Qualifying - selected driver quotes 03 Sep 2005
The men in the driving seat explain what went right and wrong for them in Saturday afternoons battle for grid positions at Monza.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st, 1m 20.878s):
Unfortunately, I can not make the best use of my qualifying performance which would have been pole position. Having to start from 11th position I face a difficult race but it was the best I could achieve. However the speed of our car is so good, which means I still see a chance of moving up the field and you never know what happens.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (2nd, +0.176s):
A clean and fast lap and I am pretty happy with my performance. It is good to start from the front, and I now need a trouble free run to the first corner. To get through there without problems is crucial. Unfortunately Kimi has to start from 11th, but a lot is still possible. We will give it our all to win the race and close the gap in both the Drivers and Constructors World Championship.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +0.441s):
It was a nice lap for me. We have had a few more problems with the car than we expected this weekend, after a good test, but we worked quite a lot this morning to prepare for the race and improve the handling. Even so, I had some doubts about our speed over one single lap, but I showed the speed was there this afternoon - which makes me even more confident for tomorrow. Obviously, I have been helped by Kimis problem but that doesnt change anything for us: we know we need to finish the race with no problems, and hopefully get on the podium. Thats what I will be doing tomorrow afternoon.
Jenson Button, BAR (4th, +0.491s):
I am pretty happy with that! After suffering with the set-up of the car a bit this morning, and having to slow up in the final free practice session because of the two yellow flags, I was a little disappointed before qualifying. Alonso and I were extremely close for 2nd, but 3rd here does have the advantage of being on the cleaner side of the track. Its nice to be near to the front on the grid again and hopefully we have a reasonably good strategy and pace so we can keep it there!
Takuma Sato, BAR (5th, +0.599s):
I enjoyed the lap and Im very happy to be starting 4th tomorrow. I was very pleased with the car balance this morning when we were very consistent through the longer runs during free practice. We have a strong package now after making some changes since yesterday and I hope tomorrow we can repeat the success that we had here last year. Traditionally we always have a good race in Monza so Im looking forward to tomorrow.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (6th, +0.762s):
"I was not expecting to be so quick or to be able to put together a lap time like that. You have to be very precise with your braking here, so to get it right in qualifying when you only have one lap is very difficult. But the car behaved well and the lap was clean, smooth and just aggressive enough. We have a good strategy for the race, so I am confident we can convert this into a good result. It is always special to be at home with so many supporters, and I have always been competitive here but I have not had much luck, so I hope to turn that around tomorrow."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (7th, +0.843s):
Considering I had to make my run early in the session, which is definitely a disadvantage, I am quite happy with my lap time, which owes a lot to the work we did here last week. Although we should not really use our performance in Turkey as a reference point, this is an improvement. We have worked well and, if you leave out one team, who are just too dominant, we are in the frame. Tomorrow, our realistic target is to fight for points. Although it would be wonderful to end up on the podium in front of all our home fans, I feel that is a bit too optimistic.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (8th, +1.084s):
I think that todays performance shows that we have done a good job of improving the car since yesterday. But I drove a good lap which started very well, until I had a bit too much graining on the front tyres, which caused the car to understeer and I lost time in the two Lesmo corners. Considering the problems we have encountered so far, I think I can be relatively pleased with todays result and I am happy with my last good qualifying lap for Ferrari at Monza.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (9th, +1.190s):
I am very disappointed after that lap. I locked up under braking for the first chicane, and lost at least half a second in that corner and on the straight afterwards. Without that, I think I could have certainly been in the top five, so obviously I am quite a long way from the potential this afternoon. But I am still positive for tomorrow - we will see how much fuel the other cars have for their first stint, and I think our strategy will help me to climb some more positions.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (10th, +1.388s):
"That was a pretty good lap from me, particularly because I had some trouble finalising my set-up this morning. We made a set-up change in the break before qualifying and that was a help. I didn't feel totally comfortable over the kerbs but it was a clean lap and I had no particular problems. Our grid position certainly leaves us in good shape to chase another strong points finish tomorrow."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (11th, +1.426s):
No big events during that lap; the balance of the car was good, but it was capable of going quicker. I wasnt entirely happy with my performance in qualifying and think its fair to say that Christian wasnt either. I wasnt really able to feel the car enough on the warm up lap, it felt a bit numb, so I couldnt tell how hard to push. As a result, I was a bit too conservative going into the first chicane and lost a couple of tenths by braking too early. Its frustrating when that happens, as once youve taken the decision, its difficult to make up the time after. Nonetheless, I think weve got good experience of the car on this track and its certainly possible for the team to score some points.
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (12th, +1.478s):
We are only two positions off our ideal position, which would have been
10th, so it was not too bad for me today. The lap was quite good.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (13th, +1.654s):
I dont think that was such great lap. I suffered with understeer in two different places, including the last corner. It meant I had to back off and lost some time. I think it could have been better, as overall feeling of the car is good, but a few small mistakes make all the difference.
Mark Webber, Williams (14th, +1.682s):
The car seems to be reasonable so far this weekend. Last week in the test here we showed some positive steps in performance in relation to the outright pace. Clearly the people working back at the factory have done a good job in the wind tunnel with such a low downforce package which you need in Monza and also BMW is pushing hard for this race. Having to start as second qualifier didnt help, but I am happy with my lap anyway. The race in Monza is usually hard on the tyres and the cars are sliding a lot around the corners, but its the same for everyone and it should be an interesting race tomorrow.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (15th, +2.182s):
Starting in the first three in qualifying is definitely not great! When my turn came the track was still quite slippery. But looking at our strategy the lap was actually pretty good and we know that our car is going to be better in race trim, so the situation is a lot better than it appears to be.
Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (16th, +2.413s):
I was still sleeping when the telephone rang this morning at 8:30 and they told me to rush to the track. I have been away from the car for nearly three months and the last time I drove an F1 car it was fitted with a V8 engine, which makes a big difference. Obviously it was a bit tricky to get used to the car so quickly, but I am happy to have the opportunity to race for the team again. Knowing that I was going to be the first car out for qualifying, today we concentrated more on race set up but I am happy with my qualifying lap, considering the situation. There is a lot more to come from me and hopefully I can do a good job tomorrow.
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (17th, +3.788s):
I am quite satisfied with my lap in qualifying today. The new car felt ok, however Monza is not the easiest track to gain a greater benefit but we had more stability in the entry of the corners. We are looking forward to tracks with more downforce where we will be able to use the advantage we have with the new package. Here the track is tricky for everyone as the low downforce set-up naturally makes the car a bit unstable. I am happy with the new car and we know there is still much more to come.
Robert Doornbos, Minardi (18th, +4.026s):
"It's been a strong weekend so far for the Minardi team, and also for me. We have been able to find a good set-up for the car, and I have been able to be quick in every practice session. I was a little bit apprehensive about qualifying, as we had a technical problem in Turkey and I was a bit too enthusiastic in Hungary, but we had a good, clean lap today. It's nice to see that we can really fight with the Jordans, and I hope it continues this way for me tomorrow."
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (19th, +4.981s):
My lap was ok considering the accident I had this morning when I spun the car under braking, trying to get heat into a new set of tyres. I am still feeling a bit sore. The mechanics worked really hard to fix the car and they did a great job. However, in qualifying, the car was a bit unstable so we decided to take it a bit easier. Nevertheless, I am pretty confident for tomorrows race.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (20th, +6.086s):
"It was a shame about qualifying today, but it can happen when you are driving on the limit - sometimes you go over it. I'm sorry for the boys, as well, since they worked hard on the car. Anyway, tomorrow's a new day, and you score points for the race, not qualifying, so we'll see what we can do."