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Saturday's Selected Quotes - Germany


Kimi Raikkonen - 1st: "I am happy to be on pole which is the position that the team deserves after all the hard work. Surprisingly the car wasn't handling as well as in free practice this morning. My qualifying performance wasn't perfect as I had a short moment when I slid a little too much at the second to last corner due to oversteer. Anyway it's good to start from pole position, but I expect a tough race tomorrow. Unfortunately Juan Pablo has to start from the back following his off. Obviously I would have liked him to start from the front row to make it the optimum result for the team today, but that is motor racing."

Juan Pablo Montoya - 20th: "There is no excuse really. I made a mistake and simply lost the car. It was going to be a really quick lap, possibly pole and I thought all that is left now is to get a good exit out of the last corner. As I lifted, I lost the rear and that was it. I'm really upset for the team as everybody has been working so hard to make a one-two possible, and it really is important for us in the Championship. The car definitely has the potential. I will just have to give it my all in the race tomorrow and hope for the best to try and make it up to the team."

Ron Dennis: "This was a qualifying session of mixed emotions as we definitely had the opportunity to get both cars on the front row. Juan Pablo made a mistake, but he has the pace to make his way up the field. Kimi's pole position is well deserved and will put us in a strong position to challenge for the victory tomorrow."

Norbert Haug: "An excellent qualifying performance from Kimi. His pole position is the result of the good work of the team throughout yesterday and today. Without Juan Pablo's mistake both cars would have been on the front row."


Jenson Button - 2nd: "I'm obviously delighted to be on the front row again - for the second race in a row. The team have done a fantastic job to make sure we took a step forward here after Silverstone and Honda have made good progress with the engine. It was a good lap for me today, although we did have a little too much front end on the car which meant I had a few moments, especially coming into the stadium. We have made progress since Silverstone but not quite enough to challenge the front runners yet, I don't think. We will be closer though and happy with that because it provides us with momentum to keep moving forward throughout the year. This is actually the first time I've started inside the top twelve here so it is nice to be on the front row and hopefully we can take advantage of that in the race tomorrow."

Takuma Sato - 8th: "I'm pleased with my lap considering that I was one of the first drivers out on the track. It's always a disadvantage running early in the session but I'm pleased with how it went. We had a good morning's preparation and I think our race pace and strategy should be good for tomorrow."

Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director: "We are delighted with the qualifying results today. We experimented with different set-up ideas during the practice sessions, which allowed us to hit a good balance for qualifying. As is becoming customary, Jenson did a great job and we ended up a little ahead of where we anticipated, which should be helpful to our race strategy. Taku was hampered by his early qualifying order but did an equally impressive job. Michelin seems to have brought some very consistent tyres, as was evident by our drivers' long runs in practice, and the engine is also running really well. We are really looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "From our point of view the qualifying session went well with both guys doing a good job. We will see tomorrow when all the team strategies become clear."


Fernando Alonso - 3rd: "I am pretty pleased to be third this afternoon in fact - I could have been on the front row but it is actually quite good to be starting from the clean side of the track. I lost three or four tenths through the first corners: it was windier than this morning, and the first corner is very quick and I was a bit unsettled. Then, I didn't have the confidence to attack the braking zone at the next corner. I knew I was down after the first sector, and really pushed after that to make up some time, which I managed to do. We know that qualifying speed is our weak point at the moment, but the R25 is much quicker in race trim. I hope to make up a place at the start, and I am sure we have the right strategy. I want at least a podium -- and perhaps we will be able to fight for the win."

Giancarlo Fisichella - 4th: "The conditions were a bit more difficult this afternoon because the wind had increased, which makes the car harder to predict and mistakes are easier to make. That meant I didn't do such an aggressive lap as I could have done in other circumstances. Having said that, the higher track temperatures definitely improved the handling of the car. Overall, this is a good result because we have chosen a good strategy for tomorrow, which should allow us to fight for the podium at the very least."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Both drivers qualified in line with our expectations this afternoon. We knew from looking at the practice times that we would struggle to match McLaren on a single flying lap, but we are closer to them on race pace than qualifying speed. The weather predictions for tomorrow remain interesting, and at the moment there is a possibility of rain at the end of the Grand Prix. Come what may, I am confident it will be an exciting race."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "Everything is in place for an open race tomorrow. We had identified our likely competitors during practice this morning, Raikkonen and Montoya, and their sector times confirmed their speed in qualifying. On our side, we go into the race in a strong position: the car is consistent on long runs and our top speeds are competitive. Our practice work was completed without incident, and we hope to see a closely-fought race tomorrow."


Michael Schumacher - 5th: "I had a clean lap and I think I got the most out of the car, which behaved well. I don't think we ran with a particularly light fuel load compared with the other cars. It is clear that the two top teams are quicker than us, as can be seen from our performance in free practice. As for the race, maybe I can battle with Button, but aiming for the top is unrealistic. At least I am starting from the clean side of the grid and I hope to put on a good show for all the fans here."

Rubens Barrichello - 15th: "We had two options for this session: to go really quickly in qualifying and try for a good grid position, or to think more in terms of the race. I chose the second of those options, partly because this morning I did not feel the car was perfectly balanced and also I was bearing in mind that tomorrow could be very tough on the tyres. Of course, we will now have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see if I have made the right decision."

Jean Todt: "Our two drivers will be quite a way apart on the starting grid, which is the result of their having made different choices. It is clear that fifth and fifteenth places in qualifying are not what Ferrari aspires to. That also goes for Michael and to a greater extent for Rubens. But this is our current situation and all we can do is accept it and continue working as hard as possible with our friends at Bridgestone to try and return to a much more competitive level. It will be a long hard race tomorrow during which the different strategies, the cars' reliability and the wear rate of the tyres will be the key factors in deciding the outcome."

Ross Brawn: "At the moment, the main task we face is trying to catch up with the front runners in performance terms. We have new tyre technology here and we had our two drivers on different types of tyre this afternoon. The tyre Michael used proved to be much stronger than Rubens' choice. Now, we will have to see how the race develops in terms of those tyre choices. Rubens might be able to move up the order if his tyres prove to be more consistent. Michael got the most out of his package, but it is still not quick enough. The weather forecast for tomorrow is mixed and that might give us the chance to do better than our grid positions would suggest."


Mark Webber - 6th: "My lap wasn't too bad, even if I had to go out a bit early on in the session. We are doing OK here and we are definitely better than our performances in Silverstone and Magny Cours. This track is much less sensitive and our car responds better. We have a good strategy and we need to do the best we can for tomorrow's race. We'll see what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, of course if it rains it will be tricky, especially due to the poor visibility but this is a challenging part of our job. It usually provides a mixed result and it's a bit of a lottery, good for the fans!"

Nick Heidfeld - 7th: "It looks like our car has improved and this is encouraging. My lap was all right, only in the last sector I suffered a bit of understeer and probably lost some time there. >From this starting position it's realistic to aim to collect some points in the race tomorrow. Early to say, but from this qualifying it looks like our situation is improving."

Sam Michael (Technical Director): "It was a good qualifying session by both drivers. We have made some steady progress with our car, but we still have some work to do to reach the team on pole. But as ever we will keep pushing for here and the next races. Tonight we will study all the scenarios for the race as we understand that here is still a chance of rain showers for tomorrow."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "After some difficult weeks we can see that the team has made a step forward. The hard work in the wind tunnel and in Jerez has proved positive. This was a pleasing qualifying for us and we hope we can collect some points in the race from our starting positions. We had no problems on the engine side."


Jarno Trulli - 9th: "I had a slight problem with the brakes so I didn't have the confidence to push as hard as I would have liked. But I'm reasonably comfortable with where we are on the grid given that we've struggled for pace so far this weekend. It's hard to say how we can fare in the race but maybe some of the other cars will be on different strategies to us. We haven't had the best of times in the last two races so hopefully we can turn it around tomorrow and score some more points. We'll certainly be pushing very hard."

Ralf Schumacher - 12th: "That was a reasonably clean lap. The car was balanced well throughout and I made no mistakes. Perhaps I could have gained a tenth in the first sector but apart from that there were no problems. It's a very tight grid and hopefully we've made the right tyre choice for the race tomorrow. Obviously it will be a hard race from where we are but the package should work well in race conditions so we'll be doing our best to break into the points again."

Mike Gascoyne ­ Technical Director Chassis: "We have to be slightly disappointed with our qualifying positions. Both Jarno and Ralf put in reasonably clean laps. But it was a very close session and one or two tenths would have made a lot of difference. Still, we've aimed the weekend at our best race strategy so we'll see when the cars in front of us stop tomorrow. Looking at the times up and down the grid I certainly think we've got a race strategy that should see both cars getting into the points."

Red Bull

David Coulthard - 11th: "I locked up at the hairpin, ran a little wide and lost a couple of tenths there. It's always difficult to make the time back up again after something like that, but that was a better qualifying lap than what we've experienced recently. We got closer to the times we set during the morning practices, and I think we're looking in pretty good shape ahead of the race. It depends what everyone's strategy is for tomorrow of course, and also how quick or slow they are before they make their first pit stop, but I won't be the first in, that's for sure. Hopefully I'll be able to leap-frog a few positions during the race, particularly if I don't manage to at the start."

Christian Klien - 10th: "I was able to push quite hard during the timed lap, definitely more so than on the last couple of races. I think that was the most confident I've been in the car since Montreal. There was good balance and it seemed to work well on the tyres. All in all, I'm happy. I'm also in front of my team- mate, which is a little bit of a success for me, I think."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Both drivers set good lap times today. We've worked hard on qualifying since Silverstone and I think we've set up a reasonable starting point ahead of tomorrow's race. It's our best qualifying session since Monaco, so we're looking forward to tomorrow."


Jacques Villeneuve - 14th: "My only problem came after the first sector, when I started trying to brake hard. The moment I touched the pedal the front wheels just locked, and I wasn't even being aggressive. After that I had to go a little easier on the pedal to avoid that, which cost me some time. It was frustrating, but it should be okay in the race once things have warmed up thoroughly after a couple of laps."

Felipe Massa - 13th: "I had a bad lap today. The car had a bit of understeer this morning, but otherwise it was okay. But straight away this afternoon it was oversteering. The track temperature had gone up a little but that really doesn't explain why the car changed so much. It can't change like that. It's very disappointing, after the way we were going yesterday and this morning."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "This was a very disappointing result for us. This morning both cars were well balanced, but by this session their handling had deteriorated. Partly this may have been because the track conditions changed, though that was the same for every team. Jacques was complaining of the front wheels locking, while Felipe's car was suffering from oversteer. We are looking at the telemetry now to see if there is any obvious reason."


Christijan Albers - 16th: "I think I did a reasonable lap in qualifying and produced a good time, so I'm quite happy with today's performance. We will see how we go tomorrow, but I think we have a reasonable set-up for the race."

Robert Doornbos - 17th: "It was easy to wake up this morning, knowing that I would be driving today. The qualifying was pretty exciting, like the first day at school. I was a bit nervous about trying to make a clean lap, but it went fine, and now I'm very interested to see how our strategy works tomorrow. I'm looking forward to my first race in Formula One, and will be putting 100 per cent effort into doing a good job, both for the team and for myself. It's going to be another exciting adventure."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Today saw both Minardi drivers put in stunning efforts with substantial fuel loads to record 16th and 17th places on the grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix. Both drivers were on the pace throughout the morning sessions, and as a result of the technical improvements from the team, the Minardi Cosworth PS05 is showing continued progress race on race. We now look forward to tomorrow."


Narain Karthikeyan - 19th: "I made a mistake in the first corner and then I was trying to gain the time back. I was pushing harder but I made another mistake and we decided that I should go straight to the pits to save our tyres. It is a pity because the car felt OK. I was pretty satisfied with the balance of the car and I am sure we have made the right choice of Bridgestone tyres for the race tomorrow. I will now do my best to have a good race on Sunday."

Tiago Monteiro - 18th: "My run went OK. I had a relatively clean lap. I have had a few problems finding a good balance with my car during the weekend so we will have to find out some solutions for tomorrow's Grand Prix. The race will be long here in Hockenheim and some rain is expected, so it could be exciting and maybe bring us some luck."

Adrian Burgess - Sporting Director "It was quite clear to see that Narain's qualifying session did not run to plan. He made two small but costly mistakes therefore we decided to abort his lap. Tiago was a bit put off at the start of his lap by having a Minardi in front of him for two or three corners, which distracted him. On a whole it was not a great day but anything and everything could happen tomorrow and we will see what the weather will bring."


Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director: "We are set for another very interesting race- and several Michelin teams are clearly in a very good position. The pace of the McLarens and Renaults is self-evident, Jenson Button's BAR-Honda is well placed and I wouldn't rule out Juan Pablo Montoya's chances of challenging for a podium position from the back of the grid. Our tyres performed well in yesterday's cooler conditions and were very strong again today, when temperatures were more like those we are used to at Hockenheim. The forecast might still be uncertain for tomorrow, but the competitiveness of our tyres is very obvious."

Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin F1 activities: "Our partners have opted for tyre solutions that will combine strong overall performance with excellent durability. These choices were relatively easy to make for the teams. There are some significant tyre loads here - particularly through the long, fast, left-hand sweep that leads to the first hairpin - but we have had no wear-rate issues at all. The warmer temperatures today were more suitable for our chosen compound's natural operating windows and I am very confident about our prospects for the race."


Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport, said: "The three teams spent the morning sessions preparing their cars for qualifying and the race tomorrow. Track conditions were reasonable, enabling the teams to try various set-ups and improve their cars for the remainder of the weekend. In qualifying, Michael produced a reasonable result giving him a good chance of being able to jump further forward at the start of the race and although Rubens is further down the grid, we expect he too will be able to move up through field as the race progresses. Minardi and Jordan had a reasonable day today too with Christijan Albers impressing. The only exception was Karthikeyan who unfortunately made a mistake and did not complete his qualifying lap."

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