It was a difficult start to the French GP weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, due to changeable weather and track conditions and also due to the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya crashed his car after only a few laps of the first Free Practice session.
It was a difficult start to the French GP weekend for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, due to changeable weather and track conditions and also due to the fact that Juan Pablo Montoya crashed his car after only a few laps of the first Free Practice session. Unlike Juan Pablo, team-mate Marc Gené, who is standing-in for Ralf Schumacher, managed to complete a significant number of laps.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"Not exactly the best way to start a race weekend, really. I went out in the morning when it was raining quite heavily and my car was aqua-planing so much that I just could not keep it on the track. I had quite a big crash and the car was seriously damaged, but luckily enough I walked away with no physical consequences at all."
"Anyway, after my car came back to the garage and was thoroughly checked and fixed, I could go out again for the last half of the second session. A big thanks to the mechanics who were very quick in putting my car back on track. But still weather conditions were changing so quickly, that I could not get too much running either."
"We had no easy running, today, but in spite of the continuously changing track conditions, I managed to have a long run and we still gathered some useful information and data about tyres and set-up. However it is difficult to say where everyone is, since the track was different in different moments. I am quite pleased with my performance, but I was one of the first to go out on dry tyres. Now we are looking at the setup for tomorrow."
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):
"It was a difficult first day, especially due to Juan's accident in the first session. The mechanics did a good job to get the car repaired in time for the second session. Marc did a good job as well. With the limited mileage we have covered today, the new aero parts we have brought to Magny-Cours are working fine. It's too early to say how competitive we are here; we'll see tomorrow."
Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):
"Because of weather conditions continuously changing from dry to wet in both sessions, it was impossible to follow our programme as scheduled. At least Marc did a good number of laps and the recorded data will help to evaluate the tyres. Fortunately the BMW P84 engine was not damaged when Juan had the accident. Big thank you to everybody in the team who helped to get the car repaired in only two and a half hours."
Juan Pablo Montoya
Chassis: FW26 06
(Spare car FW26 03)
1st session: 23rd no time
2nd session: 13th 1:17.556
Chassis: FW26 05
1st session: 3rd 1:19.348
2nd session: 14th 1:17.688