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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 22 Jul 2005

Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 22 July 2005 (L to R): Francesco Nenci (ITA) Toyota Race Engineer talks with Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 22 July 2005 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R25 in the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 22 July 2005 (L to R): David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing talks with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Sporting Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 22 July 2005

A productive first day for most at Hockenheim, with McLaren setting the early pace. Only David Coulthard has any real explaining to do.

Alexander Wurz, McLaren (1st, +13.973s):
“I’m really happy with our performance today at the Mercedes-Benz home grand prix, and it’s especially satisfying to have set the fastest time of the day. We still have some work to do regarding our Michelin tyre choice and the general fine tuning of our race set-up. The track was very slippery in the first session which took me by surprise, but the grip level continued to increase throughout the day. The results of my long runs provided us with plenty of data which will help Kimi and Juan Pablo for the rest of the weekend.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (2nd, +0.603s):
“We spent today working on our race set-up. The car was quick almost immediately which is always a good sign, and we could spend some more time on our Michelin tyre programme. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend where I hope that the weather will stay dry and sunny. The aim is to win the race and after today’s sessions I’m certain that we have a very strong package which will allow us to do that.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +1.587s):
“The cold temperatures meant the grip levels on the track were very low today, which always makes the car hard to drive - it was really hard to brake properly today and stop the car for the hairpins. Apart from the problems caused by the low track temperature, the car actually felt pretty good: the balance was consistent, and we are higher up the times than usual for a Friday - I am the second fastest race driver. So it was a pretty good day overall, but the conditions were just very tricky.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (4th, +1.799s):
“The car looks very competitive compared to the rest of the field, and the Michelin tyres are working well. However, I’m struggling with the brake balance which is so important here at Hockenheim. I’m sure that we will find a solution to the problem in time for tomorrow’s qualifying. I will be doing my flying lap last for the first time this year which hopefully will provide me with a bit of an advantage, but as always anything can happen particularly if it starts raining.”

Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (5th, +2.118s):
"Because of the threat of rain for this afternoon we had to put in a more intense session of work than usual this morning, including a couple of medium-long runs. In the end we had enough time to put in our usual long runs anyway, but when I put on new tyres at the end to do a quick lap I hit traffic on the last sector so I could have gone quicker."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (6th, +2.173s):
“The circuit was extremely slippery this afternoon - I was locking the front brakes into all of the slow corners, and it was really hard to find the grip we needed to attack the braking zones. The low temperatures also seemed to give the car a bit of understeer, but after talking to Fernando, I know it was the same for him - and probably the others too. Apart from that, the car felt very consistent on the longer runs, but McLaren looked pretty quick too.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber (7th, +2.188s):
"I'm very happy. My car was good on new tyres, and it was very consistent on old ones, so it looks quite promising so far."

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (8th, +2.324s):
“I suffered a spin on one of the first laps of the second session. We were comparing tyres and I was seeing how far we could push. It was a fairly minor spin though, no panic and it didn’t cause us any problems. The speed of the car is not so bad here I think, especially over long distances. For sure, we still need to improve over the single lap for qualifying, but I was quite surprised by the times that we set. I think we’re improving and are not so far off the front-runners now. It’ll be good to see what the team can do in qualifying tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, +2.438s):
"That was a normal Friday of tyre and set-up work and it's still too early to say how well we can perform here. The tyre choice is still open and could be affected by the weather so we'll have to analyse the data carefully tonight. The engine has a good step forward here which should help us to improve our pace and hopefully to score more points."

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (10th, +2.501s):
“I think we did a reasonable job today, getting through much of our programme in the morning session, in case we had to deal with a wet track in the afternoon, when we ended up using old tyres. The car was handling well, but as expected we lack performance. At this stage of the weekend, I would still hope we can manage to finish on the podium, but it will be tough.”

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (11th, +2.602s):
"It's always nice to come to Hockenheim because I enjoy the atmosphere here. Today was a normal day of work on tyres and set-up in preparation for the rest of the weekend. We’ve been struggling a bit in the last few races, but the package still has the potential to make it to a good points finish so we'll try and do that again on Sunday."

Christian Klien, Red Bull (12th, +2.685s):
“I went out for just two runs this morning, as we thought there might be some rain. The car had good balance and I was happy with the overall set-up almost straight away. In the second practice session, I went out a bit later. The tyres didn’t feel so good during the afternoon and I struggled to set a good lap time. Therefore, I think the decision about which way to go with tyres tomorrow is pretty clear! Overall, it looks quite promising for us this weekend and I hope we do better than on the last couple of races. But, there’s still a lot of work for us to do.”

Jenson Button, BAR (13th, +2.779s):
"We’ve made a good start to the weekend today, completing all our usual Friday testing and tyre comparison runs. The car seems to be working reasonably well and we got some valuable data on the track conditions, which may prove useful on Sunday as the forecast is for similarly cool and overcast weather to what we’ve seen here today."

Mark Webber, Williams (14th, +2.906s):
“I feel like I could be in for another tough weekend here, as today has been a difficult day for me. We must find some more pace. Besides going through our normal programme we also worked on the possibility of having rain in the next days. We have collected a lot of useful information and we are going to look through all of the data tonight.”

Nick Heidfeld, Williams (15th, +2.920s):
“It’s still early days but I think that from what I have seen so far we have made a step forward compared to the last two races. In the morning session, when the temperature was still low, we struggled a bit with the grip, as did many other cars. During today’s sessions we’ve completed an intensive evaluation of the tyre choice for this weekend. The session ran smoothly but just in my last outing the car felt a bit strange and this is also what we’ll be looking into with the engineers later on.”

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (16th, +2.940s):
“We expected rain so we concentrated most of our effort in the early part of the day, so I did not get the benefit of running with new tyres when the track was at its best. But I have a good idea about what I want to do in terms of tyre choice, so I am confident that tomorrow will be a good day, whatever the weather.”

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (17th, +2.965s):
"When we tested the tyres for this meeting we were expecting very hot weather, and today it was so cold I had real trouble getting enough heat into new rubber during the first lap. Once I was into a run my times were very good and the car was fine, but we need to work on generating more heat for that opening lap on new tyres."

Takuma Sato, BAR (18th, +3.019s):
"Both sessions went well today and we have done a reasonable amount of running. We suffered a little bit with lack of grip as the temperatures were quite cold. The balance of the car was good and we just have to work on gaining more speed before tomorrow, but overall the weekend has started well."

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (19th, +3.533s):
“It was another new track for me this season, therefore I had to learn the layout very quickly. It is quite a difficult circuit, especially when you are entering the stadium. However, my day went reasonably well. We have been working a lot on our tyre choice for the rest of the weekend and I think we have found a good compound.”

Christijan Albers, Minardi (20th, +3.857s):
“The morning session was fine, and we made good progress. This afternoon was not so good, since we lost track time as the result of an incident with Fisichella’s Renault. We both went off the track and his car hit the right front of mine. There’s no doubt the mechanics did a great job to repair the car so I could go out again to complete my tyre comparison runs. Unfortunately, though, the chassis balance wasn’t quite as good as it had been previously. I had hoped for a little more today, but it’s still a good solid start to the weekend.”

Robert Doornbos, Minardi (21st, +4.005s):
“It’s been a good first day at the office of Minardi. I’ve been made to feel very welcome, from the time I arrived at the factory for the seat fitting, and I want to thank all the guys for their support. This morning, we tried various things with the set-up. I already had an idea about the direction in which I wanted to go, and between my Race Engineer, Riccardo Adami, and me, we found a good way of working. We made some big changes for the second session, and they worked out very well. Already, I feel very confident in the car, and I ended the session with a long stint. I’m looking forward to the weekend, and it can only get better.”

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (22nd, +4.254s):
“It was a good productive day. We have been through our entire tyre test programme and some set-up changes as well. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the balance of the car. We will have to keep on working on it tomorrow during the last two Free Practice sessions. Besides, the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend could maybe play in our favour so it will be interesting.”

Nicolas Kiesa, Jordan (23rd, +5.511s):
“It was quite difficult to get back to Formula One after being away for one year and a half. I have not had any testing for a long time; therefore to do ten-lap runs was quite hard on my neck. My physical condition was ok but at the end, my face was pointing in the other direction of the corners. I have lost a little bit of time near the end but I think I could give valuable information. I was able to pick up very quickly and match up with my team mates. I am very satisfied after today’s two sessions.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (24th, no time):
“There’s not much to say really. I lost the back end of the car going round the corner and went off…”