JULY 31, 2005
HUNGARIAN GP - SUNDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Formula 1 team quotes
Michael Schumacher (2nd): "I am happy with this result, which is a good reward for all the work the team has put in over the last few months. I was pretty happy with my pace in the early stages and there was not much between mine and Kimi's, especially when you consider he was running lighter. But then the pace from the tyres got slower, even though they were still consistent. After that, it was really the pit stops that decided it. If I could have come in at the same time or later than Kimi, then maybe, given how hard it is to overtake here, I might have been able to win. In the closing stages, Ralf got closer, but by then, I was just looking after my tyres and I only went as quick as I needed to keep him behind me. We have made a step in the right direction. It is clear where we have to improve and we will keep on working, but we now seem to have improved our qualifying and early pace."
Rubens Barrichello (10th): "I was a bit unlucky to get caught up in a big fight at the end of the straight. All of a sudden, the pack almost stopped and as I tried to slow down, I locked a wheel and went straight into the back of Trulli. I am really sorry for the team, because today we had a better car and a much better tyre, even though there is still room to improve. Without the incident, I think we could have got both cars on the podium, because I had a good strategy."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "With Michael, we got the best result we could, after he drove a great race. In the early stages, Michael pushed with a frenetic pace, confirming the performance level he showed yesterday, especially as he was not giving away much to the other drivers in terms of fuel load. It's a shame that our pace over the longer distance is still not good enough to fight for the win right to the end. From around halfway, Michael had to deal with the same problem - a gradual loss of grip - that he experienced in Hockenheim. Rubens' race was compromised after the start when he collided with Trulli and had to pit to change the damaged nose on his F2005. Now we have to work out, along with our technical partners, first and foremost Bridgestone and Shell, how we can maintain the pace we have in the early stages throughout the entire race, while keeping the level of qualifying performance which we showed on Saturday."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "With Michael, we had a pretty good race and I don't think there is much more we could have done. In the first part of the race, we pushed as hard as we could, but once we knew it would not be enough, from then on we changed our approach and simply managed the situation to ensure we did not become vulnerable later in the race. The tyres held up quite well. We had a good strategy today and I don't know how we could have beaten Kimi because he was so quick. But we have made progress and if we can continue to do so then maybe we can have a strong end to the season. Of course, it was disappointing that Rubens got caught out at the beginning. On a track like this, pitting for a front wing and compromising the strategy makes life very difficult."
Jenson Button (5th): "We had a reasonably good race and secured a two-car points finish, which is great for the team. The car was running quite well and considering the fact that our tyre choice did not work for us this race, I am pleased to have finished fifth today. We are moving up the Championship and getting closer to where we want to be, so we are looking forward to a break for everyone to recharge their batteries and then getting back to business in the first Turkish Grand Prix. Everyone at B·A·R Honda has worked flat-out for weeks to achieve the improvement we have seen over the past few races and I wish the team a well-deserved holiday."
Takuma Sato (8th): "It was a tough race today, not least because of the temperature in the cockpit, so I am pleased with our result. I have finally achieved my first Championship point of the season after a lot of bad luck and I am happy to do so as the team begins a three-week break. I would like to thank everyone for all their hard work during the first part of the season. The first lap of today's race was quite dramatic and it was very important to me to avoid getting caught up in that. I was able to avoid any problems as well as improve my track position, overtaking Barrichello on the outside of turn two. I am looking forward to the summer break now, and to the team coming back even stronger in Turkey."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "It is good to have both cars finishing in the points yet again and demonstrating a strong, reliable package. This is particularly true for Taku, who scored his first point of the season. However we believe that we made the wrong choice on tyres and, as a result, we were far slower than we predicted during the race and were unable to fight for the podium position we were hoping for."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Both engines worked very well throughout the race today and the drivers got the best performance from the car. Our tyre choice did not suit today's track conditions and we were unable to fight for a podium, however we achieved a two-car points finish for the first time this season. After this race the team will be able to enjoy a well-deserved summer break after a long season so far. When we return, I am sure everyone will be refreshed and ready to fight again for more even more points."
Giancarlo Fisichella (9th): "It was a very difficult race for us. In hindsight, this was just not our weekend - the car did not feel good as soon as we ran for the first time on Friday, and in the race I was struggling with oversteer as well as very, very low grip. We made our choice of tyres to try and be strong at the end of the race, but I don't think it worked for us today - especially because we seemed faster in the early stages, when I was stuck behind Heidfeld. The car was tricky to drive from the second stint onwards, and I lost the rear end a couple of times on the entry to the quick turn 4 - perhaps I could have scored a couple of points without that. Then the engine began losing power because of a problem with the fuel pressure, so they called me in to add some fuel and get to the finish."
Fernando Alonso (11th): "I think I was unlucky today. I was very surprised by how many movements Ralf was making into the first corner, and he just didn't give me any room at all and hit the front wing: I was right up on the kerb, nearly in the grass. When the wing came off, that did quite a lot of damage to the car, so after that I knew I was just racing to get a good qualifying position in Turkey. The positive thing to take away was the qualifying performance yesterday, honestly, because without the mistake I was competitive with Montoya on the same fuel load, and much faster than the cars around me. We would have been more competitive in a normal race, so I think we have some reasons to be positive for the races ahead."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Giancarlo's race this afternoon was compromised in the first stint when he got stuck behind Heidfeld. He was much quicker but could not get past and unfortunately, the time deficit by the time of his first stop was too big to handle. On top of this, we had to alter his strategy with an additional stop on the final lap when he began losing fuel pressure. Fernando was involved in a collision with Ralf Schumacher) on the opening lap which not only required a nose change, but the damage sustained by the car after the front wing broke off led us to severely reduce his revs soon afterwards as the temperatures were too high. We made a repair to the car on his second visit to the pits, but the data also showed he had lost about 7% of total downforce in the incident - a significant amount at a circuit where downforce is key. In total, we think these measures were costing around 1.2 seconds a lap."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "Neither driver managed to have a clean race this afternoon, and both had problems with the car: Fernando was overheating and had some damage after lap one, while Fisico had a fuel pressure problem when he could maybe have caught Sato at the end. Obviously, we can't be happy with this results but I think it was a one-off for us, honestly, and we look forward to taking the three week break to come back refreshed in Turkey, and to continue improving the car. Today was just one of those days."
Nick Heidfeld (6th): "The initial start was poor, a lot of cars went by but I made a good move under braking into the first two corners and gained a lot of positions there. After that I had big problems in the first stint. I had to turn down the engine power to the lowest settings we had because our temperatures increased after my car picked up some debris from the track. The balance of the car wasn't perfect but still quite good. I caught Button up after the 2nd stop but it is too difficult to pass here. Overall I am very happy with today's result, especially because I have collected some points."
Mark Webber (7th): "I started on the dirty side of the track which wasn't ideal at this place but then I had a fairly good race. Collecting some points today was really good. Also it's a good moral booster for everyone who works flat out back at the factory, finally we had some good news for them too."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We are definitely making progress on the car. We did not choose the best pit stop strategy - Nick should have done a 3 stop, Mark was okay on a 2 stop due to his earlier qualifying yesterday. We went longer than anybody else before the first stop, so we had the most fuel on board in qualifying. On Nick's car we had to turn the engine down during the entire first stint due to some debris in the water radiator duct, which was removed at the 1st pit stop. Most encouraging is the pace improvement of the car. We have been running within 0.8 seconds of the fastest cars on this maximum downforce circuit. Well done to the people who have worked so hard in Grove to contribute to improving the car, we look forward to more."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "We should be satisfied having collected some points after starting from positions 12 and 16. The race gave the explanation for our qualifying positions, since our drivers had the highest fuel load. Still, in the race they were able to climb up the field. Nick had a problem with the engine water temperature because after the hectic first lap he picked up some debris and partly closed the airflow of the radiator. This forced Nick to race at lowered power until his first pit-stop, when the airflow was cleared. Apart from that, both the drivers didn't experience any problems."
Kimi Raikkonen (1st): "This is a great result for the entire team who have worked really hard these past weeks. At the first part of the race I was stuck behind Michael Schumacher, and it was impossible to pass him. However the team changed my strategy for the second pitstop and this meant that I could get in front of him and build a comfortable lead. The car felt really good throughout the race and the Michelin tyres were perfect right up until the last lap. It is a shame that Juan Pablo retired as we would have definitely had a one-two victory today."
Juan Pablo Montoya (DNF, Driveshaft): "I think that it was a driveshaft that broke, which is just one of those things that happen when you are pushing everything to the limit like we are at the moment. Everyone back at base has been working really hard and it is just disappointing not to finish. I did what I had to do during the race. I knew Kimi was three stopping so there was no need to be in his way considering he was on a different strategy to me. However I feel that this was a race that I definitely could have won and a one-two for the team would have been a great reward to us all."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A dominant and disciplined performance from the team as a whole, with a driveshaft failure spoiling a perfect one-two finish. Of course we are running the cars on the limit and sometimes beyond, but we will continue as before to attempt to win each and every one of the remaining races. We will not sacrifice pace for reliability, but nevertheless we will increase our efforts to address this weakness. Our apologies to Juan Pablo, and our congratulations to Kimi, the championship is back within our sights, even if the challenge is still significant."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A nice and clear victory for Kimi and the whole team. Kimi did a fantastic job and our strategy was a good one. A one-two victory was on the cards but for Juan Pablo's driveshaft failure on lap 41 this was not the case, until then he drove a perfect race and could have won, I am sorry for him. We most definitely need to further improve our reliability in order to score the maximum possible points. Our potential is there so we are now looking forward to the next race which is the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix. Before, there will be a short and well deserved break for the race team members and their families when everybody can recharge their batteries for the last six races of season."
Felipe Massa (14th): "To begin with things were okay. I made a great start and was running comfortably in the top 10, but three laps before my second scheduled pit stop the car went on to what felt to me like eight cylinders - like I was testing for next year! When I was called into the pits on lap 43 there was a small fire but that was okay. My crew put it out very quickly. What caused the delay was having a set of new spark coils fitted. After that I went back out and the car was okay again, but I had lost far too much time to achieve anything meaningful. A shame, because once again the race balance was good."
Jacques Villeneuve (DNF, Spark Coil): "It was a hot, disappointing race, particularly as we will now have bad qualifying starting positions in Turkey. We tried to make the finish to improve that situation, but unfortunately I was unable to make it home. I had the same problem as Felipe, losing power because of an overheating spark coil, but otherwise the car was strong today. Our strategy was good and it looked quite promising that we could challenge for points at one stage. Now the summer break will help everyone in the team, and we will try again in Turkey."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We suffered spark coil problems on both cars this afternoon, Felipe and Jacques each losing power and experiencing small underbonnet fires during their pit stops when there was no airflow over the cars. The temperatures beneath the engine covers were very high. In Felipe's case we changed the coils and he resumed the race after a delay; in Jacques' we think that the fire damaged other components and led to his subsequent retirement. We will check the data to determine the cause when we get back to Hinwil and to find a solution for the next race in Istanbul, which will be even hotter."
David Coulthard (DNF, Accident): "A double whammy and a bad day for Red Bull Racing. I now know that I hit the nose of a Renault, but at the time I didn't see anything until it was too late. I had just enough time to react, but not nearly enough to get out of the way, so it smashed the front corner of my car. I couldn't distinguish the shape of the debris and was going too fast to react to it. I was lucky not to have had a bigger accident really, debris on the track is very dangerous and as soon as a car hits something like a wing, then it's likely that you're going to get a puncture. Finishing like this is very frustrating, not only because it means no points in this race, but also means a bad start for the next one. I'm very disappointed for both Christian and myself."
Christian Klien (DNF, Accident): "It all happened so quickly, A Sauber and Williams were behind me, one of them hit my car on the first corner and I rolled mid-air. I came to land on four wheels and luckily nothing happened, but that was not a good feeling. It was not to be this weekend and sadly this was not my race. It's a shame as I think we had a pretty good strategy set up for the race."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A pretty disastrous first lap for the team with both drivers going out. Christian had a spectacular looking incident at the first Turn where he rolled his car when Jacques Villeneuve put his front left tyre inside Christian's right rear. Looking at David's accident, he stood absolutely no chance of avoiding the front wing of Fernando Alonso's car simply because it was unsighted by him as all the cars were going around it. The main thing is that both drivers got out of their cars okay with no injuries, but obviously it's extremely frustrating. We had a good car and strategy for this afternoon, so it's disappointing it ended the way it did."
Ralf Schumacher (3rd): "That was a great result and the team did a great job all weekend. I must admit that I was not 100 percent positive about the strategy we chose, but the engineers were right to take it. We expected high temperatures, so it was a balance between looking after the tyre and having to pit too early. We've had a lot of comments about not being as strong in the race as we are in qualifying, but we showed today that we can go as fast as almost everyone else. The car was great throughout the race, as it had been all weekend and the pit stops were perfect. In the end Michael had a bit too much exit speed to get past, so I was waiting for a mistake which he never made. All in all, a very good day."
Jarno Trulli (4th): "To come away with five points is a fine result considering what happened at the first corner. In fact, I have to be happy that I was able to finish the race at all. The rear of my car was heavily damaged when I was hit from behind, so that made life really hard for me and made my car very hard to drive. After the diffuser was damaged, the balance was very unpredictable, switching from oversteer to understeer even in the course of a lap, and I kept asking to change it in the pits. Overall, I'm happy with 4th place because I could have ended up with nothing at the first corner."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "That was a great day for us and we're obviously delighted with the result. Before the race there was a lot of talk about strategies, with a tight choice between a three-stop and a two-stop race. But we chose a three-stop strategy in order to make our tyres work as well as possible and in the end everything worked perfectly for us. We were a bit lucky at the start because both cars were touched from behind going into the first corner. Ralf didn't pick up any damage but Jarno's diffuser and rear wing endplate were damaged, so it's natural that he was struggling for balance. Nonetheless, both cars and their tyres were good enough to keep up the pace. Ralf was even pushing up to Michael at the end, but it would have been nearly impossible to get past at this track. So to pick up 11 points is very good news. But there is still a gap to the top teams so we will continue to push hard."
Narain Karthikeyan (12th): "I had a decent start I think, avoided the mayhem at the first corner and gained a few positions. Then I kept on pushing throughout the race. It was the toughest physically race of my life but I also drove the most consistent race of my F1 career. My lap times were always steady. I have done well for the last two races and hopefully for the rest of the season this will continue."
Tiago Monteiro (13th): "This is another finish for me, which is good for my record and the team. The car was again very reliable. Unfortunately, we are paying the price for kamikaze drivers around us at the beginning. I know this is part of racing but this is annoying. I had a great start, gained three positions and then someone punched my rear tyre at the braking point. After that, the race was pretty boring for me. I was pushing like crazy to try to catch up as much as possible. The car felt ok; I had a little bit of understeering but generally it was good. I am sorry for the team for the start as they really did a good job."
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "Another good strong performance for Narain today. He came home in 12th position. Poor Tiago, he got involved in the incident at the first corner, which resulted in a puncture. He then drove a very good race to bring the car home for the 13th consecutive time. It was a difficult race for the pair of them, trying to keep out of the way of the leaders, which they did without any incidents. Our strategy worked over the two days, allowing us to beat our immediate opposition but we have to keep on improving the car in order to focus on the teams in front."
Christijan Albers (DNF, Hydraulics): "I had a great start but then, at the first corner, Webber tapped me, I touched Monteiro, and my car went up in the air, shedding quite a few aerodynamic pieces as it landed. It's a shame, because although the weekend didn't start so well, we had a good qualifying and my car seemed good on new tyres, but after the first-lap incident, the steering was no longer straight and the handling was really nervous. Despite that, I was able to push quite hard at the beginning of the race and felt I was quicker than Karthikeyan, but as the tyres started to fall off a little in performance, the combination of mechanical and aero problems meant we just lost too much in terms of lap time. We then encountered a hydraulic problem, but tried to fix it because you never know if you might still get a point. Unfortunately, we didn't, but at least it improves my position in the qualifying order for the next race."
Robert Doornbos (DNF, Hydraulics): "My second Grand Prix was again an exciting race. The car went a lot better than at Hockenheim, and we had a proper launch-control start. The first lap was chaos as usual, but I think I did well to focus on my own car and keep it in one piece. I then concentrated on the tyres, trying not to push too much, and they were coming in nicely after five or six laps, which was reflected in my lap times. I saw my team mate head for the pits, so I really pushed and got ahead of him. For me, it was quite a positive race - I was catching the Jordans and I'm sure I could have passed them and finished in front of them. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, but thanks to all my mechanics for their efforts, and now we look forward to Turkey with the aim of finishing in front of the Jordans."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Unfortunately, Christijan got tangled up in the Turn 1 incident at the start, but then the race settled down and we felt we would be okay. Sadly, a hydraulic failure occurred on both cars. It was beneficial to put Christijan back out after two unscheduled visits to the garage, however, as we gained a qualifying spot over Jacques Villeneuve in Turkey by doing so."