Qualifying - selected driver quotes 30 Jul 2005
Just when Ferraris 2005 season was being written off, Michael Schumacher showed just why he is world champion, putting in an amazing lap to give the team their first pole of the year. He and the other 19 drivers give their reactions to qualifying at the Nurburgring.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (1st, 1m 19.882s):
I drove a good lap and I am delighted to be back here after suffering for so long. I am happy to be on pole, happy that it is with this margin and also that we look in good shape for the race. This is good for Bridgestone, who have suffered with us and this result is an excellent return for the effort they have put in. We saw from Rubens performance yesterday that, not only was the package quick over a single lap, it was also consistent over a longer run. There is no reason not to believe in a Ferrari comeback, but at the same time we will have to wait and see if this result is a case of the car and tyre suiting this track or if it will become a general trend. This is a great result and a great motivation for the whole team. As for being on pole, I think it is more important that I am on the clean side of the track, because I do not share the view that at this circuit, grid position is vital, because I think strategy in the race will be more important.. I am not worried about the hot conditions.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (2nd, +0.897s):
"It's good to be on the front row as my lap was not perfect. I had a bit of oversteer on the first corner and I already knew after the first couple of corners that I wouldn't catch Michael Schumacher. So for the rest of the lap I was a bit cautious and concentrated on a good clean lap and getting on the front row. I am not worried about being on the dirtier side of the track as we have shown that our starts are really good this year. I am confident that I am in a very good position for the race if everything goes to plan."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (3rd, +0.957s):
"That was a very good lap, so I'm happy. We always knew this was going to be a tough session because I was going out so early after our problems in Hockenheim. I also had a fuel system problem this morning so I didn't get a chance to try out the car on new tyres. That meant it was a bit of a guess for the balance on new tyres, but our car always goes well over one lap and I tried my best. I gradually built up my confidence as I went round, which was why the third sector was the best. Looking to the race, it's always a tough afternoon here but we'll try to keep up our pace."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, +1.009s):
"Going out first in the session was making things obviously harder for me today. The track conditions constantly improved during the session, and I suffered as the level of grip was not at its best, and it was really slippery. However, I feel that I pushed as hard as I could to make up any deficit. I am happy with my lap and under the circumstances I feel that we have done the best job that we could expect. It is now very important for me to get a good start."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (5th, +1.082s):
"All in all that was a pretty good lap for me. It was difficult to get the optimum out of the car because I had a bit of oversteer, but it was reasonably clean. And being fifth on the grid sets us up well for tomorrow, particularly because we will start on the clean side of the grid. We think we've got a good strategy so we'll have to see how it works out. We're certainly aiming for another good result. Since they changed the layout at the first corner there are more chances for passing here. The race will be long in the heat so it's a matter of making no mistakes and hoping for the best."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th, +1.259s):
It is frustrating to be P6 and P9, but we have not quite been competitive all weekend. We didnt manage to dial the understeer out of the car for qualifying, so the balance was not perfect, and I had a few moments round the lap. The one that really cost me time was in the last corner, where I got a bit off line and the car began understeering I ended up in the grass on the exit and that definitely cost me positions. It is particularly disappointing to qualify badly here because overtaking is very hard the only opportunities will be at the pit-stops and the start. We will be concentrating on those areas tonight so that we can make the most of our situation tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (7th, +1.276s):
Basically I think I drove a good lap apart from the fact that I lost a bit on the brakes at the beginning of the lap due to a change in set-up on the car, which made the brakes feel a little bit different. Bridgestone has done a phenomenal job to provide us with a tyre that has allowed us to be competitive again in qualifying. I have a good strategy and I know I can expect to have a very consistent performance level in the race. So I really hope I can get a good result.
Jenson Button, BAR (8th, +1.420s):
"Eighth on the grid is not a great position to be starting from but hopefully we have a good strategy compared with the cars in front of me. I feel that I was unable to get much more out of the car today because we had pretty low grip. It also looks like we will have some different competition to fight with tomorrow. Im sure we can achieve our target of some good points from here though so well see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully the temperature will have cooled by a few degrees as well.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (9th, +1.451s):
I had a clean lap, but I think I was too conservative in the final sector and it clearly cost me time. Ninth is not a great position, but in reality we have been struggling a bit to get the car working well at this circuit. Looking to tomorrow, I think we have a good strategy, so hopefully we can use that to overtake people at the stops and we had very good starts in Hockenheim, which should help us gain some positions too.
Takuma Sato, BAR (10th, +1.905s):
It was a better day for me today. In the morning we worked on the set-up which we could not do yesterday due to lost running time. We caught up nicely and I was happy with the balance of the car. In qualifying I felt that I had less grip and a bit of oversteer in the middle sector cost me a little time. In the end it was a reasonable lap and we now look forward to see what we can do from this position and hope that we have a strong package for tomorrow.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (11th, +2.055s):
Not a bad qualifying time for me, I think. The balance of the car felt much better in qualifying than it did this morning, so I was able to push quite hard. It was a pretty clean lap with no mistakes so Im happy. Its also good to have gone faster than my team-mate David.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (12th, +2.204s):
I am happy with my lap. At the beginning, the balance was particularly good although later in the lap I suffered a bit but all in all it was ok. I have always liked this track and I am confident I can have a good race tomorrow and collect some points. Our car has definitely improved thanks to all the new aero parts but the gap to the front runners has been so big in the last three races that it will take some time before its filled.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, +2.397s):
Im a little disappointed. I had a little bit of a wobble at Turn one and know I could have extracted more time in the middle section, but thats what I achieved today. Its now a question of looking ahead to the race. I didnt give myself the best preparation for qualifying this morning as I went off the track on my new tyres, and that was effectively the only time I had to try them out before qualifying. I knew I was always going to give away a little time after that, but well just have to see what we can do tomorrow.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (14th, +2.683s):
"The balance on my car was reasonable, but it just wasn't quick enough. The lap was good enough for what we had this afternoon, but I couldn't go faster. It's going to be a difficult race starting this far back, but let's try to finish at least. You never know what can happen here; it's a very hot race and maybe not everyone will make it home."
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (15th, +2.984s):
"The balance was pretty good, but that was as fast as the car would go with the strategy we chose. Actually, I expected to be slower than I was going so early in the session when the track was slippery, because Monaco and Hungary are both places where it gets much better as things progress. Being only three tenths of a second off Felipe - I'm quite happy with that, especially as our race pace is going to be better than our qualifying speed."
Mark Webber, Williams (16th, +3.613s):
Going out for qualifying second, especially on this track, is obviously a great drawback, although I must admit track conditions were not as bad as I expected. My first two sectors werent too bad but I lost a bit of time in the last sector. The car has improved, I can feel that, but we are still not where we want to be.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (17th, +4.561s):
"I'm glad today's qualifying went well, and now we'll wait to see how the performance of the car is in the race tomorrow. We had some bad luck at the beginning of the weekend and lost quite a bit of time in the garage on Friday, but hopefully, we can get it together for the race so the car remains well balanced."
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (18th, +5.175s):
My qualifying lap was quite clean but the air and track temperatures were very high, so it will be interesting to see what will happen during the Grand Prix. I also think the track was a bit slower compared to this morning. However, I do think we have a good strategy for tomorrow and I am pretty confident about our Bridgestone tyre choice as well.
Robert Doornbos, Minardi (19th, +5.602s):
"We did some good work this morning and I think found a good race set-up for the car. We had to make a slight compromise for qualifying, and I had a bit of a moment in Turn One with the brakes and ran wide. I tried to recover the rest of the lap, but then had another moment in the third sector. I therefore couldn't get the optimum lap time, as I would have liked, but for the race, on used tyres, the car is very good, so we are definitely feeling optimistic for tomorrow."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (20th, no time):
We had some engine issues this morning in free practice. Therefore, we took the decision not to take any unnecessary risks for tomorrows race and change the engine. We had to adapt our strategy and this explains why I only did an installation lap in order to make sure everything is fine and also to save fuel and tyres. It is a bit frustrating but this is part of the game. However, it is going to be a long race in very hot conditions, so anything could happen.