The first back-to-back qualifying sessions of the 2004 season resulted in mixed fortunes for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, with Juan Pablo Montoya qualifying third and Ralf Schumacher in eighth position. The first part of the back-to-back qualifying...
The first back-to-back qualifying sessions of the 2004 season resulted in mixed fortunes for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, with Juan Pablo Montoya qualifying third and Ralf Schumacher in eighth position.
The first part of the back-to-back qualifying went extremely well for the Anglo-German alliance. When the session was over, Juan Pablo Montoya was on provisional pole with a best time of 1:25.226 while his team-mate Ralf Schumacher (1:25.445) was third, behind his brother Michael.
In the second part of qualifying, however, Ralf was clearly slower. After the first sector he was already more than six tenths of a second down on the Ferrari of provisional pole-sitter Rubens Barrichello. When he crossed the line in 1:25.925 minutes, he had to be content with eighth place.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"The car was a lot better today than in yesterday's free practice. It took us a while to get the set-up of my car working properly. Yesterday we also struggled a bit with the tyres but they have got better and better. I was amazed by the time I set in the first qualifying, but then I tried too hard in the second qualifying and made a mistake in the third sector and lost my advantage. However, I am confident for the race because our package seems to improve throughout the weekend, which will lead us to have a very good car tomorrow."
"I don't really know why everything went fine in the first qualifying but not in the second one. Being eighth on the grid is obviously not what I have dreamed of but we should wait and see what the race will bring. The most important thing for me is to collect as many points as possible here."
Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):
"Juan did a good job in qualifying but we have to wait and see where both drivers are tomorrow in the race. We did not have any problems in the morning sessions or in qualifying, which means so far for the first race weekend of the season everything has gone according to plan. Now we are looking forward to tomorrow's strategy for the race. We are confident for a strong showing."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"The first double qualifying of the new season has been interesting. The result shows that in 2004 Ferrari is again the team to beat. Compared to Friday's free practice sessions, we have been much more competitive today. To really rate the lap times, we have to wait until tomorrow's race to be over. The two BMW P84 engines have so far recorded 63 and 59 laps respectively without any technical problems."