APRIL 22, 2005
SAN MARINO GP - FRIDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Michael Schumacher (6th, 1:22.025): "We are looking competitive compared to the others, which is a good sign for the rest of the weekend. The car seems to be very strong in most areas and today went well. I am happy with the handling and I had a well balanced car right from the start of the first session, which meant we could get a lot of work done. It is important at this track to have a car with good brakes and one that rides well over the kerbs and the F2005 seems to do that. BAR's performance was interesting, but we need to know if they were running at race pace or if they were on a light fuel load. I think we can be confident for qualifying and the race."
Rubens Barrichello (7th, 1:22.048): "I had a reasonable day, apart from a small problem with the car this morning. The set up is getting better, although I was not completely happy with it, but there is room for improvement tomorrow. I think qualifying times will be very close and it is shaping up to be a fun weekend!"
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "We are happy to be here at Imola for the first European race. It would be good if the championship started today, but that is not the case and we have come to the fourth round of the season, with a big gap to close to the leaders. This is a special race for the team, as it is the nearest to Maranello and for me on a personal level, as I have the honour, along with Michael, of once again taking on the role of ambassador of the Republic of San Marino. As usual today, we worked on car set-up and a comparison of the two types of Bridgestone tyre at our disposal. While taking into account the usual Friday unknowns - amount of fuel on board and variable track conditions - our evaluation of today's work can be a positive one. This Friday has provided an encouraging sign for the rest of the weekend."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "We were able to do a lot of laps today, as we had plenty of 'spare' mileage on the engines as we did not do so many in Bahrain. That has helped to give us a much better picture of the situation and plenty of data for the engineers to use in working on set-up. So, it has been a very productive day. We have seen the classic situation where the softer tyre is quicker on the first lap, but degrades a bit more, while the harder tyre is not so quick on lap one, but is more consistent. We will have to analyse the situation before making a decision on tyres as, at the moment, it is not yet an obvious choice. In general, we are pleased with the performance and the drivers are happy with the cars. We still have enough laps left on the engines to do a good morning's work tomorrow. Another factor to take into account is that the track condition is going to improve all the way up to the race."
Jenson Button (2nd, 1:21.052): "Today has shown that we have reason to be confident for the weekend ahead. Obviously it's early in our preparation to be making any firm predictions for Sunday but this is where I would have expected to be in the timesheets after the progress we made in testing last week. We experienced the usual Friday conditions in the morning session with low grip causing a problem whilst the circuit was cleaning up. This afternoon we've been able to do more work with the tyres and set-up. We completed some reasonably good long runs but we still have some work to do to ensure we are able to get the most out of the new package in Qualifying tomorrow."
Takuma Sato (10th, 1:22.335): "It was a very good day for the team. We were competitive straight away and the car performed well, showing that our form has continued from our last two tests. It seems to me that we are back on the pace, which is a really good sign and we did not have any problems. I was caught in traffic a few times as it was a busy on the circuit today, but other than that the car was working well and we will work on the set up for the longer runs for the race on Sunday."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "We are very pleased with today's running which has very much gone to plan. Both drivers have been competitive throughout, with Jenson fastest for much of the session. The car, with its latest developments, is performing as well as we expected from our tests during the last two weeks. We now have some work to do this evening to make our tyre selection and we look forward to another good day tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Both drivers have done a lot of good work to day - we have a lot of data to study. I am happy that we are continuing to show the speed we found in testing last week."
Fernando Alonso (5th, 1:21.899): "Today was primarily a tyre test: we got good results on clean runs, and now have the data we need to make our choice. On the set-up side, we are still lacking in grip but I think it will come from the circuit as it rubbers in more on the racing line. The R25 seems quite competitive at this track, and that gives me good confidence for the rest of the weekend."
Giancarlo Fisichella (9th, 1:22.211): "I had a good session this afternoon, without any problems. The new engine was working well and we did the running we needed to in order to find out about the tyres. The car balance is not yet perfect, but we have time tomorrow morning to fix that. It has been a good feeling to run in front of the Italian people here today, and I think I will be in a position to give them something to cheer about this weekend."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "As is typical on a Friday, we concentrated on evaluating the tyres available to us for this race. This was made somewhat easier by the fact that we had already run them in testing, and therefore had already got a good idea on the direction we should take. Our day was straightforward and as usual, the balance is not yet perfect - but equally, it is not far from ideal. Overall, it was an encouraging start to the weekend."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We had a trouble-free day in every area. On the chassis side, the focus was on the tyres, while the engine group's main task was to check everything was working correctly with the B spec engine in Fisico's car. He ran plenty of laps to calibrate the engine and its mapping, which we managed to complete without difficulty. It is always hard to draw conclusions from the results on the first day of the race weekend, but I think we have certainly made a good start."
Nick Heidfeld (14th, 1:23.458): "The most important matter for me today is confirming that my back is 100% okay after hurting it during last week's test. On the track, we had two reasonable Free Practice sessions today, and, as usual for Fridays, we worked mainly on tyre comparisons. We didn't experience any technical problems, which allowed us to run to our intended distance without hindrance."
Mark Webber (18th, 1:23.964): "We completed our proposed programme today and we have collected a useful amount of data, which in turn means we have plenty of information to sift later on today in preparation for tomorrow's running. All in all we had a pretty reasonable day, with our main focus on tyres."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We've had a good first day here in Imola. We got through all of our programme, mainly evaluating tyre compounds and brakes for the race on Sunday. Everything looks good, we had no mechanical problems. Now we are looking to further improve the set-up to get a couple of extra tenths out of the cars. The tyre choice this evening is obviously important. Our engineers will work close together with Michelin to make sure we make the right decision for the race."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "There is nothing to report on the engine side. Mark has the engine he used in Bahrain, whereas Nick has a new unit. After the hot race conditions in Bahrain, we can go back to exploiting full engine rev range as usual under European temperature conditions."
Pedro de la Rosa (1st, 1:20.484): "It has been a good day, we completed our entire programme and I think that we can still extract more from the car. We completed a large number of laps to collect as much data as possible; this should be a good baseline for our race preparation."
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:21.704): "Today has gone well, we completed our programme and I am happy with the set up of the car. Unfortunately I suffered from traffic today and was not able to get the best possible lap time, but everything looks good for the rest of the weekend. I am looking forward to see how we compare in qualifying tomorrow."
Alexander Wurz (8th, 1:22.174): "I am basically satisfied with my practice today. We carried out good tyre evaluation, which is not so easy on this circuit. The set up should be OK. On my fast lap with new Michelin tyres I made minor mistakes otherwise I would have been quicker. However that doesn't worry me as I think that we are set for tomorrow and Sunday when I expect close times during the qualifying sessions."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "It has been a satisfactory day with the team working well despite a minor technical difficulty this morning on Alex's car. There has been solid work on all cars evaluating our Michelin tyre choice for the weekend and working on set up. The whole weekend is clearly going to be competitive and we need to continue this work in order to achieve our objectives at this event."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A promising start to the weekend with a productive free practice when we evaluated our Michelin tyre choice in preparation for the race and have achieved good results. Pedro also carried out useful simulation runs for the race. However the meaning of today's results needs not necessarily be conclusive for Sunday."
Felipe Massa (11th, 1:22.791): "I'm very, very happy with the car. All the work the people back at the factory have done on the new aero package has worked out the way we hoped it would, and I think it is as big an improvement as the package we had at Silverstone on the C23 last year. "The car was really good on my long runs, very fast and consistent. And on new tyres I had traffic so I know I can go quicker. The only problem is that we need to change my engine tonight. It is going to be very tough starting far back here of all places, and even more so because I know we are competitive. But I remain very positive because of the progress we have made."
Jacques Villeneuve (12th, 1:22.955): "This weekend has started better for me than others this year, which is good. The car seemed okay on new tyres, and now we need to make sure we can race it like this. It seems to be an improvement, which is encouraging."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "The aerodynamic package we have brought here has borne out all the promise of improvement that it showed in the wind tunnel back in Hinwil. I believe that we have made an important step forward and we hope to reconfirm this tomorrow. Unfortunately we need to change the engine in Felipe's car because it was running hot during the race in Bahrain and has shown signs of losing its edge. This is greatly disappointing, but on the other hand I am happy that Jacques was able to benefit from the improvements in the car."
David Coulthard (16th, 1:23.815): "We did a normal race programme working on tyre choice and on what should be done on race fuels. This obviously gives us an indication on where we are in comparison to the quickest cars and what the true picture is. But the car does not feel too bad here - it just isn't that quick!"
Christian Klien (19th, 1:24.320): "In the second session I did two long runs, the first one was 15 laps the second one 18 laps. I tested both tyre types and it seems that we are a bit further away from the top than usual and we seem to have lost out a bit to the other teams but the car feels ok."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (21st, 1:24.626): "Today went quite well. It was important to make as many laps of the track and we did plenty, working on the tyre choice for tomorrow. We finished our full programme which was pretty good, but it is hard to compare our performance as, on Fridays, you never know what fuel loads the others are running, so we have to wait for tomorrow."
Gunther Steiner, Technical Director: "Today's session was okay overall. We did everything we wanted to do, but it is hard to draw any conclusion. Basically the problem is that we are too slow. At the moment we have to think what we want to do for tomorrow to improve. We changed the aero balance and Christian tested the different damper and tyre specifications. David worked on balance and aero changes as well as the mechanical set-up. Tonio also worked on tyre choice."
Ricardo Zonta (4th, 1:21.889): "We managed to put in a lot of laps over the two sessions here. There was not much grip on the track early on in the morning session, but the conditions improved with every outing we had. I also felt an improvement over the kerbs compared to what I remember from here last year. We took the slightly wrong direction over set-up for the long runs in the afternoon, but it was good to learn from that mistake."
Jarno Trulli (13th, 1:23.343): "This was a typical Friday putting in runs to test out the two Michelin tyre compounds and set-ups for the weekend. In the morning I put in only one installation lap to save mileage, but we did some more running in the afternoon. Imola has been a difficult circuit for Toyota in the past and, while the car felt okay running over kerbs, we are not entirely happy what we have achieved so far here. Still, we will be doing everything to keep up our run of scoring points."/p>
Ralf Schumacher (15th, 1:23.466): "This was a difficult day for everybody and we still have a lot of work to do and the car for the weekend. We had no technical problems, but it is hard to find grip around the circuit so that is the first thing we have to work on. The famous Imola kerbs are not so much of an issue for us here as the car felt reasonably good over them. But tyre choice is difficult, even if I'm sure we'll make a good one in the end. Then we will push for another good result."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "We had a reasonably productive day with no real mechanical worries on any of the cars. Ricardo conducted his normal tyre evaluation with long runs in the second session. Unfortunately on his car we took a slightly wrong direction on set-up, which meant he struggled in the afternoon. The race drivers had only limited running in the first session, putting in only installation laps to conserve mileage. They moved on to comparing tyres in the afternoon. We have to look at that data very carefully because the tyre choice is not as clear cut as we thought. Generally the car is not bad, but I think we can still improve the cars a lot for tomorrow. There's certainly room for improvement."
Narain Karthikeyan (17th, 1:23.842): "The car seems to be working pretty well and I am quite happy with the performance in the first two free practice sessions. Today was also the first time I have driven on this track so I spent a bit of time learning the layout. After I sleep over it tonight, I am sure I will learn a few more tricks on the circuit tomorrow."
Tiago Monteiro (20th, 1:24.573): "It was a very interesting session. We have tried different tyres and now we know which ones we are going to use for the rest of the weekend. In the second session, we decided to conserve engine mileage; but from what we have tried, we have found some right things, so this was a good start for us."
Robert Doornbos (22nd, 1:25.172): "We have done a lot of work today, together with Bridgestone to find the right tyre for the weekend. The first session went very well; we tried some parts that we tested last week in Paul Ricard. Everything was looking really good until halfway through the afternoon session when I spun in the famous corner "Acqua Minerale". However, I managed to bring the car back to the garage, as I did not want to give up. The team has made a good job to try to get me out on the track again but for safety reasons, we have decided not to use the engine anymore as it overheated a bit. I am really sorry for that and I hope we will have a good weekend."
Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director: "We are reasonably satisfied with today's performance. Narain has done a very good job with his best lap at 1.23.842, which put us 1.8 seconds behind the Ferraris, which is quite encouraging. Robert went through a suspension programme, which unfortunately ended when he had a little spin and Tiago carried on with tyre evaluation."
Patrick Friesacher (23rd, 1:26.620): "In general, I'm happy with the work we've done today. We need to find more grip, improve the braking and increase the gearbox shift speed, but overall, we've had a positive day. Now we just need to work on the areas we've identified. There's clearly a lot of potential in the PS05, and I particularly want to thank the guys, who worked all night to get my car ready for today. You can see they are a little bit tired, and I would like to be able to give something back to them this weekend for all their work."
Christijan Albers (24th, No Time): "It was a shame we couldn't get out in the second session, because we made quite a lot of changes to the car between the morning and afternoon sessions but weren't able to assess the effect they had. I'm particularly disappointed for the guys, who have just been working so hard. I think the source of this afternoon's problem will turn out to be relatively minor, though, and I have great confidence about the potential for the PS05. Now we just have to work on developing it, and fining a good set-up for this weekend."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "After a productive first session that saw both cars run virtually faultlessly, the second session proved there is no substitute for testing. A wiring problem put paid to Christijan's session, and while Patrick got all but one of his planned runs in, today was clearly all about beginning to understand the new car. Overall, the whole team is really impressed with the PS05, which appears to have enormous potential. I'm proud of the job done by the whole team, but particularly the relentless effort by the mechanics to get the cars on track today. Well done!"
FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
FRIDAY TEAM QUOTES
PRACTICE 2 RESULTS
SOUTH AFRICA RATIFIES ANTI-SMOKING TREATY
PRACTICE 1 REPORT - DE LA ROSA LEADS THE WAY
PRACTICE 1 RESULTS
GROUP OF SEVEN TEAMS TO MEET THIS AFTERNOON
HONDA USING DOME WIND TUNNEL
ROSBERG TO TEST FOR WILLIAMS
AN INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT IN THE LAND OF DRINK