Ralf Schumacher will start from the third row for tomorrow's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix having qualified fifth while team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya set the 11th fastest time but should start the race from 10th position, due to a position penalty...
Ralf Schumacher will start from the third row for tomorrow's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix having qualified fifth while team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya set the 11th fastest time but should start the race from 10th position, due to a position penalty being imposed on Takuma Sato's BAR.
"I am positively surprised with my result because I didn't expect I would make it into fifth position. I found it quite difficult to set up the car this weekend and I am still having some difficulties in the first sector. I have ended up in a slightly better place than we were expecting to be, so I am quite happy. Anyway, it's good to be back on track after such a long break and especially to be in reasonable physical shape too. I feel very well and I think we are going to have a good race tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I must admit I have struggled a lot to find the right set up on this track. My car is still quite hard to drive and somewhat unpredictable. My qualifying lap wasn't too bad but the handling of the car was not good enough and I could not set a good time. Ralf managed to do a better job with his car and his starting position shows this. It's a pity I could not get it right, because it's real fun to drive on this track, even if it has a couple too many slow corners! Anyway, it's going to be a long race tomorrow and we'll see what develops."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"It has been an interesting qualifying session as it was the first one on this new circuit here in China. We had a trouble-free day in terms of reliability. Ralf did a good job for his first qualifying after his enforced absence of six Grands Prix. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see what race strategies have been deployed by the different teams and also to see the true picture of the circuit with regards to tyre degradation, brakes and the other normal parameters."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"The qualifying session was exciting. The mistakes made by Gianmaria Bruni and Michael Schumacher showed that the circuit still has very little grip off the ideal line. Ralf felt very comfortable with both the car and the circuit on his come back whilst Juan Pablo was reporting handling problems. With regards to the engines our first Chinese showing has been trouble-free so far."
Chassis: FW26 07
Juan Pablo Montoya
11th (should start 10th), 1:35.245
Chassis: FW26 05