Head praises Ralf's pole performance

Williams technical director Patrick Head has praised the performance of Ralf Schumacher after the German claimed his third pole position of the season in qualifying for the French Grand Prix

Head praises Ralf's pole performance

Head's comments come in contrast to those reported after the Canadian Grand Prix, when he was critical of Ralf's failure to attempt to overtake brother Michael for the lead.

"I think a bit of that was journalists having these ideas and wanting me to express them," said Head. "I was asked questions like 'did you want Ralf to pass Michael in Canada? Well, what was I supposed to say? Ralf is a fantastic driver, and he did a great job today."

Although team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya looked stronger in qualifying in the early stages of the season, Schumacher has had a definite edge in recent races.

"Ralf's been able to explore the limits of the car more than Juan Pablo," said Head. "I think a lot of that comes from experience. Remember that Ralf has had six seasons in F1, whilst Juan Pablo has only had three.

"But both our drivers did a fantastic job with the car today, although we need to ensure that we turn out performance in qualifying into results in the race tomorrow. The Ferrari is still a formidable car and Michael Schumacher is very strong. I think that the Bridgestone tyre is still very good. I think it's still very open over a long run in race conditions."

Head was quick to point out that the two Williams drivers will be allowed to race against each other tomorrow, so long as they obey one golden rule.

"We have no team orders, of course - that would be illegal," he said. The only rule we have is that team-mates don't take each other off. We like to have two drivers who will race each other. If you're the kind of driver who says 'after you' to your team-mate you probably don't belong in F1."

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