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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 22 Oct 2004

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Robert Doornbos (NED) Jordan Ford EJ14.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Sauber.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 22 October 2004

Who thought what of their first day at Interlagos

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello set the pace in front of his home fans, while Jordan’s third driver Robert Doornbos sprung the surprise of the day by finishing 13th out of the 25 drivers.

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (1st, 1m 11.166s):
“I am very pleased and listening to the reaction of the crowd brought a smile to my face. More than that, the car has been behaving quite well throughout today’s sessions. It is well balanced and the team has done a good job. Now, we just have to keep our cool and try and improve the car even more and I am sure we will be competitive for the rest of the weekend. The track surface has more grip than last year, but there are still some bumps.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (2nd, 1m 11.334s):
“It was a complicated day as I seemed to run into a lot of traffic out on the track. It made it quite difficult to push to the end of the programme we had set ourselves, but I guess it is the same for everyone here and we have enough data to know which way to go on set-up. I am not sure where we are in terms of consistency of performance, but over a single lap, we look very strong. The track is very bumpy which adds to the difficulty, but all in all, we are looking good and should be in the fight for the win. Being first and second is a wonderful start to the weekend.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd, 1m 11.526s):
"I was quite pleased with the set-up of the car from the very beginning, which always makes Friday's practice much more productive. I had one set of tyres which were not too good and that was one of the reasons why I had a little spin at the start of the second session at Turn Eight. It's going to be an interesting weekend, but it's important to make a perfect lap in qualifying, as we are all so close. There is no doubt that Ferrari will be strong here, but I believe we will be able to battle with them."

Jenson Button, BAR (4th, 1m 11.731s):
"It's been a reasonably good first day in preparation for what is a crucial race for us. We achieved everything we planned in terms of tyre comparisons and set-up. The circuit was very dirty this morning but it had cleaned up an awful lot by this afternoon, so we were able to achieve some good testing. The circuit is still pretty bumpy despite the resurfacing work they've done here - particularly at turns one and six. Generally I'm happy with the start we've made to the weekend and I look forward to us getting stronger as we continue working towards the race."

Anthony Davidson, BAR (5th, 1m 11.920s):
"Today went pretty well. We had a very good tyre test and I feel pretty confident in our tyre choice for the race. It is my first time here and it is quite a bumpy track but I got to grips with it quickly as the laps are short, which enabled me to do more and learn the track quicker. We seem to be quick enough and I am fairly optimistic that Jenson and Taku can have a strong race on Sunday."

Takuma Sato, BAR (6th, 1m 11.988s):
"Today was a good start to the weekend. We did not suffer any problems at all and the car was competitive and comfortable straight away, so it was an encouraging session. We tried different set-ups and tyres, collecting all of the information we needed. If the car keeps working the way it has been today and remains consistent, we will be looking good for tomorrow's qualifying and for the race on Sunday."

Fernando Alonso, Renault (7th, 1m 12.005s):
“The circuit was very dirty this morning so it was quite difficult to start work and in fact I only did a dozen laps in the first session. In the afternoon, though, the circuit was improving lap by lap and we managed to make some pretty positive set-up changes as well as testing both types of tyre. The car feels quite light to drive here because of the low levels of downforce and it also took some time to get used to the bumpy track surface again. But overall, I am pleased with how today went.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber (8th, 1m 12.183s):
"I'm really happy so far. Of course this is a big weekend for me, racing in front of my home crowd, so eighth place is a good start. The car is very good, once we got the right set-up after this morning, and we have done our tyre choice. The car was strong straight away on the first lap with the latest Bridgestones, so I am feeling quietly confident that we can do well."

Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (9th, 1m 12.209s):
"I am very happy with the work that we have achieved in today's practice sessions. We managed a significant number of laps, which permitted us to complete our programme. We tested the tyres and tried different downforce levels to evaluate the best configuration for the rest of the weekend. The performance of the car appears to be quite good and I must say that Interlagos is a very enjoyable track to drive in an F1 car."

Ralf Schumacher, Williams (10th, 1m 12.235s):
“The track seems to be massively bumpy. It is therefore not easy to find the right set-up nor will it be easy to make the right tyre choice. That said, all in all we had a trouble free day.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (11th, 1m 12.280s):
“We did our homework today and the car seems to respond reasonably well. The track is maybe more bumpy than before, but the tyres seem to compensate for the bumps which is good. It won’t be easy to get the right balance and we have still quite a lot of work to do in view of tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Jacques Villeneuve, Renault (12th, 1m 12.316s):
“We improved the car a lot today. It was very difficult to drive over the bumps this morning but after some changes to the set-up, it was a lot more comfortable and also faster. We are still missing some performance on the first timed lap on new tyres but the car seems quick and consistent on the longer runs.”

Robert Doornbos, Jordan (13th, 1m 12.345s):
“It was a good day for me and I had fun. I was really hoping for dry weather because the last two times I drove the car, in Suzuka and the test in England, it was in wet conditions. It was dry as I hoped and both sessions went well. I helped the team with tyre choice data and at the end they got me on a qualifying set-up which was another first for me. I put in a good time and I am happy, also because my sponsor Muermans is here this weekend so it’s been a really good day.”

Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (14th, 1m 12.347s):
"It is great to be back racing in Brazil, although it has been a while since I have driven here at Interlagos. Typically, this track is dusty and slippery on the opening day and it was no different today. When you are right on the limit, it is easy to put one wheel on the dirt and spin off. We improved the car throughout both sessions today, but we still have some additional things to try tomorrow morning. The work we carried out in the Jerez test last week has proved very useful, particularly in terms of the tyre performance. I think we have a good direction for the rest of the weekend."

David Coulthard, McLaren (15th, 1m 12.430s):
"We went through our tyre evaluation programme, but unfortunately I couldn't show the full potential of the car as I got stuck in traffic which is often the case on this short circuit - on my fast lap I had to overtake three cars. Anyway I like this track because of its natural flow and have always performed well here, and hopefully I will do so again this weekend."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (16th, 1m 12.545s):
"It was a positive practice day for me. I completed a lot of laps and we were able to compare the two Michelin tyre compounds without any trouble. The overall lap time does not look too good, because I couldn't put everything together on my first lap with new tyres. However, I am extremely happy with the balance and general behaviour of the car around this circuit. We will work hard to find a bit more performance tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (17th, 1m 12.631s):
"This morning I had oversteer and this afternoon it was understeer, so we still have a little work to do on the set-up. We need somewhere in the middle! But the car was good in the long runs, so I am confident for the race."

Mark Webber, Jaguar (18th, 1m 12.816s):
“I am pleased with how today has gone as we have generated a good number of laps and completed a very complex test programme. I enjoy driving this track and I think that the resurfacing of it has helped with the grip levels, although it remains very bumpy in places. I spent most of my two sessions looking at tyre comparisons as well as general race set-up and evaluation. The R5 was reliable and I was pleased with the balance that we had achieved by the end of the sessions. I am now looking forward to tomorrow and I will be doing what I can to place the car as high as possible on the grid as a thanks to the team for their hard work over these last three fly-a ways.”

Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (19th, 1m 13.114s):
“I had a difficult start this morning, with the balance of the car making it difficult to drive, especially going over the bumps where the rear was very nervous. But we made a couple more changes than usual between sessions and then further changes before I started the long runs and they all worked well. We made some very good improvements during the day and the car was much better in the afternoon than the morning. We still have some improvements to make before tomorrow and I’m confident we know which direction we have to go in that respect.”

Gianmaria Bruni, Minardi (20th, 1m 13.467s):
"We had a good opening day. This is my first time in Brazil and I spent much of today learning the circuit. I think I adapted quite well, and I'm now looking forward to tomorrow, when I'm sure we can improve in some areas and be even quicker."

Christian Klien, Jaguar (21st, 1m 13.509s):
“This is my first time here at this track and it’s really interesting and quite good fun to drive. I spent the first session familiarising myself with the layout and I am now happy with it. We then spent most of the day working on set-up and making changes throughout the day. We also looked at tyre comparisons and got some good results that I am pleased with. There is still work to do between now and tomorrow and I will be looking to improve my times further during the sessions.”

Timo Glock, Jordan (22nd, 1m 13.966s):
“It was not easy for me at the beginning because I had to learn the circuit, another new one for me. The car was quite nervous at the rear and it felt like I was fighting it too much, it was difficult to drive. We have to find a better set-up for the car and although I think we know what to do in the dry, I think the forecast for Sunday is wet, so it’s difficult to say! We have some work to do tonight and tomorrow to improve things.”

Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi (23rd, 1m 13.979s):
"Generally, it was a good day for us, although I made a mistake on what should have been my fastest lap this afternoon, which probably cost me half a second. The Interlagos circuit is new to me, and apart from being very bumpy in places, I quite like it and feel confident of being able to improve my lap time further tomorrow."

Bjorn Wirdheim, Jaguar (24th, 1m 14.303s):
“I had a good productive day today working on a lot of different things, including brakes, starts, and engine development work. I also spent time on aero compares and general set-up. The car feels good out there and it is well balanced even with the bumpy track. I have really enjoyed working with the team this season and I have learnt so much from them. I am now hoping very much that they can finish the season on a high with some points.”

Bas Leinders, Minardi (25th, 1m 14.754s):
"Unfortunately, I was only able to do a total six flying laps today, as my car had a hydraulic problem this morning. That was subsequently fixed and I was then able to do two useful tyre comparison runs. Considering the limited number of laps available, it was a little difficult to set a competitive lap time, but I was nonetheless pleased with my performance. I'm also pleased with the effort of the team, and would like to thank everyone at Minardi for their support throughout the season. I have experienced very few technical problems all year, and this has provided me with an excellent opportunity to prove myself in Formula One."