MAY 7, 2004
SPANISH GP - FRIDAY - PRACTICE SESSION 2 REPORT
Button on top
Rubens Barrichello (6th, 1:16.698): "I had a normal day, divided between finding the right set up and choosing between the two type of tyre at our disposal. Having done so many kilometres here over the past months we have a good starting point for our set-up and today we made further steps forward, adapting it to the current track conditions without experience any sort of problem. I think we still have much to do to get the most out of the package and I think we will be very competitive tomorrow.-
Michael Schumacher (7th, 1:16.729): "Today could be described as a standard Friday in Barcelona. We worked on fine tuning the set-up with reasonable success. As usual, we worked on assessing the two types of Bridgestone tyre and we think they have come up with a good compound choice for us, so I am looking forward to being competitive over the rest of the weekend."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "As usual on the first day of the weekend, we have worked on set-up and tyre choice. Even though the Catalunya circuit is one of the most popular tracks for testing, there is always work to do to get the most out of the car. We know we will be competitive, but just how much when compared to our rivals depends on many factors and we won't have the final answer until the end of Sunday's race. We know we can expect a closely contested grand prix and along with our partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell, we will try and exploit the full potential of our package."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Obviously, we spent today preparing for the race, especially in terms of assessing the two types of Bridgestone at our disposal. First impressions are that one type of tyre is quicker on the first lap, while the second type offers more consistent performance over a longer run. Now we have to study the data very carefully to make the right choice. We know how important it is to qualify well here where overtaking is very difficult. Starting from the front means you run less risk of being stuck behind a slower car. Both drivers reckoned they were satisfied with the performance of their F2004."
Ralf Schumacher (4th, 1:16.433): "Before coming to Barcelona I said that we would only have a chance here if we had made the very best out of our package - and after the First Free Practice I can see we are on the right way. We could make our tyre choice quite quickly, and this was very important but still we need to improve on the set-up."
Juan Pablo Montoya (12th, 1:17.067): "We knew it would be difficult to find the right set-up for our car on this circuit and despite the fact that you cannot read too much into Friday's times, it's clear that there is still some work to do. Both the weather and consequently the track conditions changed from the first to the second Free Practice - and even during the same session - which made our job even harder. Anyway, we have completed our programme for today and we will now work in view of tomorrow's qualifying."
Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer: "It was a good day on set-up work. We spent the morning's session testing two different set-ups to give us a direction for the race and we have verified some new aero parts for this Grand Prix. In the afternoon we did long runs on the two different Michelin compounds. It was productive and we have got enough data to make a good choice. We did not have any reliability problems."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Today's focus was on the race set-up and tyre choice, as usual for a Friday's Free Practice. Both the drivers completed their programmes and didn't experience any technical problems. However, the weather is still a question mark for the race."
Kimi Raikkonen (9th, 1:16.798): "Everything was going according to plan until the end of the second session when I felt something was wrong with the car. The team told me to stop immediately and switch everything off which I did and parked the car on the outside of turn three. However, we did manage to get through our tyre evaluation programme and I'm reasonable happy with the car."
David Coulthard (13th, 1:17.069): "I went through a normal Friday programme and completed 23 laps. I still don't have the balance I would like and therefore we still have some work to do. However there are two free practice sessions tomorrow which gives us time to further improve our package."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "We spent the majority of our time today evaluating tyres and collected the normal data. Whilst David is still not happy with the balance of the car, his practice was uneventful. Kimi's second session was stopped short by an electrical fault which appears to originate from a shortcircuit in an ignition coil. On realising that Kimi had a problem, we instructed him to turn everything off to minimise any potential damage, which was achieved."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "With a little less than nine minutes to go in the second free practice, Kimi stopped on the circuit caused by what turned out to be a failure of the ignition coil. David is still not happy with the setup of his car but nevertheless our lap times were reasonable."
Fernando Alonso (5th, 1:16.534): "A normal Friday from my point of view, without any problems. It's great to be back in Spain again and to see the fans - even today there were thousands of them around the circuit. On the technical side, we worked on the tyres, which was our priority. The handling of the car still needs to be improved because it is a little nervous at the rear, but we will work on it tonight. I am optimistic that once we have corrected these small problems, we can be even more competitive."
Jarno Trulli (8th, 1:16.734): "It was actually quite a difficult day for me, with several problems that disrupted my programme. In terms of set-up, the car is lacking grip but I think overall grip levels will improve as the weekend goes on, and we know in which direction we need to work this evening in order to improve the set-up. Given these small problems, I think we can be positive for the rest of the weekend."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "As usual on Friday, we concentrated on tyre choice, which means the car balance is still in need of some fine-tuning. The spots of rain during the second session made life busy but luckily the tyre choice is clear. Both cars stopped a little before the end of the session with minor technical problems, but this did not cost us too much."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We ran a typical Friday programme today, with our priorities being to make the tyre choice and fine-tune the engine calibration and performance. We didn't have any major incidents and tomorrow we will begin to learn exactly where we stand relative to our competitors."
Jenson Button (1st, 1:15.935): "Today has gone quite well and I'm pleased to be at the top of the timesheets at the end of the day. The grip has been quite low but I'm happy with the balance of the car. There will be more to come as the track gets better and generally it looks like this is going to be another positive weekend for us"
Anthony Davidson (2nd, 1:16.188): "Today has gone really well for me and for the team. We ended the second session first and second fastest - second being my best position in Friday practice so far this season, so I'm happy with that. We're pretty confident on tyre choice for the race now. The car feels really good. I did a longer run on both tyre options and the car felt nice and stable and good to drive. It was consistent throughout and not just good on one lap so, as we thought, we should have a good car here this weekend."
Takuma Sato (18th, 1:17.970): "It's very disappointing to end the day early with a mechanical problem. I have completed only four timed laps from a total of 10 laps all day and this means we haven't completed all the set-up and tyre work that prepares us for tomorrow's qualifying. It's a great shame because once again the car has been strong and feeling positive so far. The track conditions took a while to improve because it was very dusty this morning . We made a good start to the second session on older tyres, and I was running 2nd fastest when I came in with my clutch-related problem. I have to hope that I can have two very productive sessions tomorrow morning in readiness for qualifying so we have some work to do this evening to ensure that happens."
David Richards, Team Principal: "After all the winter testing here in Barcelona and some very impressive times, we were obviously optimistic about the performance we could expect this weekend and it appears that our optimism was well-founded. Jenson's time is still a second slower than his best time during the winter so hopefully there's more to come from the car tomorrow. I'm sure Taku is disappointed at having to sit out most of the second session but I'm very confident that he'll be on the pace for qualifying. Anthony, as usual, did a superb job in his testing role today."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "A very successful day for the team, if a little frustrating for Takuma who had his running curtailed by a problem which affected the operation of the clutch early in the second session. Given our experience of testing here, the race drivers' running was intentionally restricted and Anthony did an excellent job and most of the work on the tyre programme. The car has been consistently quick both on one lap and on a run. Without the problem I'm sure Takuma would have joined Jenson and Anthony at the top of the timesheets today."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Another good solid day for us. Anthony and Jenson's times are good and we have every reason to be confident of continuing our run of podiums. I am sure that Takuma will not suffer too much from his problem as we do so much running at Barcelona and we know the car and engine settings very well for this track."
Felipe Massa (17th, 1:17.906): "I should have improved on my final run. Changes we had made to the car gave me much better grip than I'd had previously and the balance was good, but there were spots of rain in the first and final sectors and the last two corners in particular were really slippery. We lack grip over one lap, but on long runs we are pretty consistent."
Giancarlo Fisichella (19th, 1:18.001): "This is a difficult circuit for us, and once again we have been struggling on our first lap on new tyres. On long runs, however, I think we are competitive with the Michelin teams. This afternoon I still couldn't improve the grip of my car or get rid of oversteer that I had this morning, and unfortunately on my final run on new tyres I encountered some rain. The major problem then, however, was a yellow flag which forced me to slow down."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "Both drivers were able to do consistent long runs. The times were not too bad but naturally we will try to improve further tomorrow, when our main focus will be to set up the car to make better use of new tyres on the out lap."
Mark Webber (14th, 1:17.178): "It's been a busy day for us today here in Barcelona. Although we know this track very well thanks to the amount of testing we do here, we have still been working on tyre comparisons and general race set-up. The track changes here a lot and you have to keep changing with it. The temperatures have not been as high as perhaps we had expected so again working on the tyres is very important. The track feels good out there and the new layout on corner eight is keeping us busy. I am pleased with what we have worked through today as we have completed a full programme. Tomorrow is my focus now and I will be working with my engineers tonight to discuss our strategy and tyre choice."
Bjorn Wirdheim (16th, 1:17.676): "I've had a good day today and the team and I have completed a full test programme. I have been working specifically on aero validation and this has involved a lot of detailed and complex analysis. I enjoy this part of my job as I know that the data that we have gathered today is very interesting and we will be using it over the course of the weekend. Staying on track and completing this sort of work is crucial to the team and for Mark and Christian in preparation for Sunday's race."
Christian Klien (25th, No Time): "Not perhaps the day I have anticipated. I had hoped to fully complete my testing programme and although this morning went as planned I suffered a spin in the afternoon session and ended up in the gravel. Unfortunately I could not get back on track so I had to call it a day slightly earlier than we had planned. This morning I worked on set-up and I am happy with what we achieved. I know this track quite well and I have tested here in the R5 before so this makes my life a lot easier. I am going to be making the most of tomorrow's practice sessions as I would like to get a few more laps under my belt ahead of qualifying."
Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance: "I am pleased with the progress made today and the amount of work that we have managed to get through. We had a full programme to complete and we were focusing on our continued aero, engine and chassis development. Despite Christian suffering from a spin at the very start of his second session we have had a productive day and of course having three drivers on track makes it easier to achieve the results that we need in time for the race. Our pace here is encouraging and we will now be concentrating on optimising our set-up and race strategy, and of course tyre choice, for tomorrow."
Ricardo Zonta (3rd, 1:16.360): "An encouraging start to the race weekend. In the first session we did a tyre comparison and were able to benefit from things we already tested in Mugello at the end of April. This afternoon we conducted a long run in order to confirm our tyre choice. The team has worked very hard at the test sessions and additionally this track suits the TF104 well, so I am hopeful that we will be in a condition to score our first championship points of the season this weekend."
Cristiano Da Matta (10th, 1:16.833): "Today's session was quite encouraging, particularly in terms of our tyre selection. We completed a lot of laps and the car has been running quite well. The track conditions were pretty changeable during the two practice sessions, but I think we can be reasonably happy with the results we have achieved today, even if I feel there is still more to come."
Olivier Panis (11th, 1:16.925): "I am quite happy with what we have achieved in the two practice sessions. Even though it was only the first day of track activity, we learned many things with regard to set-up and tyre choice. Unfortunately there was some traffic on my quick lap so I could not make use of the TF104's full potential. However, we are in a good shape and have set a solid base for tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "It was a very useful day for us today. Ricardo, as usual concentrated on Michelin tyre evaluation in the third car and I think that the choice is interesting. Nevertheless, we have to analyse everything deeply this afternoon. All three drivers were happy with the balance of the car even if conditions were a little tricky with the light rain in the second session. Overall, a reasonably competitive day and some good work from the team, but there is still more time to be found and I am sure we can improve even more tomorrow."
Timo Glock (15th, 1:17.608): "It was a good day. In the first session I went a bit slower in the beginning because in Imola I spun off after 14 laps or so - I said to myself, here at this next Grand Prix practice I would go a little bit easy and do a good job for the team. So it went well and step by step we found a better set-up. We have a good tyre for the race. During second practice it started to rain lightly and for me it was difficult to know how fast to go in these conditions. At the end my timed lap was really good. I have no experience of driving F1 with low fuel so my last run was a bit conservative. I hope to find out more about that, maybe when we are testing. It was a good day and my engineer and the mechanics did a good job."
Nick Heidfeld (20th, 1:18.117): "I'm quite happy with free practice today. The changes on the car that we have here - mainly on the aerodynamic side - seem to have helped, judging by our gaps to the other cars. But I'm still sure that we can improve the car for tomorrow. Again, I had no technical problems and I managed to do a long run at the end. We are still not where we want to be but I think we have made a good step forward and I'm really quite confident for tomorrow."
Giorgio Pantano (21th, 1:18.726): "I'm not really happy with how my sessions went today. It's my first time here in Formula One and I need to learn a little bit more about how to find the limits. I think we can learn something from what we did today and we can improve tomorrow for sure. I have to improve too. We were close to where we should have been today but not quite there."
James Robinson, Director of Race and Test Engineering: "It was a positive day for Jordan Ford, especially given that we haven't been to Barcelona testing with our 2004 car, as many teams have. We have made improvements to the car for this Grand Prix and so far they are showing in lap time and we are closing the gap to the cars ahead of us. We had a problem-free day with all three cars, which is always good and means we could get through the homework. Although we have not tested the EJ14 here, we have been well-supported by Bridgestone, who worked closely with us on our tyre choice."
Gianmaria Bruni (22th, 1:19.149): "It has been a good day, and we have certainly improved the car's performance from Imola, which is a step forward. I would like to thank the guys, as they did a very good job today making a lot of changes to the chassis. Both types of tyre being provided by Bridgestone this weekend are very good, but we got some useful data today, which will allow us to work out which is the better choice for us. I'm also pleased that we set a comparatively good time, which puts us a little closer to our rivals."
Zsolt Baumgartner (23th, 1:20.313): "By the end of the day, I felt we hadn't done too badly at all. We need to do a little more work on the balance, and although we didn't quite achieve the lap time we wanted this afternoon, we know why that was. Generally, the car feels good, and I am confident that just by changing some small things tomorrow, we can make a further improvement."
Bas Leinders (24th, 1:22.189): "I was running the previous aero package compared with Gimmi and Zsolt in order to gather more comparative data. We had a good day, without any significant problems, and I was able to do a lot of running. The first hour of practice was spent carrying out set-up tests, which proved productive. I then did two long tyre comparison runs of 13 laps each in the afternoon, and although it was fun doing the shorter runs, I learned some more about the car this afternoon."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "We're really pleased with today's performance. Gimmi's best lap was particularly encouraging, as it was less than half a second off Pantano's Jordan, and we look forward to building on this progress tomorrow. All three drivers put in a solid performance, providing valuable data for the weekend."