MALAYSIAN GP - FRIDAY - TEAM QUOTES

Nick Heidfeld, Malaysian GP 2005

Nick Heidfeld, Malaysian GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello (7th, 1:35.949): "I made a mistake on my first run out of the pits this afternoon and spun the car. I was lucky that they were able to get the car back to the garage, so I was able to go out again and do three more laps. Michael did a lot of running, so we will have plenty of data to work with. Even with just those three laps, I could tell that the car feels very competitive."

Michael Schumacher (16th, 1:37.270): "I am pleased with the amount of work we got through today, which has provided us with plenty of data to analyse overnight. I think we look competitive compared with our main rivals and my times in the second session do not mean much, as I was running on old tyres. My times in first practice and Ruben's performance this afternoon are a better indication of our true level. The car and engine worked well all day. A lot of us spun this afternoon and I think it is due to two factors: the very high temperatures are affecting tyre grip and, at some points on the track, the wind is quite strong, which adds to the difficulty of keeping the car on track."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "As expected, it has been a very hot Friday. We worked mainly on a comparison test of the two types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. Here in Malaysia, tyres will play an even more key role than usual. We need to find the right compromise between qualifying and race performance, given that we have to stick with the same set of tyres from Saturday afternoon onwards. It will be important to evaluate potential engine performance as, for almost competitors, it is a case of using the same power unit as in Melbourne. Today's results make it difficult to assess the true pecking order among the teams."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Michael had some "spare" mileage as he did not put so many miles on his engine in Australia, so he was able to do a good long comparison run on both types of tyre. It was lucky therefore that we have this data, as Rubens spun off and had a short session. Tyre performance will be crucial here and it will be the inevitable balance between a tyre that gives you a fastest first lap and one that will last for the entire race. The heat does not seem to be an issue for the tyres: it's just a case of degradation and wear."

BAR-Honda

Jenson Button (8th, 1:35.992): "The first day of running here is always a bit of a body shock with the temperature inside the cockpit reaching well over 50C. All in all I think we've made a good start to the weekend. We've had quite a productive day, completing all of the testing that we planned to and focusing on tyre comparisons and aerodynamic adjustments. We've gathered a lot of data which we'll look over this evening and I think we should expect another positive day tomorrow."

Takuma Sato (14th, 1:37.044): "It was good to get as many laps in as we planned today without any car issues. I had to back off a bit on my quick laps because of the yellow flags but generally the car balance was good and we have some valuable data for the tyres. It was really hot inside the cockpit so it is going to be a tough race on Sunday, but we are looking good so far."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "This is a positive start to the weekend. We had two good sessions today with both cars completing our planned programme. The cars are working well with the very high track temperatures and we have been pleased with our consistently good performance throughout the sessions. These high temperatures are tough on the drivers but we do not have any concerns with cooling of the engine or other car systems. We look forward to another positive day tomorrow."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "A fairly solid start to the weekend. No particular problems despite the heat and slippery track, a good number of laps, and reasonable times in a closely bunched field."

Renault

Giancarlo Fisichella (6th, 1:35.841): "The car was quick on the first lap, but then began over-steering too much, which made it hard to set consistent times on the runs. Both tyre types seemed quite similar in performance, and we will have to analyse our data carefully this evening in order to make the right selection. There is still work to do tomorrow morning to find the best set-up for the race, but I think that our basic level of performance is good."

Fernando Alonso (9th, 1:36.103): "Running on Friday is only ever about one thing, and that's choosing the correct race tyre. Both tyre types had good performance and consistency, so the choice will not be easy. The car handling was quite nervous, but the level of grip on the circuit was also pretty low today."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Our tyre evaluations were somewhat compromised by traffic and lots of yellow flags, but we will nevertheless be able to get the information we need from them to choose our tyres. Neither car is particularly well balanced at this stage, but in Malaysia, we always need to tune the car set-up in order to counteract the fact that in high temperatures, the cars are inherently more prone to oversteer. We will carry out that tuning tomorrow morning."

Williams-BMW

Nick Heidfeld (15th, 1:37.067): "It was a problem free Friday session for me and I managed to do everything we had planned. Several yellow flags and some traffic hampered the second session, but it was the same for everyone, after all. Looking at the final times of today, I am sure we are a lot quicker than it shows."

Mark Webber (24th, No Time): "Not an ideal day for me, but these things can happen. We had a gear shifting problem, which cost us the running in the second, most important session. Anyway, at least it looks like Nick collected some good information, which was the main objective, so now we can do our homework and be ready for tomorrow."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "After a good morning session, we had a gear change problem on Mark's car in the afternoon. We are now looking for what caused that problem. Nick continued with testing tyres and evaluating cooling configurations for Sunday's race. We have brought quite a lot aerodynamic improvements to the FW27 here and they are all working correctly. It is going to be a hard race here on cooling, engines, gearboxes and brakes, just a typical Malaysian Grand Prix."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Today's temperatures were just an appetizer of what is yet to come. On Sunday it should be even hotter. Not everything ran according to plan for us since Mark had a problem changing gears and missed the second session. Nick completed the tyre evaluation alone and only performed long runs in the second session. Both engines ran without problems and within the acceptable temperature limit."

McLaren-Mercedes

Juan Pablo Montoya (2nd, 1:35.620): "We have been working on the balance of the car trying different things to see what works for me, and we are going in the right direction. It was quite slippery out there due to the heat, but I didn't experience any problems. We definitely have the pace and now we need to make it work when it matters, which is on Sunday. As always in Malaysia it's very hot in the car, but we are prepared for this."

Kimi Raikkonen (4th, 1:35.719): "My car felt good and our Michelin tyres seem to be working and wearing well. I didn't do as many laps as planned in the second session as I was a little too optimistic going into turn eight, spun into the gravel trap and was unable to continue. However we managed to get the car back to the garage and the guys did a great job to make sure that at least I got a run at the end."

Pedro de la Rosa (13th, 1:37.033): "The majority of my work today has been to evaluate the Michelin tyres and we completed our programme as planned. We gained a lot of useful data for working out the right choice for tomorrow. I think we have a competitive package as a result of a good co-operation with Michelin at a track which is especially demanding for the tyres."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Apart from Kimi's off we completed today's planned programme. Our package seems to be working well here at Sepang, and we are looking forward to the rest of the weekend and what should be an exciting race in extremely hot conditions for the team, especially the drivers and the cars."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "We ran our normal programme focusing on tyre evaluation and comparison under race conditions. In the second session Kimi could only run for two timed laps after his spin. Juan Pablo completed his programme and Pedro did a good job to sort out the tyres. The entire team has worked well in the extreme conditions. We expect the race to be one of the toughest."

Sauber-Petronas

Felipe Massa (1st, 1:35.608): "At the moment we are not 100% sure where we are, and this was just a Friday, but it's encouraging. We still have a lot more work to do to improve the car and consistency on long runs, but right from the first time I drove the C24 I knew we had a car that can fight for points. I lost probably four-tenths of a second on my quick lap because I had David Coulthard ahead for two corners, then when I overtook him I locked my brakes and lost some time in the next corner. So, overall, I'm happy with the way things are going and the start we've made to the weekend."

Jacques Villeneuve (18th, 1:38.121): "I spent a lot of time checking out the set-up, and we made some progress. On the long runs we need to do more work for the race and we need to find some more speed."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "This was a good test day for us, and of course it is always gratifying when you finish a session fastest. What was important is that we completed our programme, with both cars. Felipe and Jacques ran different tyre specifications and fuel loads at different times, so the gap between them is not representative. We are satisfied with what we have learned today, and will use that to go faster still tomorrow."

Red Bull-Cosworth

David Coulthard (10th, 1:36.575): "It was a tricky session trying to find clear laps. Obviously it is the nature of this track that it is very demanding on the balance of the car, which means finding stability and consistency is the key here. We have more practice time tomorrow so we will see what that brings us."

Christian Klien (12th, 1:36.968): "To start with today there was no grip on the circuit and it was really slippery, but that did improve throughout the day. We tried a few different set-ups because the track was changing all the time. We did some long runs which gave us some useful information and it was a shame that we had to stop because of the electronic problem. I am quite happy with the lap times today and we will get some more time tomorrow to try things out."

Vitantonio Liuzzi (20th, 1:39.349): "Overall it was a good day for us. During the first session we showed that we can be pretty quick but unfortunately in the second I had a suspension failure, which caused me to spin in the corner before the last, and I had to stop. But overall the car seems quite good and I think we are in good shape again for the race. David and Christian have some more time in the car in the morning and I think we have enough information to choose the tyres and get a good set-up for tomorrow."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Obviously we had all three cars out there and the drivers did a good job. Unfortunately Tonio's session was cut short because of a rear suspension problem and Christian also had a problem, but we did manage to work through the programme and have a good idea of what we want to do tomorrow."

Gunther Steiner, Technical Director: "All in all it was quite a good practice until we had the two problems with Tonio and Christian's cars. Tonio's problem was a breakage of the rear suspension before he went off and we will have to check exactly what caused it. On Christian's car it was an electronic problem that we are investigating to see if it was due to the heat or something else. We are having a little bit of a problem deciding our tyres but we will get on top of that."

Toyota

Ricardo Zonta (3rd, 1:35.677): "I enjoy driving at this track, but it is very demanding, both for the driver and for the car. We did a good job on the long runs today and were able to carry out a useful comparison between the two tyre compounds to assess their performance and consistency. I put a new set of tyres at the end of the second session, but a yellow flag in the final sector meant I had to back off. It was a bit of a shame because I could have easily repeated my time from the morning session."

Ralf Schumacher (5th, 1:35.838): "I think we had a reasonable first day here in Malaysia. We went through all that we needed to and we were able to make our tyre choice. I am quite happy with the car balance, although there are still some areas on which we still need to work and improve. Generally, I think we are looking quite competitive this weekend."

Jarno Trulli (11th, 1:36.841): "In this morning's session, I only completed a few laps in order to conserve my engine based on the fact that I did a lot of mileage in Melbourne. In the second session, I had some electronic problems, which limited running. When I was out on track, I encountered traffic, so it is difficult for me to get a clear indication on performance. Looking at the times set by Ralf and Ricardo, I am in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the weekend."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "A productive day with all three cars. Ricardo carried out his usual tyre evaluation and his feedback makes the tyre choice comparatively straight-forward this weekend. In general, the balance of the cars and the consistency over the longer runs looks very promising. Jarno had to stop before the end of the final session with an electronics-related problem, but thankfully it was nothing terminal. Overall, the cars are looking pretty competitive and I think we can be happy with this first day."

Jordan-Toyota

Robert Doornbos (17th, 1:37.878): "I love this great circuit, which I have practised a lot on the Playstation. The morning session went very well; I had to do a lot of work for the team, especially in these conditions where it is very important to make the right choice of tyres."

Narain Karthikeyan (19th, 1:38.855): "Sepang International Circuit is quite difficult to learn because it is very flowing and dusty and for a rookie it is quite tricky to find the correct line, but I have to go with what I have and try to improve my times tomorrow."

Tiago Monteiro (21st, 1:39.755): "It was an interesting day. I had to learn the track as quickly as possible and get a feel for it with such high temperatures. We know now which Bridgestone tyres we will use for the rest of the weekend and we will adapt our strategy according to our choice."

Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director: "Today was another productive day with the three cars running very well. Robert Doornbos did an excellent job for us in evaluating tyres. We have learnt a lot about the car and we are looking forward to a good weekend."

Minardi-Cosworth

Patrick Friesacher (22nd, 1:40.940): "I'm happy with the job we did today because we improved the car quite a lot and discovered some interesting information about the diffuser. I'm also feeling more comfortable in the car than I did in Australia, but we still have some work to do on overall car balance. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and making a further step forward. As usual, the mechanics did a really good job and the car ran reliably throughout both sessions."

Christijan Albers (23rd, 1:41.156): "It was a good day overall, and I think we made some progress. Patrick and I were both trying different aerodynamic parts and chassis set-ups. It's a shame that the level of traffic meant I wasn't able to get as much as I would have liked out of the new tyres, but the most important thing to focus on now is qualifying tomorrow, and we'll see what we can do then."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "It's clear to everyone that the 2005 regulations are a resounding success - so much so that they've succeeded in adding more than three seconds to Minardi lap times compared with last year. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that, in the first practice session today, in near-identical climatic conditions to 2004, the top 10 cars were, without exception, faster than last year."

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