Qualifying - selected driver quotes 18 Jun 2005
A rollercoaster of a day at Indianapolis, particularly for Toyota, who first saw Ralf Schumacher ruled out of Sundays race, but then saw Jarno Trulli clinch their first ever pole. The drivers report...
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (1st, 1m 10.625s):
"It's been a day of mixed emotions for the whole Toyota team after all the troubles we had yesterday so that makes this result all the sweeter. I did a good job and put in a great, clear lap, but I was still very happy to keep hold of pole position right up to the end of the session. It's been a strange day and I didn't do many laps in practice, but I just had to stay calm and do my work despite the limited mileage. Obviously the tyres remain a big concern for the race so we hope that we can sort this problem out for tomorrow. Hopefully we will learn more this afternoon. Then we must just look forward to the race and see what we can do."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (2nd, +0.069s):
"I think that was a pretty good lap, and I was very close to getting pole position, but at least we got on the front row. It will be interesting to see what strategies the other drivers are using. Like a lot of other teams our preparations were made a bit difficult by the Michelin situation, but we just continue to do what we can in our fight for the Championships. The car was working well, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race. My side of the track might be a bit slippery, but we will see what happens."
Jenson Button, BAR (3rd, +0.652s):
"It's nice to get two good qualifying sessions in a row following our pole in Montreal but it wasn't the best lap really for me today. We're definitely in better shape than yesterday and have made quite a few improvements to the car which is nice to see. However, I struggled with very low grip and understeer on my lap, so I was a little surprised at the time because it felt like a tough lap. Still, it's great to be third and I think we can do good things from here. Our strategy is a good one so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (4th, +0.665s):
I had a good lap this afternoon, and the balance of the car has improved a lot today. I feel more comfortable attacking the corners and the handling is much more consistent. I had to run very early in the session, which was a small disadvantage, so I am really pleased to be on the second row. We have worked a lot to get the car strong for the race, and I am confident that we can be competitive again tomorrow.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (5th, +0.744s):
I am quite happy with my qualifying performance and actually, fifth place is better than fourth on this grid as the other side is dirtier. Although I am not really sure why, it was already clear yesterday that we seem to be more competitive here than at some of the other tracks we have visited this year. I hope that we will find out tomorrow that we qualified with a heavier fuel load than our rivals, or at least closer in terms of fuel load than we were in Canada and I am hopeful of finishing on the podium tomorrow. As for Ralf, I spoke to him this morning and I think the decision not to race is the right one.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th, +0.755s):
My qualifying lap was a good one, without any mistakes. The car had a little bit of understeer, which slowed me down a bit on a single lap, but we have set it up like that with the race in mind. We are clearly not as competitive as we were in Canada, but after qualifying early, I think a position on the third row is a good starting point - especially as the times are very close. I can have a strong race from here.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (7th, +0.806s):
I think we had a good qualifying, even if we could have done a bit better. However, a place on the fourth row is not that bad, as it is possible to overtake at this track. I expect that, as we have seen so far, we will be stronger in the race. That has been our strong point this season and also in the past at this circuit.
Takuma Sato, BAR (8th, +0.872s):
"It was a little bit difficult for me today because I used a different set-up in qualifying from this morning's practice. We needed to find a lot of speed after the Friday practice so we decided to go different ways with the two cars this morning. I had a relatively good lap but we suffered a little with straightline speed. I am hopeful for a good performance from the car tomorrow."
Mark Webber, Williams (9th, +0.902s):
It was a reasonable lap and I could not have got much more out of it. We have done as much as we could to prepare the car for the race and tonight we will again go through all our data. The tyre situation is obviously an issue at the moment, even if we didnt experience any problems. However, I have been through a similar situation before at Le Mans and its important that the right decision is taken for all concerned. I am sure that Michelin will find a good solution in order to guarantee safety and a good race for everyone involved, included the public, of course.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (10th, +0.930s):
"I'm pretty happy to be starting in the top 10. I think my lap was okay, no mistakes, though I was struggling just a little bit in the final sector as I lost some grip. I think we are where we should be, so it's not too bad. We can fight for points from here."
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (11th, +1.056s):
"I knew that it would be difficult because I had to do my qualifying lap so early, but it was not until I got out there I realised how challenging it would be. There was no grip, and I was sliding all over the place. The lap was OK, and whilst I did lock up a bit I don't think it lost me too much time. Obviously we had to change the tyre pressure slightly following advice from Michelin, but it didn't really affect the handling too much and it's the same for everybody. I believe the car is quick enough to win the race, but starting so far back its going to be extremely challenging."
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (12th, +1.066s):
"It wasn't a bad lap but it wasn't quite as fast as I wanted. We thought we could get Juan Pablo but I guess I wasn't aggressive enough. The lap was too clean and there was less grip than there was this morning. The risk is that if you push too hard and make a mistake, you can lose half a second, so it's okay. The tyre degradation might be a little higher too with the higher tyre pressures, so it was hard to judge just how hard to push today. But it was okay."
Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (13th, +1.129s):
"I'm happy for Jarno, but those were certainly not the ideal circumstances for my first qualifying run in eight months. There was a bit of confusion this morning after the accidents yesterday and we didn't do much running overall. Even so, qualifying went okay. Going out first is hard because that's when the track is at its most slippery, and I found myself sliding quite a lot. But I'm satisfied with my lap and happy to be have another chance to race."
Christian Klien, Red Bull (14th, +1.507s):
The qualifying lap was really good and the car felt comfortable through the one lap session. We had to increase the tyre pressure this morning, but it didnt affect things too much, so I was quite happy. I think tomorrow in the race, the higher tyre pressure might result in some oversteer, so we have to find a solution for that. The new engine was better and we definitely had more speed on the long straight.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (15th, +1.805s):
Qualifying didnt go as planned and I am not happy with my lap. The car was quite difficult to drive because there was very low grip. It was a lot better yesterday but this morning we struggled and again the same happened in qualifying. It is a bit of an unknown territory what we have entered in consequence of the tyre issue and this has probably also affected our performance today. However, we must say we havent experienced any problems with our tyre so far this weekend.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (16th, +2.057s):
Weve lost a little balance in the car since yesterday, after altering the tyre pressure. Weve had to increase the pressure because were competing on such an unusual track here. The actual qualifying lap itself wasnt going too badly in terms of balance, until the back straight going into Turn eight. I lost control of the back end of the car and quite a lot of time. We set some good laps yesterday, but with limited time in the car this morning, Ive been prepared for a tricky weekend.
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (17th, +2.837s):
My lap was very good and clean so I am very happy as I pushed really hard to make a good time here. The balance of the car was much better than yesterday and I would like to thank my engineers and team for that. I am quite confident about our race pace for tomorrow. Our Bridgestone tyres seem also to be working very well on long runs; therefore I hope we will have a good race tomorrow. I am also enjoying more to drive on this circuit now that I am used to it. It is really nice to race in front of such enthusiastic fans.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (18th, +3.007s):
"It was a reasonable lap, but we will have to see what happens tomorrow with strategy and with the big story of the weekend, concerning tyres. Maybe events will play into our hands a little bit, but at the moment, it is not clear how the situation is going to develop."
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (19th, +3.151s):
I had to start quite early in this qualifying session and the track was still a bit dusty. Therefore, I am pretty satisfied with my time and the balance of the car we have found. I think it was, as a whole, a decent lap. The wind was also a bit stronger compared to this morning but generally everything went ok. I now hope we will be able to get to the Finish line tomorrow and maybe score a point.
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (20th, +3.869s):
"It was not a bad qualifying lap, even if there was a little bit of understeer and the traction was not as good as I would have liked. All told, though, I'm quite confident for tomorrow. The Bridgestones have been holding up well, and I think we may well race better than we qualified."