Friday practice - selected driver quotes 10 Jun 2005
A familiar pattern in the Montreal timesheets, with the McLaren and Toyota third drivers leading the way, with the race drivers bunched closely behind. All 23 report on their day, including Red Bull newcomer Scott Speed.
Pedro de la Rosa, third driver, McLaren (1st, 1m 14.662s):
"My main priority today was to evaluate the Michelin tyres to gather as much data as possible. As the track has been resurfaced since last year and it's a lot hotter than normal it's even more for us important to gather as much information as possible. The surface was constantly evolving which provides us with a real challenge. However I believe we have found a lot of useful data and hopefully Kimi and Juan Pablo should have a strong race weekend."
Ricardo Zonta, third driver, Toyota (2nd, +0.196s):
"We had a good day and we were competitive throughout both sessions so we are confident. My car felt well balanced, even if it was a struggle because the track changed so much during the two sessions. Because it uses some public roads, it is always dirty to start with, making the first few laps tricky. This year they have also resurfaced the track so it was especially slippery in the morning, but it improved with every run. All in all, a positive start to the weekend."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +0.714s):
It was a satisfactory Friday for us, as we managed to have long runs this afternoon - which helped on this newly asphalted circuit. We completed the programme we had planned this morning and did not have any mechanical problem throughout the day. I was lucky because in the long runs I managed to get clean laps, considering that the circuit is short and that it was quite congested, with third drivers. It was a nearly a perfect Friday.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (4th, +0.963s):
"I'm quite pleased with today's practice. The car is behaving really well and it's looking pretty good. There is still some time to find in the last sector but we will work on that tomorrow morning. We have been evaluating our Michelin tyres and it's always difficult to make the decision as you have to look at both consistency and speed but we have some good data to work with. I think we have the pace to qualify well and finish on the podium. It's a lot hotter out there than normal here in Canada which makes the tyres work harder but that should hopefully be an advantage for us."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (5th, +1.017s):
"We had a trouble free start to the weekend. I'm still not 100 percent happy with the set-up of the car but we can work on that tomorrow morning and I'm sure we will be strong again. It's still quite bumpy out there but grip wise everything is fine. We are aiming to qualify on the first row and do what we can to win so we look forward to the rest of the weekend."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (6th, +1.184s):
I experienced a lot of traffic this afternoon, otherwise I may have been in a higher position. The track was slippery which makes it that more difficult to decide on tyre choice for tomorrow. The car was improving all of the time and I am quite optimistic.
Jenson Button, BAR (7th, +1.528s):
"As usual, today has mostly been about tyre work. We did some long runs which was good and it was nice to have the laps to be able to do a proper comparison. I think we know where we are with the tyre options for the weekend now. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do this evening but we are reasonably happy with what we achieved today."
Takuma Sato, BAR (8th, +1.651s):
"It was a good session for us today. We put a lot of mileage on the car and are confident that the lower downforce configuration which Anthony tested at Monza last week is working really well. Obviously we still have to work hard to keep competitive throughout the weekend but at least on the first day with the new track surface, we collected very good data and should be very happy about that."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (9th, +1.702s):
"We had no major problems here today so in general I'm very happy with how it's gone. We successfully went through the programme and gained a lot of useful data for making the tyre choice tonight. The newly resurfaced track here meant that it was a little bit slippery in the beginning but it improved throughout the day. Looking ahead to Sunday I would expect us to be aiming for another good points finish."
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (10th, +1.797s):
In terms of getting our work done, we did a good job, but we still have to sort out and understand a problem I have with the brakes. Apart from that, it seems we do not have a very competitive car here, but we are working flat-out to sort it out and there are plenty of reasons to be confident that tomorrow we can do much better.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (11th, +1.976s):
"This was a normal Friday of testing for us, working on tyre choice and set-up. The new surface meant we struggled a bit for grip, but that was the same for everybody. The track also changed a lot during the course of the two sessions as more rubber went down. So it's difficult to say where we are at this point but we'll do our best to earn more points."
Mark Webber, Williams (12th, +1.999s):
The track was better than we thought. They have done a good job with the resurfacing. This is a very difficult task because of the extreme temperatures they have here between winter to summer. We have collected a lot of useful data to look through tonight. Its of course better than what we had on Friday at the Nurburgring, where still we made the right choice, even though we had very little data! Today was a good day for the team.
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (13th, +2.056s):
The car was quite nicely balanced and we had a better day than we expected. Its the same car, but it seems better suited to tracks where you have chicanes and heavy braking, like Imola. The surface is grippier than last year, mainly because of the new asphalt, so that helped. But heres a good day on a Friday and ultimately it meant only 13th place.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (14th, +2.065s):
That session was quite okay. We seem more competitive here than at other tracks recently. The pace of the car was reasonable and there was good grip on the new surface, although it is still bumpy going into the hairpin and down the main straight.
My only problem was that I had yellow flags on my two laps on new tyres so I wasnt able to make use of them. Theres more to come from me because of that, so it doesnt look too bad.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (15th, +2.164s):
First of all I must say I was pleasantly surprised that the circuit hasnt seemed to have lost much grip because of the resurfacing. If you look at the lap times, speeds are similar to last year, although the last chicane really makes a difference because the kerbs are a lot higher which makes that part of the circuit a lot slower. Otherwise it has been quite a hot day which should be similar to what we will have on Sunday. Now we have to do all our tyre work, which is even more difficult here for Michelin, because of the new surface.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (16th, +2.538s):
We are not looking too competitive here, looking at the lap times. I did not get the best out of my new set of tyres this afternoon, as I went out early on when the track was not yet at its best. But if you look at Rubens time, which he set on the same tyres much later in the session, it looks a bit better. On a positive note, we got through all our programme. I would say the new surface is a clear improvement on the old one in terms of bumps.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (17th, +2.637s):
Similarly to Friday in Nurburgring, the pace of the car hasnt been so good today and we need to try and understand which areas to target in order to improve performance. Well see where we are tomorrow but, at the moment, were quite a distance from the front-runners.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (18th, +3.260s):
Overall, that was not so good. We did three long runs to compare the tyres and collected some useful data, which will help us decide which to use tomorrow. However, were struggling for speed a little on this circuit, especially on the long straights. I think we need to find something extra if were to do well here.
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (19th, +3.453s):
I was a little bit disappointed in the first session, as I lost my last run with a clutch-related problem, but then the second session was quite good. We improved a lot in that session, in part at least because of the tyres, and were able to find a good balance for the car. I think we can improve further tomorrow, however, so I feel it could be a good weekend for us.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (20th, +3.572s):
I had a productive day today at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As I have never driven here, I had to spend quite a bit of time learning the layout but this was not too difficult. The track surface was very dusty, which does not make your job any easier. However, we did quite a considerable amount of laps and I am quite pleased with that. Now we will decide on our tyre choice for the rest of the weekend and I will do my best to improve tomorrow again.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (21st, +3.801s):
We had a bit of a slow start in the morning, but we came back this afternoon. We have been improving with each run, and although we are still not completely satisfied with all aspects of the cars behaviour, weve still got two more practice sessions tomorrow to work on it. All things being considered, I think we did a reasonable time today.
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (22nd, +4.524s):
Today was a hard day as I lost nearly an hour this morning, due to a small hydraulic problem. Even though I know the track here for having raced in Champ Car in 2003, I still needed some running time. I pushed hard in the afternoon to make up lost time and I completed a great number of laps. Now we have to analyse the information we gathered and work well tonight to get a more stable car. There are so many important braking areas here, you have to be confident on the brakes and balance of the car. I am sure we will be able to manage that.
Scott Speed, third driver, Red Bull (23rd, +4.608s):
The car is comfortable to drive and I was out there trying to do the best job I could, to enable the team to get the data they needed. I was concentrating on trying to give the team some good feedback from the laps I completed. It was a shame I went off before the end of the session. Before that, the balance of the car had felt good and the condition of the track was improving with every lap.