Friday's Selected Quotes - British GP


Michael Schumacher - 1st: "I am reasonably happy and this was a good day for us. I am not surprised, as we had a successful test session here a few weeks ago. Today’s performance is also the result of all the hard work the team did last week in getting new parts tested and ready for this weekend. For sure, the Silverstone track seems to suit our car. Now, I hope everything goes equally well for the rest of the weekend, so that we can pick up some points. It was a shame for Rubens, but maybe on this track going out first or last does not make such a difference, looking at my lap today."

Rubens Barrichello - 19th: "I am very disappointed with what happened. I could have been first or second, which would have seen me running at the end of tomorrow’s session. However and hopefully, given the changeable weather, today’s result might turn out to be an advantage tomorrow! I was on a really good lap, then after the second split, there was a bit of drizzle and having clipped the kerb, I ended up off the track. I am not too bothered. This morning, the car was handling very well in race trim and I am confident for the rest of the weekend."

Jean Todt: "It was an encouraging qualifying for Ferrari. We set the quickest time with Michael Schumacher, while Rubens Barrichello was running at a similar pace to his teammate until he ran wide and got stuck in the gravel in the final sector, when the track was a bit damp. It is always great to see a Ferrari ahead of the rest and Rubens’ inconvenient incident should not prejudice his chances of doing well. This morning, in free practice, we worked on finding the best set-up for the F2003-GA and on tyre choice, with the Bridgestones performing well. The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend is very uncertain, which makes it even harder than usual to make any predictions."

Ross Brawn: "We had a very good test here after the Canadian Grand Prix and last week’s test was also very productive, leading to improvements on the chassis, engine and Bridgestone tyre package. Today’s qualifying result is the first visible sign of that improvement. We did quite long runs this morning to evaluate the two types of Bridgestone tyre, to make a choice for final qualifying and the race. We are happy with the performance of both. I think we will be in good shape for this race as the car is very well balanced. I feel much more comfortable with our situation than I did in France, but here at Silverstone, a lot will depend on the weather."


Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd: "My car had was very well balanced in qualifying and it felt really good. It’s an improvement as this morning I had a bit of a struggle finding the balance and I thought qualifying could be tough. My engineers and all the team did an excellent job in setting up my car so well, and the they deserve my thanks. However, I hope there’s more to come in our car for Saturday because Ferrari is going to be very strong here."

Ralf Schumacher - 3rd: "My car was not at all bad. I experienced some understeer. but this is something we can sort out, so in summary it was a good Friday session. Since the First Qualifying is not critical for the final grid, it is important to complete a safe lap in order to ensure a good starting position for the Final Qualifying on Saturday. Ferrari seem to be very strong here, which is no surprise. I think the circuit’s lay-out and the current weather conditions suit the Ferrari package pretty well. However, we have had similar gaps to Ferrari on Fridays before now, so I am not too worried."

Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer: "This was  good start to the weekend with both drivers up at the front. Tonight we will look at the race set up and consider our strategy. We are quite confident to have another strong race performance this weekend."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Lap times are very close and the first eight drivers are only covered by just one second. Michael Schumacher has fulfilled the general expectation to be favourite, and behind him are both our drivers in a good position. The weather will be the deciding factor in final qualifying as we cannot be sure that every driver will qualify under the same conditions."


Fernando Alonso - 4th: "Everything went well all day. We had no problems with the car during the various sessions, and we found a good balance for my timed lap. The new aero package is better everywhere, with more grip all the way round the lap. I hope we will be able to fight with the top teams again this weekend."

Jarno Trulli - 6th: "I’m happy with the result. I have had a good day, in spite of a few problems finding the right set-up this morning. We got on top of the situation, though, and I didn’t make any mistakes on my qualifying lap. Our package is working well here, and we are competitive."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "We expected this to be a competitive weekend for us, and it is proving to be so. Fernando had a good balance on the car all day, and was able to achieve fourth. Jarno struggled more this morning, but did an excellent job with his engineers to improve the car and set a very good time in qualifying. Tomorrow, we need to look to get more out of the car, and pick the right strategy to allow us to fight for the podium on Sunday."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "In spite of difficult conditions, the session went very well. We ran through some well-structured programmes today, and they paid off this afternoon. It is always difficult to make any precise judgements about our competitors’ speed, but what we can say is that we are currently in a promising position."


Olivier Panis - 5th: "I am very pleased with this result. We expected to go quite well here, because the car suits this kind of high-speed track. We had a productive test in Barcelona last week and we have some new aero parts on the car for this race, which look promising. I love this circuit and Cristiano had a good test here at the beginning of June, so I am in a very positive frame of mind for the rest of the weekend. Michelin has again supplied us with some competitive tyres for this race, which helps us even further."

Cristiano da Matta - 10th: "As a team, we appear to be looking quite strong here this weekend, but my lap time wasn't all that great. Of course, tenth place is a good result, but I think there is more to come from the car and we have to make the overall balance a bit better. We should be encouraged by getting two cars in the top ten. I am happy with the progress we have made over the last couple of races, and if we continue in this way, I think we are looking in good form the rest of the weekend."

Gustav Brunner, Chief Designer: "Two cars in the top ten is really a fantastic achievement. We have a new aerodynamic package here this weekend and it appears our TF103 suits the Silverstone track well. We have been continually improving as a team over the past few races, getting better in every department. The drivers are also performing exceptionally well, so as a unit we are making big progress. Although it is only the opening day of the British Grand Prix, I think our 5th and tenth positions today reflect this improvement, and we hope it continues for the rest of the weekend with points as an obvious target come Sunday afternoon."


David Coulthard - 7th: "I'm reasonably happy as the times are pretty close at the top. I was a little bit too cautious in the first sector compared to this morning's practice, as I wasn't sure about the weather conditions. It was spitting with rain whilst they were recovering Rubens' car, but in the end the track was fairly dry and as a result I know there is more to come tomorrow. In Friday's qualifying the main thing is to ensure that your lap time is good enough to put you in the same group as your main competitors, so you will have roughly the same track conditions in tomorrow's qualifying, which is when it really counts."

Kimi Raikkonen - 12th: "I have struggled a bit to get comfortable with the car today, so we will be looking at where we can make improvements before tomorrow. During my qualifying run I made a mistake at Stowe, which cost me a lot of time. However its tomorrow's session which is important, so we will wait and see what happens then."

Ron Dennis: "The higher ambient temperature, which is predicted for tomorrow and Sunday, will certainly help our competitiveness. Kimi's mistake at Stowe kept him out of the top group, but neither his nor David's seventh position should hamper their ability to qualify well tomorrow."

Norbert Haug: "As has often happened in this year's Friday qualifying sessions, we are not where we want to be. The competition seems to be pretty close as there is only a little more than two tenths of a second between second place and David's seventh."


Mark Webber - 8th: "That was a good lap and the best I could manage. I locked up a little bit going into Vale that may have cost be a tenth but overall, I am pleased with that qualifying performance. It would have nice to have been a bit closer to the front-runners but tomorrow is the ultimate test â€" not today. I have the fastest third sector time and it’s a part of the track that I really enjoy driving. The low speed section really highlights a driver’s finesse and it’s nice to have posted the fastest time there. There is still, however, a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us this weekend if we are to seriously chase for points. Michael Schumacher is very quick and the tyre war between Michelin and Bridgestone will be very interesting this weekend at what is my second home Grand Prix after Australia. The atmosphere is fantastic here and with Jaguar Cars, HSBC and so many of our other partners based within a hour or so of Silverstone, the importance of this particular race weekend takes on a slightly different, albeit very positive meaning."

Antonio Pizzonia - 11th: "That worked out pretty well considering the challenge we had this morning on finding a good set-up which we achieved for qualifying. The car felt very good throughout the lap and the balance is now to my liking. The track was quite slippery this morning and improved somewhat for qualifying but it could be better. I made a mistake on the last sector coming out of Bridge into the complex section. This probably cost me a few tenths and subsequently a few places on the grid. Nonetheless, there isn’t a great deal to be had from Friday qualifying and as long as we maintain the balance and speed of the car for tomorrow, we are looking well-prepared for Sunday."

David Pitchforth, Managing Director: "That was a pleasing qualifying session given how green the track was when Mark went out. The grip levels out there could be better but we are around three-tenths off the front-runners and that is very encouraging indeed as we prepare for the real qualifying test tomorrow. We were unsure of what tyres to opt for prior to qualifying and took a very late decision that paid off in the end. Both drivers did a solid job today and Mark posted the fastest time in T3 â€" quite ironic given that both Jaguars are carrying the T3 logo on the engine cover as part of our promotion with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Terminator 3 movie. Maybe we should consider putting T1, T2 and T3 on the car for tomorrow!”


Jenson Button - 9th: "The run wasn't too bad. It started to drizzle with rain a little which has given the circuit more grip strangely, but there's a lot more grip than we had this morning. It wasn't a perfect lap; I don't think I got the best out of it but we have definitely made a step forward with the car from the last race. The new bodywork has made quite a big difference but we are a little further behind than we wanted to be, so we have just got to hope that we can make progress for tomorrow. We still have quite a bit of work to do on set-up."

Jacques Villeneuve - 13th: "The car was good for the first half of the lap but by the last two corners the front tyres were gone. It didn't seem slippery out there but it was a little bit difficult as you get to turn one and don't know how much grip there is. Today was the day to try things on the car - Jenson took a different tyre and it looks like that choice is better, so I will go with that choice tomorrow. We have made improvements to the car for this race and we have certainly taken a step forward. We already know what we have to do tomorrow to improve the set-up."

David Richards, Team Principal: "We've had a constructive day with both drivers getting their full quota of track time. More importantly the improvements that Honda and ourselves have made to the car have translated into real performance on the track. This has given us renewed momentum and I am confident that, with more fine-tuning, we will have a competitive weekend."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "Our new aerodynamic upgrade package and Honda engine evolution are working well at this track and we appear to have closed up the gap to Ferrari. In this morning's session we focused on car set-up and tyre comparison. Weather conditions this afternoon were a little variable with the rain always threatening to upset the qualifying times but both drivers were unaffected and were generally happy with their car balance."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "We will be able to improve the driveability of the engine overnight as well as make some changes to the car, so our target is for both drivers to qualify inside the top ten tomorrow."


Nick Heidfeld - 14th: "I am quite happy with my lap under these circumstances. But I must say that it didn't go that well for me in free practice as my car was understeering a lot. In preparation for qualifying this afternoon we made a change in the set-up without having the chance to test whether it would be good or not. Fortunately it paid off and gave me a much more balanced car."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen - 15th: "I think my lap was pretty good. I didn't have any major problems and in contrast to today's free practice session in the morning, the car's balance was improved for qualifying."

Peter Sauber: "After today's morning session when both drivers were not happy with the handling of the cars we were able to make an improvement for qualifying. Now the engineers have to analyse the data again and must try to make another step in this direction."


Giancarlo Fisichella - 16th: "It’s disappointing not to be moving up any higher than this. Our lack of pace is frustrating."

Ralph Firman - 17th: "I’m a bit frustrated with my lap time. I was quicker in the morning with more fuel so obviously I was hoping to have had a better lap. I had lots of oversteer. We’ll try and address it tomorrow and do the best we can."

Gary Anderson, Director Of Race And Test Engineering: "This morning we had a gearbox pump oil leak on Ralph’s car and had to change the engine because some wiring was damaged. He was in the t-car for the rest of the session and had a fuel pressure problem at the end which turned out to be an internal tank problem. Giancarlo had no real dramas and we got through our tyre evaluation work. As far as qualifying goes, it’s the same as normal. We have to be quicker and there’s a lot to do."


Jos Verstappen - 18th: "I think that was a pretty clean lap, and I was reasonably happy with it, even though the time was not as fast as my best of the morning. There was less grip available this afternoon, and as a result, the car was sliding around more. We have some ideas to improve the situation that we want to try tomorrow, so we'll see if we can find a little more time."

Justin Wilson - 20th: "By this afternoon, I was happier with the car's handling. As a result, my confidence has been building, but there are still a couple of areas where I need to improve. As for my qualifying run, I just went out the pit lane, and as I went over the bump at the end where it joins the track, the engine lost all power. The car fired up when we got it back to the garage, and the engineers now suspect a problem with the ignition switch. As ever, tomorrow's another day, and we'll be aiming to do better."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Despite it looking for a brief moment as though we might have a repeat of the Magny Cours Friday qualifying result, the rain stopped, and it was not to be. Both drivers spent the day setting up their cars for the demands of the Silverstone circuit, and by the end of the practice session, they had split the Saubers and were within sight of the Jordans, the two teams we feel we are racing against. Sadly, qualifying didn't work out as planned, when Justin's car came to a stop with what appears to have been an ignition switch problem. Both drivers, however, put in a solid performance, and we look forward to a better day tomorrow."

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