Michael in the first row behind Montoya, Barrichello is third Jean Todt: "We witnessed a great fight in this qualifying session, with three teams getting their six cars within the half second. We were aiming to get both our cars on the two...
Michael in the first row behind Montoya, Barrichello is third
"We witnessed a great fight in this qualifying session, with three teams getting their six cars within the half second. We were aiming to get both our cars on the two front rows and we have achieved that. Of course, it is a shame to have lost out on pole by just 23hundredths of a second. We know that tomorrow's race will be very close. Once again, the tyres will be a key factor and we are confident in the work Bridgestone has done for this race. The French Grand Prix is the eleventh round of the season, but the fact that Michael has a mathematical chance of clinching the title here does not change our approach, nor the way we will tackle the race."
"I enjoyed this afternoon's battle for pole. On my first run, I missed the apex at the last chicane, hit the kerb and ran wide, so my time did not count. I thought it was so slow that they would allow it, but it did not matter. Then, on my third run, the car stepped out at the fast chicane and I had to go in a straight line. Quite rightly, they took that time away also. Then on my final run, I lost a bit of time in the final sector. The heat was not a problem this afternoon, but at the last corner you are just sliding, not driving. As for tomorrow, I think it will be a much closer race than the last ones, but we don't really have a full picture of what to expect. Starting on the "dirty" side of the track does not make a big difference at this circuit. Can I win for the sixth time here? That will be up to the guys in front and behind!"
"Considering that this morning, the car was not working the way I like it, this is a good position for the start. We made a lot of changes on the car in between the sessions and the engineers did a good job. So, at the start of qualifying there was already a big improvement compared with the morning and then we fined tuned it more during the session. But I was a little bit disappointed with my fourth run when I did not get it all together. I think I could have done a 1m 12s, but not an 11.8."
"We would have preferred to be on pole, but that could have spoilt the recent tradition, which has seen us win the last three races without starting from the front. Michael did a great lap at the end and almost managed to set the quickest time. We can expect a close race tomorrow. Strategy is very important at this race, as we proved last year. If we can stay with Montoya, there is a good chance we can try and win through the pit stops. This morning we saved tyres for the race, which meant that the cars were not perfect at the start of qualifying, so we had to wait for the later part of the session."