Friday's Selected Quotes - German GP


Friday's Selected Quotes - German GP


Ralf Schumacher - 1st: "I am quite surprised to be at the front, since I took it quite easy on my qualifying lap. My car was simply perfect, brilliantly balanced and the tyres behaved very well too. I can only be happy with this result, also because it shows that we have solved a few problems we had in this morning's Free Practice. Now I am looking forward to a good qualifying and a good race, especially because the weather forecast is predicting hot conditions, which will suit our package."

Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd: "I am pleased with my first qualifying lap, as my car had a good balance after we sorted out the small problems we had this morning. I could have done slightly better if I hadn't braked too early into the hairpin but all in all I am happy with this afternoon's performance. Moreover, we are well set both for tomorrow's qualifying and I believe we look good for the race too."

Sam Michael, Chief Operations Engineer: "We have had a good day today with both cars being at the front. Of course, it is only the first qualifying but still it gives an idea of the pace. This morning we did a lot of our set up work for the race, and we are confident for what looks to be hot weather coming up for the weekend. Again the designers have brought more improvement to the cars with new parts."

Gerhard Berger, BMW Motorsport Director: "This is a perfect result for a Friday. I believe on this track we are well prepared in every aspect for a strong race on Sunday. We have to remember that the old circuit is quite different from the new one. It is no longer about only having a powerful engine, but rather about having a good package, such as chassis, tyres and obviously driver. On this circuit we are clearly well set, just like we were in the past few races."


Jarno Trulli - 3rd: "A good day! We worked on tyres and set-up during the morning, and the result is that we have made a good tyre choice and the car is reasonably well balanced. We lost a bit of time this morning, which may have cost a little in terms of our competitiveness, but I am looking forward to tomorrow. This could be a good weekend for us."

Fernando Alonso - 5th: "I am in a good position: everybody knows that the important thing on Friday is to make sure you get a solid result, and my run tomorrow will be when the track conditions are at their best. Today, our programme was based around tyre and set-up work. The car is still understeering a little bit, but we can work on that some more tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "A straightforward qualifying session. The balance on both cars is nearly there, but there is still a little work to do. The car obviously has the raw speed at this track, and our concentration must now be on ensuring we get good straightline speed with our race set-up, and look after the tyres, which are under a lot of strain at this circuit in these hot conditions."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Relative to our performance this morning, we are where we expected to be. It has been a satisfying first day, during which we completed our planned programme. We are in a good position in terms of pure performance, and I think we can expect a strong result from the rest of the weekend."


Mark Webber - 4th: "I enjoyed that! The car felt very good and the balance works well on this circuit. I made a small mistake at Turn 6 and that prevented me from taking P3 from Jarno Trulli. It is impossible to do these one-lap qualifying shoot-outs and not make tiny errors along the way. One lap qualifying, however, is very enjoyable on low fuel. You are not hindered by the extra weight load in the car and it really allows you to take the car to its limits. It really is a great feeling. The team have done an excellent job in preparing the car today and it makes for a very positive start to what is always a long weekend of hard work and focus. With that in mind, we must wait until the outcome of tomorrow's qualifying session before we can begin making any predications about the race. It must be said that Justin has started off very well and has done a good job today. For me, however, it doesn't matter who is in the other car. My job is to keep pushing to the limit and help take the team forward. Jaguar has come a long way since last year and we will keep the momentum going through to Japan. There are still a lot of potential points on offer over the next five races."

Justin Wilson - 7th: "That was awesome! It's very unusual to see yourself in P7 having out-qualified Michael Schumacher on what is my first full day on the job with Jaguar Racing. The car felt fantastic over that one flying lap and I must congratulate the team for the excellent preparation in the build up to that lap. I did feel the pressure, yes, but you've just got to go out there and do the best job you can. I was under enough pressure to begin with but when Mark Webber went out and recorded P4, it changed the goal posts completely. That was an excellent lap from Mark and given that I had only done two fast laps on low fuel before that session, I didn't think P7 was possible. I managed a clean lap and combined with the balance on the R4, the team has been rewarded with two cars in the top seven. A good start to the weekend I am doing my best to climb the steep learning curve ahead of me. The team, however, is making my life a lot easier and helping me in every area â€" both inside and outside the cockpit. We still have some work to undertake tomorrow morning and I'm sure there is still time left in the car to extract. The big test is tomorrow's session but suffice to say that I am very pleased with how my first weekend with Jaguar has begun."

Mark Gillan, Head of Vehicle Performance: "A great start to our German Grand Prix weekend. We've had a very productive morning here with both drivers taking full advantage of the two-hour test followed by the one-hour Free Practice session. We covered everything from tyre comparisons, balance, set-up and Mark also put some mileage onto the T-car. We have been working very closely with Michelin to better understand our issues from Silverstone and so far, we are very satisfied with how the Jaguar R4 is performing, albeit we won't really know until we cover a race distance on Sunday. Justin's first ever-qualifying session with Jaguar was simply superb. Given how little mileage he has covered in the car, everyone is delighted with his performance today. Mark set the benchmark with a stunning lap that put him in P4 â€" ahead of both Ferraris, McLarens and a Renault. That was a very good lap indeed, but put more pressure on Justin. When Justin's turn came, he handled it with both composure and focus and was rewarded with an excellent P7 spot for tomorrow's final shoot-out. A good all-round performance from the team, Michelin, Cosworth and Pi Electronics but a long way to go this weekend before we can begin getting too carried away."


Kimi Raikkonen - 6th: "My lap was not too bad as I only lost time in the last sector, and it was the first time today we ran with the new tyres and less fuel, so it was difficult to know how hard you could push. Everything is working well and the car is nice to drive. We will not see the true picture before tomorrow, so it's difficult to say where we will be."

David Coulthard - 11th: "My time was pretty much the same as I did in this morning's practice where I was fastest. I wasn't as tidy in turn two and at the Hairpin on my qualifying lap, so I know that we can be quicker. It looks like the Michelin tyres are performing well here, so I'm expecting a close battle for pole position tomorrow."

Ron Dennis: "Just prior to today's qualifying session one of the support events had their practice and as a result the circuit conditions were less than ideal. Consequently both Kimi and David took a cautious approach to what at the end of the day is not a vital session. Overall the cars are performing well, and only tomorrow's qualifying will tell us what our true pace will be."

Norbert Haug: "We haven't been able to show our optimum performance in today's qualifying session yet, but for Saturday we should have a good basis to perform well once we are in race trim."


Rubens Barrichello - 8th: "This morning I had a few problems finding the best set-up on the car.The situation improved for qualifying, but not sufficiently for us to be fighting for the top spots. On my timed lap, I made a small mistake in the third sector. Judging by what we have seen today, we do not seem to have the advantage here which we enjoyed at Silverstone,but this does not mean we won't be in the running right to the end. Now, we have to work to try and extract all the potential which the car has at its disposal."

Michael Schumacher - 9th: "This was not the best qualifying lap of my career, but it wasn't bad.The track was quite slippery because of the other cars which ran on the track in between our two sessions, resulting in the marshals having to clean the track, so perhaps being first on the road this afternoon was a further slight disadvantage. Our competitors seem to have a very strong package over one lap. But we can be confident for the race, because in this morning's free practice session, we saw that our tyres performed very consistently in race trim with a heavy fuel load."

Jean Todt: "Ending the first qualifying session with our cars in eighth and ninth places is certainly not what we are used to. Today, the opposition proved to be very quick over the single lap. However, we know that Friday's times are not necessarily representative of what we can expect on Sunday. Tomorrow, the choice of tyre type for the second qualifying session and the race will be crucial. This morning's free practice threw up interesting indications as regards the rest of the weekend.'

Ross Brawn: "A somewhat disappointing result given that we looked quite competitive this morning's, but maybe not competitive enough. Now we will work on improving the car. Neither driver is completely satisfied with the set-up, so we know we have room to improve in this area. From what we saw in free practice, the tyres are very good in terms of consistency. It might turn out that we won't be on the front row tomorrow, but we can be confident about Sunday's race."


Olivier Panis - 10th: "I am quite encouraged by this result. We are in the top ten again, which is where we aim to be in every qualifying and we have found a good balance on the car for this track. We are using a new specification engine and some new aerodynamic parts on the car this weekend, which all look quite promising. Our tyre supplier Michelin is also looking competitive here, so overall I am pleased. The whole team has done a good job and we have started the German Grand Prix weekend well. I hope we can keep this up."

Cristiano da Matta - 15th: "I am not pleased with my qualifying lap this afternoon. Everything felt good on the car in this morning's free practice hour, but I didn't get a great run in qualifying. We got the balance of the car wrong for the session, and I suffered from too much oversteer during my flying lap. I made a couple of little mistakes as well, but I think we have a good package for this track and the car has potential, so I think everything will be fine tomorrow."

Ange Pasquali, Team Manager: "We are quite satisfied with our qualifying session today. We have another top ten result, albeit on a Friday, but it shows we are heading in a good direction. Olivier drove a very respectable lap, but Cristiano was unfortunate to be slower than he was in this morning's practice. Nevertheless, we did some productive work in free practice and we know what areas we have to work on to prepare for tomorrow afternoon's qualifying and Sunday's race, so we remain confident."


Jenson Button - 12th: "It was a reasonable lap for me. I got a little too much oversteer in the first part of the stadium section - the left-hander hairpin - so I lost a bit of time there. I couldn't really do much more today but hopefully we can improve tomorrow. Compared to the Ferrari we're only three tenths away from Michael, but there's a bigger gap between ourselves and the Williams' at the moment. Who knows though? A lot of people have been using a tyre that may be good for qualifying but possibly not so good for the race, so we'll have to wait and see how that pans out."

Jacques Villeneuve - 19th: "I went through the first corner a little bit too fast, but not by that much. We made some set-up changes after this morning's session and the effect was bigger than expected. I just went sideways and lost it. The car felt good until that point and suddenly the rear started sliding a bit, but not a big snap. It wasn't something that took me by surprise, it happened very slowly. I think we have a good car balance and the car was good on old tyres this morning. It's better that we had this problem today rather than tomorrow but now we have a lot of work to do to get a good result in final qualifying."

David Richards, Team Principal: "We have to be very pleased that we are less than four tenths off our benchmark team in low fuel running, on the same tyres, and this gives a very clear indication of the progress we have made in recent months. The positive aspect of Hockenheim is that overtaking is easier than at many other circuits, so our focus on a good race set-up should pay dividends on Sunday."

Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "This morning's practice went to plan and we were able to find a good set-up on old tyres for both cars. The Silverstone aero package and the latest step engine are working very well, so given our good top speeds and the overtaking possibilities at this track, we should be able to race well. Jenson had an excellent qualifying run and, despite being 12th, we are very happy with our speed compared with Ferrari. Jacques was too confident with his car set-up and tried to carry too much speed into the first corner, resulting in a spin which meant he had to abort the lap. Tomorrow we will focus on achieving the optimum compromise between qualifying and race set-up."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "The times are pretty close today which made for a very interesting qualifying session. Both our drivers pushed hard but tomorrow is when it really counts - it will certainly be interesting with Jacques going out second and Jenson later in the session."


Heinz-Harald Frentzen - 13th: "Today I made my first mistake of the season in qualifying. In the first turn I went off track and lost quite a lot of time. The rest of my lap was fantastic! I think this track suits us, because without that mistake we'd have been close to the top 10."

Nick Heidfeld - 14th: "I think my lap was okay. I didn't get the best out of the car because in the free practice this morning I destroyed the floor when I ran wide in the first corner, and also I didn't run with a low fuel load so I didn't really know what to expect from the car this afternoon. Beside this, the front tyres began graining from the middle of the lap, generating understeer."

Peter Sauber: "At the moment we are measuring ourselves against BAR, who made a lot of progress this season and run with the same tyre brand. Despite Heinz-Harald's mistake in the first corner the gap between us and BAR has become a lot smaller, which is encouraging."


Ralph Firman - 16th: "It's my first time at Hockenheim and things are going pretty well for me this weekend. I'm hopeful that there's more lap time to come, especially in the last sector. We will improve the car a little bit more and see where we end up."

Giancarlo Fisichella - 17th: "Today was nothing special and we are quite far off the pace. Admittedly, my lap wasn't fantastic, but it's another difficult weekend for us."

Gary Anderson, Director Of Race And Test Engineering: "Giancarlo reported that the rear of his car was a bit nervous during his qualifying lap and Ralph had a bit too much understeer. When the temperature comes up, we lose grip. It's very confusing but that's the way it is at the moment. Zsolt Baumgartner did a very competent job in his first proper test session with us and it was good to collect data from three cars for the first time."


Jos Verstappen - 18th: "If you compare us with Ferrari, I think we did a good job, as we were only down two seconds today! One could interpret that to mean we have made up ground on them since the start of the season. As far as qualifying was concerned, the chassis was well balanced and I think I drove a clean lap. The time was good, considering the team's circumstances, so I think we are starting the weekend in a positive way. I am also pleased by Justin's performance this afternoon. It shows how competitive the Minardi drivers are."

Nicolas Kiesa - 20th: "It was bad luck that the car stalled as I pulled out of the garage into the pit lane to do my run, and I'm obviously disappointed. I was really looking forward to qualifying this afternoon and trying to get as close to Jos's time as possible. The car ran faultlessly in every test, and then when it counted, we had a problem. Despite this, we did some useful work today, so we'll put this behind us and aim to sort things tomorrow."

Gianmaria Bruni: "This was a good session today, especially as it was my first time at Hockenheim. After the 20-km shakedown run at Fiorano last week, I drove another 160 km this morning, for a total of 180 km. I'm very happy with the work I did with the engineers this morning, including trying two new floors and new front and rear wings. I'm also pleased with my lap times, particularly as I used only two sets of tyres during the morning. I'm now really looking forward to starting afresh on the Friday at the Hungaroring - another circuit that is new to me. This first experience of Formula One, however, has been just great."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Today began well, as our two debutants, Nicolas and Jimmy, together with Jos, completed a trouble-free practice this morning. Following on, Jos and Nicolas again completed their technical programmes, and Jos's lap in qualifying was as good as could have been achieved today. Sadly for Nicolas, he failed to set a time in qualifying due to an anti-stall problem, but overall, he has done a fantastic job on his first day. I'm sure there's a lot more to come from him tomorrow. Never having really driven an F1 car, Jimmy put in a very solid performance today and his times were very impressive. I must also say how pleased everyone is at European Minardi to have seen Justin Wilson's fine seventh-place qualifying performance for Jaguar Racing this afternoon. It just goes to show that all the faith we had in his talent was totally justified."

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