Formula 1 German Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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Team and Driver Quotes following Friday Practice Sessions
Ron Dennis: "As our tyre choice has now been made, we will now concentrate on optimising the set-up on both cars. Clearly we have pace but we will not know how much until Sunday's race."
Norbert Haug: "A good start to our home grand prix weekend. Kimi was quick and consistent, but on a Friday it's too early to evaluate where we actually are compared to the competition. David is still looking to improve his set-up, which is not what it should be. I'm sure he will be better equipped tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We completed our planned programme and are pretty happy with how things went. The car is OK and I think we are confident with our tyre choice. It's hot but you don't really feel it when you are in the car. We now have to wait until tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race, but so far so good and based on today I think we should be in with a good chance for a very competitive result."
David Coulthard: "During the second practice session I had two high speed spins under braking at turn two which upset our programme a little bit. Whilst the balance of the car is not where I want it to be, my primary goal today was to make the right tyre choice. Tomorrow I will concentrate on the car which I'm sure we will improve throughout the day."
Sam Michael: "We have had a productive first day with both drivers working through our normal race set- up and tyre evaluations, neither driver suffered mechanical problems. Normally it is difficult to change race drivers but Antonio has adapted quickly and did a good job on his first day. Once again, we have brought some new aerodynamic and suspension parts to this race and they are working well here."
Mario Theissen: "We have had two good sessions today, with Juan and Antonio running through their set- up programme as scheduled. Antonio got along well with the car from his very first lap here. Friday's lap times do not mean much usually, but I have to say it looks like four to five teams are very close together here."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a good day. I had some small problems in the morning but the afternoon session was a lot better. The car was much more stable than usual but I made a mistake when I went out on my first set of new tyres and I could not take advantage of them. We managed to do a couple of good long runs so I believe we are looking pretty good for the rest of the weekend."
Antonio Pizzonia: "We had two productive sessions today. As it was the first time I've driven at Hockenheim in a Formula One car, I spent most of the time getting to know the secrets of the track, and how the FW26 behaves around this circuit. When I raced here in F3000 I really liked the circuit and once I finished in first - on the old circuit, which is a good omen. We will have to wait and see what qualifying will bring tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to a good session. It's good to be racing again and I must say thanks to the team for having offered me this great opportunity."
David Richards: "We started the weekend on an extremely positive note with the announcement of the long-term extension to our partnership with Honda. This is excellent news for the team and it gives us the stability we need to pursue our common objective of winning the world championship. After such an encouraging start to today it is disappointing that we have encountered such frustrations on-track and Jenson will lose ten places on the grid as a consequence of his engine problem."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "Unfortunately we have identified a problem with Jenson's engine which means that we will have to change it tonight. However, the pace of all three drivers has been quite good today and we have managed to complete over 70 laps, so I hope he will be able to fight for some points on Sunday."
Geoffrey Willis: "The car has been working well and we have been competitive throughout the sessions. Despite completing our full running plans today, Anthony had a gearbox problem at the end of the first session and Jenson suffered an engine problem at the end of the second session. Anthony stopped the car out on track as soon as he felt the problem and we will be making some changes tomorrow to avoid a repeat of this problem. Unfortunately we will have to change Jenson's engine which will clearly penalise his chances in Sunday's race. Judging by the closeness of many teams today, this weekend will be very challenging for us."
Jenson Button: "We had a good morning, so it is very disappointing that I will lose 10 places on the grid as a result of my engine change. The programme ran according to plan and the car was very consistent, but it will be difficult and very competitive in qualifying tomorrow so we have a great deal of work to do now. The tyres worked well and were consistent during the long runs, which is good news for the race. I will obviously be targeting a points finish on Sunday but the task has been made a lot more difficult."
Anthony Davidson: "Generally it's been a reasonably good day for me. I stopped the car on the circuit this morning after we identified a potential gearbox problem, which was a great shame considering the progress we were making. I was very pleased to finish first in the first session and disappointed to end this afternoon's session early. I think we have seen some encouraging signs for the weekend ahead and the car is looking competitive but it is obviously very frustrating that Jenson will have to lose 10 places. I'm sure that he has a strong enough car to put up a good fight though."
Takuma Sato: "We have had a good day today and the car looks very consistent on long runs. We should be quite a bit stronger here than we have been in the last few races and I hope we can get back to the sort of form we had in Indy and return to the podium. The package we have here is better and I am looking forward to setting up the car for tomorrow and the race."
Pat Symonds: "At a circuit such as Hockenheim, tyre
selection demands our full concentration on Friday, and we completed a
disciplined programme in order to compare our prime and option tyres.
Fortunately, the weather stayed dry and this allowed us to collect a
useful amount of information.
Denis Chevrier: "We competed a full programme with each car
today, studying a number of different parameters during the two sessions.
We did not encounter any technical problems and concentrated on adapting
the engine to this circuit.
Fernando Alonso: Not provided
Jarno Trulli: Not provided
Mike Gascoyne: "With both race drivers, we opted to do our
tyre comparison in the first session, which meant that we only ran on old
tyres in the second practice. We should not read too much into the time
differences between the TF104 and TF104B. We used the second hour
effectively as a test session to improve the balance of the car and to
improve the new aero package. We made good progress.
Ricardo Zonta: "It was quite a good day with a lot of valuable laps completed. We found a good balance on the car almost immediately and then we did a series of long runs to evaluate the two different tyre compounds. In the end, we found some encouraging results for the race. Although I was driving the standard TF104 today, the data we have obtained will still be useful for the TF104Bs because the overall behaviour of the tyres is the same. With the additional downforce on the new car, the performance of old tyres will be more consistent, and the time benefit on new Michelins should be greater."
Cristiano da Matta: "We opted to do our tyre comparison work in the first of today's practice sessions, before turning our attention to setting up the new TF104B car. As a result of this, we did not do any runs on new tyres in the second session, so the times are unrepresentative. Most of the updated aerodynamic parts have only been run for the first time today, so it is difficult to gauge our real performance. As the weekend progresses, we will obtain a much clearer indication of where we stand, but there is still a lot to be done tomorrow morning."
Olivier Panis: "We had two difficult practice sessions today because it was the first time the new TF104B car has run in its full configuration. We have had to use today as more of a test session to work on the set-up and to try all the new parts. It is hard to condense everything we have to do into just two hours. Having said that, we have acquired a lot of data, which we have to analyse overnight and work hard for a better day tomorrow."
Dr. Mark Gillan: "We spent much of today working on balance and
set-up but unfortunately our time on track was less than expected when both
Christian and Bjorn suffered a problem with their brake ducts and we needed to
change them. The team in the garage worked very quickly and efficiently,
allowing all three drivers to be out on track for the second session.
Mark Webber: "I did my installation lap this morning and was due to go out at the end of the first session when the team took the decision to change my brake ducts. They had found a problem on Christian and Bjorn's car and to ensure that they did not cause me any difficulties they changed them too. I had a good second session this afternoon and managed to complete 27 laps working through a fairly comprehensive programme. We will be concentrating now on our balance and some further tyre work ahead of tomorrow's qualifying."
Christian Klien: "My session was cut short this morning as the team changed my brake ducts but I am happy to say that they turned things around pretty quickly and I was back out on track for the second session. The track is quite green out there but the car is feeling good. My programme in the second session was very busy as I was making up for lost time. We did manage to complete our test items though and I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel for qualifying tomorrow."
Peter Sauber: "We concentrated on race set-up work today and I believe that we are now well prepared. We have a lot of data to analyse before we make our tyre selection this evening, and tomorrow morning we will focus on honing the car for qualifying."
Felipe Massa: "It was a good day for me. We focused on long runs and my first impression is that things are better than I expected. The tyre choice is not straightforward, but our race pace today was good. Qualifying, however, will be difficult for us."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "The balance of the car was still not good this afternoon. I had oversteer going into the hairpin which turned to understeer at the midpoint. It wasn't so bad in the higher-speed corners, but we still have work to do to improve things."
James Robinson: "We progressed through our usual free practice
programme today working closely with Bridgestone who have worked very hard to
bring a new tyre for us in Hockenheim. We were looking to get some distance on
those tyres and get through important set-up work. We now need to see if the
rain will come tomorrow and how we will deal with this for qualifying."
Giorgio Pantano: "This morning we had problems with rear locking but by the time the session ended we had understood what to do and changed something on the rear and on the brake side. In the second session the car improved quite a bit and I think we can probably get even better on the lap time."
Nick Heidfeld: "After a reasonable start to the first session with some good adjustments to the car, unfortunately the changes we made for the second session didn't improve it. We tried to come back on some of those things towards the end of the afternoon and I did a fairly long run to get some information for the tyres. I'm sure that we can progress in time for tomorrow."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "It wasn't too bad a day. We found a good balance for the car, although we need to work on it just a bit more tomorrow. I'm very happy that we were able to run both sessions without any problems and particularly want to thank the guys for all their hard work in this heat. I'm now looking forward to tomorrow and hoping to be able to perform to a similar level."
Bas Leinders: "We tested a
few small things today to improve the balance of the car. We lost a little
time in the morning while an electronics matter was dealt with, but we were
able to make the time up by the end of the session.
Gianmaria Bruni: "It turned out okay in the end. I had a problem on my first run, so I set my quickest lap of the day during my second run this afternoon. The guys found a hydraulic problem in the last few laps of the second session, and it seems it was that which caused me some difficulty in downshifting. Apart from those small things, though, it has been a good day and we were able to make a good tyre choice. We'll see how we go tomorrow."