Estoril qualifying notes

Qualifying session Weather: Warm, overcast The happiest man of the qalifying session was Kurt Thiim (1:40.31). After hard days in Helsinki and Donington the fast Dane showed a great performance and conquered the first position for tomorrow's...

Qualifying session

Weather: Warm, overcast

The happiest man of the qalifying session was Kurt Thiim (1:40.31). After hard days in Helsinki and Donington the fast Dane showed a great performance and conquered the first position for tomorrow's Top Qualifying session. On the other hand the unhappiest man was Alessandro Nannini. Second fastest in the free practice session, Nannini went out but had to come back to the pits with engine problems. And although his mechanics made a great effort to change Nannini's engine in time, they were two minutes late and Nannini disappeared in big disappointment, too frustrated to give any comment.

6 - Kurt Thiim (Mercedes): "Great, man, we've achieved a Top-Fifteen placement. And believe me, this was a rather relaxed lap, a 1:39 time might have been possible. Thank god we had the possibility to do three days of testing on the Nrburgring, so we were able to make a big step forward concerning balance and tyres."

26 - Giancarlo Fisichella (1:40.94/Alfa Romeo) was only beaten by Thiim and left the pits with a shining smile on his face: "Now I got the new 95 car. And I tell you, this car is fantastic, as is the balance and my time also. But I don't know, what will happen on Sunday. For this will be a hard race for the tyres and nobody knows, if it is possible to reach the finish on the first set of tyres."

1 - Klaus Ludwig (1:41.08/Opel) made the manufacturers triplet on the first three psitions complete with his third fastest lap of the session: "I had to push a little bit, but I lost some tenth of a second, when I had to take my foot from the pedal in the fast right because of Nicola Larini, who just did a slow lap. Its a pity, but never mind: Its tomorrow, when it really counts."

8 - Nicola Larini (1:41.18) was only one tenth slower than Ludwig and seemed to be rather satisfied: "I made the right tyre choice and look forward to the race now. For I'm sure: our tyres will stand the distance and we won't be forced to change tyres during the race."

19 - Michael Bartels (1:41.28) was content with his 6th position, but not with his time: "This wasn't a great lap. Okay, I wanted to do a safe qualifying lap, guaranteeing that I haven't to do another one. But to be faster three or for tenths of a second would have been quite nice."

9 - Manuel Reuter (1:41.29) achieved 7th position although he was suffering from food poisoning: "Regarding that I didn't sleep all night and we had a lot of problems yesterday and this morning I'm quite happy. And now I have to go to bed."

4 - Jan Magnussen (1:41.79) looked very relaxed after his lap and said: "I hadn't to push very hard, as I just wanted to achieve a Top 15 position. Hopefully I choose the right tyres, but I won't know, before the first race is finished."

2 - Keke Rosberg (1:42.33) was 15th and last who qualified for Top Qualifying A: "Thic was a narrow escape. And I couldn't have reacted, if somebody would have gone faster. Because a better time wouldn't have ben possible for me. I did five laps and couldn't achieve a better time. And what is worse: I'm standing a little bit in the dark, just don't know what's going wrong."

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jan Magnussen , Manuel Reuter , Michael Bartels , Klaus Ludwig , Keke Rosberg , Nicola Larini , Kurt Thiim