OCTOBER 14, 2005
CHINESE GP - FRIDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Selected team quotes
Rubens Barrichello (6th, 1:34.618): "This was quite a good day with plenty of good laps completed on both types of tyre. I am reasonably happy with my set-up, so now we must wait and see how competitive we really are compared to the others. But I feel I can approach the rest of the weekend with optimism after a solid day's work today."
Michael Schumacher (14th, 1:35.567): "Obviously with these last few races all coming in quick succession, there was no reason to expect a big change in our performance level. But I have to say that, after today, I think we look in slightly better shape than we did at the last race. Maybe we are at a similar level to the one we had in Brazil. We got through our work in a methodical fashion today and the time differences between the two sessions is mainly down to the difference in using new or used tyres."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "Here we are at the second running of this Grand Prix in China, a country that is growing up very fast. The resourcefulness of its people is there for all to see and it is impressive. Ferrari has a major development plan here which will see this country becoming one of our top five markets. As for the track, today we have gone through our usual Friday programme, trying to find the best set-up and comparing the two types of tyre available to us. We were able to do a greater number of laps than usual, because the engines fitted to both our cars only have to last for this event. First impressions would suggest that the Ferrari- Bridgestone package seems reasonably competitive. We are at the end of a particularly tough season which definitely did not come up to our usual standards and to those expected of us by our fans over the past few years. We will attempt to bring it to an end in the best way possible."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "We seem to have found a good balance on the car and both drivers are reasonably happy with their cars. At the moment, Michael appears to be a bit slower than Rubens, so we need to understand why that is. The tyres are showing good consistency and I think tyre choice will come down to which type of tyre will give the best first lap performance and how the wear figures look. We are quite pleased with the way the tyres are behaving on this very smooth surface, because the last time we experienced this type of surface was in Turkey where we struggled. It seems better this time."
Jenson Button (9th, 1:35.072): "We've completed all our planned running for today and achieved a lot of laps, so we've made a good start in that respect. We suffered from low grip this morning but the grip level improved in the afternoon. Overall the car feels better to drive than in the last two races. We have a lot of data from both cars to look at so, as usual, it's a busy night ahead with the engineers to make sure we keep moving in the right direction."
Takuma Sato (13th, 1:35.397): "It was a good start to the practice session and this has given us a good initial direction. The balance at the beginning of the day was good and we acquired all the important information that we need to make our tyre decision for tomorrow. I'm looking forward to continuing this good progress throughout the rest of the weekend."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "It was a fairly typical Friday today, although we probably worked more on the car set-up than usual and made good progress throughout both practice sessions. We accumulated a lot of data on both cars since all the running was trouble-free. This gives us a good basis for making our tyre decision and hopefully improving the car a little more for tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "Not much to report today. Both cars did well over twenty laps once the track had cleaned up. We had no problems. I am looking forward to hearing the V10's at 19,000 rev plus in qualy tomorrow for the last time. The engines sound great as the noise bounces back off the huge grandstands."
Fernando Alonso (4th, 1:34.226): "The car was quite hard to drive today, but I think that is normal on the first day at this circuit, when track conditions are so dirty. It was also very windy out there, which had an impact on the car balance in the high speed corners. But we managed to test all the tyres, did some good laps and completed our long runs: the two types of tyre are quite close in performance, so we will have to work on the choice tonight. I think the circuit conditions will improve tomorrow, and as the grip levels increase then the car balance will improve to, but we have two more practice sessions to get things right in terms of performance."
Giancarlo Fisichella (7th, 1:34.932): "I was struggling a little bit today. The track conditions were not perfect, and I couldn't get a good balance on the car: it was oversteering at some points, then understeering when I put the power on. The tyre decision will not be easy, because they are both close, but we have a lot of data to study tonight before making our decision. Although the balance was not right, I still think the performance looks OK, and I hope we can be competitive for the race."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Today's weather conditions were not what we expected. It was cool and humid, and the wind was also strong during the day. That left us slightly puzzled, and the balance of the two cars is far from perfect - both drivers found the R25 a bit unpredictable, which may have had something to do with the windy conditions. In spite of this, we managed to get through our normal programme, concentrating on the tyre choice. Indeed, we found them closer than we expected and we will work hard this evening to select the right tyre for the race."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Our free practice programme has become a well-oiled routine this year, and once again, we were pleased to experience a trouble-free, normal Friday in today's practice sessions. We ran a typical programme, checking the new engine specification was working correctly and tuning the engine mapping. So far, the E spec RS25 is running as expected, without any nasty surprises."
Mark Webber (8th, 1:35.035): "We got through all of our programme today, We have been communicating well with Michelin to work out what we are going to do with the tyres and we have collected a lot of information to get through tonight in order to make sure that we make the right decision. We did a lot of laps today, because we have a new engine here which has to last only for this weekend, therefore we had a bit more mileage available. So far so good for the weekend, we have to do the same job tomorrow."
Antonio Pizzonia (16th, 1:35.709): "We had a problem with the rear suspension in the second session, which is obviously disappointing because I lost a lot of important track time, especially because I am learning the circuit. We have to look into it and see what caused it. Apart from that, it's been a good day, learning the layout of the track. I am sure there's a lot more to come from me."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We have had a good practice day in terms of mileage as our engines will be used for just one race. We evaluated brakes, the tyre compounds and cooling for the race all of which was ok and our long run pace looked encouraging. Unfortunately on Antonio's car we had a rear suspension failure which caused him to miss quite a lot of the second session. We have a solution for this problem for the race."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "We have witnessed two very busy practice sessions on this impressive circuit. For the very last time of the V10 era of Formula One both of our cars have got fresh BMW P84/5 engines. This week-end marks the end of a very successful phase of engine development. Over the past two years we have tripled the mileage for the engine in accordance with the regulations. Despite this, we have managed to further improve the output of the engine which two years ago was already 900 bhp and 19,000 rpm."
Pedro de la Rosa (1st, 1:32.834): "A positive day where we completed our planned programme. We have a clear idea of which Michelin tyre to choose. I like this circuit despite only getting to know it today, and I felt at home already during the installation lap. The team have done a good job and as throughout the whole year they have supported me in a very efficient manner. On the occasion of my last Friday practice of the year I want to thank everybody in the team and in particular the guys who have been working on the third car."
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:34.092): "A good start to the weekend and let's hope it continues this way. Everything has been working well, and the car feels really strong. I can't wait for tomorrow and Sunday where hopefully we will be able to achieve our goal of winning the 2005 Constructors' World Championship."
Juan Pablo Montoya (5th, 1:34.541): "My car had a bit of understeer but apart from that everything worked well, and our package seems to cope well with the special challenges of the Shanghai circuit. We will continue our planned programme in tomorrow's two practice sessions and as always with Pedro's input and feedback regarding tyres we should be in a strong position."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Other than a minor sensor fault on Kimi's car at the start of practice, today has been troublefree and very productive. We look forward to the rest of the weekend."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good start to the China Grand Prix weekend where we ran a good number of laps and completed our planned programme whilst moving in the right direction with our race set-up."
Felipe Massa (10th, 1:35.196): "On the long runs the car was getting better each lap as the fuel weight went down and the grip improved. The handling was consistent, which bodes well for the race. On new tyres the balance was not so good; I got understeer in the slow corners and oversteer in the high-speed ones, so we need to hone the set-up further for qualifying."
Jacques Villeneuve (17th, 1:35.894): "I had to back off on one lap near the end because of yellow flags, but that happened while we were on a long run so it wasn't really a problem and I did my best lap on the next one, which was my last. The grip was getting better all day, having been very low to begin with this morning. We still have some set-up work to do, but it was okay."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "We concentrated mainly on comparison of the two available tyre options, and amassing the necessary empirical data to assist our decision. We were able to do a lot of laps and we made decent progress, so it was a good Friday."
David Coulthard (11th, 1:35.201): "It's a pretty unique track here; modern tracks always seem to offer something a bit different. Everyone really enjoyed the new track in Turkey, I think they perhaps enjoy this one less, but not because any particular features are lacking here. Turn one into Turn two is pretty awkward, as it tightens and tightens, which means the car gets slower and slower - it's not really a case of what the driver can do in that corner, but more down to the grip of each car. I lost rear grip on the bumps in the middle of Turn one during the second session, which led to a spin. It's sometimes hard to find good balance in the car on worn tyres, so when you go through a bumpy corner, the back of the car moves around. It's just one of the challenges of this track."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (12th, 1:35.306): "Today is the first time I've driven on this circuit and I was pretty happy about both sessions. It's not so easy to learn the track here, as there are some tricky corners and long, long bends. It's quite difficult to find the racing line, as there are so many! But, in both sessions we were quick and I feel quite confident. The car seems pretty good and well balanced and I think the team should have a good weekend."
Christian Klien (15th, 1:35.613): "At the end of the second practice, we had a puncture on the long straight. We'll have to look at the data to see exactly what caused it. Apart from that, the car felt much better in the afternoon; it had been tricky to drive in the morning and I wasn't so quick, but I think we were around P10 in the afternoon. We still have to work on the balance, but things got better as the day went on."
Paul Monaghan, Head of Race and Test Engineering: "Christian lost a tyre from his car due to a puncture at the end of the second practice. This forced him to return to the pits just prior to the end of the session."
Ricardo Zonta (2nd, 1:32.977): "Overall I'm pretty happy with how today went. We were pretty competitive in terms of pace so I hope the rest of the weekend goes well for the race drivers. This morning the track was very similar to how it was last year - very dusty - but it improved as the track started to rubber in. That brings me to the end of my season of work on Fridays. They have been busy sessions but I've enjoyed driving the TF105 so it's been a fun year."
Ralf Schumacher (18th, 1:36.051): "It's nice to be back here in China. I like the circuit but just like last year it was very dirty to start with until the rubber started to go down. I had some understeer so we still have quite a lot of work to do on our set-up for tomorrow. But our target is to push for a good slot in qualifying, then hopefully to have another decent race and to score points."
Jarno Trulli (19th, 1:36.079): "This is my first time here at Shanghai and I've been impressed both by the city and by the facilities here. Of course that means I had to learn the circuit today but I was able to put in a lot of laps before my late stop with a suspected clutch problem this afternoon. I'm not entirely happy with the balance so we will have to look closely at that overnight."
Luca Marmorini, Technical Director Engine: "This weekend we will race our RVX-05 V10 engine for the last time. The year has gone very well but it has not been easy because we have had many problems to overcome, each one unpredictable. But we did a good job and we hope to have learned more for next year. From an engineering perspective it is good to have new challenges so we are looking forward to the arrival of the V8. Today we thought it might rain but it held off and we could complete the programme. Ricardo did his usual work on tyre evaluation and we have lots of information for our tyre choice. The race drivers concentrated on set-up work, and both reported understeer and a lack of grip so we still have some work to do. Our only problem was when Jarno stopped at the end of the second session with a suspected clutch problem. We still have to investigate exactly what happened but we don't think it is too serious. Overall, that was a reasonable first day."
Nicolas Kiesa (20th, 1:36.644): "This morning the circuit was very green and dusty and we were lacking grip. It is quite hard to determine with which tyre to go for because no matter what we were doing, the car was not behaving as normal. But at the end of the first session, the circuit started to get grip back and we were able to do the last run and set better lap times. We went into the second session without being really sure how to start but we made some set-up changes for the first lap which turned out to be very good and we did not change the car for the rest of the session."
Tiago Monteiro (23rd, 1:37.435): "It was a difficult first day for me as I experienced a few technical issues in both sessions. I had to learn the track as I have never been here and spent some time on that. We also tried to get a good car balance but unfortunately I did not do as many laps as we wanted to as I had problems. We have to find out what happened and keep on working on the set-up of the car tomorrow."
Narain Karthikeyan (24th, 1:37.467): "I had a good day here at Shanghai. The tyre choice for the rest of the weekend will be critical because the long corners are hard on the front tyres and we have to look after them as much as possible in order not to grain them. We will have to choose carefully between the soft tyres and the hard ones. We will go through the data this afternoon and tonight but I am sure it will take us some time as the two compounds that Bridgestone have brought are very close. This is not an easy circuit to learn as it is pretty hard to get the line straight and it is very important to have good brakes because of the long straights."
Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "The three drivers went through the standard Friday programme and learnt the circuit as well, as it was new to them all. It was not a bad day and we are happy with where we are with our strategy compared to Minardi. We will make our normal choices tonight such as tyre selection and this will be difficult here but I am confident we will make a good choice. We also have a couple of reliability issues we will have to look at tonight but we should be ok."
Robert Doornbos (21st, 1:36.993): "It's great to be back in Shanghai, having made my F1 debut here last year as a test driver. It's a great circuit and a wonderful facility, so well done to the Chinese for what they've accomplished. We struggled a little with set-up this morning and were therefore off the pace compared with the others. This afternoon, however, we made progress, and working with my engineer, Riccardo Adami, we were able to go in the right direction. There's definitely more time to come, and we're pushing hard."
Christijan Albers (22nd, 1:37.173): "We had a reasonable opening day. The problem to start with was that I didn't really know the track, but now, with 30 laps completed, I feel much more confident with it. We still need to find a good set-up and improve the car further, but it's only Friday. We'll see what we can do tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Today saw the opening day of Minardi's last Grand Prix, and no doubt after 340 World Championship races, emotions will be running high throughout the weekend. As usual, the drivers and team completed their full technical programme today, and when combined with the tremendous support from our technical partners, and in particular, Cosworth, we will continue to make progress throughout the weekend."
FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
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