Formula 1 German Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Saturday
Download the NewsOnF1.com
Team and Driver Quotes following Saturday Practice & Qualifying
Sam Michael: "Juan did a good job in today's qualifying and is now in a good position starting the race from second place on the grid. His lap time also shows that the improvements we've made to the car are starting to take effect. Hopefully we will now be able to have a strong race tomorrow. Although Antonio put in the second quickest time in the pre-qualifying session, he unfortunately didn't manage to put together a good lap in the final qualifying. It is now going to be tough for him to gain positions in the race, but he has to push hard to get points."
Mario Theissen: "Pre-qualifying was excellent and qualifying was good for the team. Juan Pablo will start from the front row, although his qualifying lap was not ideal in the third sector. In pre-qualifying, Antonio was as quick as Juan but he was too careful in the final session. I believe in the race Michael Schumacher will be the favourite, but we will see very close competition behind him."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "It is really nice to be back at the
front and to be in good shape again. WillliamsF1 and BMW have been working
very hard and our package has improved a lot. Since Magny-Cours, we have
had some new aero parts on the car and they have proved very successful.
In my qualifying lap, I made a mistake in the corner before the stadium
and so I lost a bit of time, which probably cost me pole position, and the
chance of starting on the clean side of the track.
Antonio Pizzonia: "Obviously this is a disappointing result, especially when we did so well in pre-qualifying. In my final qualifying lap, the car felt different as we made some changes to it between the two sessions which made it unexpectedly hard to drive. I think we have a good race car though so we will try and score points tomorrow."
David Richards: "It has certainly been an eventful weekend so far. Our car has been very quick both yesterday and today, but various unforeseen things have not made it easy to deliver our true potential for the grid. However, I believe that the measure of a great team is less a matter of how well you do in the good times, but more your ability to dig deep in times of adversity and come back fighting. I am confident that with our car's natural speed, Taku and Jenson will be putting on a good show tomorrow, and they will be racing hard to get a couple of good points finishes. It should be exciting to watch!."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "It has been a difficult day but both of the drivers did a good job under the circumstances. Hockenheim always gives drivers the chance to overtake so I hope our strategy will prove to be the correct one."
Geoffrey Willis: "Given Jenson's engine change for today, our
focus for him has been very much on race set-up since he will now be starting
13th on the grid. We made some effective changes to the car to give us very
consistent behaviour on old tyres and were fastest in the second session this
morning. Jenson continued his good work from this morning to qualify third
"I am quite pleased with my lap today and to qualify third is great,
so it's very disappointing that I'll be lining up on the seventh row to start
the race tomorrow. We have a very good car here and it is performing much
better than in the last couple of races. The Michelin tyres are working well -
not just on one lap but on the longer runs as well.
"This was a very difficult qualifying session for me. I lost most of
the morning practice sessions and the only lap that I was able to do was
in pre-qualifying. I did everything I could in the final qualifying run in
those circumstances. I couldn't risk anything but as I got further into
the lap I was more confident and was picking up speed towards the end, so
I think my lap was fairly strong.
Ron Dennis: "It's always tempting to deviate away from an optimum race strategy with a view to gaining grid positions. Only tomorrow will tell whether we have got it right."
Norbert Haug: "Both cars on the second row is a good basis for the race. This was an exciting qualifying for a change with the top five cars within approximately half a second. We are satisfied, especially with David being in fourth position following his problems in finding the right set-up yesterday. We hope for a strong race."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was an OK qualifying as we got the best out of the car, and I didn't make any mistakes. Our package is pretty strong, and we have been able to run consistently in race trim, so I'm confident for tomorrow when we should be able to fight for a good position. I think it's actually better to start from third than second here at Hockenheim as you are on the inside."
David Coulthard: "I'm much happier with the balance of the car as we have taken a significant step forward since yesterday. My qualifying lap was good, and I think I could have been even a bit faster, but as our pace has been pretty consistent we should have a strong race tomorrow. However, as always it's difficult to make predictions as you never know what fuel loads the other teams are on, but I think we have a solid strategy, and I look forward to a competitive race."
Pat Symonds: "We managed to get both cars into good positions today, and they seem to be well-balanced on new and used tyres. The race tomorrow will be all about tyre management, and as we are well prepared in this respect, there is every reason to expect a strong result. With two cars on the third row, we have a good position to race from tomorrow."
Denis Chevrier: "Once again, we have shown ourselves to be legitimate challengers for tomorrow's race. We have worked to improve the cars' performance since the beginning of the weekend, and today's results demonstrate we have done so successfully. On the technical side, we did not encounter any problems, and we hope to continue in this fashion for tomorrow's race. We must now aim to make the most of a strong package to beat our main competitors."
Fernando Alonso: "We had a well-balanced car in pre-qualifying: I had more grip, and we managed to dial out the understeer that I was suffering from this morning. I was pleased with my lap in qualifying, after pushing to the limit and making no mistakes. We should be happy with our positions, I think: the weekend has not been easy so far, and we were not very quick yesterday, but we have still managed to get a good position to attack from tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli: "From my point of view it was a strong lap, with no mistakes, and I pushed 100%. The car was working well today, and the balance was good. We now must wait to see what the conditions will be like tomorrow, and how the different strategies will play out."
Mike Gascoyne: "A satisfying day for the team and a result
that demonstrates the progress we have made with the TF104B. We have
definitely made a step forward compared to the opposition. Both cars
looked competitive in free practice, especially over long runs. I think we
have a good race pace, which we haven't had in recent races.
Luca Marmorini: "Today was a successful day for us. Both
Cristiano and Olivier were quick this morning and showed a strong performance.
Cristiano was a bit unlucky in qualifying, making a small mistake on his first
lap, so I do not think his position reflects his true competitiveness.
Olivier Panis: "Yesterday, we ran the updated car for the
first time with all the new aero parts and we struggled to find the right
balance. Both free practice sessions were quite difficult for us and the
team had to work hard last night to make some set-up changes.
Cristiano da Matta: "I am not happy with either of my
qualifying laps today. In this morning's practice, we were looking quite
good and had found a clear direction with the updated car, but I was not
able to get everything out of the car this afternoon. I was expecting to
do a lap time similar to what I did in the morning - in the mid-to-high
1m14s - but on both of my runs, I had difficulty entering turn two, as
well as some problems braking into turn 6. We have to look into this,
because I experienced no trouble there in practice.
Dr. Mark Gillan: "It has been a productive day for us here at
the Hockenheim-Ring and I am satisfied with our final grid positions of 11th
and 12th. Both drivers completed a good number of laps this morning working
through a programme of car set-up and tyre preparation. After the excessive
amount of rain last night the track was quite green but after some rubber was
put down its grip improved.
Christian Klien: "The weekend has been going well so far and I am
enjoying driving the R5 around this circuit. The team and I have spent most of
today looking at balance and set-up and I did 20 laps this morning that really
helped me get the car reacting the way I wanted. Going into this afternoon's
sessions I was very focused and my first qualifying lap was clean and I was
Peter Sauber: "Both drivers achieved their target lap times, so everything this afternoon proceeded in accordance with our strategy. We are very happy with the well-balanced performances of Giancarlo and Felipe, and are well prepared for the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Our qualifying positions are what we expected with the fuel load we were carrying, but it's important that one of the Toyotas will start behind us. It will also be important to get by the Jaguars as soon as possible tomorrow, then get on with our race. We know that our tyres are very good in race conditions, and I was very pleased with the balance, and in particular the stability of the car under braking, today. It was much better than yesterday. With all that in mind, we have the potential to repeat the result we had at Silverstone so I am feeling relaxed and optimistic."
Felipe Massa: "I think I drove a good lap this afternoon. The balance was good and everything went according to our strategy. Usually if you see P16 it is very bad but in our case appearances are deceptive and we will be strong tomorrow. It's difficult to overtake here but not impossible, so we have a great chance to be in the points."
James Robinson: "We saw good laps from both drivers and
especially Giorgio, given the problems he had after a small 'off' this morning
and the consequent loss of running in free practice. Well done to the boys for
getting his car back together. Before qualifying we detected a small clutch
problem with Nick's car and the mechanics worked very hard to rectify that
before he went out. It was a busy day for Jordan Ford but it went smoothly
when it mattered."
Nick Heidfeld: "I'm happy with my lap, and qualifying was better than pre-qualifying. We had a bit of front tyre graining towards the end of the lap but it wasn't a big issue. I think I am in fairly good shape for the race tomorrow. The work we did this morning showed that on long runs our tyres have promising performance with no major degradation."
Gianmaria Bruni: "I'm quite happy. I had a good qualifying lap, considering the fuel we were carrying, and we were quite close to the right balance for the load we have. The guys also did a really good job today, and now I'm looking forward to the race."
Zsolt Baumgartner: "As far as the qualifying run was
concerned, we were missing a bit on chassis balance today and, as a result, I
was struggling particularly in the Stadium section. My first two sector times
were similar to Gimmi's, but then I lost quite a bit in the final section.