It was a mixed start to the Italian Grand Prix weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers, with Juan Pablo Montoya setting the fastest time today and Ralf Schumacher's time being annulled for missing the chicane. Ralf and Juan Pablo will leave...
It was a mixed start to the Italian Grand Prix weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers, with Juan Pablo Montoya setting the fastest time today and Ralf Schumacher's time being annulled for missing the chicane. Ralf and Juan Pablo will leave the garage tomorrow for the Final Qualifying towards the beginning and at the end of the session respectively.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I wasn't very comfortable with the balance of my car this morning but we made some changes which put it back on the right track and I think we should be pretty competitive now. Before qualifying I wasn't too sure about what the car was going to do but it ran as expected, which means we did a good job. We were quite quick in last week's test here which makes us confident for the rest of the weekend. We should perform better tomorrow when the track will be cleaner. It's obviously ideal to be ahead of Michael and Kimi, but what counts is tomorrow, not today, really."
"My qualifying today was compromised by a mistake I made just before the chicane. I simply braked too late and went straight on, which was my fault. The handling of the car was very good, which is promising for tomorrow's qualifying and the race on Sunday. I have tested the modified tyres today for the first time and must say they are a step forward for us. Ferrari is very strong here as expected and we need to work hard."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"It's good to see the pace of the car on this circuit. The tyres are working well and will play a critical part of our race performance. Juan Pablo did a good lap, unfortunately Ralf made a mistake in the chicane so he will have to make this up tomorrow."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"In the first qualifying we have seen the expected close competition between Ferrari and ourselves. We had no technical problems. Monza is the last true power circuit of the F1 calendar and as such, it is a big challenge for BMW as an engine manufacturer. That's why this circuit's lay-out is our reference track for the dyno in Munich. The new engine for 2004, the P84, has completed this dyno test already in July. On September 4th during the Monza test we have also tested the P84 for the first time in its 2004 specification in the running car. This means we are ahead of schedule and very pleased with the test results so far."
Juan Pablo Montoya: 1st
Chassis: FW25 06
Best time: 1.21.268 min
Ralf Schumacher: No Time
Chassis: FW25 07
(Spare car FW25 04)