The first qualifying session of the 2003 season was very different from ever before, due to the new rules which called for one timed lap from each driver to count for the qualifying order for Saturday. BMW WilliamsF1 Team's drivers Juan Pablo ...
The first qualifying session of the 2003 season was very different from ever before, due to the new rules which called for one timed lap from each driver to count for the qualifying order for Saturday. BMW WilliamsF1 Team's drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher achieved the tenth and 16th fastest times of the session.
On Saturday the second qualifying session will start at 1400hrs local. The starting order will be reversed from the lap times achieved today, ie Rubens Barrichello, quickest today will be the last car to qualify tomorrow.
Juan Pablo Montoya: 10th
"I cannot complain about anything in particular on my car as I had a pretty decent balance, even if I lost some time in a couple of corners. We took a conservative approach to today's qualifying but nonetheless we're a bit surprised to end up where we are."
Ralf Schumacher: 16th
"I just lost too much time in the first sector, I really got it wrong there. That was the main problem. In slow corners my car was understeering quite badly. If I look at the qualifying in general, I can see a lot of hard work for us."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"These are obviously disappointing positions for the first qualifying. We now have a picture of where we are and will work hard to improve the performance of the car for tomorrow's final qualifying and the race. The new format for qualifying worked fine and our procedures for operating to this new system proved to be okay."
Gerhard Berger (BMW Motorsport Director):
"I found the first qualifying session very exciting. Due to the new rules a completely new picture comes up after all the years of routine. But I think everybody will get used to the new scenario quickly. It is great if one can concentrate on observing a car for a full lap. The procedure went well, there was nothing wrong with it except our lap times. Ferrari and McLaren were performing as expected, B.A.R was clearly better. And we are where we have been in the early tests, too far behind."