Saturday's Selected Quotes - Britain
Fernando Alonso - 1st: "It was a good lap today, and there was a really nice balance on the car. It is quite unexpected for me to be on the pole, to be honest, but the team did a great job overnight to improve the car, and it felt quick straight away this morning. That meant I went into qualifying with a good level of confidence, and I could really attack on the timed lap. Looking to tomorrow, I think we will see more similar strategies than in Magny-Cours, which will make it hard for people behind to make up positions, but it is still a long race here and anything can happen. It is hard for Kimi to suffer another penalty, but from our side, it doesn't change anything in the approach: we have done our maximum so far this weekend and got pole; we will do exactly the same tomorrow."
Giancarlo Fisichella - 7th: "I didn't have a perfect lap this afternoon. We worked on the car last night to improve the balance, and it was better today with less understeer, but the grip levels were still quite poor on my lap. I also made some small mistakes, which meant the lap was not as good as it could have been. But given my strategy I think I am still in a good position, and the R25 should be competitive tomorrow afternoon."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "We saw another fantastic qualifying effort from Fernando this afternoon to claim his fourth pole position of the season. We should not forget though that Giancarlo put in a good effort considering the strategy he is running. Of course, we have benefited from Kimi's bad luck this morning but I am sure that like in Magny-Cours, we will soon see him in the hunt at the front of the field in race conditions."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "Our running this morning suggested to us that our level of performance was competitive with our rivals, and that has apparently been confirmed this afternoon - although we have the usual unknown of thee fuel loads different cars are running, that still has to be played out. However, we have gone about our race preparations in our normal, serious fashion and it is fantastic to see one car starting from the best possible position, and the other very much in the hunt for the podium. Of course, the weather remains an unknown factor, as the temperatures have stayed stubbornly low all weekend, but we expect tomorrow to be much hotter, which will certainly present the teams with some performance and reliability challenges. Overall, though, it has been a good afternoon and it is pleasing to take a first pole position with our new C specification engine."
Kimi Raikkonen - 2nd: "It's frustrating having to change engines and incur the 10 place penalty again, but we showed in France last weekend what is possible. There is nothing I can do but get on with things, push as hard as possible and hope our strategists got things right. The lap was OK, but I ran a bit wide in one of the quick corners. Also, as the engine failure happened early in the second session, I was unable to run with new tyres then which made things more challenging during my flying lap. In racing anything can happen and we will do our best and hope for an exciting Grand Prix tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th: "It was an OK lap time. I could have been one or two tenths quicker, but was a bit careful coming into the first corner because of the wind and all of a sudden lost a lot of grip when I turned in at Becketts. However the rest of the lap was pretty good and I pushed like crazy. Qualifying is important here at Silverstone and whilst it's a disadvantage to be out early, I still managed to get on the second row and I hope it will be a strong race for me."
Ron Dennis: "The grid positions merely reflect our race strategy which, of course, in the end is what determines the outcome of the race. Both Kimi and Juan Pablo did exceptionally good jobs which, as in France, will only become apparent as the race unfolds."
Norbert Haug: "A very good lap of Kimi's. After we had to change his engine following the oil pump drive failure Kimi made the best out of the situation qualifying with the second best time, 27 thousands of a second behind Fernando Alonso's pole time. Juan Pablo also did a good job being fourth fastest after having to go out for his qualifying lap as the fifth car today when the track conditions were by far not at their best. Sorry for Kimi and his team, the mechanics had to work extremely hard to make his qualifying lap possible. I hope they will get their reward tomorrow. Of course, changing the engine on two consecutive weekends is not what we had planned. I'm sure that everybody at Mercedes-Ilmor will work extremely hard and precise to avoid such failures in the future."
Jenson Button - 3rd: "It's a great feeling to be lining up on the front row of the grid at my home race and in my highest-ever qualifying position here at Silverstone. We got everything we could out of the car for qualifying but we do have a very good race balance and strategy, so I think we can have a good race from here and target the podium for sure. The car has struggled a little through Becketts and Copse, which has been a bit of a worry, but it is working very well in the low-speed corners.
"It's so nice to be in this position and to be able to go head to head with the competition. We've had a pretty tough time of it this year, so it's great for the fans and the team who have worked so hard. The crowd here is a big boost to me and it's awesome to see so many fans and union jacks out there. I'm sure that we can put on a good show for them tomorrow, particularly in what has been a very difficult week for Britain."
Takuma Sato - 8th: "We had a small balance issue this morning which meant that I couldn't do any good laps on new tyres, and this affected my preparation. I am pleased that we were able to sort this out and put in a solid lap for qualifying. I still struggled with grip through the high-speed corners, as expected, but it's nice to be able to show a reasonable pace. My aim this weekend is to score points and I certainly think we can do that from here."
Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director: "Being on the front row at your home Grand Prix is great. Jenson did a fantastic lap again with a car that improved throughout the weekend. Taku has recovered a lot of the lost ground from Friday, and did a good job to put himself on the 4th row. We are very much looking forward to the race tomorrow since not only are we starting high up the grid but the car has shown good consistency in all of the practice sessions."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "Another excellent qualifying lap from Jenson, and a solid performance from Taku after some good work this morning to find a set-up he was comfortable with. The engine has worked well again and we'll be aiming to make it a special day for the team and Jenson's home fans tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli - 5th: "I'm happy because that was a good lap from me. I suffered a bit with understeer, which maybe cost me a few tenths. But the balance was still good and I could push hard. It's a shame we're not even further forward, but the second row is a good space to start and it means we can look forward to a positive day tomorrow. We've had a good weekend all round and we did some effective work on our race set-up this morning. So I'm confident that we should have fewer problems tomorrow in the race than we saw last week at Magny-Cours and we can bring home a better result."
Ralf Schumacher - 9th: "That was a pretty good lap from me. It was a clean lap, even if it was nothing special. I have to think we're in good shape for tomorrow because we have had a positive weekend so far. Given the strategy we have I think we're in a reasonable position to come home with another strong points finish tomorrow. Overall we did a very good job during the practice sessions this morning so I'm pretty sure that tomorrow it will all look even better."
Mike Gascoyne Technical Director Chassis: "We've had two pretty good days so far here at Silverstone. In fact, qualifying was probably our worst session of the weekend. But that was because our qualifying was very much aimed at a good strategy for tomorrow's race, and we're confident that will pay off. Jarno put in his normal excellent job on Saturday, putting in a similar time to the one he managed this morning. The only problem we had was that Ralf struggled to find the grip he had in the morning. But we're in a good position to have both cars scoring points and hopefully racing for the podium. It's been a very positive two days and now we have to look to finish it off tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello - 6th: "I am quite happy with this qualifying performance as a place on the third row of the grid is not so bad. I gave it my all on the lap. It is clear we are still not in a position to fight for pole and of course, I am not very happy about that. But I think we will have a good race pace, partly because the Bridgestone tyres we have here should be more competitive than those we used in Magny-Cours. So it's a case of going for an attacking strategy, an aggressive drive and try to get a good result!"
Michael Schumacher - 10th: "I am not very happy with my lap, especially in the third sector. I had problems there as the car did not react as it should. By the end of the lap, the rear tyre pressures were coming up a bit too much, which explains the lack of grip and the excessive sliding. We will have to find out why. I also had a difficult moment in the second sector, but it did not cost me much time. For sure, starting from the fifth row tomorrow, it will be a case of reacting to how the race unfolds rather than going on the attack."
Jean Todt: "Sixth place for Rubens and tenth for Michael is how the qualifying session panned out for Ferrari. When looking at the overall picture, we have to take into account the unknown factor of how much fuel the others had on board. However, it is obvious that we are less than satisfied and that, starting from the third and fifth rows means we face a very difficult race tomorrow afternoon. We have a well balanced car and we know we can count on Bridgestone tyres that should deliver consistent performance throughout the race. This factor, along with strategy and overall reliability of the package will be the key tomorrow, as always in fact. Our most realistic target is to get both cars home in the points to keep the fight for both Championships open."
Ross Brawn: "We were not able to compete for pole today, but we were looking for good grid positions to form the basis of a strong race tomorrow. Rubens is in a good position, but it was a little bit disappointing for Michael. We will study the data to understand what happened, because the lap looked a little bit messy. I don't think the car was quite what he expected or wanted. We will try and improve the situation for tomorrow's race, within the limits of the parc ferme regulations."
Jacques Villeneuve - 11th: "Maybe I didn't get the tyres quite up to temperature on my out lap, but I lost a bit of grip in Copse. After that though the rest of my quick lap was good and I'm happy with it. The new aerodynamics are working well and I had none of the understeer I had yesterday. That allowed me to drive the car hard, the way I like to, so it was a good qualifying today."
Felipe Massa - 16th: "I knew that the track would not be at its best as I had to go out second, so we tailored my strategy accordingly. With that in mind I'm quite happy with what I did this afternoon. The lap time may not look great, but I'm confident for the race. The car is very good on long runs, and the new aero package is a step forward."
Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "Jacques lost a little bit in the first sector, but the second and third sectors were good. We put Felipe on a strategy that was suitable for his starting position for qualifying, as we knew that the track would not be at its peak in terms of grip. "Our target was to qualify in the top 10 and we achieved that, and though it is early days with it, the performance of our new aerodynamic package has been encouraging."
Mark Webber - 12th: "Nick and I are still not quick enough. We really need to find more grip. We will be conducting some more investigation over the weekend and we have decided to run the cars in two different set-ups to compare the data. We hope we will get it right for Hockenheim. We've got to work hard, even if it's not easy at the moment."
Nick Heidfeld - 14th: "Together we decided that I would use the old aerodynamics package today. We tried various things yesterday and in the end I said I would like to go for it and try to see how the old configuration behaved. Today the old and the new packages seemed quite similarly. It is also true that the other teams have improved their cars, and of course we haven't been developing our old package. We know it's a bit of a drastic decision to change the car midway through a GP weekend, but we struggled quite a lot in France and again yesterday, so last night we took this decision."
Sam Michael (Technical Director): "The new bodywork, introduced in Magny-Cours, is a result of our aggressive development programme, which to date has delivered significant competitive gains. However, pushing hard sometimes means problems will arise. We continue to work at the factory and on track to find performance. For the British GP, the drivers have taken different directions. Mark will run the new configuration while Nick has decided to rely on a more conservative but validated bodywork configuration. We have a good strategy for the race and we look forward to the battle tomorrow."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "Today's qualifying result reflects the situation last weekend in Magny-Cours. This was to be expected without any testing that could help us make a step forward. The package in this form is not good enough to achieve a top placing but maybe with some luck we can score some points this weekend. On the engine side we had no problems."
David Coulthard - 13th: "The small electronics problem we had this morning was quickly rectified, but my qualifying lap didn't start so well. We were in a routine of going from sixth to seventh gear before Turn one, then going back down to sixth again, but it didn't happen on that lap. As a driver, there's nothing worse, than going into a corner expecting a shift that doesn't come. I was therefore disadvantaged in the first corner, but other than that it was not so bad. We looked strong yesterday and I would expect that the pace we showed in the first two practice sessions will come through in the race tomorrow. I wanted to qualify in front of Webber, as I think our car is quicker than his in races and his pace might hold us up. We'll just have to hope we're carrying more fuel than he is."
Christian Klien - 15th: "That was not brilliant. I made a mistake in one of the chicanes and lost a bit of time. It's always difficult when you go out first, as you never know how much grip there is."
Narain Karthikeyan - 17th: "I had a decent lap today. I think the wind was a bit stronger compared to this morning so it changed the balance of the car a little but I think my time was pretty good and showed that we are well ahead of the Minardis.
Tiago Monteiro - 20th: "Unfortunately after the penalty we had yesterday morning for changing the engine after I experienced some problems, we had to adapt our strategy for the race tomorrow. This explains why I only did an installation lap. It is really a pity because I was quite fast on this circuit yesterday and this morning. The car was also doing really well so it is a bit frustrating. However, I will push really hard tomorrow at the start and try to overtake some cars and then do my best to bring the car home."
Adrian Burgess - Sporting Director: "Everything went pretty much as we expected it today. Narain did a good lap, which put us where we believe we are compared to Minardi. However, after this morning's sessions, we thought we were going to be a bit quicker. Tiago did not do a time due to the unscheduled change of engine we had yesterday. We decided to do an installation lap only, to make sure that everything was OK with the car and we will be starting from the back of the grid tomorrow. Nevertheless, we are in good shape for the race, which should be very interesting."
Christijan Albers - 18th: "It was a bit difficult to get enough heat in the tyres in just the one warm-up lap, but even so, I'm satisfied with my qualifying effort. I think it was a good lap, particularly considering Patrick and I are on similar strategies tomorrow. As far as the circuit is concerned, Silverstone is a very nice track, but doesn't suit the Minardi chassis as well as some others we visit. Undoubtedly, tomorrow's race will prove to be tough, but we'll see what we can do."
Patrick Friesacher - 19th: "I'm a bit disappointed with the qualifying result. The morning practice was good, as we were able to improve lap after lap during both sessions. Unfortunately, I had a problem with the brakes on my qualifying lap, and the chassis balance wasn't perfect either. The track temperature rose this afternoon, and I think that affected the handling. As a result, I was struggling with the car, and my lap time reflected that."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Despite relatively trouble-free third and fourth practice sessions today, the team failed to capitalise on this in qualifying. Having said that, both cars have healthy fuel loads on board for tomorrow, and we therefore look forward to an interesting race."
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director: "Track conditions have not altered a great deal since yesterday - an abrasive surface such as the one here at Silverstone is less prone to dramatic changes than some of the smoother surfaces Formula One cars race on. As always, the order might be shuffled a little tomorrow - it would be no surprise to see drivers attempting a two or three stop strategy - but it is clear that our tyres are extremely well suited to this ultra-demanding track."
Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin F1 activities: "Today's qualifying session underlined Michelin's strength in depth, with four of our partners among the fastest five teams. Two of the four available Michelin tyres will be used in the race, but there are only subtle differences in their tread specification. So far this weekend, both have demonstrated the cutting-edge performance and durability that are Michelin trademarks."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport: "Rubens did a good job today and he'll start from the third row tomorrow which should give him a chance of a strong race. A little disappointed with Michael's qualifying time but we know he should have good race performance and Ferrari has a strong race strategy. He should be able to improve his position and compete with the front runners in the field. We are expecting the weather to be a little warmer, making tyre consistency important. In the practices we have seen some consistent times from the Ferrari drivers so I am expecting them to be strong in the race. Jordan and Minardi will have to work hard as they start from the back of the grid but they too have been running consistently so I expect them to be in with a chance of improving on their grid positions."
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