Spanish Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 08 May 2005
No one could touch McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, but there were plenty of close battles behind the Finnish star. The Formula One drivers explain their afternoons work in Barcelona.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st):
"We have been close to victory a few times and today it finally happened. The car has been working perfectly throughout the weekend and we knew we had a good chance to win. A lot of effort has gone into this from the team and all our Partners and I would like to thank everybody. If we can continue to show performance like the one today we still have a good chance of fighting for the World Championships. We have a competitive package and until Imola we were extremely reliable so anything can happen. I made a clean start from pole and was pushing really hard until the first pitstop when I saw how big the gap actually was. There was a small scare as I pulled away from my first stop because the engine did not pick up but it soon rectified itself and then I just took it easy during my second stop. All in all a great weekend!"
Fernando Alonso, Renault (2nd):
For me today, this is the same feeling as winning - we had a fantastic car, almost no problems all weekend and I think we did the maximum we could by finishing second. We thought McLaren would be a little bit quicker than us, although it maybe looked too easy for Kimi in the first stint because I was having some small problems, and I am totally confident the gap will not be the same at the next race. The crowd was hoping for a win for sure, but on the in-lap I could see they were still happy, and very excited at my finish and what the team achieved today. I have five podiums from five races, and 44 points already - that is a fantastic score, and I know the whole team is pushing to the maximum to maintain our position.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (3rd):
"This was one of the best races of my career because I really had to fight for the whole of the race to keep ahead of Ralf. Ralf was very quick and probably today he deserved a podium as well as me. But I had a different strategy because my set-up meant that I was quicker with more fuel and a bit slower with less fuel in the car. It meant I had to push really hard throughout, even through the pitstops. I had a problem with the fuel rig at my first stop but in the end everything worked fine so it was a great feeling to finish on the podium again. Toyota has been doing a great job and I can't thank the team enough for the equipment they are giving me."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (4th):
"That was a long, hard race. It's great to score so many points again and in general the race went well. I gained a place at the start and kept pushing throughout the afternoon. Unfortunately I lost ground on Jarno in the first pitstops and from then on I had to push him all the way. It was a busy race but I had no real problems with the car or tyres, so I'm happy with the way it went. It's great for the team that we have brought home 11 points between us today."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (5th):
I have a mixture of emotions after the race: I am pleased to have finished in the points, and I think I showed the pace we had in the car today. But it is also a shame that we had the problem, because our strategy was good, the set-up was spot on and I drove a good race. I think P2 was mine. The problem happened during the middle of the race, when I suddenly felt a loss of front downforce, so I pitted and the team changed the nose as a precaution, and also fixed the problem down by the floor of the car. We refuelled at the same time, so it was then a case of picking off the cars in front when they stopped. I was pleased to be able to pass Webber though - I could see I was quicker, and then got a run on him out of the last corner and did a good manoeuvre into turn 1. Overall, I am pretty happy with fifth position: I have scored points again, and am now in a good position for first qualifying at the next race in Monaco. That will be very important there, and it is my favourite circuit, so I am very optimistic that I can have a strong result.
Mark Webber, Williams (6th):
The start was tricky because I was on the dirty side of the track and I lost one position there. I didnt want to risk too much with Ralf Schumacher at the first corner to protect my position. Then I was stuck for a while behind Ralf and Alonso, which was a shame, because I was lighter than them. We decided to change strategy and go for two stops instead of three but the fuel load was quite hard on the tyres then, causing quite a bit of deterioration and consequent vibrations in the car. At the end of the day we collected some useful points.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (7th):
"The car was working well throughout but we had not achieved the optimum set-up so I was struggling a bit with understeer to start with. I spun 360 degrees in turn eight on lap seven and lost some time. Obviously the problem in my first stop cost me some time but all in all I'm OK with the result today considering everything that has happened. My shoulder was good but it was tough particularly at turns three and nine and the last two corners where you pull a lot of Gs. At least I'm not going to be starting the first qualifying session in Monaco first, which is a definite advantage."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (8th):
Another point which is very valuable for the team. Obviously it was quite a difficult race in many respects. On my first set of tyres I had some understeer and that switched to oversteer with my second set which slowed me a bit. In the final stint the car was better balanced until I flat-spotted a tyre which gave me a lot of vibration and affected my visibility, so that I had to judge my braking points from memory. My eyeballs are still rolling around in my head! But all in all I am quite happy with my race. I did not make any mistakes and I brought home a point.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (9th):
I had a really difficult race. The tyres were getting better as the race progressed, but then they developed blisters and I could not do any more. I had a lonely race and I was never able to push as hard as I wanted as I was not very happy with the balance of my car. I did not seem to have the pace today.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (10th):
I had a reasonable start but the Minardi in front of me stalled on the grid and I had to avoid it. That was very close and it cost me a bit of time. Then I managed to overtake a couple of cars, which was good but after that I was stuck behind Villeneuve who unfortunately pitted later than me, so I had to push very hard after my pit-stop with a lot of fuel on board. Later I was again stuck behind other cars. Anyway, theres not much more you can expect starting from so far back.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (11th):
"I think I drove a good race, but the pace was just too strong for us today. Everybody who finished in front of us was quicker. As for the problem at the end, I felt the left rear tyre deflate as I came through the last corner, so that was it. We discovered afterwards that the wheel rim had cracked, which let the air leak out."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (12th):
Today was my best Grand Prix so far this season. I had no problem and I was able to push harder and harder throughout the race. The tyres worked very well. Bridgestone have made a big improvement and we have also made some progress on the balance of the car. I had an engine problem this morning and I had to start from the back of the grid but in the end I have finished 12th. I have really enjoyed this race and I would like to thank the team for the great job they did this morning, changing the engine so quickly.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (13th):
I have made a reasonable start and the first few laps were ok. I was pushing hard as Tiago Monteiro was catching. Then I made a mistake in running a bit too wide in a chicane, went in the dirt and Tiago overtook me. I am glad we both finished the race and that the team has been able to gather some useful data.
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (DNF):
"Quite early on my engine began losing water and as it steadily got hotter I began losing power. The biggest problem was that I started with a lot of fuel intending to run longer, but just as I got to the point where my fuel load had gone down and I should have been able to start lapping quickly I got stuck in traffic, so we were unable to maximise our strategy. In the end the engine failed because of the water loss."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (DNF):
I think a third place would have been a realistic target seeing how the race was going. So it was very disappointing that I had those two problems. Already on the lap before, I felt the car becoming unbalanced, then suddenly the tyre pressure was gone. Then, after the rear tyre was changed, the same thing happened again. It is strange that both were on the same side and the other tyres were fine. We have a lot of work to do across the entire package, before Monaco.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (DNF):
"It's really a shame we had some problems in the race today because we had a good qualifying here in Barcelona, and I think we could have been competitive against the Jordans. Now we will have to wait until Monaco to see what we can do. It's also a shame for the whole Minardi team, which has been working really hard. It would have been good to finish the race in order to get more data on the new car, but even so, we can take some satisfaction from our performance in this weekend's qualifying sessions. Now it's maximum attack for the next race."
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (DNF):
"I don't know exactly what happened at the start - I just let out the clutch and suddenly the engine shut down. After that, we couldn't get the car into neutral so we lost some time while the problem was sorted out, but we were able to join the race and start putting in some reasonable laps. Then at corner three, I turned in normally, but picked up some understeer. As a result, the car got onto a dirty part of the track, and that was it - I ended up in the gravel. It's disappointing, and especially for the guys, who have again been working so hard this weekend."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (DNF):
I had a bit of a problem with the balance. I was all over the place. I had a problem coming out from corner 7, spun and I went off. I down shifted and the rear locked and when I applied the throttle the traction control did not work so I spun and ended up in the gravel. Up to that point my pace seamed quite good.