Italian GP: Williams Saturday qualifying notes

The drivers of the BMW WilliamsF1 Teams were the first two cars out on the track in today's qualifying session. The official reserve and test driver Antonio Pizzonia, who took over from Nick Heidfeld only this morning, started first and achieved...

The drivers of the BMW WilliamsF1 Teams were the first two cars out on the track in today's qualifying session. The official reserve and test driver Antonio Pizzonia, who took over from Nick Heidfeld only this morning, started first and achieved the 16th grid position, whereas Mark Webber will start tomorrow's race from 14th position.

After running yesterday in Free Practice, Nick Heidfeld decided together with the team that he would withdraw from the GP weekend because he was not feeling 100% after crashing in last week's Monza test.

Mark Webber:

"The car seems to be reasonable so far this weekend. Last week in the test here we showed some positive steps in performance in relation to the outright pace. Clearly the people working back at the factory have done a good job in the wind tunnel with such a low down-force package which you need in Monza and also BMW is pushing hard for this race."

"Having to start as second qualifier didn't help, but I am happy with my lap anyway. The race in Monza is usually hard on the tyres and the cars are sliding a lot around the corners, but it's the same for everyone and it should be an interesting race tomrrow."

Antonio Pizzonia:

"I was still sleeping when the telephone rang this morning at 8:30 and they told me to rush to the track. I have been away from the car for nearly three months and the last time I drove an F1 car it was fitted with a V8 engine, which makes a big difference. Obviously it was a bit tricky to get used to the car so quickly, but I am happy to have the opportunity to race for the team again."

"Knowing that I was going to be the first car out for qualifying, today we concentrated more on race set up but I am happy with my qualifying lap, considering the situation. There is a lot more to come from me and hopefully I can do a good job tomorrow."

Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):

"This is more or less what we were expecting from today due to running first in qualifying. After last week's testing and the four free-practice sessions held this weekend, I believe that we are much stronger than the qualifying positions would suggest. We have a good strategy for the race tomorrow and our target is to get the cars into the points."

"We did not have any mechanical issues today. Under the circumstances Antonio did the best he could at such short notice and with little practice.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"The result of the qualifying this time does not reflect the potential of our cars. Our drivers had to start first for qualifying and therefore provided the vacuum cleaner to the track. For Antonio this came on top of the fact that he was told only this morning that he was driving here and he had to jump in at the deep end."

"The task for this race is to gain some positions and considering that overtaking is possible here in Monza and that we have shown good performance in practice, this should be feasible. Technically, both cars ran trouble-free."

Mark Webber
14th, 1:22.560
Chassis: FW27 04
(T-Car FW27 06)
BMW P84/5 Engine: 1st GP

Antonio Pizzonia
16th, 1:23.291
Chassis: FW27 03
BMW P84/5 Engine: 1st GP

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Mario Theissen
Teams Williams