Friday's Selected Quotes - Canada

Pedro de la Rosa - 1st: "My main priority today was to evaluate the Michelin tyres to gather as much data as possible. As the track has been resurfaced since last year and it's a lot hotter than normal it's even more for us important to gather as much information as possible. The surface was constantly evolving which provides us with a real challenge. However I believe we have found a lot of useful data and hopefully Kimi and Juan Pablo should have a strong race weekend."

Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th: "I'm quite pleased with today's practice. The car is behaving really well and it's looking pretty good. There is still some time to find in the last sector but we will work on that tomorrow morning. We have been evaluating our Michelin tyres and it's always difficult to make the decision as you have to look at both consistency and speed but we have some good data to work with. I think we have the pace to qualify well and finish on the podium. It's a lot hotter out there than normal here in Canada which makes the tyres work harder but that should hopefully be an advantage for us."

Kimi Raikkonen - 5th: "We had a trouble free start to the weekend. I'm still not 100 percent happy with the set-up of the car but we can work on that tomorrow morning and I'm sure we will be strong again. It's still quite bumpy out there but grip wise everything is fine. We are aiming to qualify on the first row and do what we can to win so we look forward to the rest of the weekend."

Ron Dennis: "The circuit here in Montreal traditionally tests the limits of the car's braking system. As a result today carries with it not only the necessity to chose the optimum Michelin race tyre but also spend sufficient time with high fuel loads to verify the durability of the brakes., Bearing these issues in mind our performance so far is satisfactory with no problems incurred by either of the three drivers other than high levels of traffic throughout practice."

Norbert Haug: "A good start to the weekend when the team went through the planned programme. Kimi, Juan Pablo and Pedro compared both types of Michelin tyres available and worked on set-ups for the race"


Ricardo Zonta - 2nd: "We had a good day and we were competitive throughout both sessions so we are confident. My car felt well balanced, even if it was a struggle because the track changed so much during the two sessions. Because it uses some public roads, it is always dirty to start with, making the first few laps tricky. This year they have also resurfaced the track so it was especially slippery in the morning, but it improved with every run. All in all, a positive start to the weekend."

Ralf Schumacher - 9th: "We had no major problems here today so in general I'm very happy with how it's gone. We successfully went through the programme and gained a lot of useful data for making the tyre choice tonight. The newly resurfaced track here meant that it was a little bit slippery in the beginning but it improved throughout the day. Looking ahead to Sunday I would expect us to be aiming for another good points finish."

Jarno Trulli - 11th: "This was a normal Friday of testing for us, working on tyre choice and set-up. The new surface meant we struggled a bit for grip, but that was the same for everybody. The track also changed a lot during the course of the two sessions as more rubber went down. So it's difficult to say where we are at this point but we'll do our best to earn more points."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director Chassis: "That was another reasonably productive day. We had no mechanical issues on the cars and we completed the programme on all three cars. Ricardo was working on tyre comparison, carrying out a performance evaluation in the first session and two long runs in the second session. Both race drivers were reasonably happy with the balance of the cars, we looked reasonably competitive and we have plenty of data for making the tyre choice."


Fernando Alonso - 3rd: "It was a satisfactory Friday for us, as we managed to have long runs this afternoon - which helped on this newly asphalted circuit. We completed the programme we had planned this morning and did not have any mechanical problem throughout the day. I was lucky because in the long runs I managed to get clean laps, considering that the circuit is short and that it was quite congested, with third drivers. It was a nearly a perfect Friday."

Giancarlo Fisichella - 6th: "I experienced a lot of traffic this afternoon, otherwise I may have been in a higher position. The track was slippery which makes it that more difficult to decide on tyre choice for tomorrow. The car was improving all of the time and I am quite optimistic."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "A reasonably normal Friday programme for us. We didn't run too much in the first session as we felt the new track surface needed some rubber on it. But we made up for this in the afternoon with some long runs. As always on this track, traffic is a problem, but we gathered some useful data and everything looks in reasonable shape for the weekend."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "It was hard for us today to define where we are because we had to run a lot of laps on this newly surfaced circuit and the conditions were ever changing. We have completed the programme, the car looks competitive and we should be in good shape for tomorrow."


Jenson Button - 7th: "As usual, today has mostly been about tyre work. We did some long runs which was good and it was nice to have the laps to be able to do a proper comparison. I think we know where we are with the tyre options for the weekend now. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do this evening but we are reasonably happy with what we achieved today."

Takuma Sato - 8th: "It was a good session for us today. We put a lot of mileage on the car and are confident that the lower downforce configuration which Anthony tested at Monza last week is working really well. Obviously we still have to work hard to keep competitive throughout the weekend but at least on the first day with the new track surface, we collected very good data and should be very happy about that."

Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director: "As usual on Fridays we concentrated mostly on tyre choice, nevertheless we were quite satisfied with the results from free practice. Both cars ran reliably and the drivers seem reasonably happy with them, however there are still some characteristics in the car balance that we hope to improve for tomorrow."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "A good day today. We have completed a full programme without any issues and have got a lot of good data to study. Our qualifying starting positions (10 and 12) will allow us to push hard tomorrow - we will see what we can do."


Rubens Barrichello - 10th: "In terms of getting our work done, we did a good job, but we still have to sort out and understand a problem I have with the brakes. Apart from that, it seems we do not have a very competitive car here, but we are working flat-out to sort it out and there are plenty of reasons to be confident that tomorrow we can do much better."

Michael Schumacher - 16th: "We are not looking too competitive here, looking at the lap times. I did not get the best out of my new set of tyres this afternoon, as I went out early on when the track was not yet at its best. But if you look at Rubens' time, which he set on the same tyres much later in the session, it looks a bit better. On a positive note, we got through all our programme. I would say the new surface is a clear improvement on the old one in terms of bumps."

Jean Todt: "As usual, today's work centred on fine tuning the set-up of the cars and evaluating the two types of tyre available to us. Although, we have to take into account the unknown factor of what fuel load everyone is running, it is clear we were expecting better. Now we have to study today's data carefully."

Ross Brawn: "We had a relatively trouble-free practice today, although Rubens was not entirely happy with the brakes on his car. That obviously causes problems, especially on a circuit like this, so we will have to fix that for tomorrow. We did some long distance runs and picked up all the data we need regarding tyres. Now, we have to look at wear rates and tyre consistency and make our choice, from the two types available. One of the tyres was graining a bit, so we have to calculate if that is a situation that will go away by Sunday. Generally, the balance of the cars was good."


Mark Webber - 12th: "The track was better than we thought. They have done a good job with the resurfacing. This is a very difficult task because of the extreme temperatures they have here between winter to summer. We have collected a lot of useful data to look through tonight. It's of course better than what we had on Friday at the Nurburgring, where still we made the right choice, even though we had very little data! Today was a good day for the team."

Nick Heidfeld - 15th: "First of all I must say I was pleasantly surprised that the circuit hasn't seemed to have lost much grip because of the resurfacing. If you look at the lap times, speeds are similar to last year, although the last chicane really makes a difference because the kerbs are a lot higher which makes that part of the circuit a lot slower. Otherwise it has been quite a hot day which should be similar to what we will have on Sunday. Now we have to do all our tyre work, which is even more difficult here for Michelin, because of the new surface."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We have had a good day as we were working through our programme for the race. We achieved long runs on both tyres, which has given us good information to make our tyre choice with Michelin. We have also recorded plenty of information regarding the brakes which is one of the most important things in Montr?al. Obviously a lot of rubber is going down and the track is going faster. However, the new track surface does not make a big difference. Now we will look for the best set-up for tomorrow's qualifying."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "It was a trouble free first day for both of our drivers. They completed an extensive programme focusing on tyre evaluation. Despite the high ambient temperatures, oil and water temperatures of the engines have been on the safe side. What actually helps is the high speed on the long straights which brings good cooling air."


Jacques Villeneuve - 13th: "The car was quite nicely balanced and we had a better day than we expected. It's the same car, but it seems better suited to tracks where you have chicanes and heavy braking, like Imola. The surface is grippier than last year, mainly because of the new asphalt, so that helped. But here's a good day on a Friday and ultimately it meant only 13th place."

Felipe Massa - 14th: "That session was quite okay. We seem more competitive here than at other tracks recently. The pace of the car was reasonable and there was good grip on the new surface, although it is still bumpy going into the hairpin and down the main straight. My only problem was that I had yellow flags on my two laps on new tyres so I wasn't able to make use of them. There's more to come from me because of that, so it doesn't look too bad."

Peter Sauber: "At first glance 13th and 14th places after the first day are nothing special, but if you take out the Friday drivers and look at the gap between us and the front runners it is clear that we have reduced the deficit. Now it is crucial to make the right decisions on tyre choice and set-up so that we can qualify well tomorrow."

Red Bull

David Coulthard - 17th: "Similarly to Friday in Nurburgring, the pace of the car hasn't been so good today and we need to try and understand which areas to target in order to improve performance. We'll see where we are tomorrow but, at the moment, we're quite a distance from the front-runners."

Christian Klien - 18th: "Overall, that was not so good. We did three long runs to compare the tyres and collected some useful data, which will help us decide which to use tomorrow. However, we're struggling for speed a little on this circuit, especially on the long straights. I think we need to find something extra if we're to do well here."

Scott Speed - 23rd: "The car is comfortable to drive and I was out there trying to do the best job I could, to enable the team to get the data they needed. I was concentrating on trying to give the team some good feedback from the laps I completed. It was a shame I went off before the end of the session. Before that, the balance of the car had felt good and the condition of the track was improving with every lap."

G?nther Steiner, Technical Director: "We need to look at why Scott suffered his incident and will be analysing the data we get from his car. At the moment, the overriding factor is that we're not fast enough. We need to analyse why this is and try to do something about it before tomorrow."


Patrick Friesacher - 19th: "I was a little bit disappointed in the first session, as I lost my last run with a clutch-related problem, but then the second session was quite good. We improved a lot in that session, in part at least because of the tyres, and were able to find a good balance for the car. I think we can improve further tomorrow, however, so I feel it could be a good weekend for us."

Christijan Albers - 21st: "We had a bit of a slow start in the morning, but we came back this afternoon. We have been improving with each run, and although we are still not completely satisfied with all aspects of the car's behaviour, we've still got two more practice sessions tomorrow to work on it. All things being considered, I think we did a reasonable time today."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Considering the resurfacing of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the fact the track was always going to be 'green' on the first day of the race weekend, it's pleasing to be competitive with the Jordans and within two-tenths of a second of one of the Red Bulls. All in all, today's sessions went well, especially considering neither Christijan nor Patrick has competed here before. We look forward to making further progress tomorrow in preparation for Sunday's race."


Narain Karthikeyan - 20th: "I had a productive day today at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As I have never driven here, I had to spend quite a bit of time learning the layout but this was not too difficult. The track surface was very dusty, which does not make your job any easier. However, we did quite a considerable amount of laps and I am quite pleased with that. Now we will decide on our tyre choice for the rest of the weekend and I will do my best to improve tomorrow again."

Tiago Monteiro - 22nd: "Today was a hard day as I lost nearly an hour this morning, due to a small hydraulic problem. Even though I know the track here for having raced in Champ Car in 2003, I still needed some running time. I pushed hard in the afternoon to make up lost time and I completed a great number of laps. Now we have to analyse the information we gathered and work well tonight to get a more stable car. There are so many important braking areas here, you have to be confident on the brakes and balance of the car. I am sure we will be able to manage that."

Adrian Burgess, Sporting Director: "We got through much of the programme today even though Tiago had a technical problem this morning which restricted his running and compromised his times a little bit. Narain had a silly spin at the end of the second session, which spoilt his last run. However, we were able to collect a lot of data and we are in a reasonable shape for tomorrow."


Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director: "It is difficult to assess the complete picture after Friday's free practice sessions, because the test and race drivers have different routines and objectives. What is clear, however, is that Michelin's three tyre compounds worked well in challenging, humid conditions and several of our partner teams look set for a very competitive weekend. The organisers in Montreal deserve credit for the excellent job they have done with their new track surface. The circuit has evolved significantly, which was to be expected, but it has done so in a consistent fashion and conditions have been remarkably stable. The pre-race preparatory work has been absolutely first-class."


Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "The new track surface was quite dusty this morning and although tyre performance was reasonable, it did mean that the cars were sliding a lot. This also continued through to the second session and consequently we did see some tyre graining today. However, we believe that as the circuit cleans up and as more rubber is laid down, the graining should reduce. Meanwhile, the teams have also been working on their car set-ups for this race and once we have checked the tyres which were used today we shall be making our recommendations in order to assist them further."

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