Saturday's Selected Quotes - Hungary
Michael Schumacher - 1st: "I drove a good lap and I am delighted to be back here after suffering for so long. I am happy to be on pole, happy that it is with this margin and also that we look in good shape for the race. This is good for Bridgestone, who have suffered with us and this result is an excellent return for the effort they have put in. We saw from Rubens' performance yesterday that, not only was the package quick over a single lap, it was also consistent over a longer run. There is no reason not to believe in a Ferrari comeback, but at the same time we will have to wait and see if this result is a case of the car and tyre suiting this track or if it will become a general trend. This is a great result and a great motivation for the whole team. As for being on pole, I think it is more important that I am on the clean side of the track, because I do not share the view that at this circuit, grid position is vital, because I think strategy in the race will be more important.. I am not worried about the hot conditions."
Rubens Barrichello - 7th: "Basically I think I drove a good lap apart from the fact that I lost a bit on the brakes at the beginning of the lap due to a change in set-up on the car, which made the brakes feel a little bit different. Bridgestone has done a phenomenal job to provide us with a tyre that has allowed us to be competitive again in qualifying. I have a good strategy and I know I can expect to have a very consistent performance level in the race. So I really hope I can get a good result."
Jean Todt: "We had forgotten what pole position tasted like and today, we can savour it again thanks to an extraordinary lap from Michael. This result makes us very happy and is the reward for the vast amount of work carried out over the last few months by the team along with our friends at Bridgestone. Rubens' seventh place is also a good result, given that his time is very close to that of the cars ahead of him. Now we face the toughest task of the weekend, namely the race. As usual, reliability, strategy and the consistency of tyre performance will play key roles. For our part, as usual, we will give it our all. A good result would be important for the morale of the team and all our fans."
Ross Brawn: "I am absolutely delighted with this performance as it has been a hard year for us. Everyone, particularly Bridgestone, has kept working and we could see from the beginning of the weekend that we have a very strong tyre here and we have had the proof of that today. It proves we never gave up and we will do our best to repeat today's performance tomorrow in the race. Of course, this is not just down to the tyres. We have had some updates to the aero package over the last few races and they have also contributed to this result."
Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd: "It's good to be on the front row as my lap was not perfect. I had a bit of oversteer on the first corner and I already knew after the first couple of corners that I wouldn't catch Michael Schumacher. So for the rest of the lap I was a bit cautious and concentrated on a good clean lap and getting on the front row. I am not worried about being on the dirtier side of the track as we have shown that our starts are really good this year. I am confident that I am in a very good position for the race if everything goes to plan."
Kimi Raikkonen - 4th: "Going out first in the session was making things obviously harder for me today. The track conditions constantly improved during the session, and I suffered as the level of grip was not at its best, and it was really slippery. However, I feel that I pushed as hard as I could to make up any deficit. I am happy with my lap and under the circumstances I feel that we have done the best job that we could expect. It is now very important for me to get a good start. "
Ron Dennis: "An outstanding qualifying performance from both drivers. A good start coupled with our race strategy will give Kimi and Juan Pablo every opportunity to have strong races."
Norbert Haug: "A good basis with Juan Pablo on the first and Kimi on the second row. Taking into account that Kimi had a big handicap being out first for his qualifying lap. Juan Pablo's performance was excellent too. We are looking forward to a good race and our target has to be to finish with both cars on the podium."
Jarno Trulli - 3rd: "That was a very good lap, so I'm happy. We always knew this was going to be a tough session because I was going out so early after our problems in Hockenheim. I also had a fuel system problem this morning so I didn't get a chance to try out the car on new tyres. That meant it was a bit of a guess for the balance on new tyres, but our car always goes well over one lap and I tried my best. I gradually built up my confidence as I went round, which was why the third sector was the best. Looking to the race, it's always a tough afternoon here but we'll try to keep up our pace."
Ralf Schumacher - 5th: "All in all that was a pretty good lap for me. It was difficult to get the optimum out of the car because I had a bit of oversteer, but it was reasonably clean. And being fifth on the grid sets us up well for tomorrow, particularly because we will start on the clean side of the grid. We think we've got a good strategy so we'll have to see how it works out. We're certainly aiming for another good result. Since they changed the layout at the first corner there are more chances for passing here. The race will be long in the heat so it's a matter of making no mistakes and hoping for the best."
Dieter Gass Chief Race Engineer: "We are obviously delighted with today's qualifying performance. We've looked in strong shape throughout the whole weekend and from 3rd and 5th on the grid we are looking forward to a strong race. Jarno obviously had a tough time having to go out so early in the session, particularly after missing out on running this morning. But in the end you could see from Raikkonen that the circuit wasn't quite as bad as we expected at the beginning of the session. In the end both drivers put in strong laps and having them both start from the clean side of the grid is good news for the race. We're confident about our strategy and we'll look to reap more rewards tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso - 6th position: "It is frustrating to be P6 and P9, but we have not quite been competitive all weekend. We didn't manage to dial the understeer out of the car for qualifying, so the balance was not perfect, and I had a few moments round the lap. The one that really cost me time was in the last corner, where I got a bit off line and the car began understeering. I ended up in the grass on the exit and that definitely cost me positions. It is particularly disappointing to qualify badly here because overtaking is very hard - the only opportunities will be at the pitstops and the start. We will be concentrating on those areas tonight so that we can make the most of our situation tomorrow."
Giancarlo Fisichella - 9th: "I had a clean lap, but I think I was too conservative in the final sector - and it clearly cost me time. Ninth is not a great position, but in reality we have been struggling a bit to get the car working well at this circuit. Looking to tomorrow, I think we have a good strategy, so hopefully we can use that to overtake people at the stops and we had very good starts in Hockenheim, which should help us gain some positions too."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "A disappointing qualifying session for the team. Fernando lost four grid positions in the final corner, while Giancarlo also missed out on a position by just three hundredths of a second. As always, we feel confident in our race pace and the preparations we have made for the race tomorrow, which will certainly be run in extremely hot conditions. We are looking forward to a more competitive showing in the Grand Prix than we achieved this afternoon."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "Clearly, sixth and ninth positions on the grid are well below our expectations, but we know that the smallest mistakes can prove costly in qualifying - and we fell victim to that today. Fernando will have the added disadvantage of starting on the dirty side of the track, so all in all, this was not the afternoon we had hoped for. However, we are confident in the preparations we have made for the race and the cars showed encouraging speed on their laps, mistakes aside. The surprise of the afternoon was certainly to see Schumacher on pole by such a margin which presumably indicates that a range of strategies will be used tomorrow afternoon. We will now concentrate on our race planning, in order to achieve the best results possible from our disappointing grid positions."
Jenson Button - 8th: "8th on the grid is not a great position to be starting from but hopefully we have a good strategy compared with the cars in front of me. I feel that I was unable to get much more out of the car today because we had pretty low grip. It also looks like we will have some different competition to fight with tomorrow. I'm sure we can achieve our target of some good points from here though so we'll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully the temperature will have cooled by a few degrees as well."
Takuma Sato - 10th: "It was a better day for me today. In the morning we worked on the set-up which we could not do yesterday due to lost running time. We caught up nicely and I was happy with the balance of the car. In qualifying I felt that I had less grip and a bit of oversteer in the middle sector cost me a little time. In the end it was a reasonable lap and we now look forward to see what we can do from this position and hope that we have a strong package for tomorrow."
Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director: "We are reasonably happy with our qualifying slots and both drivers had good clean laps. We suspect there are different strategies at play in the front half of the field, therefore it is hard to draw any definite conclusions. The cars are fairly well-balanced and we hope our homework will pay good dividends tomorrow."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Engineering Director, Honda Racing Development: "The drivers did a good job in very hot weather conditions. This morning we continued the good set-up work from yesterday and achieved a lot of solid preparation for the qualifying session. This afternoon, Takuma lost a bit of time in the second sector but both drivers performed well against our expectations for today. We'll have to see how the various strategies unfold tomorrow but I am looking forward to a strong race for us."
David Coulthard - 13th: "I'm a little disappointed. I had a little bit of a wobble at Turn one and know I could have extracted more time in the middle section, but that's what I achieved today. It's now a question of looking ahead to the race. I didn't give myself the best preparation for qualifying this morning as I went off the track on my new tyres, and that was effectively the only time I had to try them out before qualifying. I knew I was always going to give away a little time after that, but we'll just have to see what we can do tomorrow."
Christian Klien - 11th: "Not a bad qualifying time for me, I think. The balance of the car felt much better in qualifying than it did this morning, so I was able to push quite hard. It was a pretty clean lap with no mistakes so I'm happy. It's also good to have gone faster than my teammate David."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Christian drove a strong lap with no real mistakes and got a good time. David was quicker in the first sector, but lost a little bit of a time in the middle section. We're pleased with the strategy we've adopted here and with the performance of both cars today."
Nick Heidfeld - 12th: "I am happy with my lap. At the beginning, the balance was particularly good although later in the lap I suffered a bit but all in all it was ok. I have always liked this track and I am confident I can have a good race tomorrow and collect some points. Our car has definitely improved thanks to all the new aero parts but the gap to the front runners has been so big in the last three races that it will take some time before it's filled."
Mark Webber - 16th: "Going out for qualifying second, especially on this track, is obviously a great drawback, although I must admit track conditions were not as bad as I expected. My first two sectors weren't too bad but I lost a bit of time in the last sector. The car has improved, I can feel that, but we are still not where we want to be."
Sam Michael (Technical Director): "So far the improvements that we have brought to the car are working well. We obviously still have some work to do and we will keep pushing hard. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see where the strategies are as it is quite a mixed grid. Temperatures will be high in tomorrow's race, so we are looking at this as well."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "In qualifying, Nick achieved the time we were expecting while Mark suffered from his early starting position. We won't see the true situation until the first stops have happened tomorrow. We hope that at least Nick will be able to finish in the points. We didn't suffer any technical problems in the session."
Jacques Villeneuve - 15th: "The balance was pretty good, but that was as fast as the car would go with the strategy we chose. Actually, I expected to be slower than I was going so early in the session when the track was slippery, because Monaco and Hungary are both places where it gets much better as things progress. Being only three tenths of a second off Felipe - I'm quite happy with that, especially as our race pace is going to be better than our qualifying speed."
Felipe Massa - 14th: "The balance on my car was reasonable, but it just wasn't quick enough. The lap was good enough for what we had this afternoon, but I couldn't go faster. It's going to be a difficult race starting this far back, but let's try to finish at least. You never know what can happen here; it's a very hot race and maybe not everyone will make it home."
Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "We arrived at a satisfactory set-up on both cars after the problems we had achieving a good handling balance yesterday, but we lacked qualifying pace. However, we know that we will be in better shape in the race with the strategy that we have chosen."
Christijan Albers - 17th: "I'm glad today's qualifying went well, and now we'll wait to see how the performance of the car is in the race tomorrow. We had some bad luck at the beginning of the weekend and lost quite a bit of time in the garage on Friday, but hopefully, we can get it together for the race so the car remains well balanced."
Robert Doornbos - 19th: "We did some good work this morning and I think found a good race set-up for the car. We had to make a slight compromise for qualifying, and I had a bit of a moment in Turn One with the brakes and ran wide. I tried to recover the rest of the lap, but then had another moment in the third sector. I therefore couldn't get the optimum lap time, as I would have liked, but for the race, on used tyres, the car is very good, so we are definitely feeling optimistic for tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Another strong performance from the Minardi drivers in qualifying saw Christijan ahead of our nearest rivals and Robert split the Jordans after he made a small mistake under braking in the first sector of his qualifying lap. Overall, the team's performance has been strong so far this weekend, and with continuing improvements to the car and a sensible strategy for tomorrow's 20th Hungarian Grand Prix, we are looking forward to the race."
Narain Karthikeyan - 18th: "My qualifying lap was quite clean but the air and track temperatures were very high, so it will be interesting to see what will happen during the Grand Prix. I also think the track was a bit slower compared to this morning. However, I do think we have a good strategy for tomorrow and I am pretty confident about our Bridgestone tyre choice as well."
Tiago Monteiro - 20th: "We had some engine issues this morning in free practice. Therefore, we took the decision not to take any unnecessary risks for tomorrow's race and change the engine. We had to adapt our strategy and this explains why I only did an installation lap in order to make sure everything is fine and also to save fuel and tyres. It is a bit frustrating but this is part of the game. However, it is going to be a long race in very hot conditions, so anything could happen."
Adrian Burgess - Sporting Director: "First of all, I would like to thank Toyota for showing their faith in joining Jordan and Midland again next year, which will please everybody at the factory and the people here at the circuit. I would also like to welcome on board Johnny Herbert, who will be a welcome breath of fresh air as he is a very experienced and likeable character. There is no doubt that everybody will get on well with him. In practice this morning, we had a small issue with Tiago's engine and had to change our strategy. Narain had a good clean lap and we are happy with our strategy for tomorrow."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport: "An excellent performance from Michael, it's good to see him back on top. We have done a lot of work over the past few months and that has begun to pay off today. It's good to see the latest new compound working well and we hope to see it continue to perform well in the race tomorrow. Rubens will also be starting from a strong position and he should be able to benefit from the car-tyre package as he has been running consistently well all weekend. The Jordan and Minardi drivers have been working hard, too, so I expect them to be pushing the other teams ahead of them. Our tyres have the speed and now I would like to see our teams use that to run a fast, consistent race tomorrow."
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director: "It is shaping up to be an interesting grand prix.It will be interesting to see how the various strategies unravel. Remember, on several occasions this year we have seen Michelin drivers condemned to the lower reaches of the grid through circumstance, yet they have still come through to finish on the podium. I'm comfortable with our position and am confident our tyres will be capable of delivering yet another victory tomorrow."
Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin F1 activities: "There has not been much to choose between our two tyre compounds and both will feature in the race. Track temperatures have been up in the high 40s today and we are expecting more of the same tomorrow. It is going to be a punishing grand prix that will demand the best of drivers and tyres alike, but both Michelin compounds have demonstrated a great blend of speed and consistency throughout the past two days."
Post-Qualifying Press Conference - Hungary
Alonso Happy for Schumacher to Win
About this article
Saturday's Selected Quotes - Hungary
It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee
In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era
Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…
Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK
Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?
For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak
The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship