Friday qualifying - selected driver quotes 01 Aug 2003
Justin Wilson, Jaguar (7th, 1m 15.373s):
"That was awesome! It's very unusual to see yourself in P7 having out-qualified Michael Schumacher on what is my first full day on the job with Jaguar Racing. The car felt fantastic over that one flying lap and I must congratulate the team for the excellent preparation in the build up to that lap. I did feel the pressure, yes, but you've just got to go out there and do the best job you can. I was under enough pressure to begin with but when Mark Webber went out and recorded P4, it changed the goal posts completely. That was an excellent lap from Mark and given that I had only done two fast laps on low fuel before that session, I didn't think P7 was possible. I managed a clean lap and combined with the balance on the R4, the team has been rewarded with two cars in the top seven. A good start to the weekend I am doing my best to climb the steep learning curve ahead of me. The team, however, is making my life a lot easier and helping me in every area - both inside and outside the cockpit. We still have some work to undertake tomorrow morning and I'm sure there is still time left in the car to extract. The big test is tomorrow's session but suffice to say that I am very pleased with how my first weekend with Jaguar has begun."
Mark Webber, Jaguar (4th, 1m 15.030s):
"I enjoyed that! The car felt very good and the balance works well on this circuit. I made a small mistake at Turn 6 and that prevented me from taking P3 from Jarno Trulli. It is impossible to do these one-lap qualifying shoot-outs and not make tiny errors along the way. One lap qualifying, however, is very enjoyable on low fuel. You are not hindered by the extra weight load in the car and it really allows you to take the car to its limits. It really is a great feeling. The team have done an excellent job in preparing the car today and it makes for a very positive start to what is always a long weekend of hard work and focus. With that in mind, we must wait until the outcome of tomorrow's qualifying session before we can begin making any predications about the race. It must be said that Justin has started off very well and has done a good job today. For me, however, it doesn't matter who is in the other car. My job is to keep pushing to the limit and help take the team forward. Jaguar has come a long way since last year and we will keep the momentum going through to Japan. There are still a lot of potential points on offer over the next five races."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (6th, 1m 15.276s):
"My lap was not too bad as I only lost time in the last sector, and it was the first time today we ran with the new tyres and less fuel, so it was difficult to know how hard you could push. Everything is working well and the car is nice to drive. We will not see the true picture before tomorrow, so it's difficult to say where we will be."
David Coulthard, McLaren (11th, 1m 15.557s):
"My time was pretty much the same as I did in this morning's practice where I was fastest. I wasn't as tidy in turn two and at the Hairpin on my qualifying lap, so I know that we can be quicker. It looks like the Michelin tyres are performing well here, so I'm expecting a close battle for pole position tomorrow."
Olivier Panis, Toyota (10th, 1m 15.471s):
"I am quite encouraged by this result. We are in the top ten again, which is where we aim to be in every qualifying and we have found a good balance on the car for this track. We are using a new specification engine and some new aerodynamic parts on the car this weekend, which all look quite promising. Our tyre supplier Michelin is also looking competitive here, so overall I am pleased. The whole team has done a good job and we have started the German Grand Prix weekend well. I hope we can keep this up."
Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (15th, 1m 16.450s):
"I am not pleased with my qualifying lap this afternoon. Everything felt good on the car in this morning's free practice hour, but I didn't get a great run in qualifying. We got the balance of the car wrong for the session, and I suffered from too much oversteer during my flying lap. I made a couple of little mistakes as well, but I think we have a good package for this track and the car has potential, so I think everything will be fine tomorrow."
Nick Heidfeld, Sauber (14th, 1m 15.985s):
"I think my lap was okay. I didn't get the best out of the car because in the free practice this morning I destroyed the floor when I ran wide in the first corner, and also I didn't run with a low fuel load so I didn't really know what to expect from the car this afternoon. Beside this, the front tyres began graining from the middle of the lap, generating understeer."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Sauber (13th, 1m 15.968s):
"Today I made my first mistake of the season in qualifying. In the first turn I went off track and lost quite a lot of time. The rest of my lap was fantastic! I think this track suits us, because without that mistake we'd have been close to the top 10."
Ralf Schumacher, Williams (1st, 1m 14.427s):
"I am quite surprised to be at the front, since I took it quite easy on my qualifying lap. My car was simply perfect, brilliantly balanced and the tyres behaved very well too. I can only be happy with this result, also because it shows that we have solved a few problems we had in this morning¹s Free Practice. Now I am looking forward to a good qualifying and a good race, especially because the weather forecast is predicting hot conditions, which will suit our package."
Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (2nd, 1m 14.673s):
"I am pleased with my first qualifying lap, as my car had a good balance after we sorted out the small problems we had this morning. I could have done slightly better if I hadn¹t braked too early into the hairpin but all in all I am happy with this afternoon¹s performance. Moreover, we are well set both for tomorrow¹s qualifying and I believe we look good for the race too."
Ralph Firman, Jordan (16th, 1m 17.044s):
"It's my first time at Hockenheim and things are going pretty well for me this weekend. I'm hopeful that there's more lap time to come, especially in the last sector. We will improve the car a little bit more and see where we end up."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Jordan (17th, 1m 17.111s):
"Today was nothing special and we are quite far off the pace. Admittedly, my lap wasn't fantastic, but it's another difficult weekend for us."
Jarno Trulli, Renault (3rd, 1m 15.004s):
"A good day! We worked on tyres and set-up during the morning, and the result is that we have made a good tyre choice and the car is reasonably well balanced. We lost a bit of time this morning, which may have cost a little in terms of our competitiveness, but I am looking forward to tomorrow. This could be a good weekend for us."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (5th, 1m 15.214s):
"I am in a good position: everybody knows that the important thing on Friday is to make sure you get a solid result, and my run tomorrow will be when the track conditions are at their best. Today, our programme was based around tyre and set-up work. The car is still understeering a little bit, but we can work on that some more tomorrow."
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (8th, 1m 15.399s):
"This morning I had a few problems finding the best set up on the car. The situation improved for qualifying, but not sufficiently for us to be fighting for the top spots. On my timed lap, I made a small mistake in the third sector. Judging by what we have seen today, we do not seem to have the advantage here, which we enjoyed at Silverstone, but this does not mean we won't be in the running right to the end. Now, we have to work totry and extract all the potential which the car has at its disposal."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (9th, 1m 15.456s):
"This was not the best qualifying lap of my career, but it wasn't bad. The track was quite slippery because of the other cars which ran on the track in between our two sessions, resulting in the marshals having to clean the track, so perhaps being first on the road this afternoon was a further slight disadvantage. Our competitors seem to have a very strong package over one lap. But we can be confident for the race, because in this morning's free practice session, we saw that our tyres performed very consistently in race trim with a heavy fuel load."
Jenson Button, BAR (12th, 1m 15.754s):
"It was a reasonable lap for me. I got a little too much oversteer in the first part of the stadium section - the left-hander hairpin - so I lost a bit of time there. I couldn't really do much more today but hopefully we can improve tomorrow. Compared to the Ferrari we're only three tenths away from Michael, but there's a bigger gap between ourselves and the Williams at the moment. Who knows though? A lot of people have been using a tyre that may be good for qualifying but possibly not so good for the race, so we'll have to wait and see how that pans out."
Jacques Villeneuve, BAR (19th, No timed recorded):
"I went through the first corner a little bit too fast, but not by that much. We made some set-up changes after this morning's session and the effect was bigger than expected. I just went sideways and lost it. The car felt good until that point and suddenly the rear started sliding a bit, but not a big snap. It wasn't something that took me by surprise, it happened very slowly. I think we have a good car balance and the car was good on old tyres this morning. It's better that we had this problem today rather than tomorrow but now we have a lot of work to do to get a good result in final qualifying."
Jos Verstappen, Minardi (18th, 1m 17.708s):
"If you compare us with Ferrari, I think we did a good job, as we were only down two seconds today! One could interpret that to mean we have made up ground on them since the start of the season. As far as qualifying was concerned, the chassis was well balanced and I think I drove a clean lap. The time was good, considering the team's circumstances, so I think we are starting the weekend in a positive way. I am also pleased by Justin's performance this afternoon. It shows how competitive the Minardi drivers are."
Nicolas Kiesa, Minardi (20th, No time recorded):
"It was bad luck that the car stalled as I pulled out of the garage into the pit lane to do my run, and I'm obviously disappointed. I was really looking forward to qualifying this afternoon and trying to get as close to Jos's time as possible. The car ran faultlessly in every test, and then when it counted, we had a problem. Despite this, we did some useful work today, so we'll put this behind us and aim to sort things tomorrow."