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Spanish GP: Friday Quotes

May 6, 2005

McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen - 4th: "A trouble free day for me and a good start to the weekend. The car set-up is still not perfect but we have tomorrow's practice to improve the package even further. The track keeps changing which provide a real challenge for all the teams but all in all a positive day and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

Juan Pablo Montoya - 10th: "It's nice to be back at the wheel of the MP4-20. However the first time I have a shunt whilst driving for this team had to happen today and I'm sorry for the guys who have to repair the damage overnight. I don't know what happened but I just lost it. I went to see the FIA Medical Delegate afterwards and he said I was absolutely fine. My shoulder has been coping well and until the last lap everything had been going according to plan. I'm excited about the rest of the weekend and hopefully we will put on a good show."

Pedro de la Rosa - 1st: "I'm quite happy with our performance today but there is definitely more to come. It's always good to be quick and know that the car is still not perfect. I'm confident the team will have a strong weekend. It's nice to be able to perform in front of my home crowd and I will continue to work with the team to ensure we get the maximum potential out of Kimi's and Juan Pablo's cars."

Ron Dennis: "Today's challenge was to adopt the cars to the ever changing track conditions which of course made tire choice and set-up work even more difficult. All three cars ran trouble free with the lap times purely showing variation in fuel loads and tire conditions. Kimi had an encouraging day whilst Juan Pablo's mistake in his last run means that the team has a little more work to do now than planned. Pedro put in another disciplined and constructive performance and we are looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

Norbert Haug: "A positive start to the weekend where we showed good overall speed. We are pleased that Juan Pablo is back and that he is OK following his off which was caused by him pushing a bit too hard. We completed our planned program without any problems focusing on long runs, Michelin tire evaluation and set up for the rest of the weekend."

Toyota

Jarno Trulli - 5th: "It was a positive day for me. It was really a normal Friday but we had to do less set-up work than usual because we test here so often. This year's new track surface means we still have some things to learn about the track so we spent the day looking at tire comparisons. Now the car is not far from where it should be and it's up to us to make the tire decision based on the data. Then we can look to add to our haul of points from the year."

Ralf Schumacher - 8th: "I spent the day working on general set-up. The car went pretty well and we found more grip with the changes we made as the session went on. Now we have to look at the tire choice. The Circuit de Catalunya has changed a lot since we last raced here because of the new tarmac. It's very smooth so you have to work hard to get heat into the tires, so it could still be a tough race for tires. If we can beat that challenge we can look for another strong finish."

Ricardo Zonta - 2nd: "Unfortunately I lost most of my morning's running after I suffered a hydraulic problem in the morning session so I had to try and catch up on my program in the afternoon. The new smoother track surface here at Barcelona meant that there was not much grip early on in the morning session, but the conditions improved as the day went on. That should continue during the weekend, particularly if it stays hot and sunny."

Dieter Gass Chief Race Engineer: "That was a pretty good start to the weekend. Ricardo's hydraulic problem during the first session meant he didn't get much work done and both race drivers only did a few laps, but the second session was very good. The cars look quick and consistent and Ricardo was able to finish his program with the tire comparison. Tire choice is going to be interesting because it didn't look that clear cut. But the car looked pretty quick and consistent on both types of tire so all in all it was a pretty pleasing day. After a difficult weekend in Imola we look much more on the pace here."

Williams

Nick Heidfeld - 3rd: "Our position looks quite good for the moment but despite this I wasn't completely happy with the balance of my car this morning so we changed a few things around for the afternoon and I was definitely happier with it. In fact we made some good steps forward. The fact that I am going to change my engine again tomorrow at least allowed me to do more laps than usual as I had to try to cover the programs for both my car and Mark's car. The only negative thing at the moment is that obviously I will have to start my race from towards the back, due to the penalty."

Mark Webber - 22nd: "It seemed like a pretty good day for the guys and it was good that Nick had a smooth run and completed all of our programs. I 'll start with my job on track tomorrow and I'll try to catch up and get the most out of this weekend for qualifying and the race."

Sam Michael (Technic hal Director): "We have had a productive day with Nick. We went through the entire set-up program, which gave us some good information for the race. We also went through the normal checks for the cooling of the engine and the brakes. Nick had some of the new aero parts on the car which worked fine. Tomorrow, we will fit the rest of the aero parts that we have developed for this race. Mark obviously didn't run due to the engine issue."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): " We had an unusual Free Practice today. Nick has completed a huge program very well and collected useful data for the team. The main job on the engine side is being done in Munich at the moment and the new engines are just about to undergo the dynotest. They will then leave for Barcelona and will be in the cars in time for the third Free Practice session tomorrow morning."

Red Bull

David Coulthard - 6th: "It was a positive session for us today and I feel good about this weekend. We managed to go through the entire tire test that we wanted and I got a good idea of our strategy for the rest of the weekend. The car feels Ok and we look to building on today's result."

Tonio Liuzzi - 15th: "I was quite happy with my session. The car was well balanced. I feel much better at this event after testing last week in Jerez. Actually, I think we are a little bit better than in Imola. We made a few changes to the car, but I guess the other teams have also made progress, so we have to see how we do on Sunday."

Christian Klien - 16th: "The first session went quite well, I simulated qualifying and we adjusted the balance. The car was good to drive and I think I had a reasonable lap. In the second session I did a tire comparison with two long runs. The first one and the beginning of the second was quite good. I think the car was quick in this configuration, but then I unfortunately had an electrical problem and suddenly the engine stopped. Compared to the last race in Imola we could be better here, but Barcelona is the test track for everybody so we still have to fight very hard."

Guenther Steiner, Technical Director: "Tonio's and David's practice was OK. We worked on tire evaluation and it all went well. We will now analyze the data and see the outcome. Christian had a slight problem this morning and it seems to be the electronics, but we will have to examine the car to be sure of what caused it. Anyway, I think we got enough data from the other two cars. Obviously we ran two different programs for the three cars and I think that overall, we had two good sessions."

Renault

Giancarlo Fisichella - 7th: "We ran plenty of laps today in order to get a clear idea of the tire behavior at this circuit where their performance during the race will be very important. I think we have a better idea on the direction we need to choose than at the previous races this year, which is a positive start. Performance-wise, I think our pace is good, and the chassis balance is very close to being what I need in the long runs. I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso - 9th: "Today was really special for me, to be out on the circuit this morning and able to see the support in the stands: I know there are lots of people coming to the race from all around Spain, so I am excited for the weekend. This afternoon, we got down to work properly, and as usual, we had to choose between the two tires. We did a good job, because the choice is pretty clear. The grip levels on the track were not very high, but that is normal on the first day, and things will pick up as we go on. Even so, the car handling felt good, and it was comfortable to drive. We had no problems, so it's a good start for me."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "As we have become very used to saying, this was a normal Friday for us perhaps even more so than usual because the circuit is so familiar. The R25 is usually well-balanced from its first laps, and that was the case again today although the windy conditions meant we had to make some set-up adjustments to adapt. We have good data and answers on the tires, which showed good durability today, and the performance of both cars seems encouraging and very similar."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: "From the outside, the most surprising thing about the day will be that all the drivers have completed a lot of laps today. Even though we know the circuit intimately, the way in which the tires and chassis work together will be critical on Sunday, and every team needs to collect as much data as possible in order to make the correct decision. From the engine side, we were able to run the B spec engines in both cars for the first time, and they performed well as we fine-tuned the mapping. So far, so good."

Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello - 11th: "I did not run much this morning because of a hydraulic problem with the car, which was then identified and solved. In the afternoon, I did some good runs which produced plenty of useful data. I think that overall, we are not in as bad shape as seems to be the case if you just look at the times. We know what small changes we can make to the car to be much stronger. As usual on a Friday, we don't really know what the opposition has done, so it is hard to get a clear picture of the situation. I am optimistic because the situation is quite similar to Imola, in that we can expect to have a very competitive car for the race."

Michael Schumacher - 13th: "Our performance today did not look very promising. We must now analyze all the data to see in what areas we can improve the car. Tomorrow morning's work will involve the usual job of finding the right compromise between being quick over a single lap for qualifying and being able to maintain a strong race pace. We did plenty of laps today, so we have all the data we need to achieve that."

Jean Todt: "Today's program followed the usual pattern, concentrating mainly on finding the best set-up for the car and choosing which type of tire to use for qualifying and the race. At this track, the tires play an even more important role than elsewhere. Going on what we have seen in the two hours of running today, we must analyze all our data to do the best possible job of preparing the cars. We can expect a very close fought weekend and, as usual, we will tackle it with great determination as we strive to get the best possible result."

Ross Brawn: "We had some technical problems today, which slowed our program slightly. But the team recovered well and we made up for lost time in the afternoon. I hope the rest of the weekend goes smoothly. We did the usual comparison between the two types of Bridgestone tire and I think it is pretty clear which way we have to go. I think we can have a good race pace. The challenge will be in doing a similarly good first qualifying lap and work on that will start tomorrow morning."

Sauber

Jacques Villeneuve - 14th: "I'm pretty happy today. I was worried initially because we didn't have a very good test here recently, but it turned out not so bad. The balance wasn't great this morning but it was better this afternoon. It's not yet as good as Imola, but Felipe and I were working on different programs so I'm sure that will improve tomorrow. The new surface here is very strange. It doesn't feel like any other asphalt that we race on. It's more like when you go indoor karting on concrete, so it gives you a weird feeling in the car. But it's the same for everyone."

Felipe Massa - 12th: "I was very unhappy with the set-up of the car this morning. The balance was bad and it felt really nervous in the high-speed corners. We made a few changes for this afternoon and the car was transformed. It was quick right away, consistent and nice to drive again. I think we have a reasonable set-up now, so it was not a bad day after all. I'm feeling quietly optimistic."

Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "I think Spain is a great country and Barcelona is a very nice city, and it looks as if the track was reciprocating those feelings as the day progressed. We worked on different set-ups and tire programs and I feel that this afternoon we were able to reach a good set-up baseline for tomorrow."

Jordan

Narain Karthikeyan - 17th: "In the afternoon we have found a better set-up and I feel comfortable with the Bridgestone tires we are going to use for the weekend. The car is getting better and I am sure there will be some more coming tomorrow and I will be able to improve my lap times."

Tiago Monteiro - 19th: "It was a good day today even though I had some minor problems in the first session which made me lose a bit of time, but in general it was not too difficult as we already know the circuit. We made some good improvements in the car, balance-wise and I am pretty happy with them. It is a pity there were some yellow flags during the afternoon, as we could have been more competitive. The three Jordan Grand Prix drivers are very close to each other which is really good."

Robert Doornbos - 18th: "Today went quite well. My biggest program this morning was testing Bridgestone tires, as this circuit is known as being a very abrasive track. Therefore we have to make the right decision on which tires to use. I had a lot of fun especially in the second session where I pushed really hard with some older tires and I particularly liked some fast corners which made the driving very challenging."

Trevor Carlin - Sporting Director: "We had two very productive sessions today, with all three drivers completing the different programs we had, especially testing Bridgestone tires. We are now facing a tough decision of which tires to use for the rest of the weekend. However, I am sure we will make the right choice."

Minardi

Christijan Albers - 21st: "We had a normal day for a Friday, and although we lost some time this morning, and then a little more this afternoon, As a result, we weren't able to try quite as many things as we would have liked, but hopefully, tomorrow we'll be able to make up for the lost ground."

Patrick Friesacher - 20th: "Generally, it was not a bad day and we tried a couple of new things that worked well. I was struggling a little bit with the balance of the car today, and although we improved it as the day progressed, we will continue to work on this tomorrow and aim to find a good solution. I'd like to thank Bridgestone, because we were able to test quite a number of tire compounds at the recent Mugello test, and that has helped quite a lot."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Generally, it has been a productive first day in Spain as we continue to learn about, and make progress with, the PS05. The lap times came down steadily, and it is pleasing to see we have ended the day tantalizingly close to our nearest rivals. Our main goals this weekend are to consolidate the gains made on reliability at the Mugello test, while picking up the pace in order to close the gap to our competitors, On today's evidence, we are progressing well. This is in large measure due to the hard work and long hours that continue to be put in by the Minardi mechanics and technicians, so once again, a big thank you to all of them for their unstinting efforts."


Bridgestone

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager: "Track conditions were reasonable today from the start, enabling the cars to start running at a good pace. Obviously Ferrari didn't get much running in the first session but were able to carry out their tire comparisons in the second session. Jordan and Minardi too completed their programs and we have plenty of data from which we can make our recommendations for the tire choice. The hot conditions here are not extreme in comparison to Malaysia or Bahrain and I'm sure we'll have a good race pace this weekend."

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