Jean Todt: "It was an exciting qualifying session. We expected this sort of fight and that's how it turned out. Given the penalty Rubens picked up in this morning's free practice session, we knew it would serve no purpose to send him out for a...
"It was an exciting qualifying session. We expected this sort of fight and that's how it turned out. Given the penalty Rubens picked up in this morning's free practice session, we knew it would serve no purpose to send him out for a fourth and final run, given that any time improvement would not count towards his grid position. While respecting the Stewards' decision, we do not agree with it. It will be a very difficult race tomorrow; the hardest so far this season, both because of the high temperatures and the fact that the track layout is very unforgiving of even the slightest mistake. Once again, the tyres will play a very important role."
"As the car is still new, we have had to work in a different way. We have not got the maximum potential out of it yet. I don't think the gap between my times and the Williams is a fair reflection of the performance difference between the cars. Maybe in three or four races time, we will be able to judge the car's true level, excluding the tyre factor. But it was the right decision to bring the new car here, as it was ready. I don't know where I would have been with the old one. On this track, we did not have the upper hand with our tyres and we have to accept it. Also, historically, in Interlagos, we have never had an advantage. On my last lap, the fastest one, I lost control of the car and I didn't think I would make the corner, but somehow I managed to continue. I am relatively happy with second place and it is a shame that Rubens is further back. For tomorrow I expect a hard, hot, exhausting and interesting race."
"As far as the penalty for this morning is concerned, all I can say is that it was impossible for me to see the red light from where I was. I didn't make a final run as I knew it would change nothing in terms of grid position. I think we had come up with a well set-up car, however I had a gear selection problem, although all in all, I don't think it would have changed much. It certainly won't be easy starting from the fourth row, but it will be a long hard race so I am confident all the same."
"I think it was a good day for the new car which is pleasing. I believe this is a track where the other tyre company had the advantage. We have to accept that there will be tracks during the year where they will have the advantage again and others where our Bridgestone will be best. We know which are the areas where we need to improve. The decision about Rubens losing his best time was a bit frustrating and in the end there was no point in him doing a final run. I think it was a harsh decision. With Michael also only doing nine laps, both drivers have saved tyres, which will be important for the race."
Michael Schumacher 2nd
1m 13.241 9 laps
F2002 chassis no. 220
Rubens Barrichello 8th
1m 13.935 9 laps
F2001 chassis no. 216
Temperatures: air 33C track 48C