European GP: Saturday press conference

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1m29.906s 2. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m29.915s 3. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m30.035s Q: Juan Pablo, how pleased are with that? Juan Pablo Montoya: I've got to say I'm very pleased. I think that after...

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1m29.906s
2. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m29.915s
3. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m30.035s

Q: Juan Pablo, how pleased are with that?

Juan Pablo Montoya: I've got to say I'm very pleased. I think that after all the problems we had this morning we didn't really have any good set-up information or anything, so we came into the qualifying a bit wondering what was going to happen. On the first run I made a mistake, the second run was a bit better, the third run, you know, was the pole run, and it got better and better and better. Between we two drivers there's nothing in it really. It's a matter luck and I've got to say I was very lucky to get it. It's great for the team.

Q: Any particular reason why you made mistakes on the first and fourth runs?

JPM: On the first run I just had too much understeer. In the last run, I just braked a bit later. I could have made the corner but I didn't make the corner, but I had already decided.

Q: Ralf, you were in front for half of the qualifying session, but you didn't get in your final run. Why?

Ralf Schumacher: It was never planned to have four runs. After being on pole, we decided to stay on three runs. It was a bit unlucky, or whatever. He was simply strong and that's why he went quicker. But for the team in general it's perfect to be on the first row. We didn't expect it to be honest after this morning, we thought we have to watch ourselves to be on the second row and not to be past but it turned out to be not so good. It was a bit surprising but the team did a great job.

Q: Is it true that you're running on the harder Michelin compound?

RS: I don't know. Certainly that's team information but I'm pretty sure that the two of us took the right choice at the moment.

Q: Michael, what happened on your first run out of the pits?

Michael Schumacher: We got stuck in gear, I couldn't change gears any more and that meant we had to change cars.

Q: You were getting closer and closer, particularly on the final run. Where do you think you fell short?

MS: I just made two little mistakes in the last two corners, honestly, just pushed a bit too hard and overdid it. That's it.

Q: Juan Pablo, both you and Ralf have had engine failures over the last few races. How confident are you of reliability tomorrow?

JPM: I've got to say that we are pretty confident we are going to get to the end of the race. I think it's going to be a very hard race for us. I think tyres are going to play a big part, either one or the other, so we will see what happens.

Q: Juan Pablo. Three poles in a row. All you need now is the results to follow it up, yes?

JPM: Yeah. I think it is going to be a tough race and I have got to say for qualifying we were honestly looking to try to be in the second row and not in the third row. I thought it was going to be a much harder qualifying and it was really close with Ralf and it was really hard from that perspective. When you are fighting for pole it is a whole lot easier than when you are fighting for fifth or sixth, so I am very pleased that the team actually pulled it off.

Q: What were the problems you had this morning?

JPM: Just trying different things in the car and we were struggling quite a lot with tyres in the morning but we seemed to sort out the set-up and everything and that made a huge difference.

Q: Were you changing the car much during the session?

JPM: A little bit. Today, yes, we did quite a lot of changes every run, so every time I went out it was a bit different, but it wasn't such a big deal.

Q: What happened on the last run? It seemed to be in the first sector, whatever it was.

JPM: I just braked a bit late into turn three and locked the fronts, which was a bit silly.

Q: It seemed to be a problem that. You're not the only one. Is it going to happen during the race as well?

JPM: I think the worst corner in the race is going to be turn four, the right-hander before joining the old circuit, because it is very slow and people seem to put a lot of dirt onto the track, so one lap you go through there it is fine, the next lap there is no grip. But we will see what happens.

Q: Ralf. Tell us about your individual runs as they happened. Why only three?

RS: We were in the lead and when you are in the lead you just wait a while. We lost pole because of this, but this was in the team and it is so tight you can't do anything about it and in the end we have the first row, so that doesn't really matter too much. All the runs were good. I didn't have to change anything on the car, just went quicker on the run, which is normal because the circuit improves and you push slightly harder each run.

Q: Second last year, second this year on the grid. Is it better to be second to your team-mate or better to be second to your brother?

RS: It doesn't really matter I guess, but for the team it is certainly nice that the two of us are in front, which makes it hopefully more difficult for Michael to get past.

Q: Michael. You mentioned the problem with the original car. Did you change back to it, did they solve the problem?

MS: No, we had to stay with the T-car.

Q: So how much were you changing that throughout the session?

MS: Just adapting finely to the situation.

Q: Was it pretty close by the end?

MS: I don't know because I hadn't driven the other one and this morning with old tyres, you don't know, you cannot really compare.

Q: But were you fairly happy with it?

MS: Obviously there is no excuse. We could have done it and if I had not had the two last mistakes then I should have done it, but that is not the case as Ralf just said.

Q: And the two Williams ahead of you. Is that going to make it pretty tough for tomorrow?

MS: Well, we have had worse situations in the past's certainly tougher than being up front but that is the way it is so we have to deal with it and we will see whether we can.

Q: And with two McLarens behind, do you think their recent form in starting could affect things?

MS: I think, again, if you look at Monte Carlo, everybody who was on the left hand side was strongest. If you look at Canada, we took off about the same and I think we are pretty much sorted. But I think whoever is on a better line and in a better position will get the advantage.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams McLaren , Williams