Friday practice - selected driver quotes 09 Sep 2005
The weather dominated day one in Belgium, with only the third drivers running more than a handful of laps. The times and positions refer to session one, as no driver set a time in session two.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (1st, 1m 48.206s):
"I did one run at the end of the first session, but the conditions on the drying track were not ideal. However the car felt good straight away, and we will just have to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow. I like Spa and this is an important weekend me and the team, and we will just continue to focus on winning the race - whether it's wet or dry."
Alexander Wurz, third driver, McLaren (2nd, +0.010s):
"I did two runs in the first session this morning when the track was drying. It was still slippery at certain parts and you really had to concentrate driving on the limit in these conditions, but basically the car felt good. Still we have to continue our dry Michelin tyre evaluation tomorrow as we couldn't gain enough data today, but we made some progress."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (3rd, +0.413s):
I only did three laps, so its quite hard to say, but the balance felt OK. We just didnt do enough running to be able to tell.
Ricardo Zonta, third driver, Toyota (4th, +1.239s):
"It's a pity we missed out on this afternoon's session because Spa is always a fun place to drive. But this morning the circuit started out damp, so we had a chance to try out the shallow wets. The balance changes when you switch to dry tyres so at least we are able to learn something about that in case we need to use it in the race. Spa is always a good fun place to drive in any conditions and today gave us a typical mixture of weather."
Mark Webber, Williams (5th, +1.486s):
It was a frustrating day because we didnt get much information at all, as we only did two timed laps in the morning session. You never know what you are going to get weather-wise here - you just cannot predict. A lot of the teams opted to do more mileage in the second session but in the end the rain was too heavy to run. We now hope we can get some good running in the morning tomorrow and get ready for qualifying and the race.
Jenson Button, BAR (6th, +1.684s):
"Weve been here many times before so todays weather is hardly surprising. The only good thing is that everyone is in the same boat. Well obviously do what work we can with the little data we gathered this morning and then start tomorrow with better conditions I hope.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (7th, +2.336s):
"We were expecting this to be a wet weekend, and the weather forecast is still bad so it's likely to be a tough weekend because we haven't done much wet testing this year. Spa is the best circuit in the world, and the most fun to drive, but the intensity of the rain can vary hugely so that can have a big impact on circuit conditions. Still, it will be the same for everyone. Last year I took pole in the wet here so we'll be hoping for a positive result."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (8th, +2.358s):
This morning we did not look that competitive, but this afternoon we never got the chance to find out the real situation in terms of how we compare with the others. It was just too wet to go out. I think we would have needed a boat propeller to power our way round the track! The forecast is for more rain and if that is the case on Sunday, I can see us having to start the race behind the Safety Car. Maybe our tifosi have done too good a job with their rain dance!
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (9th, +2.614s):
"Unfortunately weather like that means that this will be a hard weekend for all the teams. Obviously it makes it very difficult to pick which dry tyre to run - if we ever get a chance to run on dries this weekend. It makes tomorrow busier, too. We'll have to go out in the wet eventually. There have been no wet races yet this year and at Toyota we haven't done much testing in the wet either. So we'll have to wait and see how it works out."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, third driver, Red Bull (10th, +2.745s):
Everything was pretty good this morning and we were able to test different tyres as the track got drier and drier. We started on full wets, then went to intermediates and then to slicks. The track was in good condition so we could test the tyres and give feedback to the other cars. I had a good first run on the slick tyres, the car felt very balanced and I had good pace. I hit a small puddle on one of the later laps, locked the front brakes and got out of shape a little. That was a shame as wed been strong and had set some quick lap times. In the second session, the weather seemed good enough to go back out. Things were okay through Eau Rouge, but then there was this huge pool of water. The car lost contact with the ground and, as I had a lot of speed, I went off into the guardrail.
Takuma Sato, BAR (11th, +2.797s):
There is little to say about today because of the weather. I did only a few laps at the end of the morning session in drying conditions, but my first impression is that our package should be quite good. We will just have two very busy sessions tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (12th, +2.971s):
Even though I like driving in the wet, this afternoon there was just too much water on track and it was impossible to drive a Formula 1 car in these conditions. I hope it will not rain as much over the next two days
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber (13th, +3.967s):
"My car felt good this morning in the few laps that I did, but we weren't really pushing hard. I have to say that I like the changes that they have made to the Bus Stop chicane since I was last here in 2003, it's much better.
Felipe Massa, Sauber (14th, +4.030s):
"At least I did some laps this morning, but you had to be careful because La Source and the Bus Stop were still wet, and it was tricky elsewhere too. You didn't want to get off line anywhere. Due to the weather this afternoon everything is open for tomorrow, so we just have to wait and see what that brings.
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan (15th, +4.942s):
This morning I was running the EJ15B car for the first time during a Grand Prix weekend and it was problem free. I did a good job but the circuit conditions were constantly changing. I cannot say much about the afternoon, except that a boat would have been better than an F1 car.
Antonio Pizzonia, Williams (16th, +5.329s):
Its nice to be back in the cockpit of the FW27 in Spa, my favourite track. Unfortunately I had a small accident this morning, which didnt cost us any laps and didnt really affect our programme. Still, its not the way you would like to start a GP weekend. The mechanics did a great job to fix everything quickly. In the second session it rained heavily so we didnt go out on track but it was the same for most of the teams. This means we have a few extra laps to do tomorrow and we just have to try to get the most out of it.
Christijan Albers, Minardi (17th, +5.601s):
"After we saw how the track was this morning, we decided to change our programme and convert to one long run close to the end of session, when hopefully, conditions would be at their best. It turned out to be a good strategy. The car was working really well, and right from the beginning of the run, I was able to able to push hard. It's a shame the second session was rained out, but if the work we did today is any indication, then I think we can be hopeful of a good qualifying performance tomorrow."
Nicolas Kiesa, third driver, Jordan (18th, +6.231s):
It was quite difficult this morning as I was one of the first to go out in half dry, half wet conditions and also because I have not driven here for three years. I had therefore to get used to the circuit and its difficult conditions. But all in all, we had a pretty good practice and I have to say that from the start, the car felt very good. The best thing about the car was even though the circuit was getting dryer and dryer, its behaviour did not change. It was very nice and I felt confident to push it harder. We have managed to test some tyres and we have a half-decent evaluation. If I was a race driver, I would have a 85% idea of which tyres we should use and this despite the fact we did not run in the second practice.
Robert Doornbos, Jordan (19th, +6.767s):
"I did a rain dance this morning, because I had a very good race in the wet last year when I won in F3000, but I didn't expect this much rain. I'm sorry for the fans, and particularly the Dutch supporters, as it would have been great to get some running in this afternoon, but it was just too wet. I went out and saw that Tonio, my team mate from last year, had had a big moment at the end of the straight - there was just too much water. We've had a quiet day, so let's hope tomorrow we can do some more running."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan (20th, +6.968s):
It is quite difficult to describe how the car was feeling considering the small number of laps we have completed today. This morning we just checked if the car was ok and wanted to do our complete normal Friday programme but the track conditions did not allow us to do this. The tyre choice for the rest of the weekend will therefore not be an easy one. However, I am pretty confident we will make a good choice.
Enrico Toccacelo, third driver, Minardi (21st, +14.296s):
"I'm a little disappointed, as I made a mistake after just two laps when I braked, locked the rear wheels and spun, ending the session there. It's a shame, because I was really looking forward to testing here. Unfortunately, the rain fell heavily in the second session and there wasn't a chance to do any further testing."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (no time):
Wet conditions are always difficult, but are especially so in Spa due to the length of the track. There tends to be a lot of aquaplaning here as theres a lot of standing water and thats obviously what Tonio suffered with today. Its even more difficult here when youre running in traffic. There are so many trees, the spray doesnt dissipate and you have difficultly seeing the circuit, which can be pretty horrible. We just did an installation lap this morning. This is the second race with this engine and were restricted on mileage. We thought it might be drier this afternoon and wanted to save our laps, obviously now we would have preferred to have done more this morning but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (no time):
Unfortunately we couldnt drive much today, we just did an installation lap this morning to check the car. There was so much rain in the second session; it didnt make any sense to go out. Tonio aquaplaned on the water and when that happens youre just a passenger. We havent been able to work on the set up of the car much today, so have a lot of work to do tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (no time):
No problems with the car. But the conditions were impossible - you cant go faster than 150 kph.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (no time):
"I didn't get the chance to run in the dry today when I had to sit out the first practice as the team had to do a precautionary engine change on my car. The second session was obviously very wet from the beginning so it was no use doing any running. At least Alex got a decent amount of laps done in the first session so we will really have to rely on his feedback. I look forward to tomorrow when the weather hopefully will be dry, but as this is Spa you never know."