Jean Todt : â€œThe battle for pole was very close and exciting. As I expected the fight for the two front rows came down to a duel between ourselves and our season-long rivals. Schumacher secured his eighth pole of the season, the ninth for...
Jean Todt : “The battle for pole was very close and exciting. As I expected the fight for the two front rows came down to a duel between ourselves and our season-long rivals. Schumacher secured his eighth pole of the season, the ninth for Ferrari. I am disappointed for Rubens, who on his final run failed to beat the chequered flag by just one second. In any case, he has managed to get a good place on the second row. Michael used only three sets of tyres on his way to pole. Now we just have to concentrate on the race. We know how important will be the start, the strategy and the reliability of the cars.“
Michael Schumacher : “Pole position provides the best opportunity to win the race. That has been our target all weekend, but the job is not finished yet. Obviously this is the best start and we have a good car to get the job done. I only did 9 laps because I felt the track was not in the best condition early in the session and I did not see the point in wasting a set of tyres. The team did a good job to get me out at the right time. Today we had a very high quality fight for pole. I knew it would be tight and either one of us could have been on pole. Actually, this position is not as important here as at some other races, because the surface on the main straight is not very abrasive on the racing line. On the inside it is more abrasive but more dirty. Of course this is not a race like any other, as we can finish the championship here which raises the stakes. There is no point in celebrating pole as it is not the end result. I am ready to fight for that tomorrow. I have no tyre worries as the new ones we have here are good in all respects. A good start will be important and traditionally we have had some difficulty doing that here. But we have adapted and learned. If I can lead into the first corner, it will be a very good opportunity to win.“
Rubens Barrichello : ”We waited around half an hour before going out for the first run, as the track was still dirty. Then when it became clear that we could post competitive times, we went out. Unfortunately I was not able to do my last run because of time lost earlier when I was called in twice for the weight check. I set my best time on my third run, when I managed to get the most out of the car. As for the fourth run, we had decided to try something different with the set-up, but I never got the chance to see if it would have worked.”