Saturday's Selected Quotes - Monaco
Kimi Raikkonen - 1sT: "I'm happy with my qualifying lap and the gap to the opposition. The car has been working well from the start of running so I knew we would be in with a good chance for provisional pole position. I could probably have gone even faster but was a little cautious at the Tabac corner where the track was still slightly slippery following Ralf Schumacher's accident and as a result I took a slightly different line. Pole position is always important but especially at Monaco, so we will continue to work hard to maintain our advantage. Well done to the entire team and let's continue our fight tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya - time deleted: "A decent qualifying lap, but I suffered from lack of grip through Casino Square and slid a bit. However our Michelin tyre should be excellent in the race and in general the car is working really well here. It should be an interesting session tomorrow. Our target now is to improve our place on the grid in order to get a good starting position. A lot of people have been asking about the incident in this morning's second practice session. Basically I slowed down to avoid hitting Ralf and tried to move out of the way because I knew Villeneuve was behind me."
Ron Dennis: "An outstanding lap from Kimi providing him with a significant time advantage going into tomorrow's second qualifying. The circuit conditions following Ralf Schumacher's accident were not perfect which of course makes Kimi's lap even more impressive. Juan Pablo's solid fifth placed performance puts him in a position where an improvement on the grid is more than possible."
Norbert Haug: "An exciting first qualifying session which saw a fantastic performance from Kimi and the team who prepared a perfect car for him. Kimi's lap was just excellent and despite the bad track conditions at the Tabac corner after Ralf Schumacher's accident he maintained his concentration and posted the fastest lap time of the weekend so far. Juan Pablo's lap is hopefully a basis for further improvement in tomorrow's second qualifying."
Fernando Alonso - 2nd: "I am extremely happy with P2 after that session. The circuit conditions were unknown for me after Ralf's accident, because I did not have the chance to see anybody else run on the circuit before me as I was on my out-lap when Jarno (Trulli) was qualifying. That meant it was a question of staying flat on the exit of Tabac and hoping the car got through, but it worked. The lap was quite good from my point of view and although the gap to Kimi is big, I am pleased to be on the front row because that is where you need to be at this circuit. We will have to see if there are areas to improve for tomorrow, but I am feeling confident in the car's performance and consistency."
Giancarlo Fisichella - 5th: "The circuit seemed a bit more slippery than it was this morning, and in the last corner, I had a lot of understeer - which cost me at least three tenths of a second and put me behind the Williams of Webber. I am feeling confident for the race though: we know the car is quick over the long runs, and we were fast this morning on old tyres. I believe we will have a very competitive afternoon tomorrow."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Giancarlo lost a significant amount of time at the end of his lap with some unexpected understeer, Fernando's lap seemed clean, but the times indicate that we still need a little more pace. We are in a good position to get our cars on, or close to, the front row tomorrow morning, which is a key factor here in Monaco. Looking ahead to the race, we will be hoping to see both drivers on the podium at the chequered flag."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "The most surprising factor in this afternoon's result is the size of the gaps between the different drivers - it is unusual to see the top cars separated by gaps of up to half a second. As a result, regardless of variations in fuel loads, I don't expect to see the grid change much in second qualifying tomorrow. Overall, we are happy to be the best placed team in this session, which gives us a good base to score plenty of points tomorrow. The race result will be dictated by the ability of the leaders to maintain a competitive pace throughout - and from what we have seen in practice, we are well able to do so."
Mark Webber - 3rd: "I am definitely happy with my lap and to be in the top three again, even if the gap from Kimi is quite big. I was fourth fastest in the morning practice and I wasn't sure I could do as well in qualifying because the track conditions seemed to have deteriorated. But there you go! This good result is mainly down to the people back at the factories in Grove and in Munich, they have been pushing very hard to catch up and if you look at the top positions it is obvious that Michelin is providing their teams with great tyres."
Nick Heidfeld - 6th: "The track conditions were a bit worse than this morning and I had to go out quite early but I still set a quicker lap. I struggled a bit with low grip in the first sector, but after that it was fine. The set up of my car was good. Monaco is my second favourite track after Suzuka, so I am confident we can do a good job here."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1): "With both cars in the top six, it was a good first qualifying session for us. As normal, tomorrow's session is the important one. The cars are working well around here and we are confident that we have made the right decisions on the set-up for the race. The engine cooling and brake temperatures seem to be fine as on Sunday we are expecting similar ambient temperatures as today."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "For our team this was a very good result with a low fuel load in the first qualifying session. Mark has especially driven a strong lap. Both drivers have now secured themselves good starting positions for tomorrow's final qualifying session. Ralf Schumacher's accident proved once again that in Monaco often between luck and bad luck there are only centimeters."
Jarno Trulli - 7th: "I'm happy that Ralf is okay after such a big accident. For me, though, it was tough to be the first driver out after an accident like that. Because of the wait it meant that the temperature of the track went down a lot. On my warm-up lap I also found that the track was dusty and slippery. I had no problems with my car but I didn't have enough faith to push as hard as usual, especially through the second sector. All in all, this was not a lucky day and it leaves us a bit further back than we would have liked. But tomorrow is another day, we have another qualifying session in the morning and we will hope to do our best to improve our position."
Ralf Schumacher - no time: "First of all I would like to apologise to the whole Panasonic Toyota Racing team for my mistake today. They have done a great job throughout the whole weekend and I'm sorry that they have no result to show for it. The car was fine around the lap but I clipped the inside of the barrier at Tabac with my left front wheel, which sent me into the other side of the barriers. Thankfully I'm perfectly okay. I got out of the car without any trouble and I have no other problems. But it's been a bad weekend for me and it means that we will be starting from the back tomorrow. Monaco is the hardest race on the calendar to pass but I will give everything to try and end the weekend on a better note."
Dieter Gass Chief Race Engineer: "This was a very disappointing result. Ralf went off after he touched the inside barrier at Tabac. Then because he lost some oil it obviously resulted in a heavy penalty for Jarno as well. He was the next car out and he didn't have a clean track for his lap, and that's why he lost time on the leading cars. So all in all it was the maximum possible disadvantage for us. That is a pity because both drivers were happy with their cars and hopeful of a good result this afternoon. Now it makes life difficult for us tomorrow, especially for Ralf."
David Coulthard - 8th: "Not bad, that was quite a tidy lap considering all the new parts that had to be fitted following this morning's incident with Montoya. He gesticulated at Ralph just before Turn three near the Casino, which ended in a multi-car pile up. I think that he should perhaps receive some sort of penalty for that. It can be difficult to start from the middle of the grid here, so I hope to move up the starting order tomorrow."
Tonio Liuzzi - 13th: "Unfortunately it was not so good being first out on the track. The road surface was really, really dirty and it was quite difficult. I'm not so happy with my time and think it was quite slow compared to those that I set this morning. For sure, I'll be looking to make up some positions on the grid tomorrow. "
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "David did an excellent lap considering the car had to be rebuilt after this morning's accident and his time gives us a good position to work from in tomorrow's qualifying session. Following his early retirement in Barcelona, Tonio was first on the track when the circuit was still quite dirty. However, despite a scary moment through Casino Square, he held on well and got a solid time."
Guenther Steiner, Technical Director: "I think Tonio struggled a little, being first on the road after the Porsche Supercup race, but there were no major problems. The track was dirty, but technically everything was good. David's mechanics did an excellent job to get his car ready after this morning's incident. It can sometimes be hard for a driver to go straight back out and attack following an accident, but David's experience behind the wheel meant he was not affected. He quickly got a good feeling in the car and there were no problems at all."
Jacques Villeneuve - 9th: "That was better than I expected. To begin with we changed the car quite a lot since Thursday, but otherwise we left the set-up alone as the day progressed. The balance was neutral, and it was just a matter of doing the laps and getting used to the car and the tyres, and then taking some risks. It was a hard lap but I didn't make any mistakes, so I'm happy so far."
Felipe Massa - 12th: "I couldn't run a fast lap with new tyres until I went out this afternoon, and to be honest I wasn't 100 percent confident. I couldn't get a feel for the level of grip at times and that was just enough to make the difference. It would have been very easy to make a significant mistake and damage the car. But from where I am it is still possible to fight, both in qualifying and the race tomorrow."
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "Our goal is always to qualify in the top 10, but we knew that would be very difficult here. I am very happy that Jacques is ninth so far, but unfortunately Felipe was not able to deliver an optimal lap this time. Now we have a new challenge tomorrow, to retain our strong grid positions while choosing the right strategy for what is always a tough race."
Rubens Barrichello - 10th: "I had a good start to my lap, the balance of the car was reasonable, but the fact I did not make a run on new tyres this morning meant I did not have a feel for them straight away. We knew we would be struggling particularly here at Monaco with our one lap performance - a problem that has been with us all season. This is not a problem that we can sort overnight, even if the work we have done has seen us improve by tenths of a second at a time. But this is not a disaster: I have won with Ferrari in the past, I have lost with Ferrari in the past and we will win again. I don't think we can improve much in second qualifying, but we know that in the race, after fighting for grip on the opening lap, we will have a strong package."
Michael Schumacher - 11th: "This was definitely not a good session for us and obviously, I am disappointed. This morning we were only about 0.7 to 0.8 too slow, but this afternoon the gap was much bigger. We know we are not so good when it comes to our one lap performance and the fact I went out quite early in the session meant the track was very slippery and so it was even more of a handicap. Tomorrow's qualifying will probably be the same situation, with little chance to improve. However, in race trim the car is much better and we will have to see what strategy we can come up with to make the most of that fact. In general terms, we just have to keep working hard to improve."
Jean Todt: "There is not much to say: it was a very disappointing qualifying. We are a very long way off the quickest times, mainly due to a lack of grip. In this modern era of Formula 1, overtaking is already difficult enough, but on this track it is virtually impossible, which means that being down towards the back of the grid is a considerable handicap for the race. Obviously, anything can happen and we know that, over a race distance, our package is more competitive than on the single lap. However, tomorrow we face an uphill struggle, but we will not throw in the towel and will do all we can to get the most out of this situation."
Ross Brawn: "The track here at Monaco always picks up a lot more grip as the session goes on and we did not go out at a very good time. Having said that, we seemed to find even less grip than we had this morning, which indicates that the other cars running on the track during our break did not help the situation. Our drivers were struggling to get grip on the first lap. We do have a very good race set-up, but it is going to be a difficult afternoon, unless we can make up a few places in tomorrow morning's qualifying. The drivers are reasonably happy with the cars which are quite well balanced."
Patrick Friesacher - 14th: "I think it was not a bad lap. I made a couple of small mistakes, but generally, it was pretty good. We've been able to get in front of the Jordans today, and I hope we are now able to stay in front of them for the rest of the weekend. The guys have again done a really good job, so thanks to them for all their efforts."
Christijan Albers - 15th: "I'm not as happy as I could be, since I lost time against Patrick on the qualifying run, but I think it's due, at least in part, to not having as much time on the track. I lost time in the practice sessions on Thursday and this morning with technical problems, so all things considered, there's not really that much between us. I'm also happy that we were able to improve the set-up of the car steadily, and as a result, I was able to improve my lap times with each run. We'll hope to carry on with the improvement tomorrow."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "It is really pleasing to see the potential of the new car is beginning to show. To be consistently ahead of our nearest rival so far this weekend means we are well on the way to achieving our goals. Both drivers have given 100 per cent around this very demanding circuit, and my thanks go to the whole team, which has worked relentlessly day and night. The continuing progress is down to the efforts of all concerned. Let's now hope for an equally productive second qualifying session, and an interesting race tomorrow."
Narain Karthikeyan - 17th: "I had problem warming up the tyres this afternoon and I also struggled because I missed quite a lot of running on Thursday after I made a small mistake and touched the barrier. This is my first time on this demanding and challenging circuit so I find it difficult to familiarise myself. However, I will push very hard tomorrow and try not to make any mistake during the race."
Tiago Monteiro - 16th: "We struggled a bit with the balance and the set-up here and it is quite tricky in street circuits if your car is not well balanced. However, we will now analyse the gathered data and I think we will go in the right direction for the race tomorrow. The race is very long in Monaco so everything is possible."
Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director: "It was a tough qualifying today for both our drivers on this difficult Monaco circuit. We have not performed quite as well as we had expected but this race is all about getting to the end and with our good reliability record this year I hope we can get a decent finish out of it. "
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director: "We have three different Michelin chassis in the top three positions - but there's an extra twist this time because they are all running on slightly different types of tyre. For Monaco we offered our partners two 'prime' compounds and one 'option'. Today's result underlines that all three are working exceptionally well - and that is a source of immense satisfaction.
"Kimi Raikkonen's time today was a few tenths faster than last season's Michelin pole lap, set by Jarno Trulli's Renault with a significant amount of fuel on board. If you compare like with like, by making the necessary weight adjustments, Kimi's time would be the slower of the two - but it was still an extraordinary lap that highlights how well Michelin has responded to the task of making harder-compound F1 tyres that provide speed as well as aimed to race distance, compare to a third of the race distance last year."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager: "It does seem that between this morning's practice sessions and the qualifying session, the Ferrari drivers both lost grip so our engineering staff will be studying the reasons for this carefully. On the other hand, our tyres have shown consistent performance and once the track has rubbered in a bit more tomorrow, the grip should pick up. I'm hoping for a competitive race."
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Saturday's Selected Quotes - Monaco
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