Friday practice - selected driver quotes 06 May 2005
The drivers report back on a busy day in Barcelona - Pedro de la Rosa is again the Friday star, this time on home soil; Juan Pablo Montoya wrecks his McLaren on his first day back; Mark Webber is forced to sit out both sessions; and, of course, no BAR.
Pedro de la Rosa, third driver, McLaren (1st, 1m 15.062s s):
"I'm quite happy with our performance today but there is definitely more to come. It's always good to be quick and know that the car is still not perfect. I'm confident the team will have a strong weekend. It's nice to be able to perform in front of my home crowd and I will continue to work with the team to ensure we get the maximum potential out of Kimi's and Juan Pablo's cars."
Ricardo Zonta, third driver, Toyota (2nd, +1.158s):
"Unfortunately I lost most of my morning's running after I suffered a hydraulic problem in the morning session so I had to try and catch up on my programme in the afternoon. The new smoother track surface here at Barcelona meant that there was not much grip early on in the morning session, but the conditions improved as the day went on. That should continue during the weekend, particularly if it stays hot and sunny."
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (3rd, +1.465s):
Our position looks quite good for the moment but despite this I wasnt completely happy with the balance of my car this morning so we changed a few things around for the afternoon and I was definitely happier with it. In fact we made some good steps forward. The fact that I am going to change my engine again tomorrow at least allowed me to do more laps than usual as I had to try to cover the programmes for both my car and Marks car. The only negative thing at the moment is that obviously I will have to start my race from towards the back, due to the penalty.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, +1.524s):
"A trouble free day for me and a good start to the weekend. The car set-up is still not perfect but we have tomorrow's practice to improve the package even further. The track keeps changing which provide a real challenge for all the teams but all in all a positive day and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (5th, +1.591s):
"It was a positive day for me. It was really a normal Friday but we had to do less set-up work than usual because we test here so often. This year's new track surface means we still have some things to learn about the track so we spent the day looking at tyre comparisons. Now the car is not far from where it should be and it's up to us to make the tyre decision based on the data. Then we can look to add to our haul of points from the year."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (6th, +1.735s):
It was a positive session for us today and I feel good about this weekend. We managed to go through the entire tyre test that we wanted and I got a good idea of our strategy for the rest of the weekend. The car feels ok and we look to building on todays result."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (7th, +2.138s):
We ran plenty of laps today in order to get a clear idea of the tyre behaviour at this circuit where their performance during the race will be very important. I think we have a better idea on the direction we need to choose than at the previous races this year, which is a positive start. Performance-wise, I think our pace is good, and the chassis balance is very close to being what I need in the long runs. I am looking forward to tomorrow.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (8th, +2.202s):
"I spent the day working on general set-up. The car went pretty well and we found more grip with the changes we made as the session went on. Now we have to look at the tyre choice. The Circuit de Catalunya has changed a lot since we last raced here because of the new tarmac. It's very smooth so you have to work hard to get heat into the tyres, so it could still be a tough race for tyres. If we can beat that challenge we can look for another strong finish."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (9th, +2.294s):
Today was really special for me, to be out on the circuit this morning and able to see the support in the stands: I know there are lots of people coming to the race from all around Spain, so I am excited for the weekend. This afternoon, we got down to work properly, and as usual, we had to choose between the two tyres. We did a good job, because the choice is pretty clear. The grip levels on the track were not very high, but that is normal on the first day, and things will pick up as we go on. Even so, the car handling felt good, and it was comfortable to drive. We had no problems, so it's a good start for me.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (10th, +2.493s):
"It's nice to be back at the wheel of the MP4-20. However the first time I have a shunt whilst driving for this team had to happen today and I'm sorry for the guys who have to repair the damage overnight. I don't know what happened but I just lost it. I went to see the FIA Medical Delegate afterwards and he said I was absolutely fine. My shoulder has been coping well and until the last lap everything had been going according to plan. I'm excited about the rest of the weekend and hopefully we will put on a good show."
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (11th, +2.640s):
I did not run much this morning because of a hydraulic problem with the car, which was then identified and solved. In the afternoon, I did some good runs which produced plenty of useful data. I think that overall, we are not in as bad shape as seems to be the case if you just look at the times. We know what small changes we can make to the car to be much stronger. As usual on a Friday, we dont really know what the opposition has done, so it is hard to get a clear picture of the situation. I am optimistic because the situation is quite similar to Imola, in that we can expect to have a very competitive car for the race.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (12th, +2.869s):
"I was very unhappy with the set-up of the car this morning. The balance was bad and it felt really nervous in the high-speed corners. We made a few changes for this afternoon and the car was transformed. It was quick right away, consistent and nice to drive again. I think we have a reasonable set-up now, so it was not a bad day after all. I'm feeling quietly optimistic."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (13th, +2.980s):
Our performance today did not look very promising. We must now analyse all the data to see in what areas we can improve the car. Tomorrow mornings work will involve the usual job of finding the right compromise between being quick over a single lap for qualifying and being able to maintain a strong race pace. We did plenty of laps today, so we have all the data we need to achieve that.
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (14th, +3.274s):
"I'm pretty happy today. I was worried initially because we didn't have a very good test here recently, but it turned out not so bad. The balance wasn't great this morning but it was better this afternoon. It's not yet as good as Imola, but Felipe and I were working on different programmes so I'm sure that will improve tomorrow. The new surface here is very strange. It doesn't feel like any other asphalt that we race on. It's more like when you go indoor karting on concrete, so it gives you a weird feeling in the car. But it's the same for everyone."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (15th, +3.382s):
I was quite happy with my session. The car was well balanced. I feel much better at this event after testing last week in Jerez. Actually, I think we are a little bit better than in Imola. We made a few changes to the car, but I guess the other teams have also made progress, so we have to see how we do on Sunday.
Christian Klien, third driver, Red Bull (16th, +3.740s):
The first session went quite well, I simulated qualifying and we adjusted the balance. The car was good to drive and I think I had a reasonable lap. In the second session I did a tyre comparison with two long runs. The first one and the beginning of the second was quite good. I think the car was quick in this configuration, but then I unfortunately had an electrical problem and suddenly the engine stopped. Compared to the last race in Imola we could be better here, but Barcelona is the test track for everybody so we still have to fight very hard.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (17th, +3.796s):
In the afternoon we have found a better set-up and I feel comfortable with the Bridgestone tyres we are going to use for the weekend. The car is getting better and I am sure there will be some more coming tomorrow and I will be able to improve my lap times.
Robert Doornbos, third driver, Jordan (18th, +4.063s):
Today went quite well. My biggest programme this morning was testing Bridgestone tyres, as this circuit is known as being a very abrasive track. Therefore we have to make the right decision on which tyres to use. I had a lot of fun especially in the second session where I pushed really hard with some older tyres and I particularly liked some fast corners which made the driving very challenging.
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (19th, +4.078s):
It was a good day today even though I had some minor problems in the first session which made me lose a bit of time, but in general it was not too difficult as we already know the circuit. We made some good improvements in the car, balance-wise and I am pretty happy with them. It is a pity there were some yellow flags during the afternoon, as we could have been more competitive. The three Jordan Grand Prix drivers are very close to each other which is really good.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (20th, +4.519s):
"We had a normal day for a Friday, and although we lost some time this morning, and then a little more this afternoon, As a result, we weren't able to try quite as many things as we would have liked, but hopefully, tomorrow we'll be able to make up for the lost ground."
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (21st, +5.624s):
"Generally, it was not a bad day and we tried a couple of new things that worked well. I was struggling a little bit with the balance of the car today, and although we improved it as the day progressed, we will continue to work on this tomorrow and aim to find a good solution. I'd like to thank Bridgestone, because we were able to test quite a number of tyre compounds at the recent Mugello test, and that has helped quite a lot."
Mark Webber, Williams (22nd, no time):
It seemed like a pretty good day for the guys and it was good that Nick had a smooth run and completed all of our programmes. I ll start with my job on track tomorrow and Ill try to catch up and get the most out of this weekend for qualifying and the race.