German GP: Saturday press conference

1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m14.389s 2. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m14.570s (+ 0.181s) 3. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1m14.693s (+ 0.304s) Q: You seemed to have a tremendous battle with Ralf during that session. Michael Schumacher:...

1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m14.389s
2. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m14.570s (+ 0.181s)
3. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1m14.693s (+ 0.304s)

Q: You seemed to have a tremendous battle with Ralf during that session.

Michael Schumacher: Yes, just at the end we got it together. We did quite a good preparation this morning and everything seemed to be very good and then finally in qualifying we took some time to really get the lap time in and we did, on the last run. We had the chance to do another lap in the end but then I went into traffic. But all in all, that was my dream to have a pole position here in Hockenheim and hopefully a win as well. I'm sure the other two guys next to me will not agree but we will try and I think we have a good possibility from where we are now.

Q: It looked very slippery out there. Can you tell us about your problem going into the first corner on your second run?

MS: Yes, simply I ran over the kerb a little bit too much so the kerb bounced away but it wasn't because of dirt on the circuit. We saw a lot of cars sliding, I guess it may be because of some dust or whatever slowed down the circuit initially and but it brought back on the pace in the end.

Q: Ralf, your car seemed to be much better balanced today than your team-mate's because Juan Pablo was locking up.

Ralf Schumacher: Well, that's like it is, you know. If you have a weekend where everything runs fine then it's easy and I think it's one of those weekends where so far it was quite difficult for Juan to find a balance. I'm sure tomorrow we will be very similar in the race as usual and be in quite a good position, the two of us.

Q: Was there a problem on your final run, because you didn't improve on your lap time?

RS: I had more understeer than I had on the run before plus I had a waved yellow flags in the last two corners so there was basically no chance. But clearly Michael was better today. I hope not tomorrow, we will find out.

Q: Rubens, you were chipping away all session but couldn't quite dislodge these brothers from the front row.

Rubens Barrichello: Yeah, to be honest with you I'm quite pleased with the job the team has done with my car because I had a small 'off' today so basically I lost quite a lot of track time. But it's been a good session and hopefully I can steal the party from them.

Q: Are you going to be racing flat out tomorrow to try to beat Michael?

RB: We have a perfect car and we're always trying to have a really good race for ourselves and for Ferrari so tomorrow it's in our hands to do a good job for everyone.

Q: So Michael, you're going to be chased by Rubens, but you haven't won here since 1995. I guess it would be good to get victory.

MS: Yes, especially together with Ferrari, because we haven't won together at all down here in Hockenheim and it would be nice if it works out tomorrow. But there is a long race to go, we'll try everything, we'll see what happens.

Q: Michael, Hockenheim hasn't always been frightfully lucky for you - I don't think you have seen the chequered flag for the last three years, although one of those admittedly you didn't take part in. You must be delighted to be on pole position?

MS: Obviously it is very nice. You are more than excited and because of reasons you have just explained. I don't think I have done a pole position either and neither have I won the race for Ferrari here in Hockenheim so that is an ideal result which I hope I can transform into victory tomorrow. That's our target, but there are obviously a couple of guys that disagree.

Q: What about the reception you have had here in your home country?

MS: Obviously that is a boost. You see, you feel the excitement in the faces of the fans. It is something very special and coming into the stadium and celebrate together with them particularly when I did the pole position but still wasn't sure if there was anyone able to go faster or not, so it was a bit of a mixed feeling to wave or not to wave, to say thank you or not, because it has happened that you feel secure and suddenly someone bumps your time so then you are rather stupid. So it was a good feeling and good to see the crowd here and the emotions they go through.

Q: What are the factors going to be in the race itself?

MS: Basically to have a consistent race pace and we have worked on that, we have shown that we are reasonably good on that, so we hope it is the same tomorrow.

Q: We have seen a lot of excursions during the last couple of days. Are we going to see as many during the race as well?

MS: I guess not. I guess in the race people will calm down a little bit, but it can happen that you go a little bit wide and go over the run-off and come back onto the circuit. The good thing about this circuit now and the future of development is that if you do have a little off then it doesn't cost you your race. You still may lose a position but you will be back in the race and then continue, which I think I much more fair and much more safe. We might see it, but not too much I think.

Q: Ralf, I am sure you were hopeful of pole position, but you were second on the grid last year and won so is that hopeful for this year?

RS: It definitely is hopeful. After the last few races I have had always a bit of problems and it was never really happening in qualifying. The whole weekend has been very good for me. I have been happy with the car, with the track, and it paid off in the qualifying. Certainly I would have liked to be on pole for the team, for myself, but it wasn't possible for today and Michael didn't let me so I hope to swap it around tomorrow.

Q: Still, an all-Schumacher front row has got to be the right way, hasn't it?

RS: Yes, it is the best way it can happen, isn't it!

Q: Have the last couple of days left you confident of a better performance in the race than in the last few races?

RS: We will learn from the mistakes and although we couldn't test last week, I am sure we came up with some solutions to make that better. I must say I think Michelin supported us with a very, very good and consistent race tyre, so I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Q: Were you still changing the car during qualifying?

RS: We did a couple of changes and naturally you struggle with quite a bit of understeer, especially in the stadium here, and that is what we were fighting to a certain extent really.

Q: Rubens, third on the grid. Was the car okay after this morning's incident?

RB: It was perfect. It was feeling good. Obviously when you have a shunt like this you go for the first run and you just have to be within the limits because you just have to find the limits all over again. But the car felt quite good and I was really confident of a good position.

Q: Having lost that time this morning, were you still changing the car?

RB: Yeah, a little bit. Not much because the car, as I said, felt quite good on the first run so with my second run I didn't change the car, I just wanted to change the tyres and give it a go again and after that it was just trying. The circuit has become a circuit that you have got to be on the very edge for the whole time, but you have got to be very careful because you are going to make a small mistake and cost quite a huge time. So it was a good compromise.

Q: On the last run, I think you lost time on the middle sector. What happened there?

RB: Like I said, I was trying really hard for my last run and I just ran a little bit wide and lost time. The same happened on my third run. Everything was coming perfect and I lost in the penultimate corner. I just went a little bit wide over the kerb and lost three tenths. But as I said, after the shunt this morning I am quite happy with the way that the car has come out and I am feeling really confident for tomorrow.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Ferrari