Friday practice - selected driver quotes 08 Jul 2005
A strong early showing for McLaren at Silverstone - but will the team be able to maintain its pace through qualifying?
Pedro de la Rosa, third driver, McLaren (1st, 1:18.530)
"I'm very pleased with our overall performance. The car works very well here at Silverstone. The two long runs in the second session with 17 and 16 laps provided us with plenty of useful data, which should give my team mates a basis for the rest of the weekend. The Michelin tyres are performing well, but we still have to work a little on the balance at high speeds. We made some changes to the car's set-up between the sessions which worked very well."
Ricardo Zonta, third driver, Toyota (2nd, +0.434 seconds)
"It was good to be back in the car after my break at last week's French Grand Prix, and that was a positive day for us. This track is very demanding for drivers with fast corners and it's enjoyable to drive here. As usual for the first day of a grand prix weekend, the track was very slippery to start with. But the car felt good both during the morning session and for the longer runs in the afternoon. We found some tyres that were quick and consistent over longer runs. This track changes a lot depending on the weather, but so far so good."
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (3rd, +1.722 seconds)
"The outcome of today's runs was satisfying. We made significant progress with our Michelin tyre evaluation programme. I experienced a bit of understeer in the first sector especially through Becketts, but otherwise I'm happy with the performance of our package. I think we should have another strong weekend, but I'm going to work extra hard on my qualifying lap to balance out having to go out somewhat early."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, +1.854 seconds)
"An uneventful practice which is always a bonus. We had a good basis from the last time we tested here at Silverstone, but there is still some work to do before everything is perfect. It was quite windy which caused some understeer which we tried to balance out. I'm not 100 per cent happy with the car at the moment but the lap times seem to be OK, so hopefully we can put in a strong challenge for pole position tomorrow."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (5th, +2.072 seconds)
"We made it through our practice programme without problems today, so it was a good day. I did my normal work on tyres and set-ups for tomorrow and Sunday. We had a good test here a few weeks ago and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend. We had a reasonably positive result in Magny-Cours so our target is another strong points finish."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (6th, +2.286 seconds)
"That was a normal Friday of practice. I had no problems with the car and I got through my programme of work on set-up and tyre comparisons. This will be a tough grand prix, but we'll do our best to come away with another positive result for the team. Overall I'm expecting this to be a similar weekend to Magny-Cours. That means that another strong points finish will be a good result."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (7th, +2.460 seconds)
It was not too bad a day for me. We still have some improvements to make to the balance, but I am quite happy because we had no problems, the programme ran smoothly and the Michelin tyres seem very consistent. The conditions today were quite cold, which meant it was difficult to get the tyres up to temperature in the first few laps, and the wind made it harder to be confident in the high speed corners. There is still work to do, but I am quite encouraged with this beginning for the weekend.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, third driver, Red Bull (8th, +2.474 seconds)
"In the first session we completed long runs to test the tyres and also for me to get to know the track. I've never driven a Formula one car here before, so I was concentrating on finding a good driving rhythm. The car seems more competitive here than on previous events. In the second session we tried a more aggressive set-up, which seemed to work much better and meant I could push a little bit more. Silverstone is one of the most difficult tracks in the Championship and you need to know the circuit well before you can go flat out. I think we could have been even faster towards the end of the second session, but I made a couple of mistakes."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (9th, +2.504 seconds)
"A pretty normal Friday really. We've been working through the programme, trying to find out where we are with the set-up of the car and tyres. We're not that far off the pace here compared to normal Fridays, but we don't know what fuel levels other people were running."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (10th, +2.514 seconds)
"Today, we did a lot of laps and pretty much finished our planned programme and now we have to study all the data to make our tyre choice. I have to say the long runs we did were not too bad, although that was also the case on Friday in Magny-Cours. We will have to wait and see how things develop and so I don't want to make any predictions for the rest of the weekend."
Jenson Button, BAR (11th, +2.656 seconds)
"It's been a reasonably good first day's running and I'm pleased that everything has gone according to plan. We completed the full programme of set-up work and tyre comparisons, which means that we have some good data to look at where we stand. Obviously we have some room for improvement and we need to work on our pace, but the car is feeling pretty good and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the weekend. There has been a pretty big crowd here already today so I can't wait to see the grandstands packed for qualifying and the race. It should be a great weekend for the fans!"
Mark Webber, Williams (12th, +2.705 seconds)
We had a pretty tough day and went through an intensive programme trying to find a reasonable balance for this track, while taking into consideration all the information we collected in Magny-Cours last week. We are setting ourselves a target which is achievable, in terms of improvement. We are still ticking a lot of boxes and trying to see how we can make our performance better. We are nowhere near where we want to be at the moment but I am confident well take some good decisions tonight.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (13th, +2.749 seconds)
I have not had a very good day here in practice. The grip levels and car balance were completely different to what we experienced in testing here a few weeks ago, and it meant I was really struggling with understeer in the high-speed corners today. Also, I had a delay at the start of the session which meant I did not do as much running as I should have done. But the main thing for today is that we have a good direction for the tyre choice, which is the priority for Friday. We will work hard this evening and tomorrow to gain back the time we lost.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (14th, +2.793 seconds)
"I only did a few laps in the first practice to check the car's balance. It was okay, but I was struggling with severe understeer, so we tried some different set-ups during the afternoon. That improved things, although there was still some understeer in the high-speed corners. I had a bit of a moment when I spun the car off the track in Turn six during the second practice, but as there was no damage, I was able to continue and complete the run. We definitely seem to be more competitive here."
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (15th, +2.989 seconds)
"We decided to use the new tyres only in the morning, which explains why our lap times did not look so good this afternoon. But I am quite happy with the balance of the car, although there is room for improvement, as I have some understeer. Apart from that I think we should be a little bit more competitive than we were last weekend in Magny-Cours."
Felipe Massa, Sauber (16th, +3.047 seconds)
"As usual, or so it seems lately, I got traffic on my lap on new tyres! Without that I could have done a low 1m 21s for sure. The car is very good on long runs and I'm very happy with it, so our situation is a lot better than it looks."
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (17th, +3.650 seconds)
"When I spun in Turn 6 I had just come out of the pits on cold tyres and was driving really slowly, just checking what was behind me. It was like being on dry tyres in the wet every time we came out of the pits because it is too cold to generate good tyre temperatures. I wasn't happy at all with the balance today. I had understeer everywhere except Copse, where I had oversteer. Then I hit something on the track and put a dent in the front suspension and damaged the aerodynamics a little, and we were not able to get that fixed completely. We will have some new parts tomorrow and I'm sure we'll be more competitive."
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (18th, +3.970 seconds)
The morning session was very difficult as lap times indicate. I had poor levels of grip, as it takes some time for the tyre to heat up. We made a few changes both before and during the second session which seemed to improve the car. We have tried a lot of things around today which means well have a lot of data to go through this evening to decide what to do tomorrow.
Takuma Sato, BAR (19th, +4.265 seconds)
"Today has been a difficult start to the weekend on my side. I struggled with low grip - especially with the front end of the car. In fact, it was very surprising to me to have such little grip and I struggled a lot during the day because of this. In the end, I had an electrical problem and because I was then stuck in the pits I was unable to complete any tyre testing. We need to find out what caused the balance problems now and I hope for better things tomorrow."
Robert Doornbos, third driver, Jordan (20th, +4.282 seconds)
"I had fun as it is always nice to drive on this very fast circuit, especially in the first part. Today went quite well even though I had some technical problem with the new EJ15B at the beginning of the second session, which cost me a little bit of time, and this is not good for me as I only have two hours on Friday. But in the end, we have found a good car balance and I was able to get a clear lap and pushed."
Christijan Albers, Minardi (21st, +4.860 seconds)
"I think we had a reasonable day today, even if the car is not yet perfect in terms of balance. We will be able to improve, though, as there is still a lot of potential to be exploited in the chassis. Our gearing was a little bit short this afternoon, possibly because the wind seems to have changed direction from this morning, but I'm confident we will address these issues and make further progress tomorrow."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (22nd, +5.099 seconds)
"It was quite a difficult Friday for me. We had a little problem on the engine in the first session and had to change it. Therefore I am going to start last on the grid on Sunday and consequently, we have to adapt our strategy. Car-wise, we have improved a lot from this morning and also because the track got better and better. I think we have a good set-up for the car and we are not too far from the teams in front of us and this is a big improvement since the last time we tested in Silverstone."
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (23rd, +5.361 seconds)
"I had a useful day comparing different types of Bridgestone tyres. Now, we are going to analyse the information collected during the two sessions and make the right choice for the weekend. The grip of the circuit was pretty poor and green at the beginning but then it improved. Besides, I am generally satisfied with the balance of the car, so now we will concentrate on the race set-up."
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi (24th, +6.064 seconds)
"We lost some time this morning because of a transmission problem, which was then sorted out for the second session. The handling was not too bad, even if I was not able to 'feel' the car quite as I would have liked, but we'll continue to work on finding a good balance tomorrow."