JULY 22, 2005
GERMAN GP - FRIDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Formula 1 team quotes
Michael Schumacher (10th, 1:16.474): "I think we did a reasonable job today, getting through much of our programme in the morning session, in case we had to deal with a wet track in the afternoon, when we ended up using old tyres. The car was handling well, but as expected we lack performance. At this stage of the weekend, I would still hope we can manage to finish on the podium, but it will be tough."
Rubens Barrichello (16th, 1:16.913): "We expected rain so we concentrated most of our effort in the early part of the day, so I did not get the benefit of running with new tyres when the track was at its best. But I have a good idea about what I want to do in terms of tyre choice, so I am confident that tomorrow will be a good day, whatever the weather."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "As usual, today's work focussed on comparing the two different types of tyre that Bridgestone has made available to us and to finding the best set-up on the F2005. We decided to run the new tyre comparison in the morning as there was a risk of a short shower in the afternoon hour. We have acquired quite a bit of data and now it is down to the engineers to assess it. It is too early to have an accurate idea of the pecking order down the pit lane. In fact, there are too many unknowns, for example the amount of fuel on board and the way the tyres were used."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Because we thought there was a chance of rain this afternoon, we ran the new tyres in the morning session. This means that our times in the second session were actually slower and so they are not an accurate reflection of our performance level, as we were therefore using old tyres this afternoon. We have a new tyre compound here which looks quite promising and now we must look at the wear rate figures to see if we can use it for the race. If we can, then I think we will have a good race, because although we do not have the fastest car on track, our consistency on the long runs looks good."
Jenson Button (13th, 1:16.752): "We've made a good start to the weekend today, completing all our usual Friday testing and tyre comparison runs. The car seems to be working reasonably well and we got some valuable data on the track conditions, which may prove useful on Sunday as the forecast is for similarly cool and overcast weather to what we've seen here today."
Takuma Sato (18th, 1:16.992): "Both sessions went well today and we have done a reasonable amount of running. We suffered a little bit with lack of grip as the temperatures were quite cold. The balance of the car was good and we just have to work on gaining more speed before tomorrow, but overall the weekend has started well."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "Overall we are reasonably happy with today's work. Once again we concentrated on race set-up and tyre evaluation. Because of the threat of rain, many people played the two sessions differently, so it became quite hard to figure out where we stack up in terms of speed. On the other hand, both drivers seem quite happy with the car and hopefully we can find some more pace tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "We have covered a reasonable distance and worked through all the planned programmes. We have to analyse the data to improve from this baseline as we aim for a strong race on Sunday."
Fernando Alonso (3rd, 1:15.560): "The cold temperatures meant the grip levels on the track were very low today, which always makes the car hard to drive - it was really hard to brake properly today and stop the car for the hairpins. Apart from the problems caused by the low track temperature, the car actually felt pretty good: the balance was consistent, and we are higher up the times than usual for a Friday - I am the second fastest race driver. So it was a pretty good day overall, but the conditions were just very tricky."
Giancarlo Fisichella (6th, 1:16.146): "The circuit was extremely slippery this afternoon - I was locking the front brakes into all of the slow corners, and it was really hard to find the grip we needed to attack the braking zones. The low temperatures also seemed to give the car a bit of understeer, but after talking to Fernando, I know it was the same for him - and probably the others too. Apart from that, the car felt very consistent on the longer runs, but McLaren looked pretty quick too..."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "We experienced a very difficult start to the day when both cars were sidelined by software problems in P1. However, we ran well in P2 to make up the lost time, although Giancarlo's programme was slightly compromised when he had a small collision with one of the Minardis. This resulted in our having to change the wheel, and therefore he was unable to complete a full comparison of the tyre types. Fernando's programme ran quite smoothly though, and we have the data we need to make our tyre choice. The cold temperatures meant grip levels were very low, but I am sure this was the same for everyone - and worse, the situation looks unlikely to change for Sunday, so we will have to work around this through the weekend."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Hockenheim is a demanding circuit for the engines, and as this is our second race with these V10s, we obviously did not want to place them under undue stress today - while still retaining enough performance to make our tyre choice. Otherwise, our routines are now well established for Friday practice, and we worked on detail tuning to adapt the characteristics of the RS25 to this circuit. The main difference compared to a traditional Hockenheim weekend is the cold weather - something that has affected our tyre programme today, and will continue to influence our performance through the weekend."
Mark Webber (14th, 1:16.879): "I feel like I could be in for another tough weekend here, as today has been a difficult day for me. We must find some more pace. Besides going through our normal programme we also worked on the possibility of having rain in the next days. We have collected a lot of useful information and we are going to look through all of the data tonight."
Nick Heidfeld (15th, 1:16.893): "It's still early days but I think that from what I have seen so far we have made a step forward compared to the last two races. In the morning session, when the temperature was still low, we struggled a bit with the grip, as did many other cars. During today's sessions we've completed an intensive evaluation of the tyre choice for this weekend. The session ran smoothly but just in my last outing the car felt a bit strange and this is also what we'll be looking into with the engineers later on."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a productive day in terms of set-up and tyre runs. We have made some improvements to the MKII bodywork since Silverstone and they are all confirmed and working. Now we will concentrate on tuning the set-up for tomorrow's qualifying. It looks like the weather will remain cool for the weekend."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "We didn't experience any reliability problems on either car today, which allowed both our drivers to complete their scheduled programmes. Besides working on the tyre choice, the main focus was about verifying the changes of last week. The set- up work is still not finished and we hope to improve our lap times significantly."
Alexander Wurz (1st, 1:13.973): "I'm really happy with our performance today at the Mercedes-Benz home grand prix, and it's especially satisfying to have set the fastest time of the day. We still have some work to do regarding our Michelin tyre choice and the general fine tuning of our race set-up. The track was very slippery in the first session which took me by surprise, but the grip level continued to increase throughout the day. The results of my long runs provided us with plenty of data which will help Kimi and Juan Pablo for the rest of the weekend."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd, 1:14.576): "We spent today working on our race set-up. The car was quick almost immediately which is always a good sign, and we could spend some more time on our Michelin tyre programme. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend where I hope that the weather will stay dry and sunny. The aim is to win the race and after today's sessions I'm certain that we have a very strong package which will allow us to do that."
Juan Pablo Montoya (4th, 1:15.772): "The car looks very competitive compared to the rest of the field, and the Michelin tyres are working well. However, I'm struggling with the brake balance which is so important here at Hockenheim. I'm sure that we will find a solution to the problem in time for tomorrow's qualifying. I will be doing my flying lap last for the first time this year which hopefully will provide me with a bit of an advantage, but as always anything can happen particularly if it starts raining."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Two trouble free practice session where as always we were evaluating the Michelin tyres. If we maintain our pace and reliability for the rest of the weekend we should be able to leave Hockenheim with two strong results."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good day's work when we completed our planned programme focusing on race set-up and Michelin tyre evaluation. We hope that we can continue our progress for the remainder of the weekend, and weather permitting we are confident of being competitive at our home grand prix."
Felipe Massa (7th, 1:16.161): "I'm very happy. My car was good on new tyres, and it was very consistent on old ones, so it looks quite promising so far."
Jacques Villeneuve (17th, 1:16.938): "When we tested the tyres for this meeting we were expecting very hot weather, and today it was so cold I had real trouble getting enough heat into new rubber during the first lap. Once I was into a run my times were very good and the car was fine, but we need to work on generating more heat for that opening lap on new tyres."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "We did long runs with both cars and were able to evaluate the tyres. As the day progressed we improved the set-up of the C24 and it looks like we are pretty competitive, but of course we realise that it is only Friday."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (8th, 1:16.297): "I suffered a spin on one of the first laps of the second session. We were comparing tyres and I was seeing how far we could push. It was a fairly minor spin though, no panic and it didn't cause us any problems. The speed of the car is not so bad here I think, especially over long distances. For sure, we still need to improve over the single lap for qualifying, but I was quite surprised by the times that we set. I think we're improving and are not so far off the front-runners now. It'll be good to see what the team can do in qualifying tomorrow."
Christian Klien (12th, 1:16.658): "I went out for just two runs this morning, as we thought there might be some rain. The car had good balance and I was happy with the overall set-up almost straight away. In the second practice session, I went out a bit later. The tyres didn't feel so good during the afternoon and I struggled to set a good lap time. Therefore, I think the decision about which way to go with tyres tomorrow is pretty clear! Overall, it looks quite promising for us this weekend and I hope we do better than on the last couple of races. But, there's still a lot of work for us to do."
David Coulthard (24th, No Time): "There's not much to say really. I lost the back end of the car going round the corner and went off..."
Ricardo Zonta (5th, 1:16.091): "Because of the threat of rain for this afternoon we had to put in a more intense session of work than usual this morning, including a couple of medium-long runs. In the end we had enough time to put in our usual long runs anyway, but when I put on new tyres at the end to do a quick lap I hit traffic on the last sector so I could have gone quicker."
Jarno Trulli (9th, 1:16.411): "That was a normal Friday of tyre and set-up work and it's still too early to say how well we can perform here. The tyre choice is still open and could be affected by the weather so we'll have to analyse the data carefully tonight. The engine has a good step forward here which should help us to improve our pace and hopefully to score more points."
Ralf Schumacher (11th, 1:16.575): "It's always nice to come to Hockenheim because I enjoy the atmosphere here. Today was a normal day of work on tyres and set-up in preparation for the rest of the weekend. We've been struggling a bit in the last few races, but the package still has the potential to make it to a good points finish so we'll try and do that again on Sunday."
Luca Marmorini, Technical Director Engine: "It was a positive session for us. All the work that we had planned was done without any major problems, so we've collected plenty of data for tomorrow. Because of the threat of rain we moved some more of our work to the first session but it held off for just long enough. So far we have had no serious issues with our new engine developments, so everything looks under control and we are happy. Now we have to analyse the data for Saturday and Sunday."
Narain Karthikeyan (19th, 1:17.506): "It was another new track for me this season, therefore I had to learn the layout very quickly. It is quite a difficult circuit, especially when you are entering the stadium. However, my day went reasonably well. We have been working a lot on our tyre choice for the rest of the weekend and I think we have found a good compound."
Tiago Monteiro (22nd, 1:18.227): "It was a good productive day. We have been through our entire tyre test programme and some set-up changes as well. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the balance of the car. We will have to keep on working on it tomorrow during the last two Free Practice sessions. Besides, the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend could maybe play in our favour so it will be interesting."
Nicolas Kiesa (23rd, 1:19.484): "It was quite difficult to get back to Formula One after being away for one year and a half. I have not had any testing for a long time; therefore to do ten-lap runs was quite hard on my neck. My physical condition was ok but at the end, my face was pointing in the other direction of the corners. I have lost a little bit of time near the end but I think I could give valuable information. I was able to pick up very quickly and match up with my teammates. I am very satisfied after today's two sessions."
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "It was a fairly uneventful day. The three drivers have all done a good job. We have not had any particular problems with any of the cars. We have been through the normal procedure with the Bridgestone tyre evaluation and set-up work. Nicolas acclimatised himself very quickly to the car, which was good to see. We would like to thank him for what he has done today and maybe we will get to see him again in the future."
Christijan Albers (20th, 1:17.830): "The morning session was fine, and we made good progress. This afternoon was not so good, since we lost track time as the result of an incident with Fisichella's Renault. We both went off the track and his car hit the right front of mine. There's no doubt the mechanics did a great job to repair the car so I could go out again to complete my tyre comparison runs. Unfortunately, though, the chassis balance wasn't quite as good as it had been previously. I had hoped for a little more today, but it's still a good solid start to the weekend."
Robert Doornbos (21st, 1:17.978): "It's been a good first day at the office of Minardi. I've been made to feel very welcome, from the time I arrived at the factory for the seat fitting, and I want to thank all the guys for their support. This morning, we tried various things with the set-up. I already had an idea about the direction in which I wanted to go, and between my Race Engineer, Riccardo Adami, and me, we found a good way of working. We made some big changes for the second session, and they worked out very well. Already, I feel very confident in the car, and I ended the session with a long stint. I'm looking forward to the weekend, and it can only get better."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "The first day of preparation for the German Grand Prix went extremely well. Both the drivers did an excellent job, the only slight hitch being a minor loss of time for Christijan in the second session, when he tangled with Fisichella. He was able to go back out, however, and completed his new tyre run with just minutes remaining in the second session. All in all, it was a pretty good first day, and we look forward to further improvement in the course of the weekend."