The new format of qualifying proved positive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who came third in the final qualifying for the 2003 Australian Grand Prix. According to the new regulations, his team mate Ralf Schumacher had to...
The new format of qualifying proved positive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who came third in the final qualifying for the 2003 Australian Grand Prix. According to the new regulations, his team mate Ralf Schumacher had to start much earlier in the session and ended up in ninth place.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I think it went pretty well, the car was working good. In the warm up I went off three times in the same place because the car was quite difficult to drive and different from what I had in practice as we had made a few changes. I was very annoyed about it but at the end of the day it wasn't that bad. It was a decent and reliable car and when I went to push it behaved pretty well. I lost a bit of time in turn one because I went off twice there earlier and you don't want to put the car on the grass in qualifying! But apart from that I seem to have put a reasonably good lap together.
"I made a mistake in the first sector which cost me a few tenths of a second. Today I have had to pay the price for my performance on Friday as this caused my early starting time when the track was not in its best condition. I am not too worried about the two Sauber cars in front of me, I think they can be sorted out in the race."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"Well, it could have been a lot worse. But it is difficult to say on what position you really are as you do not know how much fuel everybody has taken for qualifying. I think it will turn out tomorrow that we are on a similar fuel level as Ferrari. Obviously we are still quite away from them. We will do our very best to improve our performance."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"We are pleased with the result. This second qualifying went a lot better for our team than the first session on Friday. In today's free practice we managed to improve the set up of the cars. Juan Pablo made the most out of it, for Ralf it did not turn out that well. We feel well prepared for the race, even though it is difficult to say with how much fuel the other teams were running today. This we will not know before the first pit stops in the race and I would bet we will see a couple of surprises. I think the single lap qualifying is positive for Formula One, but the prohibition of refuelling does lead to a distorted impression."
Juan Pablo Montoya:: 3rd
Chassis: FW25 04
Best time: 1.28,101 min
Ralf Schumacher: 9th
Chassis: FW25 03
(Spare Car FW25 02)
Best time: 1.28,830 min