Formula 1 Canada Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
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Team and Driver Quotes following Saturday Practice & Qualifying
Sam Michael: "We had a lot of work to do from where we were yesterday to now, in particular on brakes and set-up. The team did a very good job to get the cars to where they are, and it was a fantastic lap by Ralf. We are looking forward to a really competitive race tomorrow."
Mario Theissen: "Of course, this is a fantastic result for the team. In the pre-qualifying both drivers were very fast and satisfied with their cars. Ralf later had a perfect lap, he made the most out of it. The positions one and four are the best so far this season for us and we are very happy. I think here in Montreal four teams will be able to fight for victory."
Ralf Schumacher: "I am surprised about this brilliant result, since we struggled quite a lot yesterday and this morning. But the team did a great job in getting the car right which allowed me to achieve this unexpected pole. The car started to feel very well in the pre-qualifying session and it was very good in qualifying too. We have really turned the set-up around and we have definitely found the right one. When I saw that Michael had qualified sixth I started thinking I could do it. It is going to be a great race tomorrow, also because all the cars on Michelin tyres seem to be very consistent. I am looking forward to it."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am a bit disappointed with my result because I could have achieved more. Unlike yesterday and this morning, my car was feeling pretty good in qualifying but I made a couple of mistakes and I had to pay for that. I locked the rear wheels into the hairpin and lost some valuable time there. Ralf did a great job and put a good lap in. We have worked very hard on the car since yesterday and it's clear that we have moved forward. Both Ralf and myself are in a very good position for the race. Let's see how it goes."
"I am delighted that Jenson has delivered such a mature and measured
performance this afternoon, and it is a shame that he should miss out on his
second career pole by such a tiny fraction. However, the race is what counts,
and I am very confident that Jenson will continue his good work and deliver
another podium - hopefully it's just a matter of which step!
Shuhei Nakamoto: "What an exciting session! It was great to see so many people in with a chance for pole - us included. It was a shame for Takuma as he was obviously on an extremely quick lap but Jenson has done an excellent job. We can look forward to the race with confidence."
Geoffrey Willis: "After a good morning the qualifying session
ended with very mixed results for the team. Jenson's lap was very good and we
are disappointed not to have held on to pole. However it is very good to be
starting tomorrow's race from the front row since it is so hard to overtake
here. The drivers have been happy with the car balance all day and we are
confident with our tyre choice so we are looking forward to the race.
"I'm very pleased with my lap and a front row grid slot. Not as
pleased as if I'd held on to pole but I'll settle for second. I lost a bit of
time in the hairpin because I went a bit deep and locked up the front right.
There are a couple more tenths in the car yet so to be a full second ahead of
Michael is fantastic; a bit strange but great nonetheless.
"It has been a difficult day for me. In the morning session we lost
the first part of the practice due to an oil pressure problem and then
lost part of the second practice session, so we could not try all of the
variables on the car that we wanted to. However, the car felt great in
pre-qualifying and I started the final qualifying session feeling very
Pat Symonds: "We have been quick all weekend, and third and fifth are good starting positions, bearing in mind our strategy. Some of our competitors challenged us hard today but as always, it will not be until well into the race that we will be able to make a definitive judgement as to the relative speeds of the cars. Jarno's lap seemed good, although his straightline speed was down a little, and we need to look at this. Fernando's car was reasonably damaged by the end of the lap, and that undoubtedly cost him time."
Denis Chevrier: "It was a satisfying qualifying performance for the team, and confirms the order we saw begin to establish itself this morning. The performance of the two cars was comparable, and we are certainly optimistic for the race, starting so close to the front. The new engine specification functioned perfectly on the first occasion it was used to its full potential."
Jarno Trulli: "This is the fourth race in a row that I have started from the second row or higher, and that obviously puts us in a strong position for tomorrow. I had a good lap, but couldn't repeat my time from this morning - I think the hotter track conditions may have had something to do with it, and I think we will see some variation in strategies tomorrow. However, third is a good result, and the car has been competitive on the longer runs. We will see what happens tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "I am happy with fifth, even though it is not as quick as I did this morning. On my out lap, I hit some debris from Sato's car, and then made a small mistake at turn 8 on the qualifying lap, and we found that the car was damaged at the end of the run. I had a bit too much understeer to be really quick, but to be in the top five is enough to race well."
Jean Todt: No doubt about it, this was a difficult qualifying, with Michael ending up on the third row and Rubens on the fourth. The result is not what we would have wished for and it will make for a complicated race tomorrow for us. However, it still looks very open and as usual, strategy and reliability will be decisive factors. We aim to bring home as many points as possible, important for both Championships.
Ross Brawn: "All weekend we have had a tyre from Bridgestone that has been very good from the point of view of consistency, but it was a bit of a struggle to get the most out of it on the first lap. That hurt us a bit this afternoon, added to which neither of our drivers did a clean lap. But we can still be optimistic as we have a tyre we can rely on to be very good for many laps, as we saw in free practice. Now we must rely on the drivers to make a good start and then help them with the right strategy.
Michael Schumacher: I would say this was a difficult qualifying session. I had not expected it to be easy, but now it will be interesting to see how well our tyres will perform in the race and how much ground we make up compared to what we have lost in qualifying. I have won races from lower positions on the grid and so I am still confident for tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello: It was a bit of a complicated day. This morning I took a kerb differently to usual and the car bottomed out hard enough to damage the chassis. The mechanics then did a fantastic job to refit my engine into the spare car, which meant I was able to get out on track again for the second part of the fourth session. The new car is handling pretty well, but my lap was not perfect. I actually made a mistake at Turn 6 which probably cost me at least half a second. But I remain confident for tomorrow because the car is very competitive in race trim.
Ron Dennis: "As always the grid here reflects different race strategies and tyre choices, which coupled with the statistically high use of the safety car, could make the race very interesting. Our own race strategy and choice of tyres should provide us with an opportunity to score some points."
Norbert Haug: "An interesting grid with a result for our team, which I think reflects more or less our current level of competitiveness. It could be an interesting race tomorrow with different strategies."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was an OK lap. However I had some problems at the last chicane and maybe lost one place. Basically on this circuit you need to drive over the kerbs a little bit, so how fast you get through the corner depends on how well you do that. Hopefully we can finish the race tomorrow and get some points."
David Coulthard: "I had a small amount of oversteer and was sliding a little bit with the rear during my qualifying lap, and as a result I went a bit wide at a couple of chicanes, so there is some time lost there. The balance of the car is good, so I think if we run reliably in tomorrow's race, it should be possible to score some points."
Dr. Mark Gillan: "Both sessions worked well for us this morning
and I was pleased with our progress. Both Mark and Christian completed their
tyre programmes, general race set-up work and their brakes and balance were
looking good. Going into the first qualifying session both drivers delivered
clean laps but we knew there was more to come.
Mark Webber: "It would be good if I could start a bit higher up
the grid but that's the way it goes sometimes. The car felt generally good and
I was happy with the balance and set-up. I locked up slightly on corner ten
which cost me some time but you have to take the rough with the smooth. The
guys have been working very hard since Nurburgring in preparation for this
race and I know that we are moving in the right direction.
Willy Rampf: "Felipe really hoped for a lot from qualifying and was ready to push hard, but he was unfortunate enough to sustain a puncture at the beginning of his out lap. Once again we are delighted with Giancarlo's great performance. He fulfilled our expectations to the full and is very well prepared for another strong race."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "It's been a fantastic day for me, with two perfect qualifying sessions. To take 11th place on the grid, especially with the fuel load that we were running, is really, really good. The car has been great here, with good balance and traction, and the brakes have been perfect. This has possibly been one of the most positive weekends of my season so far and I'm really looking forward to exploiting that to the full in the race and adding to our points score."
Felipe Massa: "I picked up a puncture at the start of my out lap, so that was it for me. The car felt so unstable that I knew something was wrong and had to come straight into the pits at the end of the lap. I'm disappointed because the car felt really good this morning and I'm sure I would have been able to set a competitive time this afternoon. I still believe I have the chance to salvage something in the race tomorrow, however, and will be fighting very hard."
Mike Gascoyne: "We have worked on optimising the car for
its race performance tomorrow in terms of both our tyre choice and
strategy. Consequently, I think we can be reasonably pleased with our
qualifying positions. The car has been a little bit more difficult to
drive today, but overall I think we have taken the right approach.
Cristiano da Matta: "My lap was not great and I feel that I could have extracted another two or three tenths from the car. Having said that, we have been more concentrated on our race pace this weekend, so we did not expect to be so hot today. We maybe had a bit too much understeer in the qualifying session, but that will help conserve our rear tyres in the race, which could give us a competitive edge. The overall results reflect where we thought we would be with our strategy. We believe that the direction we have opted for is the right one and we have put our money on it paying off tomorrow."
Olivier Panis: "I think I did a good lap considering the strategy that we are using for tomorrow's race. It is always possible to improve by some tenths-of-a-second, but likewise, it is also easy to lose five. I actually feel really positive for the race because the tyres and the car appeared quite consistent during the long runs we completed in the practice sessions this morning. Now we simply need to wait and see where we are tomorrow in comparison with everybody else's strategy."
James Robinson: "It was an exciting qualifying as it often is
at Montreal and a trouble-free day again in terms of our car. The track was
getting quicker as it normally does here through qualifying so it was
difficult given where we were. It was interesting to see that the cone that
was added at the last chicane for qualifying seemed to disappear part way
through the session so a number of people were driving a slightly different
track than ourselves and other early runners.
Timo Glock: "I was really nervous on my first qualifying lap
as I have no experience of the one lap system so I decided to go quite
easy and just see what the car was like. This morning we had some problems
with temperatures in the front tyres but this afternoon with higher track
temperature the front tyres are really good and the rear became nervous so
it was quite hard to drive.
Zsolt Baumgartner: "Generally, it has been a productive day
and I have to thank the guys, as they put in a great effort. There was a small
problem with the engine, which meant they had to change it, and then we
decided overnight to go in a different direction with our tyre choice, which
required a lot of alterations to the car. We spent some time in the two
sessions this morning finding a good chassis balance, and we then had to make
further adjustments to compensate for the higher air and track temperatures
Gianmaria Bruni: "I set a good lap time this morning with lots of fuel on board, and was very pleased with that. Unfortunately, on my pre-qualifying out-lap, there was a fuel pressure drop as I left the pit lane and the car just stopped. The guys worked really hard to switch me to the spare car, but I just wasn't comfortable with the pedals when I went out on my qualifying lap. I therefore decided to cut the run short, as there was no point in continuing with a car I couldn't drive properly. I just hope luck is more on my side tomorrow."