BRITISH GP - SATURDAY - TEAM QUOTES

Toro Rosso trucks, British GP 2006

Toro Rosso trucks, British GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Renault

Fernando Alonso (1st, 1:20.253): "I was really pleased to get pole today - my fourth in a row. I made a little mistake on my first flying lap in the super-pole and I knew it was close with Michael. So we fitted another set of tyres, and I managed to do a better lap. I think conditions out there today were quite difficult for everybody, so we made some changes to the car before the session that gave us some more grip, and stabilised the car balance a little bit. Tomorrow's race is going to be interesting because nobody has really done any long runs, so I think there may be some surprises with the tyres. So far, though, the Michelin tyres have been excellent and I am confident. This a great pole for the team, because it proves that Renault is not relaxing - we are taking the fight to Ferrari."

Giancarlo Fisichella (5th, 1:20.919): "We made some changes to the car before qualifying and the car was on an edge in the first sector. I couldn't attack the quick corners properly and I was losing time in the first sector. So fifth is a bit disappointing, because we had a front row car today. Even so, I am still in a strong position, and very optimistic for tomorrow's race."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "This was a really exciting qualifying session, and a great result for the Renault team. Fernando's last lap was something really special, and he took turn 1 at Copse as close to flat as makes no difference. We must not forget Giancarlo either, who is in a strong position. I am happy we have not compromised our race strategy for qualifying performance, and the high temperatures this weekend seem to be suiting both our car and its Michelin tyres. We are looking forward to a good strong race tomorrow."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We spent much of yesterday learning about a circuit that is very different to when we last tested here, owing to the significant swing in temperatures. Today, though, we really got to the heart of the matter with a fascinating qualifying session. Both cars enjoyed smooth sessions, progressing from the first and second sessions without any problems. The car and its RS26 engine were clearly performing competitively, and we have a driver at each end of a very close, competitive group of cars. We believe we have prepared sensibly for the race, and that the ingredients are in place for a strong team result. It's going to be a tough fight - and one that we will relish."

McLaren-Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen (2nd, 1:20.397): "I'm really pleased being on the first row particularly at Silverstone where a lot of the guys from Woking and Brixworth are able to come and support us. The car was working well and in a way I'm a bit disappointed not to be on pole as we were so close. My final run was a bit tight - I think there were only a few seconds left - but we made it and were able to achieve second which is super. We made a lot of progress from yesterday, and I was really able to push. Now I look forward to the race tomorrow where we will do everything to do well. A win is possible, but so much can happen, but I'm really pleased with today's result and look forward to tomorrow."

Juan Pablo Montoya (8th, 1:21.107): "I have not been able to get the right balance throughout the weekend and was struggling during qualifying today. I should be higher up the grid than eighth, and I'm disappointed with this. However there is a long race tomorrow, and as we have seen before anything can happen."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A great lap from Kimi to earn him and the whole team a well deserved front row position. Juan Pablo struggled a little with the balance of his car but will start the race knowing he has a good chance to get a strong result. Generally we struggled a little to get the best out of the tyres in the first section of the circuit, but hopefully this should not be an issue in tomorrow's race."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A super job by Kimi who managed his best qualifying lap crossing the line on the very last second before the final qualifying session was waved off which then gave him his front row grid position. With a gap of 0.144 seconds behind Fernando Alonso's pole position was on hand for Kimi. Tomorrow it all will depend on how the strategies unfold and how the teams make best use of their tyres on this tyre demanding circuit. Today was great for all of our colleagues from Woking and Brixworth - thanks guys for all your efforts, I hope they will pay off at our home Grand Prix."

Ferrari

Michael Schumacher (3rd, 1:20.574): "Of course you always hope to be on pole and so it's normal to be disappointed with third place, even if, at this track, it's better to start from third than second. I did not expect such a gap to the pole time, but now we have to see what these tenths really mean, given that we don't know what fuel load our rivals have on board. I have to say that so far, it's not been an easy weekend. Track conditions mean it's been difficult to find the right balance on the car and the wind also added to the difficulties. The track is much more slippery now than when the test was held here a few weeks ago; at least that is what I'm told. But I am still pretty optimistic about tomorrow's race, as we know we can count on a package that can win, as long as we make the most of our potential and our strategy."

Felipe Massa (4th, 1:20.764): "I am pleased with the way things went this afternoon. It was definitely a good qualifying session. Of course, starting from the front row would have been better, but we still have every chance to attack off the second row. Let's wait and see what happens. What we want is to finish ahead of those who start from the front row of the grid. The entire team is working hard to close down the gap in both championships and we are doing our best."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "At the end of a very closely fought qualifying, we have ended up with two Ferraris on the second row. It shows that our car-engine-Bridgestone tyre package is competitive even when compared to our rivals and we expect that to be the case in tomorrow's race. The decisive factors will be the usual ones: reliability, strategy, consistent tyre performance. We have all the right elements in place to do well - the technical package, the talent of the drivers, the competence of the team and the Bridgestone tyres. Now we have to go head to head with the others to see if we are up to the task of winning. We will get the answer tomorrow afternoon."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "Perhaps the final result is a little bit disappointing, because we thought there was a chance of getting on pole. Having said that, I think that thanks to our strategy, we can try and recover the situation. The cars were very well balanced and from what we can see, the Bridgestone tyres perform very consistently over a long run. The times we set this morning on old tyres are encouraging. We can look to tomorrow's race with confidence. Track conditions are changing rapidly and I think we have found the right settings on the car to be competitive."

Toyota

Ralf Schumacher (7th, 1:21.073): "We can be very satisfied with what we achieved today. We expected to be somewhere between 6th and 10th so we managed to secure a good position. The car was really good, too. I struggled for grip yesterday and also this morning, as with many others here. It wasn't perfect for me in the first two sessions but as qualifying went on the guys got it right so thanks to them. My last run was much better and we had a lot of fuel on board so we're pretty pleased. As in many other circuits in Formula 1 it is a bit difficult to overtake here but we are confident about our strategy so we are looking forward to tomorrow."

Jarno Trulli (22nd, No Time): "Unfortunately I could not even record a time in qualifying today because I had an engine problem on my first flying lap. I just noticed smoke coming out of the back and that was the end of my afternoon's work. It means I will be starting at the back of the grid tomorrow, which is a particular pity because our new TF106B was going well here, as it did in Monaco. Yesterday we were competitive and we were confident after this morning because we didn't use any new tyres. It will be a very difficult race tomorrow because it's practically impossible to overtake around here. Still, I will stay focused, push as hard as I can and just keep hoping my fortunes will soon turn around."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "That was a difficult qualifying session in terms of emotion. After yesterday's practice we were confident we would be competitive today, and it was part of the strategy that we did not run new tyres this morning. But obviously everything got off on the wrong foot with Jarno's engine failure. We are still investigating the cause of Jarno's problem but we will change his engine for tomorrow and he will start at the back. But the car's pace was strong and Ralf put together a great lap in the last minute of qualifying, so congratulations to him for that. We are now fairly confident that the race will be dry. So based on the running so far and Ralf's lap today he is in a very good position for tomorrow."

Williams-Cosworth

Nico Rosberg (12th, 1:21.567): "I am relatively disappointed today considering where we were in Monaco because we are not as strong here and dropped back quite a bit. My lap time today wasn't sufficient to make it into the top ten which was unfortunate. We know we are a little bit behind on this kind of circuit, which is similar to Barcelona, both tracks where aerodynamics are important. Still, I think in the race we will look stronger than in qualifying as has often been the case for us this season. We have made a good tyre choice and our engine is quite strong on race pace compared to the competition."

Mark Webber (17th, 1:23.129): "Every now and again in this game this happens. We didn't have enough rear grip and ultimately we weren't quick enough. I didn't manage to get a lap in with the balance that Nico had, so my lap time suffered. The track's been all over the place this weekend, but that's the same for everyone and we should have been more prepared for this eventuality. I think it's going to be a very long race tomorrow."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Obviously it was a disappointing qualifying session, but our race pace should be stronger than today. It was very tight to make it through in all of the sessions and we just missed out by a tenth with Mark in the first session and a couple of tenths for Nico in the second session. If we have a good set-up for the race tomorrow, we should be able to come through and score some points. It was very windy this afternoon and it is visible that we suffer more than most in these conditions and it is an area we are concentrating on."

Simon Corbyn, Cosworth: "Cosworth had no issues with either Mark or Nico's engines today. We'll review the remaining duty cycle and will use all available engine performance for tomorrow's race."

Honda

Rubens Barrichello (6th, 1:20.943): "We achieved our target this afternoon which was to put the car in the top six. By the end of the session, we saw that it was very close at the front and we could perhaps have achieved a little bit more and finished 5th. Overall though I'm happy. I'm truly disappointed for Jenson because of his situation and everyone knows that he should have been up there with me as well. I love to race here so I'm looking forward to tomorrow now. It should be a good race."

Jenson Button (19th, 1:23.247): "I'm obviously massively disappointed for myself, the team and all of the fans. My first run wasn't quick enough because we had quite low grip. If the car isn't working well on the first run, you don't want to push it to the limit because the penalty for going off the track and not completing a lap is so high. The circuit was improving massively all the time and we thought we would get a second chance to do a run, but then I got called on to the weighbridge and that effectively finished my session. Everyone wants to do well in their home race and I could have done so much better today, but I believe that points are possible and I'll be doing everything I can to get back up there tomorrow."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "We have mixed feelings about today. On the one hand we are happy with Rubens' qualifying effort; there were some anxious moments at the end of Q1 and Q2, but in the end Rubens did a fantastic job and got everything possible out of the car. With regard to Jenson, we are all terribly disappointed about what happened. In summary, his first run wasn't quick enough and when he got called to the scales it was impossible for him to complete another run. Clearly both cars are much closer in pace than their final qualifying positions would indicate, therefore we look forward to a hard-fought race with both Rubens and Jenson in front of the British crowd."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "We cannot be satisfied with today's performance. Rubens showed the potential of the car and did a good job to get the car on the third row but we are obviously disappointed with Jenson's position. We must improve and race hard tomorrow."

Red Bull-Ferrari

David Coulthard (11th, 1:21.442): "I think we made some improvements in qualifying compared to this morning, so I'm happy with that but obviously I'm disappointed with what happened with Montoya. He obviously made a mistake on his flying lap and then, in trying to make me pay for his pain, he drove slowly round the end of the lap before I could start mine. So, we'll have a Stewards enquiry to see what happens there, but to me it was deliberate action, which impeded another driver. Regarding Ralf, his car came up behind me when I was behind Michael Schumacher who was on an in-lap. It was unfortunate, but I couldn't get past Michael, so therefore Ralf couldn't get past me. If I'd moved, he'd have just been at the back of Michael - we were all backed up."

Christian Klien (14th, 1:21.990): "I was a bit happier with the balance of my car this afternoon. On my last set of tyres I was able to push quite hard and improve my time. I was on a good lap, but then I locked up the rears over a bump in to Turn 15. I lost the rear and my time was gone, otherwise it would have been a good lap I think. Tomorrow's race should be good and we can try to fight for points."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "An incident took place between David and Montoya in the second part of qualifying, which I'm sure the stewards will look in to and take action accordingly. Christian was pushing very hard, but unfortunately wasn't able to put all his best sectors together, he would have been next to David on the grid if he had of done. But, we've made improvements during the course of the weekend and hopefully that will carry through to tomorrow."

Sauber-BMW

Nick Heidfeld (9th, 1:21.329): "I am happy. It's really good we have got both cars in the top ten, especially if you see who is behind us. This confirms for me the impression I had after our test in Barcelona that the latest changes to the car have meant a step forward for the team."

Jacques Villeneuve (10th, 1:21.599): "I was hoping for better. After the second qualifying session the car was quick, but in the end it just didn't work out for some reason. The car was difficult to drive compared to earlier in the day, and for some reason we came into the pits one lap too early. It just wasn't a good lap. In the race the podium will be tough but scoring points is the aim."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Compliments to the entire team. This will be the first time both our cars will start in the top ten on the grid. At the test in Barcelona last week we were able to see the fruit of our labours in terms of development of the car reflected in good lap times. On top of that we have proved that the faster circuits in particular are good for us. It will now be very exciting, as the question is when will the cars in front of us refuel."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director Chassis: "We have both our cars in the top ten and it was not even a close call as we were fourth and sixth in the second part of qualifying. We have performed well in all the practice sessions here and I believe today's good result reflects this. Of course we were hoping to make it a little bit highter up in the top ten, but a lot depends on the fuel load of everyone else so we will only know that tomorrow.The team and the drivers have done a very good job."

MF1-Toyota

Tiago Monteiro (16th, 1:22.207): "It's been a great weekend so far. I'm so happy for the team. They were so excited when I got out of the car. In fact, I think they were actually more excited that I was to get into the second session, so I'm really happy for them. They all deserve it; we've been working so hard. As you can see, for the past few races - since about Nurburgring, I would say - we've been progressing, and that's very encouraging, so I'm glad I was able to show our true pace today. We should have done it in Monaco but it didn't work out, so I'm glad for the whole team that we could accomplish this today. It feels amazing, and the car has been handling very well since yesterday. Now we've got a long race ahead tomorrow and another opportunity to show how much we've improved."

Christijan Albers (18th, 1:23.210): "It's a shame, because I had a lot of bad luck today. We had a mechanical problem in morning practice and a misjudgement on my last timed run - we lost too much time in the garage, and I was pretty sure we would have been able to set a quick time. The good news is that the car feels nicely balanced and I have lots of spare tyres available for tomorrow!"

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "It's clear that we are continuing to make progress. I know it seems like I'm always saying the same thing, but it's true. I think it was possible for us to get both cars into the top sixteen but unfortunately, we had to call Christijan in before he could complete his timed lap because we missed getting him out by about 5 seconds. This is disappointing, but we have to look forward and keep improving the car."

Johnny Herbert, Sporting Relations Manager: "I think we've had this coming for the last couple of races and it's fantastic that we've finally been able to achieve getting through to the second session of qualifying. It's a shame for Christijan because we should have got both cars through. I think we sort of let him down, but both drivers did a fantastic job today. Full credit, as well, to the guys who are here, but also to the staff at the factory and at the wind tunnel. It's their hard work that keeps pushing us forward and I applaud them."

James Key, Technical Director: "It's very positive for us today to come out and go into the second qualifying session. It's the first time we've achieved that, and that's a very good step for the team and for the car. A little bit surprisingly, we're carrying some of the form we saw in Monaco over to Silverstone, which I must admit, I didn't fully expect. It's a terrible shame that Christijan lost all of his track time this morning. We tried to run him three times in qualifying today, which was theoretically possible, and in fact, if we had to do it again tomorrow, we'd probably do things a little bit better. But we just missed the cut at the end and I think had he got that third run in, he also could have been in Q2 because he was extremely close to Tiago's times during his first two runs. We're delighted with Tiago's drive - both he and his crew did a fantastic job - and we know Christijan will be motivated to push hard tomorrow, as always."

Toro Rosso-Cosworth

Vitantonio Liuzzi (13th, 1:21.699): "This was a good qualifying session for me, but I did have some problems in terms of my speed and I think I lost a couple of tenths in every section, sothirteenth isn't bad. The car has improved well over the two days. Now we just have to see why I was losing speed down the straights."

Scott Speed (15th, 1:22.076): "Of course, I have to be happy with making it through to the second part of qualifying for the first time since Bahrain, although funnily enough, I have started from higher up the grid, when other cars have been put at the back. In terms of car performance, I have a few problems with the rear end and I think I am going to have to fight to tame this beast in tomorrow's race."

Super Aguri-Honda

Takuma Sato (20th, 1:26.158): "It was a very hard day. During the practice session I lost it at the high-speed Beckett's corner and suffered some quite serious damage to the car. It is disappointing because we had to change to the T-car, taking a 'change of engine' penalty too. We had very little time to prepare the T-car for Qualifying, but the boys did a great job to get it ready in time. The Qualifying session was difficult because we had not completed the set-up program in the morning and had to apply the set-up to a different chassis, so the car had nervous handling. Considering what happened today I am reasonably happy with our final result, but it will be a tough race for us tomorrow."

Franck Montagny (21st, 1:26.316): "We had a few problems this morning and I also went off the track as I was pushing the car to the limit, so not a great practice session. The Qualifying session was not too bad; we found what we were looking for and I am quite happy with my lap. For sure we are a lot slower than the rest of the grid, but with the new car it will get better."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It was unfortunate that Taku went off the track and hit the barrier in the morning which meant that we had to run with the T-car for Qualifying. Franck also left the tarmac, so we could complete our testing of the Qualifying set-ups for both cars; today was a very chaotic day. Silverstone is a high-speed circuit and the differences between the F1 cars' performances will become very clear and it will also be another very tough race for us. We will concentrate on our original goal - to have both cars finish the race tomorrow."