1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m21.091s 2. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1m21.155s (+ 0.064s) 3. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m21.473s (+ 0.382s) Q: It seems that for once you really had to fight for this one... Michael Schumacher: It's...
Q: It seems that for once you really had to fight for this one...
Michael Schumacher: It's not the first time that I've had to fight for pole position. I'm pretty used to it.
Q: How difficult was it to find a set up given you'd only had 45 minutes running in the dry?
MS: I guess it was the same problem for everyone, honestly. Nobody really had any experience. For us, as well, it was the first time with the new car so we sort of had to work as quickly as we could and obviously we found a good solution, if you look where the two cars.
Q: Was it difficult out on the track; it seems that you got caught up in traffic quite a lot?
MS: No. All my runs were clean. I didn't have any traffic situations. I did have traffic while I prepared my lap, on the out lap, but not really during the lap. Sorry, actually, my first run was... you're right, the first one.
Q: Rubens, you were on pole and you seemed to elect not to take a third run. Do you regret that now?
Rubens Barrichello: No, not at all. We took a decision. The car seemed to be quite good. Actually we did agree to have a third run but not a fourth but it's great. It's been a close battle. I like the challenge. It's been quite nice out there fighting for pole. This morning I wasn't certain about the engine of my racing so I was driving the T-car and the T-car seemed to be quite good, so I'm happy about that.
Q: Having now driven it in anger, how much better is the 2002 car than the 2001?
MS: Obviously, it's quite difficult to compare both. Last week we took the two to the same race track and drove them but it's a fair bit better in many respects: the engine and the car, so I'm fairly happy to have it now.
Q: Ralf, third place, are you happy with that after yesterday?
Ralf Schumacher: Yes, I think it's a good effort for the team to be third, as last year. Last year we weren't able to put the car on pole and so we weren't this year. We were very close, we improved run to run until the last one when I made a mistake so the team did a good job putting the car where it is and I'm sure it is a promising position for tomorrow.
Q: Talking about tyres, obviously you're hoping it's going to be dry tomorrow...
RS: Certainly it looks as if we are a bit stronger in dry conditions at the moment, but we take as it comes.
Q: Michael, I believe that you set another record tomorrow when you become the driver who has made the most starts for Ferrari. Is that a big record for you?
MS: It certainly means a lot to me, yes. It shows the kind of confidence I have being there and the team with me, on the other side. I think it's a big compliment, for me at least, to be able to run so long together with one team, and they're still happy with me.
Q: I've asked it before, and I'll ask it again, where does it come, that last minute effort?
MS: It's sort of luck to have a free lap and not make a mistake, in all honesty. My other runs weren't always a hundred percent. My first run I had traffic, the second one I went wide, third run I made a mistake and then fourth one had to be clean and it was. I was sort of lucky but my team-mate gave me a hard time today. But that's fun, that's what we like, I guess. I think he aborted his lap so... it's so close between us that we can't really say that's the difference.
Q: Almost nobody else went quicker at the end, as though the track conditions had changed?
MS: Yes, but then you have to say that the rubber comes onto the circuit as well because it rubbers in after it was washed out before, so maybe it equals out. We were faster but whether we could have been even faster I don't know. The wind played a big effect today. It was gusting so you never knew when was the right moment.
Q: Were you still changing the car during qualifying?
MS: Yes, we had very little experience of it and we were working around the car.
Q: There seems so confusion as to who was in what car because we saw you getting out of the car and Rubens said he was in the spare car.
MS: I was in my race car all the way through. I just went to have a look at the back of the car.
Q: How do you feel about the race tomorrow?
MS: Obviously confident. Bridgestone has made a good step forward again with the tyres. We saw in qualifying we had a very good tyre and even for our feeling, we should be sorted well for the race tomorrow.
Q: Rubens. Were you in the T-car all the way through the session and why was that?
RB: Yes. We made this choice. They let me have the T-car and my actual race car was set up as a T-car for Michael because we were uncertain about the engine in my race car this morning, so there was no time to change it before qualifying so the only chance for me was to have a qualifying set-up on his T-car.
Q: Was that a gamble?
RB: In a way, yes, because the car didn't have a run at all here. I had this car in Barcelona before Malaysia. It was a little bit of a gamble, but we know the cars are so similar anyway.
Q: And then you put it on provisional pole and it is almost as if the tactics changed. Is it different when you're on pole, do your tactics change?
RB: I was quite happy with the time so I was guessing a little bit because the car was well balanced and I had a few problems here and there so I guessed a bit on the set-up but unfortunately I had to abort my last run because the car in front just ran wide and brought the dirt up, and when I ran out of turn 14 and into 15 there was all this dust. But in any case it had been a very good qualifying. It was great to have the car running well and I had provisional pole. I would have liked to keep it but we were so close, as Michael said, and I enjoyed the fight and the challenge.
Q: Ralf. Third on the grid. What happened on that last run?
RS: I simply ran wide in, what is it, turn 4 or 5, that right-hander and that was it, I made a little bit of a mistake by myself.
Q: Were you a little bit disappointed not to be a little bit closer to the Ferraris?
RS: Not really. After Brazil it looked like they were going to be very strong here, and we expected it. Luckily it was nice and sunny today which helped us out for sure, and we will just see how we get on tomorrow. Last year, as I said, I was in third position and I managed to win the race.
Q: You are looking back a bit at last year are you?
RS: Yeah. It is always a nice memory isn't it? But whatever happens we are on a podium position now and we try to keep it and try to make points in any case and see where we stand. With a good strategy anything can be possible.
Q: Michael. I understand Michelin have brought a new development tyre here. Is it the same one you tested here in February?
MS: No. It's a new one.
Q: To all drivers. You went out early. Is it because you feared rain?
RS: It's not that we wanted to do a barbecue or something.
Q: Ralf. Do you feel you struggled with the cold conditions or the wet conditions of yesterday?
RS: It was the same for all of us. None of us got a lot of driving in the dry conditions so that is fine. It is just who made the better work. It is nothing to worry about. It is us who are the two teams in the first two rows so everything is possible. I don't see the problem yet. Ask me tomorrow.
Q: But what about the tyres?
RS: No. We shouldn't have a problem with these conditions, the sun was out there and the temperature was reasonable so that is not a problem.