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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 11 Jun 2004

Cristiano da Matta (BRA) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, Practice Day, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2004 Bjorn Wirdheim (SWE) Jaguar Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, Practice Day, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2004 Pascal Vasselon (FRA) Michelin F1 Manager with David Coulthard (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, Practice Day, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2004 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Renault puts his helmet on.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, Practice Day, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2004

BAR and Renault threaten, but Ferrari quickest overall

Michael Schumacher sets the day’s fastest time in session one, but is eclipsed in two after a brush with the Montreal wall. Kimi Raikkonen keeps McLaren in the hunt, while Ricardo Zonta puts Toyota in the top six. Times and positions refer to practice two.

Takuma Sato, BAR (1st, 1m 14.086s):
"We have had a good day today and I'm very pleased about the result we had today. The circuit had much less grip in the morning but the afternoon improved a lot, so we were able to do a competitive run this afternoon. Generally we had good pace and the improvement that the new engine brings is very promising for the rest of the weekend. This circuit is quite tough on the brakes but we're not experiencing any issues so far and we don't feel we have
anything to worry about."

Fernando Alonso, Renault (2nd, 1m 14.426s):
“It was a normal Friday for me: I had to try the two types of tyres, and try and improve the car balance as much as possible. The track was very dirty at the start of the day, although things improved later on as cars laid down some rubber. We still have plenty of work to do to improve my feeling with the car – we haven’t got enough grip, and there is time to be found in the car, with the improving track conditions, but I can also improve some more as well.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (3rd, 1m 14.535s):
“It was a normal Friday session, except that I made slight contact with the wall which meant that I had to abort one run. I just got a bit off line, with the result that I ran out of room to get through the corner. Fortunately it did not cause too much damage. Otherwise, we have done all our “homework” and I am happy with the results we have seen so far. However, it is clear that this is going to be a very tough and closely fought weekend.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, 1m 14.581s):
"We completed our programme and worked a lot on finding the right tyres. This track is so unforgiving, and in the second session I went over a kerb a bit too hard, which damaged the floor of my car. The team had to repair it and did a great job in completing this in time for me to do my last run - only one lap less than scheduled."

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (5th, 1m 14.705s):
“We got through a good workload in these two hours of free practice and I am quite happy with the car, having tried various set-ups. I think we will be able to be competitive tomorrow in qualifying and even more so for the race on Sunday.”

Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (6th, 1m 14.871s):
"We made good progress between the first and second sessions. We found a tyre that performs quite well over one lap and also consistently for the race. The lap time that I achieved over the long run was encouraging. I have been suffering from flu this week and I occasionally felt a bit bad in the car during the session today, so to see the positive end result of our efforts is very rewarding. We improved the braking a lot from one session to the next, and also how the car handles the kerbs, which is important at Montreal. Overall, it has been a strong first day."

Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (7th, 1m 15.146s):
"I was very disappointed with the car in the first practice session this morning, but we modified a few things on the set-up during the break. The second session ran very smoothly and looking at the final results, it was probably our most successful practice of the season so far, especially with the fuel load we were carrying today. Tomorrow will be the key indicator though, because it seems to be a bit of a strange classification with a mix-up all the way through the field. It was a good start for us, but let's not get too excited right now. We just have to keep working and see what happens."

Jenson Button, BAR (8th, 1m 15.152s):
"We haven't really been able to find a good balance today, which is disappointing because the car is looking very encouraging. As soon as I turned into the corners I had quite a lot of understeer, so I had no confidence in the car because it just felt loose at the back. We have a lot of work to do tonight with the tyre options and to decide how to get the best result in qualifying. But we're not just here to qualify well; we're looking for a good race result. So it's a little bit disappointing that we're slightly off-track, but it's nothing that can't be overcome overnight and we should have a more positive day tomorrow. The Ferraris are looking very consistent again so I think we have a fight on our hands, but that's what we're here for."

David Coulthard, McLaren (9th, 1m 15.164s):
"We spent most of today's two sessions on evaluating and comparing our tyres and finding a good balance for the car. The circuit conditions were obviously evolving throughout the day which makes things a bit more tricky, but we have had a good and productive start to our Canadian Grand Prix weekend."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (10th, 1m 15.293s):
"I'm happy today. We are much closer than normal to the red cars, having made some small but successful changes to the set-up after the morning session. The balance was getting better all the time, and though we still need to improve it a bit I'm quite pleased and am feeling quietly optimistic for qualifying and the race."

Jarno Trulli, Renault (11th, 1m 15.492s):
“I had a difficult time today. It seemed like each time I left the garage to do a run, I had a problem with the car that made things more difficult. We didn’t complete the mileage we had wanted to during the two sessions, and we still have lots of work left to do tomorrow.”

Anthony Davidson, BAR (12th, 1m 15.513s):
"My track debut in Canada hasn't been quite as positive as in the races to date. I acclimatised to the track quite well and had a good morning, despite the fact that the track conditions weren't great as it was very dirty out there at first. I was second to the Ferraris again which I'm quite pleased about, but then this afternoon, I lost the second half of the session when my rears locked up at turn six and I hit the Armco - quite hard actually! It is disappointing that I haven't been able to complete my programme today and make a bigger contribution to what I'm sure will be another exciting weekend for the team."

Olivier Panis, Toyota (13th, 1m 15.538s):
"Unfortunately the Grand Prix weekend did not start in such a positive way for me and I am not so happy with the two practice sessions. All day I was not really confident with my car. Additionally I was held up by traffic. I think that there are some drivers on the grid who should use their mirrors more often in order to avoid traffic problems. Tonight we have still some work ahead of us. We need to check the data carefully to find a good set-up compromise for tomorrow."

Ralf Schumacher, Williams (14th, 1m 15.803s):
“I must admit I wasn’t expecting such a Friday at all. Both of my practice sessions were hampered by several problems, not only was I not happy with the brakes, but also making the tyre choice and finding the right set-up have been very difficult. There’s still quite a lot of work ahead of us.”

Mark Webber, Jaguar (15th, 1m 15.926s):
“I had hoped to complete more laps in today’s session and complete my test programme but my car suffered from what appears to be a hydraulic problem in the second session which the guys are still working on. My running was curtailed as the team worked on the car but from the running that I did do, the R5 generally felt well-balanced. This is a good track and I like racing here, so I can’t wait to get back out tomorrow and put some more miles on the clock.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber (16th, 1m 16.119s):
"This morning I hit the wall hard in the last corner and needed to have some work done on the suspension. This afternoon I lost the edge from my set of new tyres, first of all because Ralf went off the track right in front of me, and then because I came across Davidson's crashed BAR under the yellow flags and had to slow down to avoid a penalty. Considering that, I'm really pleased how well the car went without the benefit of fresh tyres."

Gianmaria Bruni, Minardi (17th, 1m 16.235s):
"We searched a bit to find a good chassis set-up and definitely went in the right direction on this. I'm happy with the work we did and am looking forward to tomorrow. I'd like to thank the guys for their efforts, and Bridgestone, for the tyres they provided us with today. I have to say, I think this is a very nice circuit. It's a little bit like Monza, with the chicanes and the late braking into the hairpins - it's a good challenge."

Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (18th, 1m 16.508s):
“In the first session we had some little problems with the brakes but we made some changes and it was much better for the afternoon session. Having worked hard on old tyres we now need to look at our set-up in new tyres for qualifying. The circuit seems to be a lot more bumpy than last year, which means we have a lot of “bottoming” where the floor of the car touches the ground so we need to work on this tonight if we are to see improvements for tomorrow.”

Timo Glock, Jordan (19th, 1m 16.524s):
“I spent my first 10 or 20 laps learning the track and I found it a little bit difficult because although it’s not like Monaco, it’s similar to Albert Park in Melbourne, with walls really close to the track. So I needed the first 10 laps to find the right rhythm. There was a lot of work on the car between sessions on the engine and gearbox which delayed our start in the afternoon a little but it was not too much of a problem. I had a good long run for the tyres but at the end every time I did a fast lap I was caught up in traffic so I think I probably could have been a bit faster on my lap time. Overall it was a good practice day.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (20th, 1m 16.564s):
“This was obviously not the ideal way to start a race weekend. I only managed to complete six laps in the second Free Practice session, which meant I couldn’t work a lot on my car. Even if I had very little running in the afternoon, I can say that the balance had improved from the morning session, but there is obviously much more work to do. I am sure we’ll manage to catch up tomorrow morning and hopefully get in good shape for qualifying.”

Christian Klien, Jaguar (21st, 1m 16.815s):
“The circuit is really good fun and I enjoyed driving it this morning. It’s really flat and it feels like a street circuit thanks to all the close walls. The track was initially quite green this morning but the grip improved very quickly and by this afternoon it was good. I have achieved a good balance on my car today and I am pleased with the set-up. I did quite a lot of work on tyres and also worked on some aero pieces so I did a good few laps. Michelin have done a good job and the tyres are working well around here. I am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and really pushing the R5.”

Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi (22nd, 1m 16.981s):
"I'm happy that we're much closer to the big guys here. It's just a shame that I encountered some traffic on my last run this afternoon, as it prevented me from setting a faster time. I think we had a good day, though, as it was important to stay on the track and learn as much as possible about it. It's a fast circuit and we definitely found a lot of time as we got used to it. Hopefully, we can improve again tomorrow."

Bas Leinders, Minardi (23rd, 1m 17.697s):
"Unfortunately, I was not able to run this morning as a small software problem stopped my car on the circuit. It was easily repaired once the car was back in the garage, and I was then able to take part in the second session, which I was happy to complete without any problems. I got into a rhythm quite quickly once I got going and was still able to carry out some useful test work for the team. I like the track very much. It has its own special character, and it's always nice to experience something out of the ordinary. All things considered, I'm happy with our performance today."

Bjorn Wirdheim, Jaguar (24th, 1m 19.260s):
“I had a frustrating day on track as I was unable to complete my test programme and unable to help the team as much as I would have liked. I completed my installation lap this morning but we quickly noticed a fuel leak and so returned to the garage. The team did a good job to turn the car around but then there were some problems with the hydraulic system which limited my running for the remainder of the day. I did manage to complete some tyre comparison work however and this should support Mark and Christian in their tyre decision.”