Quotes from drivers after Saturday qualifying for the US Grand Prix OLIVIER PANIS (No. 20 Toyota TF103/Toyota RVX-03/Michelin): "I am quite happy. It did a good lap, and I think our time was pretty competitive comparing to the warm-up time. We...
Quotes from drivers after Saturday qualifying for the US Grand Prix
OLIVIER PANIS (No. 20 Toyota TF103/Toyota RVX-03/Michelin): "I am quite happy. It did a good lap, and I think our time was pretty competitive comparing to the warm-up time. We just have to wait and see how we are going to be at the end. I expect quite a good race, because we look competitive after having bad luck on the qualifying yesterday. Anyway, today we don't look so bad."
CRISTIANO DA MATTA (No. 21 Toyota TF103/Toyota RVX-03/Michelin): "My lap was OK. It was my first lap in this car, ever, so, the first time testing this wheel. We had to go for the "T" car on the very last moment, so I lost a little bit because of that, but it's OK. I'm not very happy with that, because it happened a couple of times this year. We need to keep a better eye on that and not let it happen all the time, because always costs us a little bit."
GIANCARLO FISICHELLA (No. 11 Jordan-Ford EJ13/Ford Cosworth RS1/Bridgestone): "Even this morning, I had a problem with a gearbox. I did not run enough, so the car was not good in the terms of setup. It was very poor grip. The setup - it's more for the wet conditions in case tomorrow is going to be wet. It's what I hope for tomorrow, so we'll see." (Are you going to do a rain dance?) "Yes, bring it into my room."
RALPH FIRMAN (No. 12 Jordan-Ford EJ13/Ford Cosworth RS1/Bridgestone): "It's nice to be here and see Indianapolis. We've obviously been struggling, but that was a pretty good lap. It's a good race. We're going to be struggling in scoring some points. Hopefully, it's going to rain tomorrow. It's been showering the last couple of days, so it's possible. It was a good lap but, obviously not as good as it should be. We're just not where we need to be at the moment with the car. It's just a lack of grip, really. We have a lot of oversteer in the turns and lots of understeer through the long, long corners. I think it's a bit of everything. I'm just glad to be driving again."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 15 Jaguar-Cosworth R4/Cosworth CR-5/Michelin): "It was OK. I seemed to slide around a lot on the infield section. Struggling a little bit there, but it's not too bad. I think it's just my car. It was slightly better in warm-up, but here we go."
NICK HEIDFELD (No. 9 Sauber-Petronas C22/Petronas 03A/Bridgestone): "Obviously, I was more happy today than yesterday. Right now, at least there are the same conditions for everybody. There were some problems. I had some graining on the front tires, which cost a little bit of time. As usual, I hope to finish the race tomorrow and score some points. The goal should be, for the last two races, to overtake Jordan in the Constructors tournament."
JOS VERSTAPPEN (No. 19 Minardi-Cosworth PS03/Ford Cosworth CR-3/Bridgestone): "It was about the same (as yesterday). The car doesn't feel very good at all." (Can you find it for Sunday?): "No, we did everything we could."
RALF SCHUMACHER (No. 4 Williams-BMW FW25/BMW P83/Michelin): "The car had quite a lot of understeer. The track got a lot better, because of the sun. We lost some important track time just before qualifying. It's very good for (Kimi) Raikkonen. He did a good job."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE (No. 16 BAR-Honda 005/Honda RA003E/Bridgestone): "I'm happy with the lap. Finally, the car was driveable. We made changes just before qualifying, and it worked. Normally, you never do that. Suddenly, the car had better grip, and I could drive it harder with more confidence."
JARNO TRULLI (No. 7 Renault R23/Renault RS23/Michelin): "We had just the same car after the incident this morning. We have really good mechanics who gave me basically the same car (after a spin in the final warm-up practice which damaged the suspension). It was a struggle with the wind conditions here. The change in conditions was huge, but we lost lots of performance. We struggled to keep up with the changing conditions, and it was difficult to drive."
HEINZ-HARALD FRENTZEN (No. 10 Sauber-Petronas C22/Petronas 03A/Bridgestone): "The car was running well. We had a bit of a small problem in corner number 6, where I went a little bit too wide. I lost one- or two-tenths (of a second) of what I should have gotten. But that is where we are for the moment. I know the spectators don't like it, and they aren't used to it, but it would be nice to have some rain here. Our car runs well and our tires run well in the rain. Hopefully, we have good track conditions for tomorrow. We have Jordan in focus; they are ahead of us in the championship. We desperately need points, and we are trying to aim for points here in this race. I think, if we fight hard, we are going to manage to get some points."
FERNANDO ALONSO (No. 8 Renault R23/Renault RS23/Michelin): "I'm not 100 percent happy. We were very pleased with the runs in the morning, but the conditions changed. We are in front of the defending champion, and we'll be strong in the race. Our only strategy is to beat all of them."
MARK WEBBER (No. 14 Jaguar-Cosworth R4/Cosworth CR-5/Michelin): "I'm not pleased at all with the lap. I had to brake hard in Turn 1 and Turn 4. We struggled with grip, and it was a difficult qualifying session. It's very frustrating. It doesn't help with running at 2 a.m. (Australian time) in the morning, but I guess that's the same for everybody here. It was a bit more difficult today we lost quite a bit of balance in the warm up and also in qualifying."
(Where did you lose it?): "Even starting the lap up after Turn 10, we had a lot of understeer. So I thought, 'Oh, God, this is going to be interesting.' I was happy with where I braked in Turn 1, but it changed everything, and I had a bit of a slide in Turn 4, so it was a difficult lap."
JENSON BUTTON (No. 17 BAR-Honda 005/Honda RA003E/Bridgestone): "It was OK. I found it very difficult to find grip. I had a little oversteer. The car's been working well for the race. We're using a much better tire now, and it should be good for race distance."
NICOLAS KIESA (No. 18 Minardi-Cosworth PS03/Ford Cosworth CR-3/Bridgestone): "The track is a little slippery because of all the rain last night, and the Porsche Supercup had been out. I was pushing hard, and in that long right-hander in the first sector into Turn 4, the car stepped out on me, and I lost about three-tenths (of a second)."
DAVID COULTHARD (No. 5 McLaren-Mercedes MP4-17D/Mercedes-Benz FO110M/Michelin): "A little (disappointed), but first of all, it's good for the team that Kimi (Raikkonen's) on the pole. Now, we'll see just how our fuel load and tires stack up where other people qualified. For my side, (in) Turn 4 we had understeer wide, which I wasn't expecting, too. I lost three-tenths (of a second) there to Kimi. And then, in Turn 8, which is where I spun in the warm-up, I got a bit sideways again and lost some time, and that was it. It's one of the those things where you hook the lap (if) you do the time, if you get a bit upset, you don't."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 3 Williams-BMW FW25/BMW P83/Michelin): "I think I could have done a little bit better. I had a bit of oversteer and had a little trouble finishing the lap. Right now, we don't know what fuel levels everyone is on, so a lot could change. I think we are going to have a very good race tomorrow."
(About M. Schumacher struggling): "Yeah, his car doesn't look too good compared to how it has been running. But, he has a very good race car, that is why he has to race. The same with me, I think my race car is better than the qualifying car."
(About the crowd): "It is amazing. It is unreal. It is great to see how many supporters there are here, and, hopefully it will be another good show tomorrow. This is a bit more than normal, but usually I get some pretty good support. It is great to hear the people cheer. There are a lot of Colombians here. And, winning the Indianapolis 500 helps."
(Do you feel like this is your home track?): "Well, my parents live here, and I spend a lot of time here. Of course, my team (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) was based here. If I was in Brazil, they would call this my home race."
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (Ferrari F2003-GA/Ferrari 052/Bridgestone): "This was a very average qualifying effort for us. I'm not at all satisfied. We're not sure what went wrong, but we were sliding too much and had no grip. We will be interested to see what strategies the others adopt for the race. For us, it is important to understand what went wrong today. Hopefully by the end of the race, we can give the fans something to cheer about."