Qualifying - selected driver quotes 12 Jun 2004
Who thought what of their Montreal qualifying...
Ralf Schumacher takes pole in Montreal for the second year in succession, Jenson Button is on the front row again and Michael Schumacher is left languishing in sixth place.
Ralf Schumacher, Williams (1st, 1m 12.275s):
I am surprised about this brilliant result, since we struggled quite a lot yesterday and this morning. But the team did a great job in getting the car right which allowed me to achieve this unexpected pole. The car started to feel very well in the pre-qualifying session and it was very good in qualifying too. We have really turned the set-up around and we have definitely found the right one. When I saw that Michael had qualified sixth I started thinking I could do it. It is going to be a great race tomorrow, also because all the cars on Michelin tyres seem to be very consistent. I am looking forward to it.
Jenson Button, BAR (2nd, 1m 12.341s):
"I'm very pleased with my lap and a front row grid slot. Not as pleased as if I'd held on to pole but I'll settle for second. I lost a bit of time in the hairpin because I went a bit deep and locked up the front right. There are a couple more tenths in the car yet so to be a full second ahead of Michael is fantastic; a bit strange but great nonetheless. Having three cars between myself and Michael is a bonus - but I guess I still have Jarno behind me to worry about! Neither the team nor myself have ever had much luck here and it would be nice for us to change that this weekend. I'm told it will be a capacity crowd here tomorrow and I'm optimistic that we can give them something other than a Ferrari 1-2 to smile about!"
Jarno Trulli, Renault (3rd, 1m 13.023s):
"This is the fourth race in a row that I have started from the second row or higher, and that obviously puts us in a strong position for tomorrow. I had a good lap, but couldn't repeat my time from this morning - I think the hotter track conditions may have had something to do with it, and I think we will see some variation in strategies tomorrow. However, third is a good result, and the car has been competitive on the longer runs. We will see what happens tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (4th, 1m 13.072s):
I am a bit disappointed with my result because I could have achieved more.
Unlike yesterday and this morning, my car was feeling pretty good in qualifying but I made a couple of mistakes and I had to pay for that. I locked the rear wheels into the hairpin and lost some valuable time there. Ralf did a great job and put a good lap in. We have worked very hard on the car since yesterday and its clear that we have moved forward. Both Ralf and myself are in a very good position for the race. Lets see how it goes.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (5th, 1m 13.308s):
"I am happy with fifth, even though it is not as quick as I did this morning. On my out lap, I hit some debris from Sato's car, and then made a smack mistake at turn 8 on the qualifying lap, and we found that the car was damaged at the end of the run. I had a bit too much understeer to be really quick, but to be in the top five is enough to race well."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (6th, 1m 13.355s):
I would say this was a difficult qualifying session. I had not expected it to be easy, but now it will be interesting to see how well our tyres will perform in the race and how much ground we make up compared to what we have lost in qualifying. I have won races from lower positions on the grid and so I am still confident for tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (7th, 1m 13.562s):
It was a bit of a complicated day. This morning I took a kerb differently to usual and the car bottomed out hard enough to damage the chassis. The mechanics then did a fantastic job to refit my engine into the spare car, which meant I was able to get out on track again for the second part of the fourth session. The new car is handling pretty well, but my lap was not perfect. I actually made a mistake at Turn 6 which probably cost me at least half a second. But I remain confident for tomorrow because the car is very competitive in race trim.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (8th, 1m 13.595s):
"It was an OK lap. However I had some problems at the last chicane and maybe lost one place. Basically on this circuit you need to drive over the kerbs a little bit, so how fast you get through the corner depends on how well you do that. Hopefully we can finish the race tomorrow and get some points."
David Coulthard, McLaren (9th, 1m 13.681s):
"I had a small amount of oversteer and was sliding a little bit with the rear during my qualifying lap, and as a result I went a bit wide at a couple of chicanes, so there is some time lost there. The balance of the car is good, so I think if we run reliably in tomorrow's race, it should be possible to score some points."
Christian Klien, Jaguar (10th, 1m 14.532s):
Today has been an encouraging day for me and I am pleased with my qualifying position for tomorrows race. My R5 has been well prepared by the team and it is feeling good around this track and the balance is also working well for me. We have had a productive weekend so far and I am very much look forward to racing here tomorrow. We have been working hard preparing our brakes for this race as it is well known that the slow corners and fast straights are very hard on them and they can become worn out. We will be looking to make the most of any overtaking opportunities and attrition that may occur on track and I am very much aiming for my first points this weekend. We have been taking steps forward all this weekend and I would like to reward the team for their hard work and support.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (11th, 1m 14.674s):
"It's been a fantastic day for me, with two perfect qualifying sessions. To take 11th place on the grid, especially with the fuel load that we were running, is really, really good. The car has been great here, with good balance and traction, and the brakes have been perfect. This has possibly been one of the most positive weekends of my season so far and I'm really looking forward to exploiting that to the full in the race and adding to our points score."
Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (12th, 1m 14.851s):
"My lap was not great and I feel that I could have extracted another two or three tenths from the car. Having said that, we have been more concentrated on our race pace this weekend, so we did not expect to be so hot today. We maybe had a bit too much understeer in the qualifying session, but that will help conserve our rear tyres in the race, which could give us a competitive edge. The overall results reflect where we thought we would be with our strategy. We believe that the direction we have opted for is the right one and we have put our money on it paying off tomorrow."
Olivier Panis, Toyota (13th, 1m 14.891s):
"I think I did a good lap considering the strategy that we are using for tomorrow's race. It is always possible to improve by some tenths-of-a-second, but likewise, it is also easy to lose five. I actually feel really positive for the race because the tyres and the car appeared quite consistent during the long runs we completed in the practice sessions this morning. Now we simply need to wait and see where we are tomorrow in comparison with everybody else's strategy."
Mark Webber, Jaguar (14th, 1m 15.148s):
It would be good if I could start a bit higher up the grid but thats the way it goes sometimes. The car felt generally good and I was happy with the balance and set-up. I locked up slightly on corner ten which cost me some time but you have to take the rough with the smooth. The guys have been working very hard since Nurburgring in preparation for this race and I know that we are moving in the right direction. I scored two points at this race last year so I will be giving it my best shot to do the same again tomorrow. I enjoy racing here and because of the street-like circuit attrition is not unlikely so there will be opportunities to move up the grid. During our testing last week at Silverstone we worked on our starts so will be looking for a good start and our strategy should stand us in good stead for a points challenging race.
Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (15th, 1m 15.321s):
Im very satisfied with that lap. Driving-wise it was good and the car was also better. We have improved it significantly throughout the weekend so Im really quite happy and I think we got the maximum out of it. Brakes and bottoming are not an issue any more as we resolved those things after yesterday morning so I think we are in good shape for the race.
Timo Glock, Jordan (16th, 1m 16.323s):
I was really nervous on my first qualifying lap as I have no experience of the one lap system so I decided to go quite easy and just see what the car was like. This morning we had some problems with temperatures in the front tyres but this afternoon with higher track temperature the front tyres are really good and the rear became nervous so it was quite hard to drive. We changed a few little things for the second qualifying session but there was no time for a big step so I went easy again and concentrated on not crashing the car on my first qualifying. Im not really satisfied with how it went and I think I may have been a bit too aggressive but I feel more comfortable and ready for the race than I did for qualifying so Im really looking forward to tomorrow.
Takuma Sato, BAR (17th, 1m 17.004s):
"It has been a difficult day for me. In the morning session we lost the first part of the practice due to an oil pressure problem and then lost part of the second practice session, so we could not try all of the variables on the car that we wanted to. However, the car felt great in pre-qualifying and I started the final qualifying session feeling very confident. Sector one was very good, but I had a slide through turns six and seven, and in trying to make up time, I missed the first part of the last chicane and hit the kerb. I'm very annoyed with myself and I've certainly made life hard by having to start so far back down the grid. It will be a tough race for me tomorrow but this circuit has some good overtaking opportunities, so I have to be positive for tomorrow and try my best."
Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi (18th, 1m 17.064s):
"Generally, it has been a productive day and I have to thank the guys, as they put in a great effort. There was a small problem with the engine, which meant they had to change it, and then we decided overnight to go in a different direction with our tyre choice, which required a lot of alterations to the car. We spent some time in the two sessions this morning finding a good chassis balance, and we then had to make further adjustments to compensate for the higher air and track temperatures this afternoon. I was fairly happy with my final qualifying run. It's just a pity I made a mistake under braking for the last corner, though, because otherwise I could have been in the 1 min 16s. It's a pity about Gimmi's problem in qualifying, but hopefully we can still have a good race tomorrow."
Felipe Massa, Sauber (19th, no time):
"I picked up a puncture at the start of my out lap, so that was it for me. The car felt so unstable that I knew something was wrong and had to come straight into the pits at the end of the lap. I'm disappointed because the car felt really good this morning and I'm sure I would have been able to set a competitive time this afternoon. I still believe I have the chance to salvage something in the race tomorrow, however, and will be fighting very hard."
Gianmaria Bruni, Minardi (20th, no time):
"I set a good lap time this morning with lots of fuel on board, and was very pleased with that. Unfortunately, on my pre-qualifying out-lap, there was a fuel pressure drop as I left the pit lane and the car just stopped. The guys worked really hard to switch me to the spare car, but I just wasn't comfortable with the pedals when I went out on my qualifying lap. I therefore decided to cut the run short, as there was no point in continuing with a car I couldn't drive properly. I just hope luck is more on my side tomorrow."