Olivier Panis overcame tough free practice and qualifying sessions today to achieve 12th position for the start of tomorrow's European Grand Prix. He threw everything at his final run and delivered a faultless lap that was faster in all three ...
Olivier Panis overcame tough free practice and qualifying sessions today to achieve 12th position for the start of tomorrow's European Grand Prix. He threw everything at his final run and delivered a faultless lap that was faster in all three sectors. Jacques' battle with the car continued throughout both sessions and a disappointing 19th position was the most he could extract from a less than satisfactory set-up.
"After the practice session this morning, I knew that qualifying was going to be very difficult because our car wasn't that competitive. It was quite well balanced but difficult to drive. In situations like this, the only solution is to stay focused, roll up your sleeves and work hard in the debriefs to try to come up with a solution. I'm quite happy with 12th position because that final run was extremely tough but I managed to control every metre of the lap and get the time. I appreciate all the hard work put in by my engineers and the rest of the team because, together, we have been able to raise our technical performance significantly over the last two days. They rose to the challenge, which was the only way back from this morning. Now we have to continue to keep pushing for the race."
"Obviously I'm very disappointed to qualify 19th. I haven't been able to get the car to work all weekend and we couldn't find a qualifying set-up today. We were slow all around the track but mainly in the first sector where I just couldn't get the car to work well. I drove as hard as I could but, to be honest, the car has been pretty undriveable and I don't understand it because Olivier seems able to get a lap time out of his. I have a new chassis for this race so we're not sure if that is a factor. I guess we'll find out tomorrow when we use the T-car so we can at least take that out of the equation. Tonight, we'll have to pull some hair and see what we can work out for the race. It's going to be very hard to achieve much from that position but we have to hope for reliability and take any opportunities that are presented to us."
David Richards, Team Principal
"It's been a tough weekend achieving a good set-up for both cars. The improvement we were expecting from both the chassis and engine just didn't materialise and Olivier's lap was the very best we could have achieved under the circumstances. We've clearly got a lot of work to do overnight to see if we can improve on the situation for tomorrow's race."
Jacques Villeneuve: BAR004/09
Best lap time: 1:32.968 (12 laps)
Olivier Panis: BAR004/08
Best lap time: 1:31.906 (12 laps)