webber: "This morning's practice was slightly shorter than we
would have liked but stray dogs on the track is out-with our control and
everyone was affected. We made the most of the second session and I was
relatively comfortable with the car's set-up going into qualifying. My first
qualifying was not ideal as I felt that there was more to be extracted from
the car and it needed a bit of fine-tuning.
Christian Klien: "This is not an easy circuit to master and one
that punishes you for the slightest error. I have been working hard with my
engineers to find a good balance for the car and I managed this ahead of
qualifying and was looking forward to this afternoon. My first session was ok
but I needed to extract more from the car but the grip was quite low in the
afternoon and this was affecting me.
Jordan ( Nick Heidfeld - 17th, Timo Glock - 18th )
James Robinson: "It was a great qualifying session overall and for Jordan it's good to get two cars ahead of Michael Schumacher! We compromised the car set-up on the basis of the rain forecast for tomorrow so we are hoping that our forecast is correct thus allowing us to make use of our excellent Bridgestone tyres."
Nick Heidfeld: "I'm quite satisfied with my lap and it is good fun to drive here at Interlagos again. I lost some grip on the tyres towards the end of the lap but that's normal, it can happen. The new tarmac here has some good grip which is positive but it's still too bumpy really. Hopefully we will be lucky and have a good race."
Timo Glock: "It has been a bit better than yesterday. We found
more from the car in time for pre- qualifying, although I made a mistake in
last sector. In qualifying I had a good lap without mistakes. I'm on a
slightly different strategy to Nick and I think the distance between our times
Minardi ( Zsolt Baumgartner - 19th, Gianmaria Bruni - 20th )Paul Stoddart: "This weekend has been a busy one for Minardi and I am pleased with the fact that we were able to exceed last year's pole position time throughout the course of the day. Zsolt put in a solid performance in today's qualifying, while Gimmi will start from the pit lane tomorrow, as he did not record a time.
The tyres provided to the team this weekend seem to be working particularly well here at Interlagos, and it is therefore an opportune moment to thank Bridgestone for the support they have given us all season.
The weather forecast for tomorrow could prove interesting, as we all remember the fantastic race Minardi had when the team was last here in Sao Paulo."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "Generally,
it has been a good day. I was quite competitive compared with my team mate all
morning and I was very happy in qualifying that I could be that close to the
Jordan with just half-a-tenth of a second between us. I really like the track,
which may be why I have performed well here all weekend, and now I hope to
have a good race here tomorrow to finish the weekend.
Gianmaria Bruni: "I had a good run in the pre-qualifying session and set the fastest-ever lap for a Minardi around Interlagos. On the 'in' lap, however, I experienced a problem with the car and, as a result, decided not to take part in the qualifying session. Even so, I'm sure tomorrow is going to be a good race and I will try to get the best result I can in the final event of the year."
Bridgestone Saturday Notes - Michelin Saturday Notes