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Qualifying - selected driver quotes 09 Jul 2005

Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) Sauber Petronas C24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2005 Ricardo Zonta (BRA) Toyota Test Driver makes a personal appearance on the Toyota stand.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2005 Narain Karthekeyan (IND) Jordan Toyota EJ15.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2005 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault celebrates taking pole postion.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2005

What the drivers thought of an intense, close-run qualifying session at Silverstone.

Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1st, 1:19.905
“It was a good lap today, and there was a really nice balance on the car. It is quite unexpected for me to be on the pole, to be honest, but the team did a great job overnight to improve the car, and it felt quick straight away this morning. That meant I went into qualifying with a good level of confidence, and I could really attack on the timed lap. Looking to tomorrow, I think we will see more similar strategies than in Magny-Cours, which will make it hard for people behind to make up positions, but it is still a long race here and anything can happen. It is hard for Kimi to suffer another penalty, but from our side, it doesn’t change anything in the approach: we have done our maximum so far this weekend and got pole; we will do exactly the same tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, 2nd, +0.027 seconds. (Receives ten position grid penalty, will start from 12th place)
"It's frustrating having to change engines and incur the 10 place penalty again, but we showed in France last weekend what is possible. There is nothing I can do but get on with things, push as hard as possible and hope our strategists got things right. The lap was OK, but I ran a bit wide in one of the quick corners. Also, as the engine failure happened early in the second session, I was unable to run with new tyres then which made things more challenging during my flying lap. In racing anything can happen and we will do our best and hope for an exciting Grand Prix tomorrow."

Jenson Button, BAR, 3rd, +0.302 seconds
"It's a great feeling to be lining up on the front row of the grid at my home race and in my highest-ever qualifying position here at Silverstone. We got everything we could out of the car for qualifying but we do have a very good race balance and strategy, so I think we can have a good race from here and target the podium for sure. The car has struggled a little through Becketts and Copse, which has been a bit of a worry, but it is working very well in the low-speed corners. “It's so nice to be in this position and to be able to go head to head with the competition. We've had a pretty tough time of it this year, so it's great for the fans and the team who have worked so hard. The crowd here is a big boost to me and it's awesome to see so many fans and union jacks out there. I'm sure that we can put on a good show for them tomorrow, particularly in what has been a very difficult week for Britain."

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren, 4th, +0.477 seconds
"It was an OK lap time. I could have been one or two tenths quicker, but was a bit careful coming into the first corner because of the wind and all of a sudden lost a lot of grip when I turned in at Becketts. However the rest of the lap was pretty good and I pushed like crazy. Qualifying is important here at Silverstone and whilst it's a disadvantage to be out early, I still managed to get on the second row and I hope it will be a strong race for me."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 5th, +0.554 seconds
"I'm happy because that was a good lap from me. I suffered a bit with understeer, which maybe cost me a few tenths. But the balance was still good and I could push hard. It's a shame we're not even further forward, but the second row is a good space to start and it means we can look forward to a positive day tomorrow. We've had a good weekend all round and we did some effective work on our race set-up this morning. So I'm confident that we should have fewer problems tomorrow in the race than we saw last week at Magny-Cours and we can bring home a better result."

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 6th, +1.001 seconds
"I am quite happy with this qualifying performance as a place on the third row of the grid is not so bad. I gave it my all on the lap. It is clear we are still not in a position to fight for pole and of course, I am not very happy about that. But I think we will have a good race pace, partly because the Bridgestone tyres we have here should be more competitive than those we used in Magny-Cours. So it's a case of going for an attacking strategy, an aggressive drive and try to get a good result!"

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 7th, +1.105 seconds
“I didn’t have a perfect lap this afternoon. We worked on the car last night to improve the balance, and it was better today with less understeer, but the grip levels were still quite poor on my lap. I also made some small mistakes, which meant the lap was not as good as it could have been. But given my strategy I think I am still in a good position, and the R25 should be competitive tomorrow afternoon.”

Takuma Sato, BAR, 8th, +1.209 seconds
“We had a small balance issue this morning which meant that I couldn't do any good laps on new tyres, and this affected my preparation. I am pleased that we were able to sort this out and put in a solid lap for qualifying. I still struggled with grip through the high-speed corners, as expected, but it’s nice to be able to show a reasonable pace. My aim this weekend is to score points and I certainly think we can do that from here."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 9th, +1.286 seconds
"That was a pretty good lap from me. It was a clean lap, even if it was nothing special. I have to think we're in good shape for tomorrow because we have had a positive weekend so far. Given the strategy we have l think we're in a reasonable position to come home with another strong points finish tomorrow. Overall we did a very good job during the practice sessions this morning so I'm pretty sure that tomorrow it will all look even better."

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 10th, +1.370 seconds
"I am not very happy with my lap, especially in the third sector. I had problems there as the car did not react as it should. By the end of the lap, the rear tyre pressures were coming up a bit too much, which explains the lack of grip and the excessive sliding. We will have to find out why. I also had a difficult moment in the second sector, but it did not cost me much time. For sure, starting from the fifth row tomorrow, it will be a case of reacting to how the race unfolds rather than going on the attack."

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber, 11th, +1.447 seconds
“Maybe I didn’t get the tyres quite up to temperature on my out lap, but I lost a bit of grip in Copse. After that though the rest of my quick lap was good and I’m happy with it. The new aerodynamics are working well and I had none of the understeer I had yesterday. That allowed me to drive the car hard, the way I like to, so it was a good qualifying today.”

Mark Webber, Williams, 12th, +2.092 seconds
“Nick and I are still not quick enough. We really need to find more grip. We will be conducting some more investigation over the weekend and we have decided to run the cars in two different set-ups to compare the data. We hope we will get it right for Hockenheim. We’ve got to work hard, even if it’s not easy at the moment.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull, 13th, +2.203 seconds
“The small electronics problem we had this morning was quickly rectified, but my qualifying lap didn’t start so well. We were in a routine of going from sixth to seventh gear before Turn one, then going back down to sixth again, but it didn’t happen on that lap. As a driver, there’s nothing worse, than going into a corner expecting a shift that doesn’t come. I was therefore disadvantaged in the first corner, but other than that it was not so bad. We looked strong yesterday and I would expect that the pace we showed in the first two practice sessions will come through in the race tomorrow. I wanted to qualify in front of Webber, as I think our car is quicker than his in races and his pace might hold us up. We’ll just have to hope we’re carrying more fuel than he is.”

Nick Heidfeld, Williams, 14th, +2.212 seconds
“Together we decided that I would use the old aerodynamics package today. We tried various things yesterday and in the end I said I would like to go for it and try to see how the old configuration behaved. Today the old and the new packages seemed quite similarly. It is also true that the other teams have improved their cars, and of course we haven’t been developing our old package. We know it’s a bit of a drastic decision to change the car midway through a GP weekend, but we struggled quite a lot in France and again yesterday, so last night we took this decision.”

Christian Klien, Red Bull, 15th, +2.302 seconds
“That was not brilliant. I made a mistake in one of the chicanes and lost a bit of time. It’s always difficult when you go out first, as you never know how much grip there is.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber, 16th, +2.590 seconds
“I knew that the track would not be at its best as I had to go out second, so we tailored my strategy accordingly. With that in mind I’m quite happy with what I did this afternoon. The lap time may not look great, but I’m confident for the race. The car is very good on long runs, and the new aero package is a step forward.”

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan, 17th, +3.678 seconds
"I had a decent lap today. I think the wind was a bit stronger compared to this morning so it changed the balance of the car a little but I think my time was pretty good and showed that we are well ahead of the Minardis.”

Christijan Albers, Minardi, 18th, +4.671 seconds
"It was a bit difficult to get enough heat in the tyres in just the one warm-up lap, but even so, I'm satisfied with my qualifying effort. I think it was a good lap, particularly considering Patrick and I are on similar strategies tomorrow. As far as the circuit is concerned, Silverstone is a very nice track, but doesn't suit the Minardi chassis as well as some others we visit. Undoubtedly, tomorrow's race will prove to be tough, but we'll see what we can do."

Patrick Friesacher, Minardi, 19th, +5.661 seconds
"I'm a bit disappointed with the qualifying result. The morning practice was good, as we were able to improve lap after lap during both sessions. Unfortunately, I had a problem with the brakes on my qualifying lap, and the chassis balance wasn't perfect either. The track temperature rose this afternoon, and I think that affected the handling. As a result, I was struggling with the car, and my lap time reflected that."

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan, no time
"Unfortunately after the penalty we had yesterday morning for changing the engine after I experienced some problems, we had to adapt our strategy for the race tomorrow. This explains why I only did an installation lap. It is really a pity because I was quite fast on this circuit yesterday and this morning. The car was also doing really well so it is a bit frustrating. However, I will push really hard tomorrow at the start and try to overtake some cars and then do my best to bring the car home."