European GP: Williams race notes

An unfortunate accident compromised today the race of both BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers. Ralf Schumacher went out of the race at the first corner and team mate Juan Pablo Montoya lost several positions as a result of the accident, which forced him...

An unfortunate accident compromised today the race of both BMW WilliamsF1 Team drivers. Ralf Schumacher went out of the race at the first corner and team mate Juan Pablo Montoya lost several positions as a result of the accident, which forced him to climb up the field from position 18 to 8th place.

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"Even though I was starting from 8th I had a good start, but the accident at the first corner obviously compromised my race. When I made it to the first corner Rubens Barrichello, who was in front of me, braked quite early and both Ralf and I locked the tyres. Then Ralf went for the outside and I stayed behind Rubens but when I was going around the corner Panis dived up the inside hitting my front tyre which threw me straight into Ralf. A hairpin is always going to cause problems in a racing start. After that I had obviously a tough race, having to recover from 18th place. I still could collect one point, but I know there was more in the car."

Ralf Schumacher:

"What happened is obviously a shame. Being taken out of the race at the first corner is definitely not what I was expecting. It was a very unfortunate accident with Juan who just braked a bit too late since he was trying to gain some places at the end of the straight. I am 100% sure Juan didn't do it on purpose therefore I am not going to blame him for this."

"It was a very normal start accident. Shame I hit Cristiano Da Matta too, but I was just a passenger on my car at that time, since Juan had hit me in the back and then in the front and I had no longer control on the car. I am sorry for Cristiano but there was nothing I could do to avoid taking him out. This accident is frustrating, of course, but I can guarantee we'll fight all our way back and I am sure we'll soon be in racing again."

Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer, WilliamsF1):

"We lost one car right after the start which looked like a racing incident and caused a damaged front wing on Juan's car. He needed to pit after the first lap to pick up a new nose and then started the race 35 seconds behind. The fight for the rest of the race was to get into the points, which we achieved with some great overtaking from Juan and good strategy. We would have been much more competitive if both our cars had come through the first corner without incident."

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"Start positions 8 and 9 were of course not the best to start a race from, and the accident right after the start proved it. Such a situation is annoying for the team. This is happening for the second time after Indianapolis, and this is two times too much. Anyway, it is clear that this is exactly what happens having a hairpin as first corner, since it allows four, even five different lines in and out but in the narrowest part there's room just for two cars."

Juan Pablo Montoya: 8th
Chassis: FW26 06
Best time: 1:31.424 min (lap 43, 8th overall)

Ralf Schumacher: DNF (accident at lap 1)
Chassis: FW26 07

-williams-

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