A disappointing afternoon for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team in qualifying for the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix. After qualifying laps in which both Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella failed to extract the car's full potential, they will start...
A disappointing afternoon for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team in qualifying for the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix. After qualifying laps in which both Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella failed to extract the car's full potential, they will start sixth and ninth respectively in tomorrow's race.
Although the handling balance of the R25 has not been perfect through the weekend, the car nevertheless demonstrated enough innate speed to have qualified on the first two rows. As ever, the team expects to be more competitive in race conditions, but on a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult, both drivers expect a difficult afternoon's work in the race.
"It is frustrating to be P6 and P9, but we have not quite been competitive all weekend. We didn't manage to dial the understeer out of the car for qualifying, so the balance was not perfect, and I had a few moments round the lap. The one that really cost me time was in the last corner, where I got a bit off line and the car began understeering -- I ended up in the grass on the exit and that definitely cost me positions."
"It is particularly disappointing to qualify badly here because overtaking is very hard -- the only opportunities will be at the pit-stops and the start. We will be concentrating on those areas tonight so that we can make the most of our situation tomorrow."
"I had a clean lap, but I think I was too conservative in the final sector -- and it clearly cost me time. Ninth is not a great position, but in reality we have been struggling a bit to get the car working well at this circuit. Looking to tomorrow, I think we have a good strategy, so hopefully we can use that to overtake people at the stops -- and we had very good starts in Hockenheim, which should help us gain some positions too."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"A disappointing qualifying session for the team. Fernando lost four grid positions in the final corner, while Giancarlo also missed out on a position by just three hundredths of a second. As always, we feel confident in our race pace and the preparations we have made for the race tomorrow, which will certainly be run in extremely hot conditions. We are looking forward to a more competitive showing in the Grand Prix than we achieved this afternoon."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:
"Clearly, sixth and ninth positions on the grid are well below our expectations, but we know that the smallest mistakes can prove costly in qualifying -- and we fell victim to that today. Fernando will have the added disadvantage of starting on the dirty side of the track, so all in all, this was not the afternoon we had hoped for. However, we are confident in the preparations we have made for the race and the cars showed encouraging speed on their laps, mistakes aside."
"The surprise of the afternoon was certainly to see Schumacher on pole by such a margin -- which presumably indicates that a range of strategies will be used tomorrow afternoon. We will now concentrate on our race planning, in order to achieve the best results possible from our disappointing grid positions."