Following smooth-running free practice sessions this morning, Nick Heidfeld qualified in 15th place for Jordan Ford at the Malaysian Grand Prix while Giorgio Pantano became the first driver to experience the new penalty for using the spare car and...
Following smooth-running free practice sessions this morning, Nick Heidfeld qualified in 15th place for Jordan Ford at the Malaysian Grand Prix while Giorgio Pantano became the first driver to experience the new penalty for using the spare car and as such a different engine during a Grand Prix weekend.
Forced to abandon his race car immediately before first qualifying due to a gearbox problem which the team could not resolve in time, Pantano chose to miss the first session in the hope it would be fixed. As it happened, he had to use the spare car in the second and will start the race from the back of the grid, as stipulated by the regulations.
"I'm quite happy with my qualifying laps although I had a little oversteer at the second last corner during the first qualifying. Second qualifying was better and we improved the car significantly through the weekend. We now have to work hard to improve the car to move forward up the grid. Tomorrow we need to focus on finishing the race."
"Unfortunately I had a problem with my race car which we found shortly before qualifying started and we weren't able to fix it in time. I had to drop from the race car to the T car and it was not the same as my race car, also the track was different from this morning and it was a very difficult lap. The rear was very slippery and we need to see if there is anything we can do. In the race we will be relying on our strategy to compete and honestly I think we will come up a little bit from my starting position."
James Robinson Head of race and test engineering:
"Today was a bit disappointing with Giorgio's gearbox problem, which we tried to fix during the first session so he would have still used his race car in the second session. However when we couldn't get it resolved in time we swapped him to the T car, which was set up for Nick and it was the first time Giorgio had driven it. Nick did a good solid run and we'll see how we go and where other people are in the race tomorrow in terms of actual speed and race pace. It will be hot and heavy going tomorrow and we are confident our Bridgestone tyres will deliver results."
Chassis: EJ14/02 in Free Practice
EJ14/01 in Qualifying 2