Friday practice - selected driver quotes 02 Sep 2005
Ricardo Zonta tops session two; Pedro de la Rosa is quickest of the day; Michael Schumacher crashes out; and Tiago Monteiro debuts the latest Jordan. All the drivers report back on day one at Monza (note - positions and times refer to session two).
Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (1st, 1m 20.531s):
"I wasn't quite happy with the car in the morning because it was difficult to get any grip. The track wasn't particularly dirty and it was similar to last week's test. But we improved the car a lot for the second practice. We found something good on the tyres, too. We know that this could be a difficult track for us, but we've made good progress today."
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (2nd, +1.052s):
"We were quick here today and are looking strong and consistent, so it is a positive start to the weekend. There is still a long way to go, and we have to remain reliable throughout the weekend to achieve the result that our times today promise."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd, +1.204s):
"A productive first practice day, and we achieved fast and consistent times. We still can optimise our set up as it is always very crucial here to find the ideal balance on this low downforce circuit. We can build on our good testing results from last week and should be competitive throughout the rest of the weekend."
Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (4th, +1.391s):
"Unfortunately my second session was cut short, with 12 minutes still to go, with a transmission fault before I had the opportunity to complete the entire programme. However this was not really a problem as we have a lot of information already from today and the test we conducted here last week. The car is quick, it is working very well at the top speeds and everything from the brakes to the Michelin tyres were working perfectly today."
Mark Webber, Williams (5th, +1.501s):
We had a pretty good day and we went through all of our programme. My car ran reliably and the mechanics and engineers did a good job in getting everything ready. We still have to work on our long distance pace because the balance still wasnt ideal this afternoon so well work on that in the practice sessions tomorrow. In the second session today we had the best track temperature to do the balance work for the race. We have a bit of work to do tonight but we are not looking too bad at all.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams (6th, +1.576s):
We can be quite happy with our positions today if we compare them to what we have achieved on Fridays in the last few races. Of course, its only Friday but we hope Saturday and Sunday will be as good. In terms of our programme, we completed our usual work on the tyres and did some small changes on the set-up but obviously, like every other team, we got through the majority of our set-up work last week during the test here in Monza.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Red Bull (7th, +1.722s):
We struggled in the first session as it seemed like we had some sort of problem with the engine. We were 10kph slower than David on the straight, so we didnt have the same top-speed, which is crucial in Monza as its such a high-speed track. Were still looking at what the problem is but, as we had two short sessions and not much time in between, we were pushed for time.
Despite that, Parabolica was still amazing to drive, its one of the best corners of the track. Its low downforce here, so youre on the edge all the time, its like driving a boat on the waves, which is a pretty cool feeling. Its a special circuit for me. Its Italy and my home grand prix, so its great to be able to drive here.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (8th, +1.747s):
"After the test here last week, we feel quite prepared for the weekend, so we were able to run slightly less than usual. The challenge at Monza is to find a compromise between straightline speed and grip. We didn't look particularly quick at the test so it could be a tough weekend but the car felt okay today so we'll do our best to score points."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (9th, +1.909s):
There was much less grip out there today than we had at the test, which can be seen from the lap times - we are more than a second slower than last week. That meant the car was a bit tricky to drive, but we can fix that tomorrow morning. Overall, I think McLaren probably have the advantage over us but we are where we expected to be.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (10th, +2.063s):
It was not too bad a day for me. The track conditions were not as good as last week in the test, because it was much hotter and that made the car harder to drive. We did a lot of running on the tyres last week, so todays runs were just to confirm what we found in the test, and Michelin have brought two very good tyres. It looked like everybody was struggling a little bit for grip, because we saw a lot of spins, but we can adjust the car overnight to compensate. Overall, I think we are in quite a strong position.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (11th, +2.069s):
We were testing here last week and so there wasnt much work to do with the car set-up, balance and in getting to know the track. We just did an installation lap during the first session to check that the car was running okay. In the second practice, I did two sessions of four laps to compare the different tyres. The car had good balance during both runs, I felt pretty confident and got up to speed quickly.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (12th, +2.218s):
When you are not as competitive as you want to be, you try everything you can to improve and my spin was partly the result of that. I made some changes to the set-up but it made the car a bit unstable which made me slide off the track. It was not a heavy impact, as I was already at the corner exit. We have lost some track time, but it is not too important as we have tested enough here. The important thing is that the tyres are not damaged so I can use them again. A thank you to the marshals at the corner as they were all very nice, asking me if I was thirsty and wanted a drink.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (13th, +2.521s):
It was a good day, I think. We did some reasonable runs, including one long one in which we could see that our race pace is good. There was more grip than there was at the test last week, because of the higher temperature, so I was happier with the balance. Our main thing was to focus on race performance, which is the most important thing at Monza.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (14th, +2.595s):
"That was a trouble-free day for us, and we completed all the work we needed for the weekend. We were able to miss most of the morning session because of the data we collected at our test here at Monza last week. But it has all gone well so far, and the balance felt okay today. We will be putting in our usual efforts for a points finish on Sunday."
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (15th, +2.677s):
Today was not too bad. The hotter temperature helped the tyres to warm up faster which was good, and the balance was okay, but its too early for me to draw too many conclusions about our performance so far.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (16th, +2.682s):
We have a lot of work to do. The balance of the car was not good and we will have to find out why by analysing the data acquired over the two hours of free practice. At last weeks test, the situation seemed much better than it has done today. We knew it would be a difficult weekend, but we will give it our all to try and please our fans.
Takuma Sato, BAR (17th, +2.692s):
"Today went smoothly and we completed all of our planned programme. The track conditions weren't much different from testing here last week and the car balance is good. We concentrated on tyre evaluation this afternoon rather than outright performance, but it seems that we will still have some work to do before tomorrow to move further up the field in terms of pace. Generally we have made a good start and we look forward to improving through the rest of the weekend."
Jenson Button, BAR (18th, +2.884s):
"We did a lot of our groundwork in testing here last week so our focus today was working through our usual Friday programme, which ran according to plan. We clearly still have some work ahead of us tonight and tomorrow morning to see how we can improve our pace, so we will see what free practice in the morning brings before making any predictions."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (19th, +2.975s):
There was some oversteer with the car during the second practice session, so we made some balance changes, which improved things a little. The cars not still quite where I want it though and weve got some work to do tomorrow before qualifying.
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (20th, +3.463s):
It was a good first day. We went through our tyre choice programme and car set-up. As we noticed last week, the new car is reliable, as we havent encountered any problem today. The gain is not huge but we are closing the gap with the cars in front. Every gain is a gain. As we have already said, Monza is maybe not the best track to introduce the new car because of its low downforce configuration. Spa and the remaining races should suit our cars better but it is still an improvement. Now we have to work on the stability for the rest of the weekend.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (21st, +3.671s):
It is a shame that I do not drive the new car. I tested it last week here at Monza and I could feel the difference straight away this morning. It was especially obvious in the braking zones and in the fast corners. The car balance got better at the end of the afternoon session when the track surface was improving. I am looking forward to driving again tomorrow as I really enjoy this circuit.
Robert Doornbos, Minardi (22nd, +3.702s):
"Back in Monza within a week - it's great that we tested here for a full day, as we gathered so much data and know so much more about the car. For me, it was also a very good opportunity to get to know the guys even better. The circuit I already know from F3000, and in fact, I was spraying the champagne here last year when I met the Minardi team for the first time. We didn't run too much today, as we have a new engine, and therefore also have to think about next weekend, in Spa. At the end of the day, though, we found a reasonable set-up, and we hope to continue the work tomorrow. The aim, as usual, will be to do a strong qualifying lap, and to have another good fight in the race."
Christijan Albers, Minardi (23rd, +3.733s):
"We had a good morning session today, and in the afternoon, we found some things that we feel can be improved, so we will have to check the data and see what we can do for tomorrow. It was a shame that I ran a little bit wide at one of the corners on what should have been my quickest lap, and lost some time as a result. It's only Friday, though, and tomorrow's a much more important day."
Enrico Toccacelo, Minardi (24th, +4.714s):
"I'm quite satisfied with our performance today, especially considering the programme we were running. Unfortunately, I encountered quite a bit of traffic on my last run, when I should have been able to set my fastest lap. I think I lost a minimum of half a second when I encountered Barrichello in the second chicane. Anyway, we were able to do a good tyre comparison this afternoon, and I recorded a number of very consistent lap times. I think we have done a good job, which should help the guys with their work tomorrow."
Nicolas Kiesa, Jordan (25th, no time):
The first session this morning went very well. The car was getting better and better with all the different changes we made. Near the end, we wanted to confirm these changes and we could see from the times that they were working. We wanted to make further progress for our race specification in the afternoon but unfortunately the car stopped on the first lap. I am a bit disappointed but it is nobodys fault.