Sunday's Selected Quotes - Monaco
Kimi Raikkonen - 1st: "This is great. To win is always fantastic, but Monaco is a special challenge. We have been strong throughout the weekend and I was able to pretty much control the race. I was able to push and open up a considerable gap, and when the time was right I simply came into the pits, refuel and still rejoin the race in the lead. After that I could take it a bit easier and look after the car and the Michelin tyres. Once again thank you to the entire team and everybody at Michelin. We have worked hard, and I think we have the best package out there at the moment. Our World Championship battle has gained momentum today. We will take one race at a time and continue to do our best."
Juan Pablo Montoya - 5th: "I think we made the best out of our situation and scored some important points for the team and me. I was so close to getting past Fernando Alonso on the last couple of laps but had to settle for fifth position as I did not want to risk too much. My car was working very well, and without a starting position on the back of the grid a place on the podium would have been possible. I gained a lot of places at the start and had a few battles in the race with Massa, Rubens and Trulli which kept me pretty busy. Congratulations to Kimi on his victory. I have won this race once and know how special it is to claim victory in Monaco."
Ron Dennis: "A tremendous result for the team. Kimi drove an absolute faultless race coping well with the need to pace himself to not only conserving the car but of course also the tyres. The safety car deployment caused minor confusion with our strategists working to double-check the data before making the final call on whether to bring Kimi into the pits or not. Clearly they were right and the outcome obvious. Juan Pablo had an impressive drive through the field which coupled with our strategy gave him a well deserved fifth place. A special mention to our Partner Michelin who clearly gave us the best tyres today."
Norbert Haug: "A race with thrills and excitement. A fantastic performance by Kimi and Juan Pablo and an excellent job by the entire team. Our strategy was ideal and Kimi extended his lead to over half of a minute and was able to look after the car and the Michelin tyres. With his fifth place overall; Juan Pablo made the best out of his 16th starting position on the grid. We now look forward to next weekend's race at the Nurburgring which is the first of two Mercedes-Benz home Grands Prix."
Nick Heidfeld - 2nd: "I am very very pleased to get my best ever result here in Monaco. I had a very good start and I even touched Mark at the first corner, but that's racing. But then I was stuck with other drivers behind Trulli for some time so I tried to save fuel and tyres. When the safety car came out and the engineers called us both in, the guys did a fantastic job in getting us out so quickly. Then I was lucky because the engineers decided to take a risk and pit earlier, for my second stop and this allowed me to get ahead of Mark. A lot of cars seemed to have problems with their tyres today but we didn't and towards the end I pushed as hard as I could. When I caught up to Alonso I knew he was struggling with his tyres so I decided to wait for a couple of laps to weigh up the best possibility to overtake him. Fernando defended well but I was just able to out-brake him which was such a good feeling."
Mark Webber - 3rd: "It's my first podium finish in F1 and it's very good to have two cars on the podium here, after a not so easy start to this season. Last week in Vallelunga we made a lot of tyre testing for this race and our choice paid off today because apart from McLaren today we were much stronger than anybody else. I was stuck behind Jarno in the first part of the race and it was frustrating. Then unfortunately Nick passed me at the second pit-stop and we were both again held up by Alonso, who was struggling with his tyres. Obviously, once Nick had got ahead of Fernando he made it very difficult for me into the chicane. We had a good fight and I just made it past him. It's been a great effort from WilliamsF1, BMW and Michelin. We showed today good performance and reliability. I just wished I could have driven in some clean air today!"
Sam Michael (Technical Director WilliamsF1): "It was a good job from the whole team and it was fantastic to see Nick and Mark side by side on the podium. We raced a tyre that was perfectly suited to Monaco. This is a circuit that rewards cars with a lot of downforce and an ability to look after the tyres. From today's result we were clearly the closest to McLaren. On the strategy we made ground during the safety car period by stopping both of our cars. On the second stop we took a risk with Nick by calling him in earlier. We then did the same with Mark but unfortunately for Mark he lost a place to Nick."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): "This was a Monaco Grand Prix with all sort of highs and lows which are typical for this unique race. Both drivers got stuck behind slower cars for most of the race distance. Only the overtaking manoeuvres at the end set them free. At the end of the day we have a great result for both drivers and the entire team. It is the best result of our season so far and reminds us of the Monaco Grand Prix of two years ago which marked a turning point."
Fernando Alonso, 4th: "It was a really tough race for me. I tried to look after the tyres at the start of the race, so I didn't worry too much about the fact that Raikkonen was pulling away, but in the last twenty laps, things became really difficult: I did all I could to keep the Williams behind me, but I couldn't hold them off because the rear tyres were in poor condition and they could brake much later into the Chicane. After a race like that, I think we need to look at the positive aspects: we managed to score points on an afternoon when it would have been very easy to score none at all."
Giancarlo Fisichella - 12th: "I am extremely disappointed - it was probably the most difficult race of my life today. The car was impossible to drive for the last 25 laps - the rear tyres were completely gone and although I did my best to keep the other cars behind, I couldn't do it. The first part of the race was not too bad, and I was going well in third position, but when the safety car came out we fuelled until the end of the race. My situation got very difficult after that: the car was tricky to drive immediately after the stop, and things just got worse from there."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "The only way to analyse a race like this is to look at things calmly. On the negative side, our competitors did a better job than us this afternoon and we need to understand why our car had such severe problems with tyre wear; on the positive side, it was a day when it would have been easy to score no points at all, and we still got five. Fernando worked miracles to finish fourth, while Fisico couldn't do anything as his tyre wear was even worse. This is not a performance that puts us under pressure - wee already were, as always in Formula 1. The season will be a long one, and we now that we all have to work hard to maintain our position at the top of the table."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "We gave the drivers a very difficult task today, and they responded fantastically: to finish the race with both cars in circumstances where it would have been extremely easy to crash out, is a real accomplishment. We chose the harder tyre for the race because we knew that rear tyre wear might be a problem on our car, but unfortunately, it exceeded even our most pessimistic predictions. We took a risk in pitting both cars when the safety car came out, but that wasn't the critical factor today - it was the tyres. Now, we must analyse why we suffered so much with rear tyre wear where our competitors did not."
Ralf Schumacher - 6th: "First of all thanks to the whole Panasonic Toyota Racing team for putting the car together after my accident yesterday. It was a great effort and the car went through the whole race so I'm really happy about that. It's a pity about what happened on Saturday because I could have ended up with even more points, but I had a very good day today. In the early laps I passed a few slower cars into Mirabeau, then I was held up in traffic. After the safety car period I began moving through the field. Then at the end I was in a long chain of cars behind Alonso who was going slowly. With the Ferraris behind me it was a bit difficult. Then Michael made rather a strong move on the line and we nearly crashed. Still, it's great to end up with three points."
Jarno Trulli - 10th: "I made a good start and I was doing a very good race at the beginning, keeping the pace. We were on a one-stop strategy so I was pushing 100 percent while taking care of the fuel. It wasn't easy but I was doing well. Unfortunately when I came out from my own pitstop I spent the second half of the race behind Fisichella who was struggling with his tyres and losing several seconds per lap. That meant I lost position on the two Williams as well. Then Giancarlo made a mistake into Mirabeau and I was able to overtake him into the Loews hairpin. But I hit the inside kerb which made my car feel unbalanced at the end. I came into the pits to check the problem and that moved me out of the points."
Tsutomu Tomita Team Principal: "It was a very good race from Ralf and it was a very good, richly deserved result. After his crash yesterday, to drive a completely rebuilt car from last to 6th is a very good performance. It shows again that in Monaco anything can happen at any time. You just need to keep up there until the very end. By contrast, Jarno was very unlucky. Because we were on a one-stop strategy the safety car period didn't play into our hands and he ended up stuck behind another car. When he tried to pass him he went over the kerbs very heavily and then he reported a handling problem. We checked the car in the pit stop and didn't see anything which was why we sent him out again. It's a pity he missed out on points but both drivers performed very well and in terms of a spectacle this was one of the best races of the season."
Michael Schumacher - 7th: "Everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong at the beginning. I got stuck behind the Minardi that blocked the track and then I had to pit to change the nose on the car. It is clear when you look at the times that we had a very competitive race pace. It is a shame that we were not able to get the most out of it. But, given everything that happened, I have to be reasonably happy with my two points. As for my move on Rubens, we are all here to race and I did not think there was much risk involved in the move."
Rubens Barrichello - 8th: "All sorts of thing happened in this race. My car stalled in the pits unfortunately, which cost me a lot of time, but I had a really good car. The tyres were excellent throughout and meant I had a good pace, but here there is so little space to overtake, I could not make the most of the tyres. I lost a position to Michael right at the end, as I was trying to overtake Ralf. Michael took a gamble for the extra point. The most important thing we can take away from here is that the car was very good in the race."
Jean Todt: "This weekend ended much as we expected. Although we had a car-tyre package that was very quick in the race, the characteristics of this circuit meant that neither of our drivers was able to overtake slower cars which would have allowed them to exploit the potential of the car. On the track, Michael's race was conditioned by what happened during the incident behind the Minardi. He could not avoid colliding with Coulthard, which broke the front wing. Michael therefore had to pit earlier than expected. Rubens also had some troubles. As he was about to leave the pits after his stop, his engine stalled and, as he rejoined the track he broke the pit lane speed limit and had to return for a penalty. The outcome of the race shows once again we have to work very hard on improving the performance of our package in qualifying. Our rivals have built the basis of their success on the one flying lap which leaves us to fight an uphill battle in the race."
Ross Brawn: "It was a bit of a frustrating afternoon, because you could see in the middle of the race that our car had huge potential. Michael set the fastest lap when he still had a lot of fuel in the car. But this was typical of the type of race you can expect to have at this circuit if you do not qualify well. Basically, we had to follow other cars and were not able to use our pace. The tyres were perfect for the race, but we were not able to qualify well and here we paid very heavily for that. Things might have been different if Michael had not got caught up in the mess behind the Minardi, while Rubens stalled in the pits which cost him a lot of time. So, a lot of potential, but we could not use it."
Jacques Villeneuve - 11th: "Our strategy today was very good, and to begin with my plan was to save the tyres as I had plenty of fuel on board. But then I got really messed up with the incident at Mirabeau on lap 25. Felipe was able to get through a gap and make his pit stop, but I got badly held up and there was no point in refuelling then because I was on a long run strategy, so really I got nothing out of the situation. "Towards the end I caught up with Felipe again and I could see that his rear tyres were finished, whereas my car felt pretty much as good as it had been all through the race. I was told to reduce the gap to the guys in front of me because a lot of us were closing up in the fight for points, and I tried something that unfortunately didn't work."
Felipe Massa - 9th: "I made a very good start and in the incident at Mirabeau between Coulthard and Schumacher I was just able to find a way through a small gap. The team called me in to refuel as the Safety Car came out and that was a brilliant plan. After that I was running strongly behind Heidfeld and was able to make a second stop later on, on lap 50, without losing much time. Unfortunately my tyres were losing grip and Montoya passed me, and then there was the incident with Jacques at Ste Devote. I think it was wrong from his side, but now I am just focusing on the next race."
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "We had a perfect strategy for the race today and some very good work by the pit crew brought us up to a very strong position after the first incident that brought out the Safety Car. However, the incident caused by Jacques cost us five valuable championship points that would have enabled us to close the gap on our direct competitor, Red Bull. What happened today is the most depressing thing that a team can experience."
Tiago Monteiro - 13th: "Six race finishes in a row is an important thing obviously in order to collect as much information as possible. After this weekend, we need to do a lot of things to improve the car because we have been struggling throughout the three days. It was a hard race on the car and tyres but also mentally as we had to stay focussed in order to stay on track, not make any mistake, let faster drivers pass by and bring the car to the finish. It is a bit frustrating as so many cars made it to the end but if we look at the positive side, we were one of them."
Narain Karthikeyan - DNF: "It is really a pity I had to retire. I made a decent start and then I had a touch with the barrier, which damaged the hydraulic system. This explains why we had to pit early in the race. The team did a good job to try to fix it but unfortunately it was not possible and I had to retire. The whole weekend was very difficult for us, so now we have to make sure we will do better in the European Grand Prix next week."
Trevor Carlin - Sporting Director: "Unfortunately Narain Karthikeyan retired after a small broach with the barriers and damaged the hydraulic system on the car. Tiago Monteiro did a good steady job and brought the car home even though he had a few handling problems. This is another race finish for Jordan Grand Prix and a 100% finish rate for Tiago."
Christijan Albers - 14th: "I had a good start and got ahead of Patrick, but I left him some space, as he was running a two-stop strategy and I was on one stop, and it wouldn't have been fair to hold him up. After that, during the first few laps, I experienced a problem with the rear of the car when I was braking out of the tunnel, but we were able to solve that a couple of laps later. I was then able to race at a good pace, considering the fuel load, but started losing overall grip, even in the tunnel. The situation was the same after the stop, but then, in the last 11 or 12 laps of the race, the problem disappeared and I was again able to run at a good pace. We now need to look through the data to understand what was happening, and improve the car for Nurburgring. Obviously, I had that spin in the hairpin, and I still don't understand what caused it, so we will have to examine that as well. Fortunately, I managed to keep the engine running after the spin, and was able to continue. It was a shame for the other drivers who became involved in the incident, but unfortunately, that is racing, and particularly racing here in Monaco."
Patrick Friesacher - DNF: "I made a good start to the race, and the car was working really well right up to the time when the Safety Car came out. After it went in, though, the back end of the car felt really strange, almost like there was a puncture. On the lap I spun, I just touched the brakes at the chicane and the rear snapped away. It's a real shame, because up to that point our race pace had been good and the car was working well. I also feel badly for the guys, who, once again, have put in a huge amount of work this weekend, but at least Christijan got to the finish, and that, plus our qualifying performances this weekend, are encouraging."
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Considering this marks the first Formula One finish for the Minardi Cosworth PS05, and we were ahead of our nearest rivals on race pace, I really feel that serious progress has been made this weekend. Despite both cars struggling to maintain grip during certain stages of the race, Christijan soldiered on to achieve a well-deserved finish, while Patrick, having had his best weekend in Formula One thus far, sadly did not get to see the chequered flag. The whole team has put in an outstanding effort this weekend, and it's now onwards and upwards to the next race."
David Coulthard - DNF: "There's not so much to say. Albers spun his car going into the corner, so I slowed down to avoid him. However, Michael couldn't see me and he hit the back of my car, which damaged the back wing and rear suspension. For that to happen twice in one weekend... well, lets just say it's pretty bad luck."
Tonio Liuzzi - DNF: "I was battling with the rear of the car from the beginning of the race. Tyre wear meant it was sliding a lot and it was difficult to keep the car well balanced. I was battling with Juan Pablo, Michael and Ralf, but on lap 61, one of the rear tyres went completely and I had nothing left. After I exited the tunnel, I hit the barrier and that was the end of my event. It's very disappointing."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was a frustrating incident for David and the second time he was hit over the weekend through no fault of his own. He had looked in good shape with the amount of fuel that he had in the car, so it's disappointing he wasn't able to capitalise on what was a very good grid position. Tonio struggled with excessive tyre wear, which ultimately caused him to hit the barrier and end his race. It's a frustrating finish to the weekend; ultimately it promised a lot, but failed to deliver."
Guenther Steiner, Technical Director: "The impact of Michael's collision with David broke the rear suspension, rear wing and floor and we had no choice, but to stop him. Michael was lucky as he just broke his front wing, was able to go into the pits and finish in the points. For Tonio, it's disappointing that his tyres went off. The weekend was looking very promising, but in the end was not so good."
Simon Corbyn, Head of Race Engineering, Cosworth: "George Lucas pointed out on Friday that Darth Vader isn't known for his tolerance of failure, therefore I'm relieved to be able to confirm that Cosworth had no engine concerns throughout the Monaco GP weekend. Once more both TJ2005 engines ran reliably throughout their second events & we had no performance or driveability problems on the demanding street circuit."
Hisao Suganuma - Technical Manager: "Overall we're pleased with the performance in the race today but disappointed with the final result. During the race we saw the two Ferraris looking very quick with Michael setting the fastest lap on lap 40. We are also pleased with the status of our tyres after the race, we didn't experience any problems with wear or blisters, everything was fine and we kept the performance during the whole race. However, it is a shame that the Ferrari drivers could not qualify in a better position and the overall qualifying performance of the car and tyre package needs to be improved. " Ross Brawn - Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro "That was a very frustrating race because the potential of the car was huge in the middle of the race. Michael set the fastest lap with a lot of fuel still in the car but it is a typical Monaco race if you don't qualify well as you end up following everybody else. In the race, the Bridgestone tyres were very good, they were perfect for it but we couldn't get the qualifying lap and we paid for it here. In amongst all that it was unfortunate that Michael got caught up in the mess behind the Minardi as things could have been different. Rubens stalled in the pits which cost him a few places as well. So, not a great weekend with bags of potential."
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