JULY 9, 2004
BRITISH GP - FRIDAY - PRACTICE SESSION 2 REPORT
Michael Schumacher (3rd, 1:19.162): "It was a slightly different Friday to the usual for us due to the fact that we expected rain in the second session, so we set ourselves a bigger workload in the morning. In the second session, we tried a few variations in set-up which worked very well. Overall, I am quite happy with our performance today. We know the competition is tough with some of them looking very strong today. However, I believe we will be in the fight for the win. Now we have to work out the best way to go about achieving that."
Rubens Barrichello (6th, 1:19.473): "This morning's session was very straightforward, but in the afternoon, I encountered a few problems while evaluating the tyres. However, we have a good base line in terms of the set-up of the car to suit this track and I am sure that a bit more work tomorrow morning will get us back on track."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "We are at what is the home track for our main rivals and they have shown themselves to be very competitive, which is what we had expected. As usual, we worked on tyre choice and on finding the best set-up. It is very difficult to assess the relative strengths of the other teams, not knowing what fuel loads and tyres they were running. For our part, we have picked up valuable data which we will now be studying. There is still work to do on the cars but we believe we can aspire to the top places in qualifying tomorrow, before moving on to concentrate on Sunday's race."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "We were expecting rain for the second hour, so we reversed our usual Friday programme, especially with Michael who only ran on used tyres in the afternoon. Therefore it is harder than usual to make comparisons to the opposition. We gathered a lot of data which we will study carefully this afternoon. From what we could see, the Bridgestone tyres are working well and performing very consistently. We still have to find the best balance on Rubens' car when running new tyres, while the situation is looking pretty good on worn ones. I think we can be reasonably optimistic about the rest of the weekend."
Marc Gene (7th, 1:19.540): "All in all it was a positive day. We have been working on tyre evaluation like everyone today and we also made some set-up changes. The car did not always behave as expected though, so we need to sit down now and carefully go through the data we have collected, in order to have a better understanding of the situation. What tyre we I will use for qualifying and in the race is still undecided at the moment."
Juan Pablo Montoya (11th, 1:19.746): "We made some good evaluation tests today. Track conditions were changing quite a lot throughout the sessions but nevertheless we went through our scheduled programme and I can say I am reasonably happy with the balance of my car. Weather has been better than yesterday, even if still quite cold, and I definitely hope for some more dry running tomorrow."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We have had a productive day with no mechanical problems, looking at tyre evaluation and race set up. The weather in Silverstone is different to normal as it is colder compared to other tracks. That affects the set up of the car and the tyre selection. We will look at the data tonight to make the right decisions. The weather looks like it is going to stay like this all weekend."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Compared with last Friday in Magny-Cours, we had today a good, trouble free day, with both the drivers completing their programme, which was important for us in order to get some more running with our new aero package. We had no problems on the engine side."
Kimi Raikkonen (1st, 1:18.655): "We completed our planned programme today and experienced no problems. I had a positive test here at Silverstone with the 19B a few weeks ago, so I was quite confident that the car would be good. Hopefully we can continue to improve it during tomorrow's practice. We were quickest today, but there is nothing to celebrate yet, Saturday and Sunday are the important ones."
David Coulthard (4th, 1:19.287): "An encouraging start to my home grand prix, but its early days and whilst it's looking good, tomorrow is another day. We have learnt a lot and will see what the next couple of days bring. MP4-19B is an improvement, and I feel that it should be possible to get on the podium, so that has to be the goal."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Today's times were encouraging but it's the rest of the weekend that counts. We knew in France that the MP4-19B was an improvement on the MP4-19A, but it's still too early to say how much. A trouble-free day was enjoyed by both drivers, and we are really looking forward to the rest of the weekend, which hopefully we can continue in the same way."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good first practice day. However, we shouldn't read too much into the times from our practice sessions so far as we want to see tomorrow and on Sunday how competitive we will be in comparison to the opposition in qualifying and the race."
Jarno Trulli (8th, 1:19.601):
Fernando Alonso (12th, 1:19.874):
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It will be quite difficult to decide on tyres this evening as we seemed to encounter a lot of traffic during our comparisons. Aside from this, though, it was a straightforward day. We improved the balance of both cars, but know in which areas we need to work this evening. Fernando's problem this morning did not penalise us significantly and we have given ourselves a solid base to work from tomorrow."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We suffered a throttle problem on Fernando's engine this morning, but were able to quickly identify and resolve its cause. Fortunately, he was able to make up for this with a slightly more substantial programme this afternoon. This incident aside, we completed our programme without any problems. The times are extremely close, but we also need to remember that the track conditions were evolving throughout the day. We remain hopeful of competing strongly tomorrow."
Jenson Button (5th, 1:19.401): "We completed most of our tyre work today but it's a shame about Anthony's problem. I think we know the direction we're heading in, we just have a lot more work to do to optimise the car in time for qualifying. The support from the crowd has been fantastic already and we just have to keep focused and do everything we can to build on today's performance and get stronger as we head into the race."
Takuma Sato (9th, 1:19.611): "We hoped we would be stronger here today after the positive tests we had earlier in the season. The car isn't performing as well as we'd hoped and we have a lot more work to do to be more competitive for qualifying and the race, as we are looking for a podium finish here. We didn't complete the full tyre evaluation but hopefully there is enough data between the three of us to confirm our choice for tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson (16th, 1:20.861): "This isn't the way I wanted to start the team's home race weekend. I had a good morning and was hoping to continue that progress into this afternoon but unfortunately we had a gearbox failure after just 14 laps. Our long-run performance seems to be very good but it's a shame that I was unable to complete our tyre evaluation. Jenson and Taku managed to pack some of my programme into the end of theirs, so all is not lost but it's not ideal. The tyres I ran felt good so we have good reason to feel positive. I hope today's problem has got all our bad luck out of the way for the rest of the weekend and the guys can go on to do a great job in front of our home crowd."
David Richards, Team Principal: "It's all too easy to set ourselves unrealistic goals on a weekend like this, as everyone wants to deliver something special in front of the home crowd. A challenging podium position should however remain our objective and, who knows, putting ourselves in the right place at the right time could give us the result our home crowd is looking for."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "Despite threats of rain during both sessions, it remained dry so we were able to complete our full programmes for both race cars without problem. Although our lap times are reasonably competitive, the car is not performing as well as it has done at the recent tests here, so we have more work to do this evening to improve the set-up for tomorrow. We unfortunately lost some of Anthony's running this afternoon when he was forced to pull off the track in the complex and it appears, on initial inspection, to be a gear tooth failure. The tyre choice is less straightforward than at the last two races so we will need to spend some more time today analysing the data."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Not too bad today. Although Anthony's problem stopped us completing the programme in full I don't think it will hurt us too much for the rest of the weekend. I am glad the rain stayed away!"
Giancarlo Fisichella (2nd, 1:18.660): "I am very pleased, as we have taken a big step forward. The team has done a fantastic job, and if you look what we have achieved with the car since Melbourne it is excellent. This step here in Silverstone is probably the biggest of them all. The car is very well balanced and stable, and I was able to do a very good lap time. I am really, really optimistic, even though my engine problem this morning means that I will lose 10 grid places tomorrow afternoon. The same thing happened at Nurburgring, and we still scored points there, so I'm really looking forward to the race."
Felipe Massa (10th, 1:19.676): "Honestly, I am very happy with my lap time. I used my new tyres early in the session to do a long run, so my lap was achieved on old rubber whereas Giancarlo used his new tyres at the end. The car is well balanced, very consistent and very stable, and I am feeling very optimistic. It is great to know we have such a competitive car."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "All our efforts of the past few weeks have paid off and we have taken a clear step forward with the new rear bodywork. Giancarlo's excellent time is a thank-you to everybody in the team, particularly all the people working back in the factory at Hinwil who have contributed so much to this result."
Christian Klien (17th, 1:21.073): "I managed to complete a good number of laps today and I feel quite comfortable in the car around here. My engineers and I had quite a long list of test items to work through and I am pleased that we managed to get it all completed before it rained. This track can be quite slippery but today the grip was ok for me and this helped. I am going to be working on my tyre choice tonight and also looking ahead to qualifying and our strategy for race day."
Mark Webber (18th, 1:21.352): "It was an interesting day for us today as we were definitely finding the track conditions slightly more frustrating than normal. The weather conditions were ok but the wind here can really pick up and this was affecting my balance on track. The team has done a good job to prepare the car ahead of this weekend since we only left France four days ago!. I worked on set-up today, balance and tyres, but I need to do more tomorrow ahead of qualifying. We will be looking at our tyre choice this evening and looking at how we can extract more from the R5 this weekend. We had such a strong weekend in Magny-Cours and I would like to continue with that theme this weekend."
Bjorn Wirdheim (19th, 1:21.353): "Testing today was good for me and I managed to work on a number of different areas of the car. Balance is very important here and we are currently working very hard to make this better as we were struggling a little this morning. The car generally is looking good and we are hoping for another strong weekend on track like the one we had last weekend."
Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance: "We successfully completed our programme for all three drivers today and I was pleased to see the R5 total over 130 laps during the two sessions. The fact that it remained dry was crucial for us in obtaining the tyre information that we need in order for us to make a decision tonight. The wind however picked up during the course of the day and this did not help our balance, especially through the high-speed corners, so we will be looking at this tomorrow and discussing tonight how we can counteract this. Tomorrow will be spent preparing for both our qualifying session and of course the race. With most of the teams looking reasonable on track we will be focusing on delivering a reliable and strong car to chase for those points."
Ricardo Zonta (13th, 1:20.095): "Today's practice sessions were both quite productive, even though there is still plenty of room for improvement. The tyre choice appears to be rather complicated at this track. On each of the two types of tyre we evaluated, we gain time in one way, but we lose out in the other, so we have to find the best compromise before making our final selection. I think we did a good job in the end. Silverstone is a very nice track from a driving perspective, but it is extremely bumpy, which disrupts the car a lot."
Olivier Panis (14th, 1:20.489): "We had a normal Friday practice, comparing the two compounds of Michelin tyres and working on the set-up of the car. I think we need to work really hard to improve the car for tomorrow because there is definitely a lot more we can get out of it at this track. We will look deep into the data during this afternoon and hopefully make some progress in tomorrow morning's sessions."
Cristiano da Matta (15th, 1:20.829): "A very frustrating first day at Silverstone today with the car behaving similarly to how it did at the test in June. It is bumping a lot and there is a big difference in the balance from high speed to low speed. The only positive thing I can draw from today's session is the fantastic job my crew did to change the gearbox in just 20 minutes after I had a wheel bearing problem at the start of the second session. Their quick reactions and efficient work meant that the problem did not negate our programme that much."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "It has been quite a difficult opening day with low track temperatures and low grip. Unlike other teams, we have only had one three-day test here at Silverstone this year, so it is perhaps harder for us to find the best set-up on our cars. It is clear that we have a lot of work still to do. The tyre choice is also quite difficult, as we have experienced different balances on the two compounds we have at our disposal. Overall though, we completed many laps and acquired a lot of data, but we certainly need to work hard to improve the cars for tomorrow."
Nick Heidfeld (20th, 1:22.365): "A fairly positive day as I did a lot of laps and we have benefited from testing here not too long ago to prepare a starting set-up. I?m not quite happy with our balance at the moment: although we have tried a couple of things, we need to make further improvements. Tyre choice is going to be tough although I think we will be stronger on that side than we were in Magny Cours."
Timo Glock (21st, 1:22.500): "The first practice session was quite good and I worked on a tyre and engine programme. It was difficult to find a good set-up for the car, but I think we are starting to understand which tyre is right for the race. The crash was quite heavy and I think there?s a bit of damage for the mechanics to repair but I?m okay."
Giorgio Pantano (23rd, 1:22.586): "Today we tried to improve the balance of the car in these conditions, it?s also the first time I have driven here with more rubber on the circuit. We had some little balance problems but we worked quite hard today on tyre comparison tests and with our choice for the race we hope to find a better balance on the slower parts of the circuit."
James Robinson, Director of Race and Test Engineering: "Our primary concern is what happened to Timo?s car this afternoon. We will investigate it further this evening though we are confident that the problem was understood and relates to the increased fatigue loads we are now seeing in 2004. The two race cars completed their normal Friday programme of assessing tyre choice for these cooler conditions and we will have to study the data very hard this evening to know which tyre to pick for Sunday."
Gianmaria Bruni (22nd, 1:22.516): "It's not been a bad day at all, but it would have been even better if I hadn't been caught up in traffic on what should have been my quickest lap - it definitely lost me a couple of tenths. I'm also pleased that we were able to try different set-ups today. Bas went in a different direction, and the results look good, so we'll perhaps try that tomorrow. We've done some good work today, and now it would be fantastic if we could hear some good news concerning John. We really miss him."
Bas Leinders (24th, 1:22.792): "I'm very pleased with the work we've done today, as we were able to improve the car so it was to my liking. We suffered a little with understeer throughout the day, but improved the balance as the sessions went on. I had a potentially good lap under way this afternoon, but Glock went off and I slowed, losing a good three-tenths of a second. If that hadn't happened, I would have been 21st behind Heidfeld. We're definitely going in the right direction."
Zsolt Baumgartner (25th, 1:23.436): "We were able to find a good balance for the car, just like we had in Magny-Cours, so it has been a useful day. Unfortunately, in the second session, we had a small gearbox problem, which lost me some valuable track time while it was fixed. That is the reason I was not able to achieve as quick a lap time as I would have liked today."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "As many people are aware, Minardi has had a tough week with the news that its much-loved Sporting Director, John Walton, suffered a serious heart attack in the early hours of last Tuesday morning. It goes without saying that all the team's thoughts throughout this weekend are with John's family and friends. The team has pulled together and is determined to put up a strong showing at Silverstone, and today's efforts by all three drivers showed we are doing exactly that."