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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 09 Jul 2004

(L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren enters the paddock with Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director.
Formula One World Championship, British Grand Prix, Rd 11, Preparations, Silverstone, England, 8 July 2004 Giorgio Pantano (ITA) Jordan.
Formula One World Championship, British Grand Prix, Rd 11, Practice, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2004 Felipe Massa (BRA) Sauber with his girlfriend.
Formula One World Championship, British Grand Prix, Rd 11, Practice, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2004 Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, British Grand Prix, Rd 11, Practice, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2004

Promising day for McLaren and Sauber at Silverstone

Little to separate the two fastest men, who both left Michael Schumacher in their wake. How Kimi Raikkonen, Giancarlo Fisichella and the others saw their British Grand Prix Friday.

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st, 1m 18.655s):
"We completed our planned programme today and experienced no problems. I had a positive test here at Silverstone with the 19B a few weeks ago, so I was quite confident that the car would be good. Hopefully we can continue to improve it during tomorrow's practice. We were quickest today, but there is nothing to celebrate yet? Saturday and Sunday are the important ones."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Sauber (2nd, 1m 18.660s):
"I am very pleased, as we have taken a big step forward. The team has done a fantastic job, and if you look what we have achieved with the car since Melbourne it is excellent. This step here in Silverstone is probably the biggest of them all. The car is very well balanced and stable, and I was able to do a very good lap time. I am really, really optimistic, even though my engine problem this morning means that I will lose 10 grid places tomorrow afternoon. The same thing happened at Nurburgring, and we still scored points there, so I'm really looking forward to the race."

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (3rd, 1m 19.162s):
“It was a slightly different Friday to the usual for us due to the fact that we expected rain in the second session, so we set ourselves a bigger workload in the morning. In the second session, we tried a few variations in set-up which worked very well. Overall, I am quite happy with our performance today. We know the competition is tough with some of them looking very strong today. However, I believe we will be in the fight for the win. Now we have to work out the best way to go about achieving that.”

David Coulthard, McLaren (4th, 1m 19.287s):
"An encouraging start to my home grand prix, but its early days and whilst it's looking good, tomorrow is another day. We have learnt a lot and will see what the next couple of days bring. MP4-19B is an improvement, and I feel that it should be possible to get on the podium, so that has to be the goal."

Jenson Button, BAR (5th, 1m 19.401s):
"We completed most of our tyre work today but it's a shame about Anthony's problem. I think we know the direction we're heading in, we just have a lot more work to do to optimise the car in time for qualifying. The support from the crowd has been fantastic already and we just have to keep focused and do everything we can to build on today's performance and get stronger as we head into the race."

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (6th, 1m 19.473s):
“This morning’s session was very straightforward, but in the afternoon, I encountered a few problems while evaluating the tyres. However, we have a good base line in terms of the set-up of the car to suit this track and I am sure that a bit more work tomorrow morning will get us back on track.”

Marc Gene, Williams (7th, 1m 19.540s):
“All in all it was a positive day. We have been working on tyre evaluation like everyone today and we also made some set-up changes. The car did not always behave as expected though, so we need to sit down now and carefully go through the data we have collected, in order to have a better understanding of the situation. What tyre we I will use for qualifying and in the race is still undecided at the moment.”

Jarno Trulli, Renault (8th, 1m 19.601s):

Takuma Sato, BAR (9th, 1m 19.611s):
"We hoped we would be stronger here today after the positive tests we had earlier in the season. The car isn't performing as well as we'd hoped and we have a lot more work to do to be more competitive for qualifying and the race, as we are looking for a podium finish here. We didn't complete the full tyre evaluation but hopefully there is enough data between the three of us to confirm our choice for tomorrow."

Felipe Massa, Sauber (10th, 1m 19.676s):
"Honestly, I am very happy with my lap time. I used my new tyres early in the session to do a long run, so my lap was achieved on old rubber whereas Giancarlo used his new tyres at the end. The car is well balanced, very consistent and very stable, and I am feeling very optimistic. It is great to know we have such a competitive car."

Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams (11th, 1m 19.746s):
“We made some good evaluation tests today. Track conditions were changing quite a lot throughout the sessions but nevertheless we went through our scheduled programme and I can say I am reasonably happy with the balance of my car. Weather has been better than yesterday, even if still quite cold, and I definitely hope for some more dry running tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (12th, 1m 19.874s):

Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (13th, 1m 20.095s):
"Today's practice sessions were both quite productive, even though there is still plenty of room for improvement. The tyre choice appears to be rather complicated at this track. On each of the two types of tyre we evaluated, we gain time in one way, but we lose out in the other, so we have to find the best compromise before making our final selection. I think we did a good job in the end. Silverstone is a very nice track from a driving perspective, but it is extremely bumpy, which disrupts the car a lot."

Olivier Panis, Toyota (14th, 1m 20.489s):
"We had a normal Friday practice, comparing the two compounds of Michelin tyres and working on the set-up of the car. I think we need to work really hard to improve the car for tomorrow because there is definitely a lot more we can get out of it at this track. We will look deep into the data during this afternoon and hopefully make some progress in tomorrow morning's sessions."

Cristiano da Matta, Toyota (15th, 1m 20.829s):
"A very frustrating first day at Silverstone today with the car behaving similarly to how it did at the test in June. It is bumping a lot and there is a big difference in the balance from high speed to low speed. The only positive thing I can draw from today's session is the fantastic job my crew did to change the gearbox in just 20 minutes after I had a wheel bearing problem at the start of the second session. Their quick reactions and efficient work meant that the problem did not negate our programme that much."

Anthony Davidson, BAR (16th, 1m 20.861s):
"This isn't the way I wanted to start the team's home race weekend. I had a good morning and was hoping to continue that progress into this afternoon but unfortunately we had a gearbox failure after just 14 laps. Our long-run performance seems to be very good but it's a shame that I was unable to complete our tyre evaluation. Jenson and Taku managed to pack some of my programme into the end of theirs, so all is not lost but it's not ideal. The tyres I ran felt good so we have good reason to feel positive. I hope today's problem has got all our bad luck out of the way for the rest of the weekend and the guys can go on to do a great job in front of our home crowd."

Christian Klien, Jaguar (17th, 1m 21.073s):
“I managed to complete a good number of laps today and I feel quite comfortable in the car around here. My engineers and I had quite a long list of test items to work through and I am pleased that we managed to get it all completed before it rained. This track can be quite slippery but today the grip was ok for me and this helped. I am going to be working on my tyre choice tonight and also looking ahead to qualifying and our strategy for race day.”

Mark Webber, Jaguar (18th, 1m 21.352s):
“It was an interesting day for us today as we were definitely finding the track conditions slightly more frustrating than normal. The weather conditions were ok but the wind here can really pick up and this was affecting my balance on track. The team has done a good job to prepare the car ahead of this weekend since we only left France four days ago! I worked on set-up today, balance and tyres, but I need to do more tomorrow ahead of qualifying. We will be looking at our tyre choice this evening and looking at how we can extract more from the R5 this weekend. We had such a strong weekend in Magny-Cours and I would like to continue with that theme this weekend.”

Bjorn Wirdheim, Jaguar (19th, 1m 21.353s):
“Testing today was good for me and I managed to work on a number of different areas of the car. Balance is very important here and we are currently working very hard to make this better as we were struggling a little this morning. The car generally is looking good and we are hoping for another strong weekend on track like the one we had last weekend.”

Nick Heidfeld, Jordan (20th, 1m 22.365s):
“A fairly positive day as I did a lot of laps and we have benefited from testing here not too long ago to prepare a starting set-up. I’m not quite happy with our balance at the moment: although we have tried a couple of things, we need to make further improvements. Tyre choice is going to be tough although I think we will be stronger on that side than we were in Magny Cours.”

Timo Glock, Jordan (21st, 1m 22.500s):
“The first practice session was quite good and I worked on a tyre and engine programme. It was difficult to find a good set-up for the car, but I think we are starting to understand which tyre is right for the race. The crash was quite heavy and I think there’s a bit of damage for the mechanics to repair but I’m okay.”

Gianmaria Bruni, Minardi (22nd, 1m 22.516s):
"It's not been a bad day at all, but it would have been even better if I hadn't been caught up in traffic on what should have been my quickest lap - it definitely lost me a couple of tenths. I'm also pleased that we were able to try different set-ups today. Bas went in a different direction, and the results look good, so we'll perhaps try that tomorrow. We've done some good work today, and now it would be fantastic if we could hear some good news concerning John. We really miss him."

Giorgio Pantano, Jordan (23rd, 1m 22.586s):
“Today we tried to improve the balance of the car in these conditions, it’s also the first time I have driven here with more rubber on the circuit. We had some little balance problems but we worked quite hard today on tyre comparison tests and with our choice for the race we hope to find a better balance on the slower parts of the circuit.”

Bas Leinders, Minardi (24th, 1m 22.792s):
"I'm very pleased with the work we've done today, as we were able to improve the car so it was to my liking. We suffered a little with understeer throughout the day, but improved the balance as the sessions went on. I had a potentially good lap under way this afternoon, but Glock went off and I slowed, losing a good three-tenths of a second. If that hadn't happened, I would have been 21st behind Heidfeld. We're definitely going in the right direction."

Zsolt Baumgartner, Minardi (25th, 1m 23.436s):
"We were able to find a good balance for the car, just like we had in Magny-Cours, so it has been a useful day. Unfortunately, in the second session, we had a small gearbox problem, which lost me some valuable track time while it was fixed. That is the reason I was not able to achieve as quick a lap time as I would have liked today."