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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 09 Jun 2006

(L to R): Franck Montagny (FRA) Super Aguri F1 Team talks with Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, 8 June 2006 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, 9 June 2006 Scott Speed (USA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, 9 June 2006 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota prepares for practice.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, 9 June 2006

A few scary moments, but no major incidents on day one at Silverstone as the drivers found their feet at the British Grand Prix circuit. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica was the pacesetter, while Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher once again found themselves neighbours on the timesheets.

Robert Kubica, third driver, BMW Sauber (1st, 1m 21.082s):
“It was a good Friday and we have done a lot of tyre testing. I think our performance after the Barcelona test last week looked pretty okay. We saw there we were quite strong on long runs and today has confirmed this. The tyre choice will not be easy, but we have a lot of data. We are now going to analyse it, but the track conditions are very different now to when we were here a month ago. It was not really quick today, so we have to take into consideration that the grip will improve and decide on the best tyres.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (2nd, +1.212s):
“I didn't really get much of a feel for things today - I only did one timed lap, had a spin at Stowe, and then a (software) problem that kept me in the garage for the rest of the session. We are not worried though: the problem will be fixed for tomorrow, and we have done a lot of testing here as well so we know the circuit. Obviously, conditions are quite different to what we saw in testing, but Fernando's work means we know the direction we need. So not really a busy day for me - but we are still confident of being competitive.”

Alexander Wurz, third driver, Williams (3rd, +1.218s):
“I am sure everyone will say the same today, but the circuit is different to the conditions at the test here. Nevertheless, we tried to be analytical today and not become too worried because the lap times were slower for everyone, so we just continued with the programme and tyre choice work. At the same time we did some set-up adjustments so we have got some information from all three cars and now we just have to bring that information together tonight. Today was certainly not the easiest Friday I have had, but that’s life and we will keep on pushing.”

Anthony Davidson, third driver, Honda (4th, +1.228s):
"We had a good day in terms of getting through our planned programme and learning about the two different tyre options that we have here this weekend. I feel I did a good job today in making things run as smoothly as possible and getting some really valuable data to look at tonight. I'm confident in the tyre choice for the weekend already and the car has had a nice balance all day, so overall it's been a good Friday."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (5th, +1.355s):
"We probably had a bit more work today on set-up than some of the other teams because we haven't done any testing here at Silverstone this year. There was not much grip out there and we tried different tyres in order to understand which direction we should take. We still have a bit of work to do on setting up my car but in general everything went well. The new TF106B raced in Monaco and after our strong Barcelona test last week this will be the first time we can race it at a high speed circuit. What brings a smile to my face is the weather. You never know what to expect here but the sun suits us fine."

Felipe Massa, Ferrari (6th, +1.394s):
“We worked mainly on comparing the two available types of Bridgestone tyre.
Unfortunately, the track was very dirty and so it was quite tough to find the right car balance immediately, but that was the same for everyone. Now we must analyse our data to be as well prepared as possible for the rest of the weekend.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (7th, +1.521s):
“I had a lot of oversteer on every run today, and although we improved the car, we still haven't got the balance we want yet. It is also windy out there, which makes the car inconsistent from corner to corner. So it was quite difficult to drive, but I think the situation was the same for everybody. Lots of people were spinning off the circuit, so it seems the hot conditions have caught everybody out a little bit. With the balance problems we had, it is hard to say too much about the performance - but we are in a good position on the times, and we know the car can be quick here. So I am looking forward to improving the set-up overnight, and a good qualifying session tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (8th, +1.743s):
“It’s a bit difficult to judge the situation after these two hours of free practice: tyres, fuel levels and work schedules are all different and they all have a bearing on performance. What we can say is that it is very tricky as the track is still very slippery. That’s why so many, me included, went off track. We have to look carefully at the data to understand the situation, taking into account the wind, which also played its part today. There is no reason why we should not be competitive here too. Last week’s Barcelona test was very encouraging, so we can be confident in our ability to fight for the win.”

Mark Webber, Williams (9th, +2.017s):
“It was a pretty uneventful day and we managed to work through everything we needed to. Obviously the track is very different from when we were here for the test, but that’s the same for everybody, so we’ll work on that tonight. The tyre comparison with Alex went well and we now have some good data. Today wasn’t so bad actually, it all went ok. Hopefully, we’ll continue to enjoy the good weather tomorrow and we’ll keep working our way towards the front.”

Rubens Barrichello, Honda (10th, +2.022s):
"It was quite a straightforward Friday for us today. We worked solidly through the two sessions without any real problems. We do need to improve the balance as I was happier with it earlier than I was this afternoon, but we will look at the data and work on that later today. Hopefully we can keep moving forward through the rest of the weekend."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (11th, +2.032s):
"It was slippery out there today which made life a bit difficult for all the drivers and a lot of cars spun. At least we managed to keep the car on the track and we made it through our programme without problems. We still have a bit of work to do on the set-up side but hopefully the grip will become a bit better as the weekend progresses. The first time I tested a Formula One car was here at Silverstone ten years ago. They've changed the circuit since but I still enjoy racing here and I like the track lay-out. We still have some work to do to reach the level of performance we would like but we should hope for a strong result here."

Robert Doornbos, third driver, Red Bull (12th, +2.058s):
“That was a disappointing day, the worst this season I think, which is a shame at the home race for the factory. We had some mechanical problems this morning, so I wasn’t able to complete a timed lap. This afternoon the set-up of the car just wasn’t there and we had to do too many things in a short period of time, so that’s why we were not very competitive. I wish the guys more luck for the coming weekend.”

Tiago Monteiro, Midland (13th, +2.112s):
"I’m very pleased with our work today. The car was very well prepared and the team was really on its game. We did a really good job of focusing on our set-up programme, making adjustments while on the same set of tyres, and when we thought we had it figured out, we switched to the new ones. Well, there was such a difference in the level of grip that I made a mistake in the Abbey chicane and almost lost the car! It’s a shame because that one-tenth could have put me in ninth position. Still, it’s very encouraging to be so close to the pace here. Now we need to keep our cool, work hard tonight, and come out strong in qualifying tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it!"

Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (14th, +2.117s):
"We tested at Silverstone at the end of April and gathered a lot of data, but obviously it’s quite a bit warmer today. The balance of the car was not perfect, but we still have practice tomorrow to solve this. We managed to complete our planned programme where we focused on tyre selection with Michelin, but we are still not 100 per cent sure what direction we want to go. The Free Practice session tomorrow morning will give us more of an idea of where we are compared to the competition."

Christijan Albers, Midland (15th, +2.417s):
"Overall, I think we had a pretty good day. It’s a shame I couldn’t use the new tyre set as I wanted, but everyone did a good job and the car was quite nice to drive on this circuit. We put in some reasonable times although I have to say that I believe we could have gone even faster if we hadn’t encountered a technical problem in the second session. It’s nothing major, so it should be resolved in time for tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll be able to improve on our qualifying performance."

Giorgio Mondini, third driver, Midland (16th, +2.447s):
"We tried some new aero parts on the car today that seem to be working well, considering our pace. I had a spin in the first session that limited my tyre programme a bit, but we were able to get the required data and I think we’re on the right path to making the correct choice. The progress we are making is very clear and everyone on the team seems very motivated. Let’s hope it continues throughout the weekend!"

Jenson Button, Honda (17th, +2.625s):
"We've been having very strange track conditions here today and in particular it's very windy, which is causing problems for a lot of the drivers. The balance is not too bad although there is certainly room for improvement, so we'll see what the data tells us this evening."

Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (18th, +2.668s):
“On the first run the first two laps were quite quick on what is normally a very slow beginning to a race weekend, so it is promising. Then I think we destroyed the rear tyres, so we need to work on the set up. Despite this I think we will be all right.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams (19th, +2.734s):
“It has been very difficult to set up the car today, because track conditions are pretty different from our last test here. The track was quite green and it was very windy which affected the car’s behaviour a lot. By the end of the day though, it was going much better having tried a few options that improved the car, so I am quite happy about our progress today.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (20th, +2.813s):
“Driving here on the Silverstone circuit is always fun. We have had a trouble free practice so far, and now we will work on improving the balance of the car as it is a little nervous at the rear.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (21st, +2.833s):
"As usual we were conserving tyres and didn't want to put too much mileage on the engine, so we were not planning to do a lot of running today. However a fuel pump problem meant that we didn't complete our short programme, but as we have been testing here we have a lot of data to work with. Tomorrow is when the action really starts and hopefully we should be able to put in a good showing."

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (22nd, +2.930s):
“Quite a good day, but we still have some work to do on the handling of the car for tomorrow’s qualifying, as we seemed to struggle a bit when running on new tyres. As for race pace it’s not too bad and we still have tomorrow morning to try and improve.”

Christian Klien, Red Bull (23rd, +3.076s):
“It’s very windy out on the track today so it was difficult to drive. The wind had a big effect on the car through the high-speed corners and we struggled with down-force. As a result, I spun in one corner and damaged one of my tyres. That meant I had to use a second set today, so I’ve now lost a set for the weekend. In the second run, we improved the car balance a little, but it was still difficult to drive. You couldn’t really work on the set-up that much because tomorrow there might be no wind, so it would all be different all over again - but no wind will definitely mean better balance.”

Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (24th, +3.085s):
“From what we have seen today and looking at the times, it’s clear we are going to struggle a bit this weekend. The car is working well, it’s got good balance but we just don’t have the power down the straightaways. Although it’s much hotter than we expected, there are no problems on the tyre front. My spin? For some reason, I had a big problem with stability on rear brakes. I hit the brakes and suddenly I was facing the wrong way. So we still need to improve our rear end stability a bit.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (25th, +3.310s):
“We seem to have more oversteer, compared to when we tested here. Obviously, we’ve got more to come when we start unleashing engine modes and so forth, but obviously, we’re a lot further away than we were relatively on day one in Monaco.”

Neel Jani, third driver, Toro Rosso (26th, +3.584s):
“It’s a very special weekend for me as I’m driving in both F1 and GP2. In the morning session, everything went well and we seemed to have reasonable pace, even on old tyres. This afternoon, I was doing a long run and at one point I took a trip through the gravel, but we still got the tyre comparison done and got some useful data.”

Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (27th, +4.788s):
“We had a sensor issue during the morning session so we only completed a few laps and one timed lap. We had a smoother run in the beginning of the afternoon, but we had another chassis problem on the car. Although we completed our tyre test programme there maybe a good chance that our information may be misleading, so I will have to rely on the other two drivers’ data. We shall now work with the information that we have as a team for tomorrow’s practice session.”

Franck Montagny, Super Aguri (28th, +5.166s):
“We did not run this morning and this afternoon we encountered a few problems too. We had a lot of snap oversteer and it was very difficult to calm the car. We did not find a good set during the sessions, even though with new tyres the car was a lot better for sure. My attempts at quick laps were also not clear of traffic, so we unable to gauge the speed of the car here, but it is definitely a difficult track for us, so we have a lot of work to do before tomorrow.”

Sakon Yamamoto, third driver, Super Aguri (29th, +6.826s):
"It was my first time to drive the Super Aguri F1 Team car and it was fun! I was able to feel the car and I think keep consistent runs during both sessions. The car is a little bit hard to control, but I enjoyed my first day very much. I was able to learn a lot from these two sessions and I am looking forward to the next Grand Prix."