UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES Saturday, June 18, 2005 RUBENS BARRICHELLO ( ...
UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES Saturday, June 18, 2005
RUBENS BARRICHELLO (#2 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro): (Frustrating?): "No, not at all. I think we understand that we're not as fast as our competitors in qualifying, but we're very fast in the race. We made the points in the race not in qualifying. That's not an excuse. We need to find the performance in qualifying. But so far, I think we've done a good job. We're fifth and seventh. Obviously, I wish I could have been higher up, but I had some small problems under the braking. Apart from that, the car was good, and I think the race is the main important thing." (About the tires and the problems reported about Michelin tires. Any problems with Bridgestones?): "No. Luckily we have no issues this weekend. We have in the past, but we've sorted them out. With the rules like they are, there will be a time when you bring a couple types of tires for the track, there will be times you get it wrong."
JENSON BUTTON (#3 Lucky Strike BAR Honda): "I got a little bit too much understeer in the car. It felt like I had very low grip. I struggled I little bit, but hopefully we can find out what the issues were." (How do you feel you will handle race pace?): "Long-distance balance has been very good through practice today. We've done five-lap runs, and the balance has been very good. It's been rather nice. I'd just like to be a little further up." (About the tire situation): "I think everyone is a little bit worried. We just need to hope everything is sorted out."
TAKUMA SATO (#4 Lucky Strike BAR Honda): "We struggled a little bit, yes. We completed two different setups this morning, and unfortunately I had to change everything for the car. It was the very first try on the setup, so it was a bit difficult. But now we'll see for the race." (How did the setup feel?): "It's improved a little bit, but you never know until you hit Turn 1. It was a little bit difficult to handle, but it wasn't too bad."
FERNANDO ALONSO (#5 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team): "We are worried, all the Michelin teams, but at the same time we are confident that what Michelin recommended now about pressures should solve the problem. I think this low pressure some of the teams ran yesterday was some of the problem. This is what Michelin is more concerned about. Safety, obviously, we sacrifice a little bit of performance to be safe. At the end of the day, we have to wait and see. If Michelin is happy to run tomorrow, we're happy and confident to run with them. If Michelin said it was not safe, then the drivers would agree not to race. But this is an extreme option, and this will not happen -- never. I'm sure we'll be OK tomorrow, and 20 cars will be racing here."
GIANCARLO FISICHELLA (#6 Mild Seven Renault F1 Team): "It was a very good lap. A clean lap. The car balance was much better today than yesterday, so I felt really confident in the car. I think we have a good race strategy. I am really looking forward to tomorrow."
MARK WEBBER (#7 BMW WilliamsF1 Team): "In general it was a reasonable lap for us. We know tomorrow is a different ballgame in terms of strategy and what is going to happen with tires and things, but so far today has gone well for me. We have done as much as we can to help the car in the race."
NICK HEIDFELD (#8 BMW WilliamsF1 Team): "It was quite difficult, actually. I am not so happy. We had quite low grip. Yesterday was a lot better. This morning we did struggle a bit. That's it."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (#10 West McLaren Mercedes): (You were extremely competitive in practice sessions, so how much is it costing you running so early in qualifying?): "A lot. The car's lighter and all over the place; it's just horrendous. I had a penalty last race, and the way the rules are you got to carry it over to this race; you're screwed in two races, and I think it's pretty sad, you know, to have a car that could win the race and has been quicker than Kimi (Raikkonen) in two sessions, it's pretty hard. The lap was good. It's just running early, you get completely screwed. We seem to suffer more than a lot of teams. Us, our cars are easy on the tires compared to some other cars. But you go out to qualify when the track is dirty, you go out and pick up all the dirt, and you're just done." (Like all Michelin tire drivers, you've been told to increase the pressures in your tires. How has this affected your handling?): "Just a little bit, but it's the same for everybody." (How do you rate your chances for tomorrow?): "I think we have a really fast race car but where I'm starting, I'm pretty screwed, to be honest."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE (#11 Sauber Petronas): About the lap) "OK lap, nothing special. No mistakes, too clean, so I probably could have pushed a little bit harder." (About tire issues): "I think it's more a combination of car, tire, setup issue because the cars that have problems, it's always been two teammates. I think they just chose the wrong tires for here. We are quite safe with our tires." (About coming back to the Speedway -- having good memories): "Oh, definitely. I've got a lot of good memories in IndyCar. It would be nice to have a good memory in Formula One, as well." (If you were Danica Patrick and had a chance to drive with BAR, would you?): "Oh, definitely, at least to know how it is, how it feels, even if it doesn't go anywhere afterward. It's always good to get that under your belt." (Do you wonder why she didn't?): "Everybody has their own reasons. You can't judge for someone else." (What do you think of all the attention she's gotten?): "Attention is always good to get more sponsors and better rides, but then you have to start winning."
CHRISTIAN KLIEN (#15 Red Bull Racing): "The first day in Canada was difficult because I was first out. But here I had a good qualifying position. I had quite a good lap. I was in front of my teammate. That was quite important to me." (About downforce): "Qualifying was not too bad. With the one time lap, our car seems to be OK. We struggle a bit after two, three, or fours laps time. We get a lot of oversteering. In Canada, the car was very difficult to drive and will be the same at this race again."
RICARDO ZONTA (#17 Panasonic Toyota Racing): "It was OK. This morning, I didn't do much running so it was difficult to find a setup for the car; I just jumped in the car and tried to fix all the things from yesterday. Qualifying was something new for me, but it was OK." (Your reaction when the team told you you'd be racing here this weekend): "In a way it was nice, in a way it was not nice because of the problems we've had yesterday, so jumping in the car after an accident with one of my teammates was not so nice." (Due to the tire issues, how safe did you feel?): "Of course, with every lap you think just a little bit about safety of the tires, but the other way, we are race drivers so we must do our job, just like that."
DAVID COULTHARD (#14 Red Bull Racing): "The corner is not a corner. We come through the oval. You could be flat there. It is an easy corner, but the reality is it takes a lot of stress in the tire. You are just in it because it is Indy and it is causing us a lot of technical problems." (More about tires): "There's a chance of someone having a tire failure in the banking. We know what that did last year to a driver. We are just not designed to drive those types of corners at these speeds. I think the simple thing to do is to allow everyone the same advantage by having another set of tires." (About qualifying run): "It was good up until the end of the back straight in Turn 8. There was quite a bit of oversteer. We just lost a lap there, so nothing really much more to say than that. Now we have to see how the car advances in the race."(About racing in the United States): "To have a true world championship, you have to be in America. It is such an essential country. You have to do it at Indy at the correct place." (About being at Indy): "The circuit had a very high standard when we came (to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), and that hasn't changed at all. The facility is great. I am always surprised by the crowd we get. Nowhere near the crowds you get at the various (Indianapolis) 500s, but still a good crowd for Formula One. We enjoy coming here." (About getting gray hair): "I also have a lot more knowledge and experience I didn't have five years ago. It's a balance in life, isn't it? I don't feel like an elder statesman. I feel like a guy having fun driving racing cars. Of course, there is a physical change there, but nothing that is affecting the performance at the moment."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#18 Jordan Grand Prix): "It was a very good and clean lap. Pushing hard, considering the amount of fuel we had, so (I'm) quite happy, really. I didn't know exactly what to expect. The balance is OK. In qualifying, we seem to be good. Of course, there are a lot of things you can do with full fuel and stuff. No worries for the race pace. We have always been quicker. Here, our tires seem to be working very well on long runs. Actually, I'm very confident for the race."
NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN (#19 Jordan Grand Prix): "It was early in the session so there was a little bit of a problem with grip, but that's OK. I think the wind has changed. We'll see what happens."
PATRICK FRIESACHER (#20 Minardi F1 Team): "My time was not that good. It was not that good. There was understeer, but I am quite confident for tomorrow."
CHRISTIJAN ALBERS (#21 Minardi F1 Team): "I think we did a really good job. We're always consistent and always on the safe side. That's what you want for driver points, to have the best you can get. We'll have to see tomorrow. It could be a little bit better, but I think we're on the safe side, so we'll have to look to see what happens tomorrow."
FELIPE MASSA (#12 Sauber Petronas): "Yeah, I'm quite happy. I think that the lap was not too bad. It was a good lap. To start in the top 10 would be really good for me. I hope I can do a good start and finish in the points. I think it will be difficult, but I think we have the possibility to be in the points." (Can you feel a difference between the oval and road-course surfaces?): "Yeah, in the oval it's much more abrasive. I think it has to be because of the banking, and that's why maybe the load of the tires is very high and the temperature goes up really a lot. So, that, I think, is the main problem, but I'm sure Michelin is working a lot to find the problem"
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (#1 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro): (Any disappointment): "Not really. I have been in worse positions in previous years here and still have won the race." (How much of this was fuel strategy? Were you loaded up?): "I hope so. We can only cross fingers. (There are four different cars in front of you. Which one worries you the most): "Naturally, the McLarens. The third row is a good position particularly since I am on the clean side, and fifth position is good. All weekend long we have been more competitive than most of the races this year for qualifying purposes anyway - race pace is good." (The Michelin story): "I don't have enough information to comment on that - it's not my issue to think about." (About his brother): "Put it this way: I am really happy that he is not really injured, and that is the best decision that the doctors could have taken for him because the risk due to circumstances is very high for him - I think it is quite right." (America is a very important market for Ferrari): "For all of us, I suppose." (How competitive do you think you are with the other teams?): "I really don't a clue where we are compared to the others. I don't know what's going on in terms of fuel strategy. We will have to find out." (Do you have a realistic chance to win?): "I think there is a possibility." (Is this the breakthrough race?): "Well, honestly the breakthrough race should have been Imola. If we would have had the speed of Imola here, we would probably lap everybody. But at Imola we couldn't pass. Here we don't have that much speed in the race, but we could still be quick enough to win." (Isn't the Michelin issue a concern for Formula One?): "Check with the other guys. I'm not concerned."