MAY 8, 2005
SPANISH GP - SUNDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Rubens Barrichello (9th): "I had a really difficult race. The tyres were getting better as the race progressed, but then they developed blisters and I could not do any more. I had a lonely race and I was never able to push as hard as I wanted as I was not very happy with the balance of my car. I did not seem to have the pace today."
Michael Schumacher (DNF, Retired): "I think a third place would have been a realistic target seeing how the race was going. So it was very disappointing that I had those two problems. Already on the lap before, I felt the car becoming unbalanced, then suddenly the tyre pressure was gone. Then, after the rear tyre was changed, the same thing happened again. It is strange that both were on the same side and the other tyres were fine. We have a lot of work to do across the entire package, before Monaco."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "We knew this would be a difficult race, but it turned out to be tougher than expected. In the middle stint of the race, it seemed we might be able to produce a repeat of our Imola performance, with Michael on a great climb up the order, thanks to a strategy of going for a longer first stint than his rivals. Unfortunately, on lap 44, a loss of pressure in the left rear tyre meant Michael had to pit to change it. A similar problem, this time to the left front, occurred on lap 46 and Michael retired at this point. All our chances now rested with Rubens, who despite his best efforts and a one-stop strategy, finished just outside the points, having started from the penultimate row. We have to accept that in this first part of the season, our opponents are stronger than us. But we will not get discouraged and we will absolutely not give up. We will tackle the rest of the championship with the same will and determination that has characterised our approach for so many years."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "At the end, this was a very disappointing result. And it was all the more frustrating as I think we were in a strong position with Michael at one stage of the race. I do not think he could have won, but a podium finish would have been possible. We had two consecutive problems with the left side tyres, so now we need to find out exactly what happened. I know Fisichella had to pit because of debris, so maybe Michael also picked up some of that. Rubens did well, considering where he started. He drove well and pushed hard and did the best he could. We switched him to a one-stop strategy and it was a shame he could not stay ahead of Coulthard. It is clear that now, we need to regroup and go forward to improve the situation."
Fernando Alonso (2nd): "For me today, this is the same feeling as winning - we had a fantastic car, almost no problems all weekend and I think we did the maximum we could by finishing second. We thought McLaren would be a little bit quicker than us, although it maybe looked too easy for Kimi in the first stint because I was having some small problems, and I am totally confident the gap will not be the same at the next race. The crowd was hoping for a win for sure, but on the in-lap I could see they were still happy, and very excited at my finish and what the team achieved today. I have five podiums from five races, and 44 points already - that is a fantastic score, and I know the whole team is pushing to the maximum to maintain our position."
Giancarlo Fisichella (5th): "I have a mixture of emotions after the race: I am pleased to have finished in the points, and I think I showed the pace we had in the car today. But it is also a shame that we had the problem, because our strategy was good, the set-up was spot on and I drove a good race. I think P2 was mine. The problem happened during the middle of the race, when I suddenly felt a loss of front downforce, so I pitted and the team changed the nose as a precaution, and also fixed the problem down by the floor of the car. We refuelled at the same time, so it was then a case of picking off the cars in front when they stopped. I was pleased to be able to pass Webber though - I could see I was quicker, and then got a run on him out of the last corner and did a good manoeuvre into turn 1. Overall, I am pretty happy with fifth position: I have scored points again, and am now in a good position for first qualifying at the next race in Monaco. That will be very important there, and it is my favourite circuit, so I am very optimistic that I can have a strong result."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "First of all, I would like to congratulate McLaren - they simply out-paced us today. Fernando's race was reasonably controlled, although a little rear tyre blistering caused him problems in the early stages and once it had cleaned up, it was too late for him to be able to mount a challenge on Kimi. Giancarlo drove an excellent race: he looked set to take second position until a problem with the bodywork around the floor of the car slowed him dramatically during his second stint. The team reacted very quickly, and Fisico made a very early second stop to fix the problem. His challenge from then on was to maintain his pace and climb the order as others pitted, a task he accomplished faultlessly. It was a small consolation to see him record the fastest lap on the final lap of the race."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "You can't win all the races in a season and on days like this, you need to be able to think about the championship as well. Today, we have scored a fantastic result for the team: we got both cars home in the points, one on the podium - and would have had two there apart from Fisi's problem. Giancarlo drove a great race, and we have to say sorry to him for the problem with his car that cost him a podium. Fernando didn't make any mistakes, and deserved his second place in front of the Spanish crowd. We also congratulate McLaren on an impressive performance this afternoon."
Mark Webber (6th): "The start was tricky because I was on the dirty side of the track and I lost one position there. I didn't want to risk too much with Ralf Schumacher at the first corner to protect my position. Then I was stuck for a while behind Ralf and Alonso, which was a shame, because I was lighter than them. We decided to change strategy and go for two stops instead of three but the fuel load was quite hard on the tyres then, causing quite a bit of deterioration and consequent vibrations in the car. At the end of the day we collected some useful points."
Nick Heidfeld (10th): "I had a reasonable start but the Minardi in front of me stalled on the grid and I had to avoid it. That was very close and it cost me a bit of time. Then I managed to overtake a couple of cars, which was good but after that I was stuck behind Villeneuve who unfortunately pitted later than me, so I had to push very hard after my pit-stop with a lot of fuel on board. Later I was again stuck behind other cars. Anyway, there's not much more you can expect starting from so far back."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "With Mark's car we did not achieve the best possible result. Considering he was 5th after first qualifying yesterday we took a bit of a gamble on strategy by going for a short first stint. But the start was not good enough to make the strategy work so we then changed our schedule when Mark pitted for the first time, after 18 laps. Regarding Nick's car, we raced with the handicap that he had to start from the back of the grid. His race obviously was hampered by traffic but we had no mechanical problems in the race."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "After qualifying we were hoping for more. Mark had a very bad start and was never in a position to benefit from the strategy that he was on. Nick improved from the end of the grid to tenth position. He was quick when he had no traffic, which was not very often the case. The engines which were built over Friday night in Munich worked fine."
Kimi Raikkonen (1st): "We have been close to victory a few times and today it finally happened. The car has been working perfectly throughout the weekend and we knew we had a good chance to win. A lot of effort has gone into this from the team and all our Partners and I would like to thank everybody. If we can continue to show performance like the one today we still have a good chance of fighting for the World Championships. We have a competitive package and until Imola we were extremely reliable so anything can happen. I made a clean start from pole and was pushing really hard until the first pitstop when I saw how big the gap actually was. There was a small scare as I pulled away from my first stop because the engine did not pick up but it soon rectified itself and then I just took it easy during my second stop. All in all a great weekend!"
Juan Pablo Montoya (7th): "The car was working well throughout but we had not achieved the optimum set-up so I was struggling a bit with understeer to start with. I spun 360 degrees in turn eight on lap seven and lost some time. Obviously the problem in my first stop cost me some time but all in all I'm OK with the result today considering everything that has happened. My shoulder was good but it was tough particularly at turns three and nine and the last two corners where you pull a lot of Gs. At least I'm not going to be starting the first qualifying session in Monaco first, which is a definite advantage."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A tremendous race for the team and a truly dominant performance by Kimi. His only problem was to find the discipline to actually slow down, once he had established a significant lead. Juan Pablo's race could have been so much better but an electrical problem which activated the safety system on the fuel rig almost certainly cost him a podium finish. Throughout the race, the performance of the Michelin tyres on both cars was great and certainly contributed a significant amount to the outcome."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "I would like to thank the entire team for a perfect job. Everybody has worked extremely hard to make this victory happen. I am really pleased for Kimi. He performed impressively by leading the race throughout from start to finish. Juan Pablo had the chance for a better result. However due to a problem with the fuel rig at his first pitstop he had to come in one more time. But again; great result, a baseline on which we can build."
Felipe Massa (11th): "I think I drove a good race, but the pace was just too strong for us today. Everybody who finished in front of us was quicker. As for the problem at the end, I felt the left rear tyre deflate as I came through the last corner, so that was it. We discovered afterwards that the wheel rim had cracked, which let the air leak out."
Jacques Villeneuve (DNF, Engine): "Quite early on my engine began losing water and as it steadily got hotter I began losing power. The biggest problem was that I started with a lot of fuel intending to run longer, but just as I got to the point where my fuel load had gone down and I should have been able to start lapping quickly I got stuck in traffic, so we were unable to maximise our strategy. In the end the engine failed because of the water loss."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "After our strong showing in Imola we are obviously disappointed as we were expecting more here. But we look forward to the next race."
David Coulthard (8th): "Another point which is very valuable for the team. Obviously it was quite a difficult race in many respects. On my first set of tyres I had some understeer and that switched to oversteer with my second set which slowed me a bit. In the final stint the car was better balanced until I flat-spotted a tyre which gave me a lot of vibration and affected my visibility, so that I had to judge my braking points from memory. My eyeballs are still rolling around in my head! But all in all I am quite happy with my race. I did not make any mistakes and I brought home a point."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF, Spin): "I had a bit of a problem with the balance. I was all over the place. I had a problem coming out from corner 7, spun and I went off. I down shifted and the rear locked and when I applied the throttle the traction control did not work so I spun and ended up in the gravel. Up to that point my pace seamed quite good."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "David drove a very good race today, he stuck with it all the way through and he managed to extract another point. With five races and five point scoring finishes he maximised the cars potential, despite a heavy look up, which cause him a big vibration from early on in the race. We can see again, our potential is there as we were competitive with our rivals in lap time in the second half of the race although, we need to make further step in qualifying. Tonio, obviously, had a disappointing race. The car got away from him in corner 7 and unfortunately eliminating him from the race. He is testing next week and I'm sure he'll be in better shape for Monaco."
Gunther Steiner, Technical Director: "I am happy with David's result. His car did not have any problem. His tyre usage was on the limit but he managed it very well and brought home a point. We will now check the car very carefully so that the vibrations did not damage it. Toni had a disappointing race but these things happen. He wasn't happy with his balance and complained about turn in understeer and snappy oversteer in corner exit. And that is what happened to his car."
David Prigg, Cosworth: "Overall a pleasing weekend's performance from Cosworth, with the TJ2005 engine having now powered Red Bull Racing to point in every round of the 2005 World Championship."
Jarno Trulli (3rd): "This was one of the best races of my career because I really had to fight for the whole of the race to keep ahead of Ralf. Ralf was very quick and probably today he deserved a podium as well as me. But I had a different strategy because my set-up meant that I was quicker with more fuel and a bit slower with less fuel in the car. It meant I had to push really hard throughout, even through the pitstops. I had a problem with the fuel rig at my first stop but in the end everything worked fine so it was a great feeling to finish on the podium again. Toyota has been doing a great job and I can't thank the team enough for the equipment they are giving me."
Ralf Schumacher (4th): "That was a long, hard race. It's great to score so many points again and in general the race went well. I gained a place at the start and kept pushing throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately I lost ground on Jarno in the first pitstops and from then on I had to push him all the way. It was a busy race but I had no real problems with the car or tyres, so I'm happy with the way it went. It's great for the team that we have brought home 11 points between us today."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "We're very happy to have made the podium successfully yet again, so I would like to congratulate both drivers for their excellent performances today. Either of them could have come away with the podium, but both earned a lot of points for Toyota. So it was a good race and a good day for the team all round. The reliability of the engine, chassis and transmission was perfect for both cars. So congratulations are due to the aerodynamics department and the manufacturing department, particularly composites, at TMG. It was an almost trouble-free race. We had a bit of a moment at Jarno's first pitstop when some fuel caught fire, but there was no damage to the car. We had been concerned about tyre wear before the race but it was effectively no issue at all. A good day, then, but we still finished behind two of our competitors so we still have a long way to go. Now we have to keep pushing."
Tiago Monteiro (12th): "Today was my best Grand Prix so far this season. I had no problem and I was able to push harder and harder throughout the race. The tyres worked very well. Bridgestone have made a big improvement and we have also made some progress on the balance of the car. I had an engine problem this morning and I had to start from the back of the grid but in the end I have finished 12th. I have really enjoyed this race and I would like to thank the team for the great job they did this morning, changing the engine so quickly."
Narain Karthikeyan (13th): "I have made a reasonable start and the first few laps were ok. I was pushing hard as Tiago Monteiro was catching. Then I made a mistake in running a bit too wide in a chicane, went in the dirt and Tiago overtook me. I am glad we both finished the race and that the team has been able to gather some useful data."
Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director: "It was really a tough race for both our drivers. We are glad to have finished again, as we were quite a long way off the pace. We were a bit disappointed about that but we knew from the start that this was going to be one of the hardest circuits for us. Now we have to look forward to the next race in Monaco."
Christijan Albers (DNF, Gearbox): "It's really a shame we had some problems in the race today because we had a good qualifying here in Barcelona, and I think we could have been competitive against the Jordans. Now we will have to wait until Monaco to see what we can do. It's also a shame for the whole Minardi team, which has been working really hard. It would have been good to finish the race in order to get more data on the new car, but even so, we can take some satisfaction from our performance in this weekend's qualifying sessions. Now it's maximum attack for the next race."
Patrick Friesacher (DNF, Spin): "I don't know exactly what happened at the start - I just let out the clutch and suddenly the engine shut down. After that, we couldn't get the car into neutral so we lost some time while the problem was sorted out, but we were able to join the race and start putting in some reasonable laps. Then at corner three, I turned in normally, but picked up some understeer. As a result, the car got onto a dirty part of the track, and that was it - I ended up in the gravel. It's disappointing, and especially for the guys, who have again been working so hard this weekend."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "I don't know exactly what happened at the start - I just let out the clutch and suddenly the engine shut down. After that, we couldn't get the car into neutral so we lost some time while the problem was sorted out, but we were able to join the race and start putting in some reasonable laps. Then at corner three, I turned in normally, but picked up some understeer. As a result, the car got onto a dirty part of the track, and that was it - I ended up in the gravel. It's disappointing, and especially for the guys, who have again been working so hard this weekend."