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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 29 Jul 2005

Ricardo Zonta (BRA) Toyota TF105.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hungaroring, Hungary, 29 July 2005 Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hungaroring, Hungary, 29 July 2005 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hungaroring, Hungary, 29 July 2005 Chanoch Nissany (ISR) Minardi Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hungaroring, Hungary, 29 July 2005

For the first time since Monaco McLaren were not top of the Friday timesheets. Instead, Toyota’s Ricardo Zonta led the way. He and all the other drivers report on their progress at the Hungaroring.

Ricardo Zonta, third driver, Toyota (1st, 1m 20.409s):
"It's always nice to see your name at the top of the timesheets, and that was a good day. The track was very slippery early on and we had some problems with the balance but we worked hard to improve it. I missed a few laps with a hydraulic problem at the end of the first session and with an overheating issue in the afternoon. But despite that we were still able to complete our long runs and put in a performance run."

Alexander Wurz, third driver, McLaren (2nd, +0.110s):
"I feel very comfortable with the car, but it is just disappointing that I got stuck in traffic at the end of the session as I had the chance to get the fastest time today. However we should be in good shape for the rest of the weekend. I was focusing on long runs with the selection of Michelin tyres in mind, and we have enough data to assist our strategy planning for the rest of the weekend. I like the track here as it is very challenging and the high temperatures are all part of that."

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd, +0.872s):
"Today has gone well and I am pretty happy with the balance of the car. The track was still not at its best as it was rather dusty which is normal for the Friday at Hungary. I feel that there is still some room for us to improve and the times will drop once we have a clean and fast line. There is still some work to do during free practice tomorrow morning when we will do the final tweaks to our set up for qualifying and the race."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (4th, +1.001s):
"We had a decent day of practice and made it through our programme of set-up work and tyre evaluation without any problems. I had a brief spin in the second session, but that is quite normal here because it is very dusty off the racing line and you quickly lose grip. Hopefully we can maintain strong pace throughout the weekend."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (5th, +1.222s):
"Everyone always tries to get as much downforce as possible at the Hungaroring, so like other teams we have a special aero package here. It should stay nice and hot throughout the weekend, and that usually seems to suit us. So we will be targeting another decent points position – somewhere between 4th and 6th."

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (6th, +1.253s):
"I completed my planned programme today, and I am satisfied with the work I have done. The car feels good with the race set up. I am not too worried about the temperatures as it was just as hot when we tested in Jerez a fortnight ago, so I think we are well prepared for the rest of the weekend."

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (7th, +1.505s):
“This has been a very useful day in terms of what we have learnt about the tyres and how the car behaves at this circuit. I think we are more competitive here than we expected to be. The fact that it is very hot makes this a tough weekend, but it’s the same for everyone. I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend. As for my incident at the end of the session, I was trying a slightly different set-up which obviously did not work, as I ran a little bit wide over the kerb. This meant the car was airborne, so from then on I was just a passenger.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (8th, +2.064s):
“Today was not too bad, but the grip levels are still very low on the circuit. I didn’t have any big problems with the car balance, some oversteer at slow speed but nothing we cannot fix, and I think the main thing we need is for the grip levels to improve in order to help the car. In terms of our competitiveness, we don’t seem particularly quick at the moment, but you never know what fuel loads other people are running. We need to just concentrate on our programme, make the tyre choice and find some ways to improve the speed of the car.”

Jenson Button, BAR (9th, +2.135s):
"A very straightforward and positive first day for us. We've had no distractions from our usual set-up and tyre programme and we achieved plenty of running. It is however extremely hot, but that's what we've come to expect from the Hungaroring and we train to deal with these conditions. So far, so good and let's hope for the same from the rest of the weekend."

Christian Klien, Red Bull (10th, +2.217s):
“We only completed an installation lap in the first session, to check that the car was running correctly. We saved all our laps for the second session, as the Hungarian track is always quite dirty before many cars have run on it. The afternoon session was good for me I think. I did one run to get used to the track and the braking points and then got quickly up to speed. The balance of the car felt very good on one lap, but we have to improve it over long distances. Qualifying is really important here, as it’s so hard to overtake during the race.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (11th, +2.243s):
“I didn’t do as much running as I wanted in the second session after I spun in the last corner, and the anti-stall didn’t kick in, which left the car stranded. That makes it hard to have a clear impression of where we are, but for me, there is still work to do on improving the behaviour of the rear end of the car - we need better traction, and more rear end stability under braking. I didn’t get a good feel for our relative speed but from track-side, the McLarens looked very impressive today.”

Nick Heidfeld, Williams (12th, +2.452s):
“I’ve enjoyed myself today because this is a circuit I always like. Obviously temperatures are very high, but that’s usual here and I think our tyres should be quite strong in these hot conditions as in the past here. Otherwise we managed to complete our entire programme without any problems. I tried a variety of different set-up options and from our tyre work I think we will have a good tyre choice for tomorrow.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, +2.477s):
“We chose not to go out this morning for tactical reasons, but this afternoon we completed our normal Friday tyre evaluation programme. I’m reasonably comfortable with the balance of the car now, we just need to fine-tune the controls a little and see how the track evolves tomorrow. We have a slightly different aero-package for this race, which feels better, but I think we can only judge where we are and note any improvements we’ve made once we’ve completed qualifying and ultimately, the race.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, third driver, Red Bull (14th, +2.504s):
“The first session was not so bad. I tried to find a good car set-up, because this track is different to all the others we use during the season. We struggled a little bit at the beginning, but afterwards the car felt better and was well balanced. At the start of the second session, the guys found an oil leak on my car and I had to wait a while before I could start the run. We lost some track time, but crucially we managed to complete enough laps to test each tyre.”

Mark Webber, Williams (15th, +2.526s):
“We have plenty of work to do as I am not happy with the balance of my car. We will work from here to try to improve before tomorrow, so we can improve our long runs as they don’t look good enough at the moment.”

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (16th, +3.149s):
"I had oversteer all day. Normally that doesn't disturb me too much, but there was enough of it to make the car difficult to drive quickly. Otherwise it wasn't too bad, it just lacked pace. At the end I had to spin to avoid a Jordan in the corner before the pit entry; I don't know who it was but they seemed to get a bit confused when they saw blue flags and just braked, so I had to go off to avoid them."

Takuma Sato, BAR (17th, +3.151s):
"The first session went well this morning - it was pretty straightforward running. This afternoon we tried a slightly different set-up and the car was performing well until we had a driveshaft boot failure which ended my session early. It's a shame that I could not do my scheduled programme this afternoon so I will have to rely on Michelin's advice and hope that we have a trouble-free day tomorrow."

Felipe Massa, Sauber (18th, +3.165s):
"The car was good this morning when the track was still very green and slippery. We kept the same set of tyres on for part of this afternoon's session, and by then the car was really oversteering, so as we put on a new set of tyres we also adjusted the set-up to make the handling more neutral. Unfortunately we went a little too far and after that I had bad understeer and couldn't do a decent lap. It was difficult out there."

Robert Doornbos, Minardi (19th, +3.261s):
"The Hungaroring is actually a very nice track to drive, even if there are a lot of turns for a Formula One car. Right from the first lap this morning, the car seemed to go well and we worked some more on chassis balance during the lunch break to suit my driving style. We further improved the set-up, and I think the second session was also good from the beginning. We hope to continue like this for the rest of the weekend."

Christijan Albers, Minardi (20th, +3.684s):
"We had a little bit of a bad start this morning when a broken speed sensor cost us quite a lot of time. As a result, we weren't able to cover so many laps. Even so, to do a 1 minute 27.5 second lap on my first proper run this morning was not so bad. In the second practice, we were mostly just playing around with the car, trying a number of different set-up changes, and then, on the last set of tyres, we went for a quick lap. We encountered some traffic, though, and the first lap was gone. Unfortunately, I think this is a track where you have to get your time on the first lap, and although the second lap was okay, it was a bit off what it could have been. We need to push really hard tomorrow and see where we can improve my car, as we still have some balance problems."

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (21st, +4.453s):
“As we expected it, it will be a very difficult weekend because the track is very technical and also because of the heat. It is hard for the car, the engine, the tyres and all of us. This morning the circuit was so dirty, I could not say anything about the car. I also had a few small technical issues, which prevented me from doing as much running as I wished. However, we managed to do everything we wanted in the afternoon session. It is not very easy to find the right set- up here as there are so many different corners but we have collected a lot of data that we need to analyse now.”

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (22nd, +4.775s):
“The track here in Hungary is quite difficult to learn for newcomers, as you have a lot of corners, chicanes and bumps. Therefore, you have to do as many laps as possible and this is what I have tried to do. I will sleep on it tonight and see how I can drive tomorrow. I will also have to sort out some handling issues for tomorrow but I am pretty confident.”

Nicolas Kiesa, third driver, Jordan (23rd, +4.860s):
“I was very encouraged at the end of the second session as I was quite close to Narain. It is not an easy task, as I haven’t driven for a year and a half in Formula One. It feels very fast and I need to adapt not only to a F1 car but also to a completely new team crew and procedures. We have had a pretty good session and I am confident about our tyre choice. If I were a race driver, I would know which Bridgestone tyre set to choose. I know tyres play an important role here, so I will try to help the team in their choice.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (24th, no time):
“Our performance does not look too bad for a Friday. My problem was an electrical one, so the only real damage is the fact I was unable to run in the second session. Of course, that is not very helpful but fortunately, Rubens had a good day and thanks to the data he acquired I think we know what we want to do in terms of tyres. Because I did so few laps, I will also have to see what I can learn from Rubens’ set-up, although of course I have done enough laps of this track to know what is required! It is hard to know what to expect in qualifying. As usual, strategy will be very important and I think ours will look more towards the race than to qualifying.”

Chanoch Nissany, third driver, Minardi (25th, no time):
"It was really exciting to take part in my first Formula One race weekend. I made two runs this morning, but unfortunately, this afternoon some technical issues arose with the car and couldn't be fixed in the time available. I like the track here very much - it's my home circuit - and it has been a big honour for me to have the opportunity to become the first Israeli to drive in a Grand Prix weekend."