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Qualifying - selected driver quotes 11 Jun 2005

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, 10 June 2005 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005

Jenson Button on the second Formula One pole position of his career; Michael Schumacher on being back on the front row; and Christijan Albers on beating his Minardi team mate, both Jordans and a Red Bull. All the drivers give their feedback on qualifying.

Jenson Button, BAR (1st, 1m 15.217s):
“I’m thrilled to be back on pole. The past few months have been difficult for all of us at BAR Honda and everyone has worked so hard to turn our performance around. It means so much to be able to reward everyone at the team, at Honda and at Michelin with a great result like today’s. We came here expecting to see an improvement after such intensive testing last week but I have to admit that even I didn’t expect us to be this quick. It felt like a good lap but the circuit had quite low grip so I am a little surprised to be honest. Let’s be clear: we know this is only qualifying but grid position is half the battle and we have once again shown what we are capable of. I think we have a strong strategy for tomorrow and we should have good race pace. I don't know if we are quick enough yet for the victory but it will be interesting to see how far we can take today’s result."

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (2nd, +0.258s):
“I am not so surprised to be on the front row, because after yesterday, we understood our problems and had a much better car this morning. In a way, it was lucky I had my gearbox problem then and not when it mattered. Given how many miles we have done in testing the gearbox, at the moment, I don’t understand why we had this problem. Everyone in the team has made a huge effort to get this improvement. As for the race, I am feeling much more confident than at any other moment this season and depending on how the race develops, the long straights mean there are opportunities for overtaking. I do not expect there will be any problems with the track surface tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +0.344s):
“I am satisfied with my qualifying position. We have a good strategy and, being 3rd and 4th on the grid, things are looking good for us. Obviously, it’s difficult to judge the competitors’ fuel load, but we are confident. We have decided to adopt a light aero configuration because the car is very easy to drive and because our top speed can be an advantage in the race. The McLarens are behind us on the grid, but we still have to be cautious. I am optimistic however, because the Montreal circuit suits our car and we should definitely have a strong result.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (4th, +0.360s):
“I am quite happy. I am surprised with Michael’s and Jenson’s performances, but I think this has to do with the strategic choices for tomorrow’s race. Our goal was to place our cars in front of the McLarens and we have managed to do so. That’s good. Besides, we have a good strategy and our pace is quite strong on long runs. I am confident we can have a good race tomorrow.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (5th, +0.452s):
"I'm quite pleased with my lap and I'm sure that we will have a good race as the strategy should be strong. The aim is to have a nice, quiet and uneventful grand prix and get on the podium. I have been unlucky this year so far and everybody has been working so hard that I just really want it to happen tomorrow as reward for all their efforts."

Takuma Sato, BAR (6th, +0.512s):
"The temperature had risen quite a lot since the last practice session so I didn’t push so hard on my warm-up lap and that probably affected the level of grip. The new aero package is working really well and it seems that all of our hard work in testing last week is paying off. The team have done a fantastic job to produce the new aero parts for these two races. The whole weekend has been going well so it feels like we are making the steps to get back to the top. I am confident that we have a good set-up for the race and am really looking forward to tomorrow."

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (7th, +0.706s):
"Of course I would have liked a better grid position, but we have a strong race strategy which will give us every opportunity to get a good result. My battle is with Alonso, so we need to make sure we finish in front of him tomorrow and hopefully our strategy should allow us to do this. Unlike this morning, I struggled to get my tyres fully operational during my flying lap but our package has been working well so far this weekend so I'm reasonably optimistic."

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (8th, +0.899s):
"That was the most satisfying performance of my season so far, and I am very happy. Usually in qualifying you make a little mistake here or there, because you are on the limit - maybe you lock a wheel or miss an apex. But on that lap I didn't make a single mistake and it couldn't have been better.

"We know that qualifying is harder for us than the races, which seem to suit the C24 better, so it will be down to making a strong start tomorrow. The first corner here can be difficult, but if there is any incident hopefully we are sufficiently far up the grid to avoid it. That should be an advantage."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, +0.984s):
"I missed out on some running in the morning sessions due to an electronics problem, so I'm satisfied with the lap, which was a pretty good one for me. I was struggling to get heat into the tyres during the warm-up lap, but I did my best. The Canadian Grand Prix has always been quite a hard one for us, but I remain pretty confident for tomorrow's race. Grid position here can change a lot based on what strategy you're running so let's see what we can manage."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (10th, +1.145s):
"That was a decent lap and I'm relatively happy with how it went for me. It was a bit difficult to go out so early in the session because the track was obviously going to improve throughout. As for the track itself, you could feel slightly less grip where they had laid the concrete but it was not a big issue. The bigger problem was that the work they did meant the circuit was slightly dirty again. But we made the best of what we could and we will now look to convert this position into points in tomorrow's race."

Felipe Massa, Sauber (11th, +1.444s):
"My lap was reasonable for the strategy that we have chosen. There was a bit less grip than this morning, but we know that the car is better in the race so I am pretty confident and overall I'm happy. Tomorrow you'll see that we are even more competitive."

David Coulthard, Red Bull (12th, +1.673s):
“As you can see from the lap times, we’re struggling on this circuit. We don’t seem to have the top speeds on the straights here or the same speed through turns compared to where we normally are, but it’s one of those things. The car feels similar to how it did in Germany and we posted a good result there. Maybe we can hope for another incident such as the one on the first corner in Nurburgring! We’ll just have to see how things turn out tomorrow.”

Nick Heidfeld, Williams (13th, +1.864s):
“I am not happy with my lap. I made a big mistake at the hairpin which cost me a lot of time. My position and lap time definitely don’t reflect the potential of our car, but I think it will be more difficult for us to achieve a good result here than it has been in the last two races.”

Mark Webber, Williams (14th, +2.532s):
“Due to my DNF in the last race, I had to go out second in today’s qualifying which didn’t really help, but it’s the same rule for everyone. I didn’t have an ideal lap because I braked a bit too early at turn six. However, our car can do better in the race than it can in qualifying, which is unusual, considering our record. Here we don’t look so strong in the first few laps, but we are more competitive in the long runs, which makes us confident for the race tomorrow.”

Christijan Albers, Minardi (15th, +2.997s):
To follow.

Christian Klien, Red Bull (16th, +3.032s):
“It’s never so good being first out on the track in qualifying and I think it compromised me quite a lot. From the last practice session that we drove, the track has changed massively due to the preceding Formula BMW race - I think it was about two seconds slower. My lap felt very good though and there were no mistakes. The car felt strong and was well balanced - I don’t think there was much more I could do.”

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (17th, +3.447s):
“My qualifying time was ok. I think I did a clean enough lap. I had the impression that the track has changed quite a lot since this morning, it was a bit more slippery and the track temperature was high. It is also very hard on the brakes. I am sure we have made the right choice of tyres and I hope I will have a good race tomorrow.”

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (18th, +3.817s):
“My lap was pretty good; I was pushing really hard until the last corner where I made a mistake which cost me some time. However, I am quite satisfied with the balance of the car. It will be a long and challenging race tomorrow, especially if it is that hot but I think we will be ok. I am looking forward to that.”

Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (19th, +4.357s):
To follow.

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (20th, no time):
“All I can say is that I am very disappointed. My car had a gearbox problem towards the end of my “out” lap and I had to come back to the pits. It’s a real shame, because I think I could have done well this afternoon. Now, I can expect to have to fight my way up the order in the race. It will be very tough, but as always, I will give it my all.”