SAN MARINO GP - FRIDAY - QUALIFYING REPORT

Schumacher on top

Michael Schumacher, San Marino GP 2003

Michael Schumacher, San Marino GP 2003 

 © The Cahier Archive

FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE - APRIL 18, 2003

DRIVERS: Fernando ALONSO (RENAULT), Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), Giancarlo FISICHELLA (JORDAN), Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLAREN) and Jacques VILLENEUVE (BAR)

Q: Giancarlo, what has your Brazilian Grand Prix meant to you?

Giancarlo FISICHELLA: It's been very important for me. I've been nearly eight years in Formula One and I have finished second many times. I've been close to winning some races but unfortunately I couldn't win until the Brazilian Grand Prix. It's very important mentally. It was a fantastic race, a difficult race, obviously, very difficult conditions, but I think I drove well; we did well with the strategy. I think I was lucky too, but I was very pleased, very confident for the future.

Q: What was the wait like, waiting for the decision to go your way?

Fisichella: It's been a very exciting week. I was waiting for the FIA answer, but on our data, there was a good possibility that we would win the race so I was very confident but I didn't know, obviously. I have been in the press every day, I've done a lot of interviews. I was very busy, but that's good, especially because now we are in Italy for a Grand Prix, it's good for this weekend and mentally I like to do well here at Imola. It's my home Grand Prix so I'm confident to do well.

Q: It's quite a significant circuit for you this, isn't it?

Fisichella: Yeah, I won my first race in Formula Three. I scored my first championship points with Jordan here in '97 when I finished fourth, so I've got a good feeling with the circuit and it's my home Grand Prix, so it's very important for me.

Q: I would like to ask all of you about the rules staying the same this year, what are your feelings about that?

Fisichella: For me it's OK apart from the wet tire choice. I would like to have a couple of choices with the wet tires, with the intermediate tires. That's the only rule I don't like.

Kimi RAIKKONEN: I think they're pretty OK. Of course, there's quite a big difference from last year but we've got used to them and it's been OK.

Rubens BARRICHELLO: I think that generally speaking it's been a good show, the first three races have been quite good but I don't like to see the way it was in Brazil, for example, people just spinning and going off the track, because they didn't have the right choice. Although I think we had the right tires for most of the time, it was quite difficult so in a way, I don't think it's going to change much of the show to offer two types of tire for everyone. Sometimes I don't understand Formula One in a way.

Jacques VILLENEUVE: Same thing, the wet tire rule, that's the main problem, perhaps the only problem. The races have been great, so the rules must be good. Of course qualifying with fuel is less exciting but it's a good trade-off, to give up on some qualifying excitement but to have a better race. At the end of the day, that is what is important but the tire rules for wet conditions could be re-thought.

Fernando ALONSO: More of less what all the drivers have said. I'm quite happy with the new rules. Obviously they're a big change compared to last year and the previous years, but now I think all the teams are used to this new system for qualifying and for the race and it should be accepted for the rest of the season and maybe we will take a little advantage from that and we will see a good show in the races and places like Brazil, like Malaysia with overtaking possibilities and all these things which a few years ago was difficult to see.

Q: Are you fully recovered from what must have been a very big impact for you in Brazil? I guess the HANS device helped. Are you fully recovered?

Alonso: Yes, I'm 100 percent again. I have no problems at all. I think the HANS works very well because I had no problems with the neck at all in the week after the accident and that's an unusual thing. After an accident like this you always have problems with the neck and I think the HANS did a very good job in that accident and I'm ready for tomorrow and the race on Sunday.

Q: Looking at today's results, a little bit disappointing?

Alonso: Yes and no. Obviously after the first three races we are in a very good position in the championship, in the Constructors Championship as well, so we are always looking to be in the top six, top eight, but we know that on some circuits we will have a little more problems than normal and maybe this weekend is one of those. We have tomorrow morning to work on that, to sort out the problems, and I am confident to be more competitive again tomorrow and Sunday in particular.

Q: Kimi, you and the team seem to have been very sporting in acknowledging Giancarlo's win. Was it difficult to hand over the trophy?

Raikkonen: Of course it would have been nice to have been the winner but the rules are the rules, so it's the right thing to do. The rules said he and Jordan were the winners and that's that. It's nothing against us, there was a mistake by the timing people and that's OK with me.

Q: You're leading the World Championship yet two years ago you were being warned to behave because you were on probation. Can you believe that so much has happened in so short a time?

Raikkonen: Yes, because everything has happened very quickly, but I'm not complaining because maybe I did all the things in the right way and maybe I was in the right place in the right time, but there are still things I need to learn and I'm getting more experience all the time and learning. Some races you go to are more difficult than others but I'm quite happy. It's just surprising that it has happened so quickly, but as I say, I'm not complaining.

Q: Rubens, obviously the old car is going well but are you expecting the new car at the next race?

Barrichello: It depends pretty much on testing next week. Last week we were testing in Italy and unfortunately it was wet so we delayed everything a little bit. Performance-wise I think the car is fantastic but we had small problems so we thought it was better just to delay it a little bit, but I hope that it's just going to be for this weekend.

Q: Was retiring from the lead in Brazil a massive disappointment?

Barrichello: Obviously, if you want to win somewhere, you want to win at home. It would have been a fantastic feeling but as I said I have many more chances in the future and hopefully I will win, eventually, with some luck and some determination I will eventually win the race there.

Q: Jacques, in Brazil, you were quoted as saying that some drivers were driving too aggressively. What was your feeling about some of your colleagues in Brazil?

Villeneuve: There was a little bit of some dangerous driving with yellow flags. I think everybody saw that so it's a fair comment.

Q: Was that what you were referring to - under yellow flags rather than just normal racing?

Villeneuve: Under normal racing there were some dangerous moments, but in the wet you can't see in front of you so you can imagine how little you can see in the mirrors so I don't think that the blocking that happened was done on purpose under racing conditions. What is more surprising is that under yellow conditions because... when you crash and you're getting out of the car and you know that there is a chance someone will crash into you because they don't take enough care then that's a little bit scary, that's all.

Q: Would you say that BAR seem to have finally turned the corner?

Villeneuve: The car is definitely a lot more competitive but we are still having mechanical problems, small faults that cost us a lot of running time like we've had most Friday mornings and that's not the best way to prepare for a race weekend. But at least we are competitive enough that we can fight for points and hopefully podiums most races so if it keeps going this way, we will be looking good by the end of the season.

Q: Today looks encouraging doesn't it?

Villeneuve: For the speed of the car, yes, and hopefully we have had our mechanical problems this morning and it won't bother us during the rest of the weekend.

QUESTIONS FROM FLOOR

Q: Was today's time a question of pride as well as performance especially in front of Ferrari's fans?

Barrichello: Here will be a fantastic feeling to win in front of all the fans especially because people think were are in a bit of a crisis, which is not true. We feel competitive and we are with a competitive car. The 2002 car is fantastic but the 2003 car is even better. I've got more points than I had this time last year, Michael has been a bit unfortunate and therefore he doesn't have the same points as he had last year. It will still be fantastic season, although I have the special feeling of Monza already last year but Imola is Ferrari's home.

Q: How do you explain the lack of performance from McLaren today? And to Alonso what is your feeling to be here and you are under investigation for what happened in Brazil?

Raikkonen: I would say that today it wasn't the best qualifying. But we are battling for first place and we don't need to worry about Ferrari too much. I don't think we are far away as in qualifying. We will have to see what happens tomorrow.

Alonso: For me I don't really know much about the investigation. I'm not worried about it. I did a good race in Brazil and I'm happy with what I did in the race so I don't see any point to have any worries.

Q: I know it is not polite to speak about people who are not here, but Rubens, what are you feelings on Michael Schumacher? What if gets another unfortunate result here? What would be his reaction for the rest of the season, would he get any more aggressive?

Barrichello: Would he get any more aggressive? Maybe the question is for him. He is not down because of it, he is working well and what I can say is that we can't see into the future. We have to see the results. We are of course trying to get the best results for Ferrari as possible.

Q: To Fernando, you did a great performance in the rain in Brazil, would you be happy if it rained tomorrow or Sunday?

Alonso: Obviously for the tires to have a wet race is always difficult using intermediate tires, so I would prefer it if it was dry. We hope for a dry race for the people, for the TV, for us.

Q: A question for Villeneuve. In 1997, you were in your second year in Formula One and you had problems with yellow flags at the Japanese Grand Prix. Can I have you thoughts on that?

Villeneuve: Well I did it there were six cars who didn't slow down in a straight line because the car was at the side of the track. We could all see the car, that there was no damage and qualified for the race and it quite....so I guess we'll have to discuss it in the drivers' briefing because Brazil was very dangerous.

Q: Fernando, did you have an early warning before you came round the corner and hit the wheel?

Alonso: Yeah I had it too late and the team said to me that there was an accident in turn 12 just as I approached the same corner so it was an unlucky moment.

Q: Did you see yellow flags?

Alonso: Yeah there were flags all around the track from turn four to turn 12.

Q: All you guys have made it clear you would like a wet tire on a wet track. I think Ron (Dennis) brought up the question of having a spec tire, where it has a particular tread depth. We put that question to Max yesterday and he said he can only give out the passive safety. What do you guys think?

Villeneuve: If you change the depth of the tire it will only help in aquaplaning. It will only help aquaplaning but then the tire would be so hard they would never warm up and it would make it extremely dangerous.

Barrichello: You say that tire manufacturers have one tire, but people forget that you have a set-up on the car. Mine was set up for the dry and people seem to think there is a tire problem, but there is no tire problem. When the track is drying out it is much more difficult because you have a line which is dry and on tire you have wet. If you go onto the track where it is wet you are going to crash. I'm concerned about safety. It would be a bit more of a cost but we are talking about safety. We do so many things for the car, the HANS device, but we only have one tire for the wet.

Q: A follow-up on the yellow flags. You said you saw yellow flags on the corner, but you didn't slow down because the team didn't warn you in time. It sounds to me that you just disregard yellows....

Alonso: I don't agree with that. When we have yellow flags we slow down, we know that in the particular corner there has been an accident. You know it is a dangerous position when you have a yellow flag, but when you have the safety car you have yellow flags for the whole lap and in Brazil I was coming into the pits for my last pit-stop and you can't do the lap at 10kmh. But I have nothing more to say about yellow flags in Brazil .

Q: I want to come back to the tire question. Yesterday Mr. Mosley said the teams asked for change, what do you think?

Villeneuve: It wasn't thought out completely before the start of the season, now it shows that it is a problem. It would take the two tire manufacturers to agree and obviously one tire manufacturer thinks he has an advantage so he will not agree to change because of politics.

Barrichello: My view on top of that, as far as I am concerned it was not everybody who agreed to that. It wasn't 100 percent.

Q: Kimi wouldn't you like to go to your team owner and say let me have two types of tires?

Raikkonen: I think we would still get the same situation, with Bridgestone runners starting on intermediates because it would make them quicker than us. Everybody needs to get together and make a decision and hopefully some changes can be made.

Q: Giancarlo

Fisichella: What can I say, we have just one and it is not good. Conditions like Brazil are not good for the intermediates, it would be better with fully wet tires. I will push my boss, Jordan, into getting it changed.

Alonso: For me as well I think we should have two tires and choose which one we want.


Ferrari

Michael Schumacher (1st, 1:20.628): "It's great to have both cars on the front row today. We thought we could get this result, but the opposition, particularly Williams is very close. We think we have a good car for the rest of this weekend and I think it is capable of winning. I hope so for all the tifosi. We always knew that Malaysia and Brazil would be difficult for us, as has been the case last year. Back then, we came to Imola and had the upper hand. For the moment, It seems to be the case this year too. Given our experience with the F2002, racing it here seems to have been a good decision so far."

Rubens Barrichello (2nd, 1:21.082): "It was a normal day, trying a variety of changes on the car this morning.We concentrated on comparing the two types of tire Bridgestone has brought here for us.This afternoon, I made a very slight mistake on my quick lap. Second place and the overall performance of the F2002 make me pretty confident for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "A very good start to our home grand prix, in front of our fans. At the moment things are going the right way, but we should not get carried away with this theoretical all-red front row. The results of the first qualifying session confirm the potential of the F2002.Bridgestone has done a very good job,providing us with a tire which is very quick over a flying lap. Now we must work on making the right choice for the second qualifying and the race, both in terms of tires and strategy."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "This afternoon's performance is a good start to the weekend for us and it is nice to be first and second again. Michael went off the track this morning, but the lack of track timer is not a problem, as we tested extensively here last February. The mechanics did a good job in repairing the damage quickly. The cars seem to be well balanced. The tires worked well over the single flying lap, but we still have more work to do tomorrow, to make our final choice.At the moment, there is a slight chance of rain on Sunday, so we could be back on the wets again."

Williams-BMW

Ralf Schumacher (3rd, 1:21.193): "I am quite happy with the outcome of my First Qualifying. We have made progress, especially on the mechanical side. For every race we bring new parts for our FW25 now and BMW has built a strong engine which pays off here as well. It was clear that I had some oversteer in a couple of corners which might have cost about two or three tenths of a second. But I am confident we will be able to sort this out by tommorow."

Juan Pablo Montoya (4th, 1:21.490): "I am pretty happy because the car was very good. I think I could have been quicker but after what happened in Brazil, today I decided to take the more conservative option. After I saw the sector signs I knew that I didn't have to push too hard. Coming out of the second Rivazza, I went on the power and I had some oversteer so I had to get off the throttle and lost a little bit of time."

Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer: "This is obviously a good start to the weekend. Juan made a mistake on his lap coming out of the second Rivazza corner and Ralf made a couple of mistakes in sector three. But our performance is definitely improving. We have introduced a couple of aerodynamic components for this race and it is good to see the chassis works well with these changes. We are looking forward to tomorrow."

Gerhard Berger, BMW Motorsport Director: "This was the first time we were running the new parts on our cars in normal track and weather conditions. Our result shows a big step forward. It shows what the potential of our car is. Both our drivers made some small mistakes therefore I am very pleased they could achieve positions three and four. On Sunday, there could be a place on the podium for us."

McLaren-Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen (8th, 1:22.147): "It wasn't a particular fast lap from me today. I came in to turn 10 a bit too quickly and as a result lost speed coming out of the corner, but at the end of the day, tomorrow is when it counts. We went through our planned program during this morning's practice and will see what happens in Saturday's qualifying."

David Coulthard (9th, 1:22.326): "I don't really think we got the full potential out of the car during my one flying lap today as we would have expected to be a bit closer to our main rivals. However as always we will look at the data and work together on where we can improve for tomorrow when it really matters."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "This morning we spent a considerable amount of the session ensuring that we selected the correct race tire. This limited the time we were able to devote to optimizing the car's set up, which is clearly not yet there. Our engineers will now focus on that challenge for tomorrow's qualifying, which of course is the one that determines our grid positions for the race."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "We are not happy with our performance today but we will be working very hard to be better tomorrow."

Renault

Fernando Alonso (13th, 1:22.809): "As we expected, it is going to be a hard weekend for us, as we are struggling with tires and on this very fast circuit. But we still a have a full-days work and I am optimistic we can reasonably improve our final position on the grid in tomorrow's qualifying."

Jarno Trulli (16th, 1:23.100): "This morning we lost time during the test and free sessions, with few problems on the car and therefore this afternoon, I felt the car was not well balanced, which reflected in my poor lap time. We will have to set to work hard on the car now, but am confident I can improve my position tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "While we knew this circuit would be harder for our cars than the three previous tracks, we are obviously very unsatisfied with the present result which places us too far behind our direct competitors. We must now analyse all data and find solutions for tomorrow's qualifying."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Overall, a disappointing day for us. This morning's problems prevented us from developing our full program and it's difficult to say where we really are and how much we can improve. Today the gap to the others is significant and we have to understand why and react accordingly."

Sauber-Petronas

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (10th, 1:22.531): "My main problem today was that I pressed so hard on the throttle pedal that I broke it! It happened as I was coming out of the Variante Alta at the top of the circuit, but I was able to complete the lap. Without that problem I think I'd have been a couple of places higher, but we still have some analysis to do in preparation for qualifying tomorrow."

Nick Heidfeld (14th, 1:22.911): "I was struggling a bit to get the car set up this morning and we made a lot of changes for qualifying. They improved the car significantly but it took a little bit of getting used to in one flying lap, so the first part of it especially suffered a little. We still have some work to do, however, as my car didn't feel as good as it did in our last test here before the start of the season."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "Heinz-Harald did a very good job, and without his throttle pedal problem could have gone four-tenths faster. Nick improved his morning time in qualifying, but unfortunately not enough. Both will get the opportunity to use what we learned today to go faster tomorrow. In qualifying conditions, we know that our Bridgestone tires work well."

Jordan-Ford

Giancarlo Fisichella (11th, 1:22.724): "Unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes in the last sector, otherwise I think I had the possibility to be 10th. The car is not too bad, we need to adjust the set-up bit and I'm confident for tomorrow."

Ralph Firman (17th, 1:24.360): "It was going reasonably well but I made a mistake at the chicane, I just hit the kerb too hard and got the car a bit oversteery. I had a productive morning though and I'm looking forward to tomorrow, I think it's going to be a good weekend."

Eddie Jordan, Team Principal: "As usual we have a lot of work to do this weekend in order to score points on Sunday. But it was good to take some time out this morning in order to celebrate our victory in Brazil and see Giancarlo presented with his trophy. I'd like to thank the FIA and FOM for arranging this unprecedented gesture, and extend my appreciation to Ron Dennis, Kimi Raikkonen and the entire McLaren team for their sportsmanship."

Gary Anderson, Director of Race and Test Engineering: "I'm a bit disappointed really. Giancarlo made a mistake in the last section at Rivazza one and Ralph made a mistake at the Variante Alta chicane. Having said that, there were not many places for Giancarlo to move up if he hadn't made the mistake, as we're just not quick enough. We need to work on the car to make it ride the kerbs a bit better and try and find some lap time for tomorrow. The trophy ceremony has been the best bit of today!"

Jaguar-Cosworth

Mark Webber (5th, 1:21.669): "I couldn't have wished for a better start to the weekend. Our preparation going into the qualifying session was very thorough and I am very pleased with my lap time. My first sector could have been better but my last sector was very good. The challenge of putting in one quick, trouble-free lap is far from easy and I'm very pleased with the balance and performance of the car. We must remember however, that the track gets quicker towards the end of the session and with that in mind, the guys going out at the beginning are not getting exactly the same deal. Even so, we are very satisfied with the progression of the Jaguar R4 - especially when you consider that Imola was by far the hardest race for Jaguar last year. The team suffered from every problem imaginable at this circuit last year and Imola normally provides the ?wake-up' call for many teams after the first three flyaway races. To go well here is a clear endorsement of the package and the tremendous hard work that has been undertaken over the winter by everyone at Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics. Imola is a very demanding circuit and puts considerable demands on balance, braking, traction and engines. The early signs going into the weekend are very good but let's see what tomorrow brings. The weather is expected to change to rain on Sunday and given this, it will be very interesting to see what strategies the teams employ tomorrow."

Antonio Pizzonia (15th, 1:22.919): "My track time was compromised this morning by an engine problem and this prevented me from doing a low-fuel run in preparation for the qualifying hour. The fuel load makes a considerable difference to the car's handling characteristics, particularly under braking and not having familiarized myself with this during the Free Practice session cost me some time during qualifying. Given that I was in the T-Car, there was also a limit as to how much set-up time I had pre-qualifying but to honest, I am not worried. The fact is that we have a very capable race car which is clearly a major step forward on last year's R3 and given that the real test of qualifying is tomorrow, we'll focus on improving my set-up overnight in an effort to realize the full potential of the package we have."

Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance: "We did a lot of homework in the week leading up to this race and so far, the results have been very good indeed. We have gone a long way towards solving the fuel pick-up issue was has heavily penalized our performance over the first three races and today was the first time we have gone into qualifying on an equal footing with the other teams. The fact that Mark has gone 5th fastest today is the clearest indication yet of the improved direction that Jaguar Racing is taking, albeit we still have a long way to go before we are completely happy. Mark did another superb job this afternoon and given that we have out- qualified both Renaults and McLaren-Mercedes in true qualifying trim, it's very clear to see the progress we have made relative to last year. We are taking full advantage of the two-hour testing session in that we are using the T-car to full effect, undertaking tyre comparisons, working on race preparation and getting ready for Friday qualifying. The Jaguar R4 seems very competitive around this circuit and given that we are testing new bits here, the performance is all the more encouraging. Combined with tremendous Cosworth power and the excellent Michelin tyre, we are very satisfied indeed going into the second qualifying phase tomorrow."

BAR-Honda

Jenson Button (6th, 1:21.891): "Things didn't go too well for me this morning; the balance wasn't right and the car just didn't feel good. Then in qualifying it felt completely different; pretty good in fact. Because it was a different car though, it was hard to know where the limit was. I had a little oversteer and lost some time in the middle sector but generally I was quite pleased with the lap. We have the new specification engine for this race and although we need to continue to make progress, it's a good first step."

Jacques Villeneuve (7th, 1:21.926): "I'm happy we got a good lap in but it's just a shame that, for the third race running, we didn't get a lot of laps in during the morning. We had a software problem during practice which affected the gearshift and that was the case again in qualy, so we weren't on the limit this afternoon. There's still time in the car but at least we managed to get a lap that puts us in a good position for final qualifying tomorrow."

David Richards, Team Principal: "We came here with high expectations based upon our test here during the winter. It was therefore disappointing to lose track time with Jacques, and to spend most of the first session looking to get the balance right with Jenson's car. However, things have come together this afternoon and I'm happy with 6th and 7th, and to clearly be the second Bridgestone team. I think we're in good shape for tomorrow."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "Jacques' running this morning was shortened by some gearbox damage, resulting from a procedural error with the software. Apart from this, the car and the latest step of engine have performed well. In this afternoon's warm weather, there doesn't appear to be a big difference in tyre performance. Both drivers underestimated the improvement in the track conditions this afternoon and clearly felt they could have been quicker. This is a good first qualifying result for us at a circuit where we were expecting to be strong and it means that we can now focus on the optimum strategy for the race. We are confident of a good result."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Not too bad but I'm not completely happy. Both drivers set lap times comfortably inside the top ten this afternoon, which puts us in a good position to fight for more points this weekend."

Minardi-Cosworth

Jos Verstappen (19th, 1:24.990): "We tried very hard and went quickly during the morning. I was pretty happy with the balance of the car - there was slight oversteer in the first sector, which then became less in sectors two and three. Once again, it's fair to say we got pretty much all we could out of the package today."

Justin Wilson (20th, 1:25.195): "I made a slight mistake in the middle of the first sector, which cost me some time. Other than that, I wasn't unhappy with what was my first attempt this weekend at a low-fuel, qualifying run. I didn't have a chance to simulate a qualifying run in this morning's practice session because of a mechanical problem that caused the car to stop on the circuit. All in all, it has been a reasonable day's effort."

Matteo Bobbi, Test Driver: "We didn't have a particularly good day as an engine sensor problem prevented us from running our scheduled program. Despite having only a limited number of laps this morning, though, I was happy that on the first run my lap time was not so far away from that of Jos. Unfortunately, we lost time in the pits while the mechanics attended to the car, and then when I went back for my final run with about three minutes of the session left, there was a problem with the gearbox. My first impression, though, was that the engine was very strong. Now I just need more time with the car, but I'm sure that will come."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "First of all, congratulations go today to Matteo Bobbi on his Grand Prix weekend testing debut. Unfortunately, his car suffered a sensor problem, which denied him the opportunity to demonstrate his true potential. Both Jos and Justin went on to complete their technical programmes today, and while only P19 and P20 at the end of the first qualifying session, we feel there is improvement to come tomorrow."

Toyota

Olivier Panis (12th, 1:22.765): "When I compare the result we have in qualifying to the free practice session, I think we have made some good progress. This morning, the car was very difficult over the kerbs and we did not have enough grip. I think the reaction of the team to change the set-up was good and I am quite happy with 12th today. I know it is not good enough, but I think we are heading in a good direction for tomorrow. We took some risks for the set-up changes between practice and qualifying sessions and I think it paid off."

Cristiano Da Matta (18th, 1:24.854): "I made a big mistake in the first sector, which ruined my whole lap. We still need to find some more speed in the other sectors too with some modifications to the car's set-up necessary. It is a slow beginning to the weekend for us, so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. We have ninety minutes of free practice tomorrow in which to improve the car's handling. I like this circuit a lot, but I feel we have a better potential in the car than we showed today."

Gustav Brunner, Chief Designer: "Of course after this morning's result, we made some set-up adjustments to the TF103s. The changes were more radical on Panis's car to combat the handling difficulties from practice, but the overall result is still not great to be honest. We will carry on with our set-up work tomorrow morning, adapting Cristiano's car to reflect the major changes we made to Olivier's car and I hope we will make some more steps ahead."

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