Italian GP: Saturday press conference

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1m20.264s 2. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m20.521s (+ 0.257s) 3. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m20.542s (+ 0.278s) Q: Juan Pablo, I am not sure if you are aware but you have actually broken one of the oldest ...

1. Juan Pablo MONTOYA (WILLIAMS), 1m20.264s
2. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m20.521s (+ 0.257s)
3. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m20.542s (+ 0.278s)

Q: Juan Pablo, I am not sure if you are aware but you have actually broken one of the oldest records in Formula One history. You have the fastest average lap ever, beating Keke Rosberg's 17-year-old record. How do you feel?

Juan Pablo Montoya: I think it's good but, you know, so long as we keep coming back to Monza and the track doesn't change much. Probably next year it is going to be beaten again. It is pretty amazing how quick we went, about two seconds a lap quicker than last year, so it is pretty impressive I would say.

Q: Once again, you get the Williams on a low downforce track and it works very well. Why is the car so good in these sorts of conditions?

JPM: Aerodynamically-wise the car here works really well. It is very efficient. I think when we need to put on full downforce we are a bit down on Ferrari, but I think everything worked very well, the tyres were very consistent and I think it helps us a lot balancing the car and everything. It is good to be back on pole.

Q: Michael, a very interesting qualifying session for you. I think you were trying to find the correct balance on the tyres for qualifying. In the end I think you got your fastest time on the fifth actual lap of that run. Talk us through that last run out there.

Michael Schumacher: You are right, it seemed like we couldn't make it on the first lap time so we had to deal with the way out tyres were in a different way, with a different strategy to our competitors which for us I wouldn't say was a downside honestly. It is just we were not fast enough in qualifying condition. We hope, naturally, that we can be fast enough tomorrow.

Q: How different is this tyre than the one which was brought to test last week?

MS: Good question. I don't mix it myself, so I don't know.

Q: Ralf, for a long time there you actually had pole position. Out on that last run after the red flag, had the track gone off at that point?

Ralf Schumacher: It was a bit dirty plus the tyre was not new anymore. No-one really improved, which you wouldn't expect in a situation like that. It was very tight today it is just my third run I made a mistake and that made it impossible to try it again.

Q: It seems quite obvious that Bridgestone do have a durable tyre. What are your feelings about the race?

RS: I don't fear it at all. We have a very consistent tyre here as well. As usual, Michelin has a very good qualifying tyre at the same time, but I am looking forward to it tomorrow. I think it is a good chance for us this year.

Q: Juan Pablo, that is your seventh pole of the season. I think it is about time for your first win.

JPM: Yeah, hopefully. I think I have got to say, when I have been on pole it hasn't gone that well, there are one or two races where I was unlucky, but hopefully...Last year was a good race here, I think the tyres have been really consistent, we are quite close to the Ferraris this morning on old tyres and that was quite promising so I am really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q: Juan Pablo, pole position last year, pole position this year as well. Win last year, what chances this year?

JPM: I think the chances, compared with the other races, are pretty good. We looked very competitive this morning. We have to wait and see what happens but the car is working really well here and things can play into our hands a little bit.

Q: It is always the consistency you have mentioned in the past. Has it been good here so far?

JPM: Yeah, it has. I don't know if you noticed the times this morning and yesterday, and every time we have been going out it has been right there and it just makes it a lot easier to work on the car and everything.

Q: Did you do a lot of changes to the car?

JPM: Not really. During qualifying a little bit, because always when you go into qualifying we seem to pick up a lot more understeer than in the morning but it is pretty good. The car has been really good and I have been both days quicker than Ralf. I think he was struggling with the car quite a bit and I was quite amazed by his pace in qualifying to be honest.

Q: So, it has been a good pole with the record.

JPM: Yeah, it was a good fight with Ralf and with Michael and it is good to be on pole again, you know, I don't mind.

Q: Michael, interesting that you mentioned just now that you needed those many laps to warm up the tyres. Is that a bit of a surprise after the test because you had good tyres in the test then they brought new tyres for the race.

MS: If the tyres would have been that good we would have kept them. So we thought we had to improve something and we chose the improved version so for us that is the better solution.

Q: For the race?

MS: For the whole weekend I would say, honestly. It didn't suffer anything in qualifying. The other tyres we had we could have done exactly the same.

Q: You were expecting Williams to be good here, so front row, you must be relatively pleased with it.

MS: Yeah, it's alright.

Q: You were always very quick in the first sector it was the next two where you lost out. What is the conclusion you draw from that?

MS: He went faster...What you probably noticed was that our straight-line speed seemed to be a little bit higher which is maybe good for the first sector and the other sectors is maybe a bit better the other way round.

Q: Any problems with the red flag lap. Did that upset you?

MS: For me, no, I was finished.

Q: Ralf, were you upset by the red flag lap?

RS: First of all I was upset by my own mistake in the third run and then after certainly all of us we all couldn't improve our lap time.

Q: Was that because of changes to the track? Was it slippery after the accident with the other two?

RS: Some of it. It was a bit dirty, that's not a major problem, but it is not a fresh tyre any more after one lap. They cool down, you try to get the temperature back in but you can't. Then we had to be nearly a minute in front to be the first car out, so it is not perfect conditions to go out into qualifying.

Q: Is your side the cleaner side of the grid?

RS: Since our side is on the racing line I would say yes, but we will have to wait and see tomorrow.

Q: Juan Pablo and Ralf, what happened exactly when you started after the red flag? There was a little bit of fighting between you.

JPM: I went out and I forgot to switch off the speed limiter. I stopped at 60.

RS: Since he slowed down I didn't know what was going on so I tried to go past, that is all.

Q: Michael, two times you tried to repeat a fast lap and the first and second stints were quite good but you came into the pits.

MS: We have lap times in our computers in our car and we know what is the situation overall. You obviously see the time before the Ascari corner and I see the time after the Ascari corner and if this is down for me there is no point to continue.

Q: Yeah, because before the Ascari corner it was about 76 thousandths.

MS: I lost a little bit more than that on the way out.

Q: Juan Pablo, you have beaten the fastest ever lap in Formula One. Were you aware of that and did you know what time to beat?

JPM: Yeah, we talked about it with some engineers. I walked the track on Thursday with them and we talked about it but I said before, probably next year the record is going to be broken and again and again until the day we stop coming to Monza.

Q: Juan, a first corner or first lap question. You and Michael have had a few tangles this season, are you going to do anything different or how do you see the race going this time.

JPM: We will just wait and see we will get to the first corner and...

MS: Work it out

JPM: Yeah, we will see who comes out in front, or if anybody comes out in front. I don't know, we'll see. It's not a big deal.

Q: Could I have your opinion on the speed bumps inside the chicanes.

JPM: I don't know, you make a mistake and you have still got to go through it. Probably you go a bit slower through it and when you are going into it you think about it a bit more. Before you used to go straight, but that's it.

MS: It is one step in the right direction. It doesn't solve the problem all in all in the end, but there is only so much that can be done.

RS: Same as Michael.

Q: Did you try and get them removed altogether?

MS: No, they are positioned in the right way. The chicane itself is the problem, not the bumps.

Q: Ralf, we saw you try to pass Juan after the red flag. If you had passed him would it have changed something?

RS: Well, I would have been on pole definitely! It just didn't work out, sorry.


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