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Qualifying - selected driver quotes 20 Aug 2005

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault in the post qualifying press conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 19 August 2005

A dramatic qualifying session in Istanbul proved that track designer Hermann Tilke has achieved his aim of challenging the drivers to the limit. Two world champions failed that challenge. This years’ arch rivals Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso did not…

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st, 1m 26.797s):
"I'm pleased to claim the first pole position for Formula One in Turkey. The lap was good but not perfect, and I lost a little bit of time in the last sector, but I knew I had some time in hand. We had made some changes to the car overnight and everything worked really well during practice this morning, so we knew we would have a strong chance for pole if everything went well. The circuit is great - it's so different from many of the others - especially with the ups and downs. It will be a tough race tomorrow, but I am really looking forward to it. We have a lot to fight for and hopefully we will be able to get the results we need and also put on a good show for the many Turkish spectators who will experience Formula One live for the first time."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (2nd, +0.242s):
“It is great to be on the front row for tomorrow's race. We have worked hard this weekend to get a good set-up on the car, and the team has done a great job, which you can see from the grid positions. The only problem with my lap was when I came up on (Rubens) Barrichello at the end - we were very close through turns 12 and 13, and it disrupted my concentration, costing me a couple of tenths. Everything else went well though, so I am very positive for tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +0.253s):
“The conditions were much windier this afternoon than we had in practice, and we saw that it was a difficult qualifying session for all the drivers as lots of people went off. In that situation, you have to take the gamble of either taking some risks, or being conservative: I pushed hard and came through OK, so it is great to be third, on the clean side of the grid. The wind actually surprised me a little bit down the back straight - it was a strong tailwind, and I braked at my normal point but missed the apex, which cost me some time. We have both cars in the top three and I will go into the race with the aim of trying to beat Kimi.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (4th, +0.555s):
"My qualifying lap was OK, but I know my time would have been so much better if I had done it later in the session. The car is working well and I have been strong in all sessions so far this weekend. The track is great and good fun to drive particularly when you have a competitive package and everything just comes together. There is no reason why I can't be strong in the race."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (5th, +0.704s):
"That was another good lap because we have been struggling to finalise the set-up on my car this weekend. I was not at all happy with the balance this morning, so I changed the set-up completely for qualifying. That meant I went into qualifying without knowing how the car would behave. It was a bit windier than before so the car was a bit more nervous and that made qualifying more difficult than usual. But it worked pretty well, so that was another good performance from myself and the team. My target tomorrow is to score points and maybe even push for a podium."

Nick Heidfeld, Williams (6th, +1.132s):
“My qualifying lap was ok. As usual, it’s difficult to find all the grip on the first lap but I am quite satisfied with this result, especially if I look at the rest of the weekend when I had some small, annoying problems in nearly every session. At least qualifying went all right! It looks like we are in better shape than we have been in the last few races, which is the most important thing. We are making progress and hopefully we will collect some points tomorrow.”

Mark Webber, Williams (7th, +1.147s):
“As with qualifying these days, we won’t really know our performance until the race but we look pretty reasonable here. Obviously BAR didn’t have any communications, or Takuma didn’t know what was happening. He did a very slow lap, then an even slower in-lap, which compromised my qualifying but that’s how it goes. That was a really important corner and it probably compromised my lap by about three tenths of a second. We’re still up there though.”

Felipe Massa, Sauber (8th, +1.622s):
"There was a lot of sand on the track so it would have been very easy to make a mistake, but I managed not to and had a good lap. Starting in the top eight is always very good for us, and I won't deny the possibility that we can score some more points tomorrow. It's going to be a tough race, because this is physically a hard track, but we can do well.

"I have six races left for Sauber before I leave, and I am really determined to do my best for the team to thank everyone here for all their efforts for me during my time here."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (9th, +1.797s):
"That could have been a very good lap but I obviously lost quite a bit of time in Turn Nine. Perhaps I was trying a bit too hard, but apart from that the grip was there and my lap was going well. Nonetheless we're still in reasonable shape to come away with a good result tomorrow. Jarno's in a really good position, it's slightly more difficult for me again but it's quite possible for both of us to score points. We'll see how possible it is to overtake tomorrow, but another strong points finish is what we are after."

Christian Klien, Red Bull (10th, +2.166s):
“That was a difficult lap. It’s hard to judge what the conditions are going to be like when you’re second out on the track, but the balance of the car felt good and I was able to push quite hard. I didn’t make any mistakes during qualifying, which is really important here as the track’s so demanding.”

Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (11th, +2.572s):
“Even though we adopted a conservative approach to qualifying, I was fighting with a lack of grip from the car. I am confident the tyres will be good for the race, however, in qualifying we had some graining issues, which cost me time in the final sector where I had too much understeer. My lap was on the limit of what I could do and for tomorrow I think eleventh place means I can have a good race especially as the car seems to perform better when the tyres are worn than when they are completely new. It’s a shame for Michael that he went off.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (12th, +2.967s):
“We were lucky to get away with twelfth there! It’s difficult to know what to expect when you’re driving on new tyres; we ran on a new set this morning and were actually slower than we had been on scrubbed ones. As a result, I was cautious at the beginning of the qualifying lap when the grip levels were a little unpredictable. As the lap progressed, I began to push a bit more, but ran wide at Turn eight and nine due to dust that my tyres had picked up on that part of the track. It’s a challenging circuit that’s for sure. There are lots of difficult corners, but the trickiest thing is the bumps. When the car unloads over those, things get pretty interesting!”

Jenson Button, BAR (13th, +3.266s):
"It was a very disappointing qualifying lap because in practice today we didn’t have any issues with the high-speed corner but we could see that other teams were struggling with the rear end quite a bit. It’s a shame because we have been quick here so far this weekend. But all is not lost. I will start from P13 on the grid tomorrow and I’m sure that we can still do something very positive from there.”

Takuma Sato, BAR (14th, +3.378s):
“After such a positive start to this Grand Prix, it’s a shame to have such a disappointing qualifying session. Unfortunately, in turn 8 my car bottomed a lot creating understeer and I ran wide. I feel sorry for the team because we were all hopeful of better things today. All I can do from here is stay positive and do the best job I possibly can to make good progress through the field tomorrow. As for the incident with Mark Webber, we had a radio interference problem and the team were unable to tell me his position on the track.”

Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (15th, +3.913s):
“The whole weekend has been pretty good for me so far. This morning, we were very close to the front runners, especially the other Bridgestone drivers. I had a clean good qualifying lap and pushed really hard. It is going to be a long race tomorrow; especially on a new circuit where we do not really know how the tyres will behave over 58 laps; but it will be the same for everyone. I am really excited about tomorrow.”

Christijan Albers, Minardi (16th, +5.389s):
"We did a lot of work on the car, and it was more stable in the qualifying run than we'd managed this morning, when the rear was quite nervous. I was happy with that and with the fact we gained some grip. The only real issue in qualifying related to a gear-shifting problem, which cost me quite a bit of time. That said, the car is definitely going in the right direction, and although it will be a tough race tomorrow, I think we'll be all right."

Robert Doornbos, Minardi (no time):
"It was obviously a disappointing qualifying for me. I was hoping for a very good run, because although we had a difficult tyre choice to make this morning, I think we found a good set-up for the race and things looked promising. As a result, there was something to look forward to in qualifying, but even on the out lap, I knew the car was not how it should be, and that there was a problem with the brakes. They suggested over the radio that I just carry on and try to complete the lap, but the problem got worse and worse, and the car was very slow on the straights, just like the handbrake was still on. I really hope I can have some better luck tomorrow and do something special in the race."

Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (no time):
"The track was very slippery, a lot more than this morning, and I just pushed too hard. My lap was faster than I thought up until I spun. Turn 8 is a real challenge, and the car got away from me there. I probably should have pushed a little bit less, I guess."

Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (no time):
“We had some engine issues this morning in free practice and I have not been able to complete any running. It is really a pity, as I would have needed more laps to continue learning the track and doing more work on the car set-up. Our strategy had then to be adapted which explains why I only did an installation lap to ensure everything was ok and to save fuel and tyres. I hope I will have a better day tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (no time):
“We have been uncompetitive all weekend so far, therefore I had not expected to qualify very well: maybe around seventh place, which would not have been too bad for tomorrow’s race. Even though we should really be looking for race wins, we could at least have been fighting for points. But, I went off the track and this is the result. We had expected Turn 9 to be difficult as the wind had picked up and I thought I had taken this into account, but obviously not enough. In the race, all I can do is push hard and try and do my best. It is still important for us to do as well as possible here, to help our chances in qualifying at Monza. After our performance in Hockenheim and Budapest, this weekend is clearly a step backwards.”