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Friday practice - selected driver quotes 28 Jul 2006

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.06 Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 28 July 2006 Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, 27 July 2006 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Preparations, Hockenheim, Germany, 27 July 2006 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 28 July 2006

BMW Sauber were quickest during Friday practice for the second race in a row courtesy of test driver Robert Kubica, but it was Ferrari who looked strongest with both Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa in the top five. Further down the order were Renault with 11th for Giancarlo Fisichella and 15th for Fernando Alonso, whilst Williams' Nico Rosberg had to sit out the second session following an accident in the first. The men in the driving seat report back on day one at Hockenheim. (Note - all positions and times refer to the second session)

Robert Kubica, third driver, BMW Sauber (1st, 1m 16.225s):
“This morning we couldn’t get the right information as the car was not really balanced. We then decided to go in one direction, which was really good. I was surprised as we were not looking for quick lap times but we were much quicker than this morning and everything is now positive. Fortunately the weather allowed us to re-test the tyres and now we have a better vision of which to choose.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (2nd, +0.227s):
“At the moment, the situation seems pretty good, but we have to bear in mind that other teams have carried out difference work programmes in terms of tyres today, which also explains the difference in the times. The weather reduced the track time at our disposal. Now we must study the data gathered carefully to get a realistic idea of the pecking order, but I think we have not yet seen the true potential of some of the teams.”

Robert Doornbos, third driver, Red Bull (3rd, +0.324s):
“It’s special to be back here in Hockenheim. It was where I raced my first Formula One race for Minardi and it’s good to see so many Dutch fans here. It was a bit tricky this morning due to all the different weather forecasts we were getting for the afternoon, but we managed to complete all the dry running that we needed to, although it was quite tight in the end. I think we look quite competitive here. It’s good for me to finish third fastest, and I hope we continue to run well throughout the weekend.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (4th, +0.815s):
"We completed our normal Friday programme, despite the earlier rain, working on Michelin tyre selection and race set-up. The car feels good and the tyres seem to be working well, so I am pleased."

Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th, +0.980s):
“It was a good day. Even though we did not run much, I immediately felt the car was well balanced and the Bridgestone tyres worked well. Therefore, I am happy with what we achieved today, while knowing we still have a lot to do. All in all, we can say we have started this race weekend a bit better than on some other occasions and so I am feeling optimistic.”

Anthony Davidson, third driver, Honda (6th, +1.069):
"A difficult day here at Hockenheim. The weather conditions made it hard work for everyone in the second session then when it started to dry out we had to quickly do our tyre programme. It was a little bit scrappy for everybody but thankfully there was just enough time to choose the tyre that we think will work well for the rest of the weekend. The first session went well for me. I had a nice balance and I think our long run pace looks really good so I'm confident for a good race here."

Mark Webber, Williams (7th, +1.119s):
“Weather conditions didn’t allow us to get as much running as we might have liked today. We would ideally have had a bit more running this afternoon when the track dried up, but ultimately we only managed to get one run in at the end of the session in the conditions that represent what we expect in the race. That said, we’ve got plenty of information to look at from Alex’s car, and we will do more running tomorrow morning anyway, despite the potentially cooler track conditions which don’t tend to represent what we usually expect in the race.”

Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (8th, +1.291s):
"A positive beginning to the weekend. When it started to rain I was worried that we would not be able to do enough running on dry tyres, but with the track not really getting wet we were able to continue our programme, with some useful results. The car feels quick and we are satisfied with the times we set."

Rubens Barrichello, Honda (9th, +1.294s):
"We weren't able to complete all the running we had planned but I think we are looking a little more competitive than we were at the last race. However, it's only Friday. There's a long way to go yet and it's too early to draw any firm conclusions. At this stage though I'm feeling good about the car and I hope this will continue through the rest of the weekend."

Jenson Button, Honda (10th, +1.317s):
"Generally a good start to the weekend. The rain shower made life a little bit difficult but apart from that the car is working well so far. We'll just have to wait and see how the rest of the weekend pans out."

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (11th, +1.447s):
"This was one of those days when it is hard to work out how our pace compares to that of our rivals: we look quite far down the times, but that is not the real situation I don't think. I had traffic on my quick laps, but the car balance feels stable and we have a first idea of how the tyres are performing. We did things a bit differently today because of the rain but we got the usual results from our programme, so everything is looking normal for tomorrow."

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (12th, +1.619s):
"Today was a relatively good day for me. Especially now that I have signed my contract with the team, I am very happy that we can look forward and concentrate on developing our progress even further. The practice sessions today went as normal, even though it threatened to rain during the second session. We have already worked on the tyres for this race at the last test to get a feeling how they would perform at this track. But we should encounter warmer temperatures tomorrow and this will give us a better insight as to how well we can perform here over the weekend."

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (13th, +1.670s):
"It's always nice to come to Hockenheim because I enjoy the atmosphere and feel at home. Today was a pretty successful day of work on tyres and set-up for the weekend. In the few laps that I went out for, everything was looking good. We made it through both practice sessions without problems, even though we were working under time pressure due to the rain. We collected all the data we needed, so we will have to see what tyre choice will be made. Our progress has been improving and I believe our package still has the potential to compete at the front of the pack on Sunday. "

Markus Winkelhock, third driver, Midland (14th, +1.737s):
"It was a good day, from my point of view. We lost a little bit of time at the beginning of the second session because the weather didn't suit the programme we had, but by the end of it I managed to test two sets of tyres, so it wasn't too bad. On the first set, I made a mistake - I missed a gear twice on one lap - so I lost a lot of time. But with the second set of tyres, I didn't have that problem, and I was able to drive quite a good lap. It's great that I was able to put in a good time - any time you can finish ahead of Alonso, it's OK! But you never know what kind of programmes the other teams are running. The most important thing is that I was able to help the team choose the correct tyres for qualifying tomorrow and the race, so I'm happy with the job I did today."

Fernando Alonso, Renault (15th, +1.857s):
"This is quite a short lap, and there seemed to be a lot of traffic out there today. My timed laps were all compromised a little bit by this, and the conditions were difficult as well with a slippery, low-grip track surface. The most important thing, though, was to recognise that the conditions today were quite different to what we expect for the rest of the weekend. So my main goal was to get used to the circuit, and not become confused with set-up. The R26 is handling normally, and the situation looks OK at the moment."

Alexander Wurz, third driver, Williams (16th, +1.939s):
“I had a very good day and I’m really happy. The morning session went totally according to plan with our tyre evaluation. I was pleased to achieve a 1.16.3 on a colder, greener morning track and this afternoon we focused on long runs. The first run was on intermediate tyres and then I did a very long run on one of the potential race tyres, which was consistent and allowed me to push. I’m almost sure I was the heaviest car out there, so all in all, I am delighted with how today has gone.”

Christian Klien, Red Bull (17th, +1.998s):
“I just did an installation lap this morning. We waited around half an hour before starting the second practice session, while we waited for the rain to clear. I then did two runs, which were okay. I was pretty happy with the balance, perhaps there was a little too much understeer, but we can fix that for tomorrow. It was a good session and hopefully we’ll improve further tomorrow.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (18th, +2.141s):
“It was reasonable day and in the morning we just did a couple of laps to check everything was okay. In the second session, we worked more towards the race, running heavier fuel loads. Generally it was a positive session, apart from having a lot of graining on the tyres. But we gathered a lot of good data for us to work on tonight.”

Neel Jani, third driver, Toro Rosso (19th, +2.235s):
“This morning I got through my entire programme and it went well. In the afternoon we did a long run and I think we have found the right tyre in terms of consistency, but I was struggling to get a good lap time in the first two laps. But after that, the tyres were really good.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (20th, +2.391s):
“A normal Friday really. We ran in the morning session, in case it was wet for the entire second practice. That meant the tyres weren’t fresh for the second practice, which lost us a little bit of performance, but there’s not much more to add at the moment. We’ll have to see where we are tomorrow, when everyone’s running in qualifying mode.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (21st, +2.411s):
“Because we knew there was a risk of rain in the second session today, we drove more laps than usual in the morning free practice. Apart from that, there was nothing special and we had a troublefree first day here in Germany.”

Christijan Albers, Midland (22nd, +2.418s):
"It was a bad day for me, to be honest. My engine blew up in the morning, which limited my running and got me a ten-position grid penalty, so that's insult on top of injury. Then, in the afternoon, our session was shortened by rain and I was held up by traffic when I did finally go out. But hey, tomorrow is a new day. I'm thankful to have a lot of fans here supporting me and I will do my best to give them a good performance."

Tiago Monteiro, Midland (23rd, +2.766s):
"It was a bit of a disappointing day, as we didn't get as much running as we would have liked. We were delayed in the second session by the rain, but also with some problems on the car we had to sort out. We had a lot planned for today, and it's a shame we weren't able to run through the whole programme. The positive thing is that we're not fighting with a hundred different problems; we're only struggling with one problem, which is understeer, so it's easier to deal with. And given the fact that we only ran on one set of tyres all day, the times aren't too bad. I would have like to have tried a few more things, but that's the way it is. At least we have a good idea of how to address the problem tomorrow, so hopefully we'll solve it in morning practice and have a good qualifying session."

Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (24th, +2.888s):
“I am personally having a hard time making the front work properly. There is a lot of understeer, which is destroying the tyres, so we need to work on the car’s set up tonight. The morning was okay for me then the afternoon did not go very well. I am not that competitive at the moment, but at other tracks I have been slow on Friday on old tyres and then been good on Saturday on new ones.”

Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (25th, +3.007s):
“I don’t think our car is too bad, although our pace did not seem great today. I had a big difficulty in warming up the tyres and also I had a big lock up, which caught me off guard and flat spotted a tyre, so I had to deal with a lot of vibration. It’s hard to say after just a handful of laps how this track will suit our car and we will know more after qualifying. Even without many laps we have a pretty decent understanding of our car and at least the tyre choice looks fairly straightforward and we still have an hour tomorrow to work on that.”

Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (26th, +3.140s):
“It was a very good initial day with the SA06 for us. It was really the first test after the shakedown last week and the car ran well during the first session and also at the beginning of the second. Unfortunately we had a hydraulic problem which meant that we were unable to finish the complete programme for today, but I think it is just a minor problem, just one of those you always encounter when running a new car for the first time. The SA06 shows a very good manner and is performing well, so I am happy with the progress that we have made today.”

Sakon Yamamoto, Super Aguri (27th, no time):
“I am obviously disappointed with how my first race weekend day ended, but I am very happy that I was able to recognise the SA06’s potential. It is a real progression from the SA05 and I must thank the team for all their hard work and for producing a good car for us. This morning was really a shakedown and we started to work through our programme, but unfortunately we couldn't try different set-ups during the afternoon because of a hydraulic problem. I still had a good feeling from the car, so I'm not worried and am thinking very positively about tomorrow and my first qualifying with the team.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams (28th, not time):
“Today was a disappointing day for me, I guess, with basically no driving at all. After I crashed this morning, the mechanics worked flat out on my car to repair the damage but could not fix it in time for me to go out in the second session. It’s a pity, but I will compensate with some extra running in tomorrow’s practice session.”