JULY 10, 2005
BRITISH GP - SUNDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Michael Schumacher (6th): "Of course, I cannot be happy to have finished sixth, especially looking at my lap times in the race. Clearly, we are simply not fast enough at the moment. If I had not been delayed by Trulli, I might have been able to fight with Button, but I am not keen on using the word "if" as an excuse. If you compare our performance from the two North American races to these last two, we appear to be going backwards instead of forwards. We are not up to the level of our competitors. I am still looking forward to my home race in Hockenheim, but I wish I could promise the fans there a bit more than this."
Rubens Barrichello (7th): "This was quite a difficult race. Basically, we did not have the pace which we thought we might have. I made a good start and I knew I had to pass Trulli at this point if my race was going to go to plan. It was all going pretty smoothly apart from the fact I was held up by Button which cost me time. This meant that the three stop strategy I had adopted did not work out the way it should have done. I had some brake problems, as at Magny-Cours. But seeing how the race evolved, I don't think I could have done much better."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "I said yesterday that we could expect a difficult race and that getting both our cars home in the points was our only realistic target. Unfortunately, that is how things turned out. We are not capable of matching the pace of the leaders and the final result is a reasonably accurate reflection of the current pecking order here at Silverstone today. The only satisfying point to take away from here is the level of reliability we demonstrated this afternoon."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Obviously this was a disappointing race. We went through practice and qualifying hoping that it would all come together in the race, but once again today, it was difficult. Our drivers were reasonably happy with their cars, it's just that they simply lacked overall pace. There were no particular problems, although there were a couple of stages when we got held up, including the early part when Michael got delayed by Trulli, but I am not sure that we could have done better."
Jenson Button (5th): "I'm obviously not going to be happy with a result like this at my home race but it was evident that we can't expect any more from the car at the moment. We came here hoping that we would benefit from our improvements but they obviously didn't go far enough and we are still some way behind. The top two teams are just in a different league from the rest of the field at the moment and watching the cars in front and behind me was just staggering with the amount of grip they had in the high-speed corners. We are strong compared to the rest of the teams. I finished over half a minute ahead of Michael in sixth. Still we got some more points for the team and put on a good race for the British fans here this afternoon. I'm just sorry that I couldn't get the podium that we all wanted."
Takuma Sato (16th): "The simple fact is that as I was going through the start procedure on the way to the grid, I hit the wrong button on the steering wheel as I was warming up the tyres. I would like to apologise to everyone in the team, everyone who got the car ready and put so much preparation into the British Grand Prix this weekend. I couldn't deliver the result we wanted and could have had today. The team did a great job to get me back in the race and I tried my best but was so far behind that I couldn't do anything. It's been a tough year for us all and we can only continue to keep trying and aim for better things in the second half of the season."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "Jenson drove very well today in front of his home crowd, getting the most out of the car and bringing us a few more points. Clearly we needed to find a little more pace today to finish higher up than we did. We will continue to develop the car during the Jerez test next week before the August break, in an attempt to close the gap to our competitors and we will continue to make every effort to do so until the end of the season. On Taku's car it seems that he made a mistake and hit the wrong button on his way to the grid which cut the engine. After that we switched his strategy to a one stop and he was able to lap consistently at a very good pace."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Jenson produced a solid performance for his fifth place, which is an accurate reflection of how our package compares to the rest of the field at the moment. Taku put in some good lap times after we switched to a one-stop strategy following his problem at the start and must put today behind him and look forward to Hockenheim. We now have to keep up the pace of development to close the gap to the top two teams."
Fernando Alonso (2nd): "It is a nice surprise to be on the podium at one of our most difficult circuits, and to have extended my lead over Kimi in the championship. It was also encouraging because we started from pole, which shows that the car is competitive, and I think we are looking strong for the rest of the season too. In terms of the race, I lost the lead at the start and after that, followed Montoya until the stops. The team gave me a heavy fuel load so we could try and overtake during the final stops, but then I got stuck in traffic - I lost a lot of time behind Trulli but it wasn't his fault because they were not showing any blue flags. That meant I was still behind when I came out after my last stop. It is a bit frustrating to lose a win because of that, but this is still a great result for us."
Giancarlo Fisichella (4th): "Once again, it is a bit of a disappointing result for me, because I should have been on the podium today if it wasn't for the problem in my second pit-stop. But even so, from P6, it was a very strong race for me, the strategy the team worked out was excellent and I was in the fight at the front of the race with a good race pace. When we came here this weekend, we knew that McLaren would be quicker than us but honestly, it was very close indeed. We have come out OK after all."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Ever since we tested here a few weeks ago, we knew our fight at this circuit would be with McLaren and this weekend, we very much took the fight to them. Strategically, we had to cover Raikkonen with Fernando's stops, even though we knew that would leave us exposed to being beaten by Montoya. Even so, it was the right thing to do for the championship. Once again, Fernando put in a faultless drive, and Giancarlo also showed impressive pace in the race. Had it not been for his problem at the final pit-stop, he would have beaten Raikkonen by a healthy margin."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "To leave Silverstone having seen Fernando extend his lead over Raikkonen by two points is a fantastic result for us. The team put in an excellent performance this weekend, and we never thought that the car would be so competitive here. In my opinion, Fernando missed the win because the blue flags were not being shown enough to the backmarkers, but this happens sometimes. McLaren were very competitive today, Renault was too, and I think we put on a good show."
Mark Webber (11th): "If you are starting from 11th position it is usually difficult to score a strong result unless you have a fast car. It was very hard for us today as circumstances were similar to Magny-Cours. We didn't have much of a chance quite simply because the car was not quick enough. There's a lot of work ahead of us and we need to get back to form, and do so quickly."
Nick Heidfeld (12th): "It was a difficult race, as expected. I had a pretty routine start and held position. For most of the race, I had to work hard to defend my position from Coulthard, Klien, Villeneuve and Massa, while coping with a difficult and inconsistent balance on the car. This is of course not where we want to be and we'll now work flat out before the next race to address our problems. I'll be on duty at the Jerez test this week and will contribute as much as I can."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Both drivers did get the most out of the cars today. We had no reliablility issues, both stops worked well as did the strategy. From here we will go back to the factory and investigate how we can make improvements to the package and our performance."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "The lap times in the race were consistent with our qualifying performance. As there were few retirements today, the outcome was fixed and we finished approximately where we have started from. As a consequence, there was little opportunity to collect points today. We had no reliability problems on either car today. What now is important is to make best use of the three day test in Jerez in order to improve for the next GP in two weeks time."
Juan Pablo Montoya (1st): "It's a great feeling winning my first Grand Prix for Team McLaren Mercedes. My start was perfect, and I managed to get by Fernando in a wheel-to-wheel dice after the second corner. I was really going for it and knew that he had more to lose than me - I just wanted to win the race. It was then all about staying ahead and our strategy combined with two excellent pit stops really helped me to manage that. The team did a great job particularly calling me in one lap early for my first pitstop to avoid traffic, which was the right decision and meant I gained an advantage to Fernando. However, it was not an easy race as Fernando put me under a lot of pressure until the very end. I'm relieved to have won my first race of the year especially as it was the home Grand Prix of McLaren and a lot of the people from the Technology Centre and Mercedes-Benz at Brixworth were here cheering."
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd): "I think I did the best I could today, and we can leave Silverstone with two podium finishes. If I had not had the problems yesterday and lost 10 grid positions, the result would have been different, but that is motor racing. However we lost only two points in the Championship battle and hopefully we can challenge for victory at the remaining races. During the race I lost a lot of time behind other cars. It's so difficult to get close in the fast corners as you just lose all grip. When I got past Michael and Trulli in the pitstops it was too late and the gap to the front was too big. There is no doubt that we have the speed as I was able to set the fastest time of the race on the last lap, so I look forward to Hockenheim where hopefully we should have an 'uneventful' weekend."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "I think today's results speak for themselves. An outstanding performance from Juan Pablo who worked hard to generate sufficient gap to Alonso prior to his final stop to ensure his race victory, which of course he achieved. Kimi's third place reflects his poor starting position resulting from a penalty he suffered following an engine change on Saturday. Nevertheless he set fastest lap and with 80 points available mathematically both drivers still have the opportunity to challenge for the Championship."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A fantastic race and a great day for all the team members which saw Juan Pablo's first victory for the team. His start was exceptional, and he did not put one foot wrong during the race. Our race strategy was good. Kimi's speed throughout the race was impressive, and he finally achieved the fastest lap of the race on his very last lap. Kimi lost two points to Alonso in the championship. Without the engine change yesterday he could certainly have achieved a better result, so again, sorry for that, we will try even harder. We are now looking forward to our home Grand Prix at Hockenheim."
Felipe Massa (10th): "At the start I had a problem with the clutch and was slow away. I made up the places I'd lost to the Jordans, but then I got stuck in traffic and lost a lot of time. Despite that my strategy was the right one, and when I was alone on the track the car was very good and very consistent. If I'd been able to start higher I could have taken points for sure. It was a shame that I couldn't score, but I was very happy with my race."
Jacques Villeneuve (14th): "Unfortunately I screwed up my first pit stop. I was looking at the lollipop, but then I got distracted by what was happening in the Red Bull pit and when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye I mistakenly thought it was my lollipop signal to go and moved too soon. My apologies to our refueller Silvan Ruegg, whose foot I hit. Fortunately he is okay.
"That incident cost me some time and because of that I got stuck in some traffic and had a pretty cut and thrust race all the way to the finish with Heidfeld and the Red Bull cars. My car was hard to drive today, so it was a tough race."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "We did not score any points today, but that was not really possible anyway given the performance of the top teams. Jacques might have been in contention but spoiled his first pit stop and fell some way back, while Felipe's strong performance enabled him to move up from 16th on the grid to 10th, overtaking both Williams cars and the Red Bulls."
David Coulthard (13th): "I hope that was, at the very least, entertaining for the crowds. Jacques overtook me near the start, but we continued to have a battle with both the Sauber and the Williams. I was able to overtake Mark (Webber) just before my first stop, as we all had different levels of fuel in the car at that time. I was surprised by the inconsistency of the car actually. At the start, I struggled with oversteer, so when we stopped we took a sizeable chunk of aero out of the car. After that, I still wasn't happy with the balance, but then, ten laps before the second pit stop, the car suddenly changed and started going much quicker. So much so, I was struggling to keep up with it!! We definitely need to work on a few things, but the support I received from the British fans here, both before and during the race, was fantastic and I hope they enjoyed the show."
Christian Klien (15th): "Fifteenth is very disappointing. The car was quite difficult to drive in sections and I didn't have the balance that I needed. The start was quite good and I managed to move up a few places. I was due to make my first pit stop early, so had a light car and could go pretty quick at the beginning. But I got stuck behind Mark Webber and couldn't go at my full pace. I also made a slight mistake on Turn seven. The car was a little nervous on the entry to the corner and I think we had too much front grip. After the first pit stop, I had some clear laps and, as my car was still quite light, I was able to set some good times. After that I got stuck behind Villeneuve and couldn't go at my full pace again for the rest of the race."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was a tough afternoon. Both drivers took different strategies, but we struggled for consistent pace here and, despite the drivers' best efforts, they were not able to progress through the field. The handicap of Christian running first in qualifying and of David missing half of the fourth practice with an electrical problem definitely compromised our qualifying positions. Here at Silverstone, track position is everything as overtaking is not very easy."
Gunther Steiner, Technical Director: "It seems we made the wrong tyre choice for this race. The whole weekend did not go well for us. There's nothing else to say really except that we'll look to do things better next time as this is not where we should be."
David Prigg, Cosworth: "This was another race that proved the reliability of the Cosworth TJ2005 engine, particularly pleasing since the introduction of the 12 series. Development of the engine will continue, to ensure we provide further improvements in race performance over the coming events."
Ralf Schumacher (8th): "After a tough race like that I have to be happy with a point today, although I wish it could have been more. I made a tyre choice which I hoped would have worked to my advantage, but it meant that I was struggling for grip and sliding around. That made it hard to keep the car on the road and to maintain consistent lap times. I also lost a position at the start, so that is why I am especially happy with my result, bringing home one point. Still, it's obvious that we have a lot of work to do and I hope we have a better performance at Hockenheim in a fortnight's time."
Jarno Trulli (9th): "It's very frustrating to miss out on the points after a day that was as hard as that. I made a slow getaway and that meant I lost positions at the first corner. Then we had grip problems during the early part of the race just as we had in France last week. That eventually got better and better with each stint as we went through the race. But we made a mistake with our strategy and I lost positions because I was always in traffic or being held up by blue flags. I did my very best and went as quick as I could. Now we have to hope for a better race next time."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "That was a tough race for just one point for the team. We did well to get two cars home to the finish, but the race was spoiled by our pace in the early stages when we struggled and just lost too much time. That is a similar problem to the one we faced in last week's French Grand Prix. So we have to analyse why that is happening and try to understand it, because certainly in the second half of the race we were much more competitive. The cars were on slightly different strategies in the second stint with Ralf stopping later so they were both pushing very hard to gain the position. That was the time that Jarno had to back off for blue flags for the leaders and that unfortunately decided the battle in favour of Ralf. Now we must move on to the next race and hope for an improvement."
Tiago Monteiro (17th): "It was a good race for me again.I think we chose the right strategy: we were quite heavy at the beginning and planned on having two stops. I had a great start, passed a few cars and followed Narain as closely as possible in order not to let him get too far ahead. Unfortunately Narain experienced some problems and I was racing alone for a long time. Then, halfway through the race, I was told on the radio that Sato was still behind me. So I was really pushing like crazy to stay away but he was just to quick. There was nothing I could have done. Everybody was very reliable for this race therefore it was very hard for me to finish in a higher position. I have now finished 11 races out of 11. It will be hard for the next rookies to beat this record."
Narain Karthikeyan (DNF, Electrical): "I had a very good start and overtook Massa but unfortunately he was able to repass me at Becketts. However, I had a very good pace and I managed to run with the pack of Massa, Coulthard and Heidfeld. Unfortunately, shortly after, the car stopped apparently because of an electrical failure. It is very frustrating, as it is the second weekend in a row that I am experiencing some problems with my car, although I managed to finish the race in Magny-Cours. It is really a pity as I was going very well all weekend."
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "Poor Narain, again he did not have any luck in the race. As always, he was doing a fantastic job keeping up with Massa, until we had an electrical failure, which shut the engine off and forced him to retire the car. Tiago was on a different strategy as a result of an engine change earlier in the weekend. He had a great race and was able to bring the car home, for the 11th race in succession. We are now looking forward to the next race and will try to work harder and give the boys better equipment."
Christijan Albers (18th): "There was a bit of a problem with the start when it was unclear whether it had been aborted or not. That's why I was slow getting away and lost the positions I had won in qualifying. I was able to overtake Patrick on the first lap to regain a position, but as I was trying to catch Monteiro, the Safety Car came out, and after it went in, I just couldn't catch him. I'm quite happy with the result, as my lap times were pretty consistent on a circuit that doesn't particularly suit our car at the moment."
Patrick Friesacher (19th): "It was good to finish the race, but it was quite difficult from about one-third distance, when the traffic on some laps meant you lost up to six seconds compared with your normal lap time. Some drivers were two-stopping and some three, and as a result, there seemed to be traffic around me for much of the time, which disturbs your rhythm. Also, as a result of going off-line when other cars are passing you, your tyres often pick up debris when you run on a dirty part of the track. All of those things combined to make it a tough race today."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "I don't remember the last time 19 cars completed a Grand Prix, and while a two-car finish is always pleasing, it's clear more development is required on the car."