Canadian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 12 Jun 2005
The men involved look back on a dramatic afternoon's racing at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st):
"I have gained what I lost at the last race and my Championship battle is back on. I came here to get ten points and we got them and I'm really pleased. Just after my first pitstop my steering developed a problem which meant that whenever I was driving straight it was pulling to the left. After the race I learnt that the team was monitoring the situation carefully but I had to do the best I could and we made it. The team told me to take it easy but I still had to push, so it was all about finding the right balance. Towards the end Michael was catching up but it was not too much of a problem. I can't wait for the race in Indianapolis next week where I think, once again, we should be in with a good chance of winning."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (2nd):
We can be happy with this result, particularly with Rubens coming from last to third. We developed the car well over the weekend, but now we have to work on the package more to make it good in all track conditions. At the start, me and Jenson went backwards! I just had no grip. In the closing stages, I was able to close on Kimi, my pace was as good or a little bit better than his, but it was not enough to pass. He almost gave me a present when he ran wide at Turn 4, but he did not stay there long enough.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (3rd):
In over 200 grands prix, this is the first time I have ever started a race from the pit lane. Its nice to do something new after so many races. In the early stages, the car was difficult to drive because it was so heavy. We changed our strategy by putting some extra fuel in at the start, as it would not have been any use to make my stops at the same time as everyone else. It took me a while to pass a Minardi, but after that I pushed all the time. The pit crew did a fabulous job to call me in at just the right time. I had a little bit of oversteer and was locking the rear brakes a bit, so I think my rear tyres suffered. I was lucky when Webber ran wide, Massa tried to avoid him and I passed both of them on the outside. Apart from that my only problems were with my drinks bottle and my radio which stopped working early in the race. What happened in qualifying was a shame but to come from last to third is a great achievement.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (4th):
"I made a great start - two places straight off the grid. After that the car was so consistent the whole race that I was really able to push hard, until the last 15 laps. I just couldn't generate enough heat in the rear tyres after the safety car went in, and I had Webber right behind me all the way. They were the toughest 15 laps of my life! In the last corner I could see he was going to try something but I was able to discourage that and hold him off. This was a fantastic day for the team, and for me. I didn't make a mistake the whole race."
Mark Webber, Williams (5th):
Theres no doubt that finishing fifth having started from 14th position is a good result. My start was quite good and I was on the inside on the first corner, so I managed to get away all right. The first part of every stint was quite tricky because the tyre warm up was difficult, especially in the breaking area. This is why I slid wide twice with very poor grip. The car was better to drive as the fuel load lessened. But again, when the safety car came out it was difficult to keep the tyre temperatures up but I managed to get back into shape as soon as it went in. Then, it was just a matter of getting to the end of the race. We managed to get something good out of an average weekend and this is what counts, four points and a decent starting position for my qualifying in Indy next week.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (6th):
"I'm glad to be leaving here with three points under my belt. I gave my best
considering everything that happened this weekend. I didn't get well off the
line today and we need to check the reason for that. Unfortunately the lost
places meant that I was always going to struggle in the race with the strategy
we had. But I battled hard and gained a place early on. Then it was just about
staying in the race and seeing what could happen. I was unlucky with the safety car when Montoya pitted, but our instructions from race control were to stay in the position I was. The good news is that Jarno was very near to getting a podium, and it shows that we can drive good races when everything goes well."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (7th):
That was a difficult race. I was struggling with quite a lot of oversteer in the car, which made it tricky to drive, especially in the early stages of the race. At various points, we had a very good pace, but now its about trying to work with the car to get a handle on the consistency. But, weve come away from this event with three points and thats got to be good.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (8th):
That was one of the toughest races I have ever done! The start was not so good, as I didnt make up any positions, but then I overtook Albers on the second corner, which meant I stood more of a chance of maintaining the same speed as the drivers in front. The car was quite difficult to drive, the rear started to lose grip and I had some understeer. I was quite far behind the leaders at one stage and, as the front runners overtook me, I had a lot of blue flags to contend with and lost some time. After that, I had quite a lot of clear laps and was really able to push. Im pleased to finish the event with no mistakes and we gained a point, which is very good.
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (9th):
"At the start the grip was poorer than expected and the car just didn't want to get off the line so I lost ground immediately, and then in the second corner Sato came across me and damaged the front wing so I had to pit straight away for a replacement nose section. That was effectively it for me because I just lost too much time. That was a great pity because the car was fast today. At the end I could attack Klien, but he was exiting the corners well and I could never quite get close enough to challenge him."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (10th):
It was a hard and long race today. I fought quite a lot with Narain, as I wanted to keep the pace up as much as I could. With the safety car on the track, I struggled to keep the tyres in temperature a little bit. I think I have beaten the record of finishing for a rookie and I am really happy with this. I also would like
to thank the team for such a reliable car.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (11th):
"I'm happy with the result of today's race. We had a good pace and good lap times, and it was a little bit of a shame that we had a pit stop followed by a blue-flag situation, as I think that's where we lost position to Jordan. We had a better pace in the early stages of the race, so it was a bit frustrating to finish behind them. I was really fighting hard at the end, but it was just not possible to pass Monteiro. Even so, I think it was a good result for the team, and a good qualifying performance yesterday. Now it's maximum attack for Indianapolis, where we'll go for it again."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (DNF):
"That was a real pity for me and the team. We were looking quite good and all
set for the podium when I suffered a brake failure. The brakes had been fine up to that point and there was no wear problem, it was just a failure. As such,
the final chicane was about the best place to have had it because there was
plenty of area to run off. Before that I had a brilliant start with good traction and a good getaway. I tried to go down the inside but there was not much space so I switched the outside. Sato pushed me wide but I kept flat over the kerbs and overtook him. I really enjoyed that one. After that the car was very good and we were getting the best out of our race considering our strategy and set-up. It was a hot, tough race but I prepared well for these conditions, when I've usually had my best results. The whole team did a fantastic job all weekend. It's disappointing to lose out on three podiums in three races, but that's motor racing."
Jenson Button, BAR (DNF):
"It has been a disappointing end to what has been a very encouraging weekend. I got onto the marbles in the hairpin, went a bit wide because the rear locked up and got the tyres dirty. When I got to the chicane, I had big understeer and hit the wall off the second kerb. It was completely my mistake and very frustrating because we were looking good. My start wasn't great and the Renaults got better traction off the line which allowed them to leapfrog me. After that the car was running reasonably well. We were not on the same pace as the leaders but it was looking good for a podium finish. To end the day with no points is frustrating but we have to look at the positives from the weekend. We have made real progress and now have to work hard to make the most of that in Indy."
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (DNF):
My starting position wasnt good but, in hindsight, not being able to finish the race is even more disappointing. Because many of the cars that were in front of me didnt see the chequered flag, I could have been on the podium today! I had a good start, and a reasonably good race, but I was following Felipe Massa for too long trying to overtake him. This severely limited the cooling of my engine and eventually caused it to overheat and fail. I tried to pull over to the side a few times to get out of his slipstream but it still wasnt enough.
Takuma Sato, BAR (DNF):
"It was an extremely disappointing result for all of us today, especially as we had looked good all weekend. It was a particularly eventful afternoon for me. I had a problem at the start when the car didn't pull away well and I struggled into turns one and two. Then one of the Saubers hit me from behind and I lost my diffuser and part of the rear wing which made the car difficult to drive. Halfway through the race, we had a problem with the gearbox and had to change the whole back end of the car. This is a bit unusual but we wanted to collect some data and there was also a chance to gain position. The car was not working well though and the hydraulic pressure was too low. In the end, the rear brakes locked up and I lost the car completely. The mechanics did a fantastic job to get me back in the race today and it was a pity that we were unable to finish. We can take some positives from this weekend however so we look forward now and hope to do better in Indianapolis."
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (DNF):
"I think we suffered with the tyre choice we made this weekend, as Christijan was on the harder tyres and I was on the softer compound. I had a really good start, and was right behind him, but I couldn't push as hard as I wanted to, as the car had quite a lot of oversteer in it at that point. After the second pit stop, I started to lose the power steering, and it was pretty clear there was a hydraulic problem."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (DNF):
Not a good day for me. When the light went off, the electronic system of the car had a problem and I lost a bit of time. Then, during my pit-stop, the fuel rig also had a problem. In the end, I went too wide, I touched the wall and damaged the car. This is a very disappointing result, because the week-end had been almost perfect until then.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (DNF):
I had a problem at the start and did not make a good get away. However, I managed to pass Friesacher. Then a few laps later, I ran wide in the first corner and the exit of the second corner and Monteiro overtook me. I pushed really hard to improve my position and I was in front of Tiago again after the first pit stop. Unfortunately, I went in the dirt a little bit and clipped the wall, which made me retire. It is really a pity to finish the race like this but I will do my best in Indianapolis next week.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (DNF):
I am obviously very disappointed. I had a fantastic start, then I pushed reasonably hard in order to save my brakes and my tyres. When I pitted, we put a lot of fuel on board as this was the best strategy for us. Unfortunately, a few laps later, the gearbox started not working properly. It was a hydraulic failure and the only thing I could do was to go back to the pits to retire. This is particularly frustrating because I feel I could have won today. Moreover, I'll be among the first drivers to take the track in qualifying at Indianapolis, and it will be tough.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (DSQ):
"I'm disappointed because I was so close to winning my first race for the team. As a team we all try so hard to be the best but nobody is perfect and not being told to stop immediately after the Safety Car was deployed was made worse by me missing the red light which ultimately was the end of my race. I will quickly put all this behind me because I love Indianapolis and I'm really looking forward to racing there next week even though I will be somewhat penalised for having to qualify first."