With a minute left in Friday's qualifying session and a provisional pole looking in sight for Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy managed to put a clear lap together to better Andretti's speed by a little over four-tenths of a second. But, ...
With a minute left in Friday's qualifying session and a provisional pole looking in sight for Michael Andretti, Paul Tracy managed to put a clear lap together to better Andretti's speed by a little over four-tenths of a second. But, Andretti feels confident that there is enough in the car tomorrow to claim the pole in Australia.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- K Mart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 2nd - "We are pretty happy with our time. But, that car is far from perfect and I didn't get a clean lap either so there's a lot more left in the car. If we can make the car a little bit better we should be a contender this weekend. I think we can go a lot quicker tomorrow. I think pole time tomorrow will be in the 1:31's."
HOW IS THE GRIP LEVEL COMPARED TO LAST YEAR?
"It's a bit slippery, but it will get quicker tomorrow."
YOU SEEM TO BE GAINING STRENGTH OVER HE PAST FEW RACES, IS ONE OF THE FACTORS THAT YOU AND YOUR TEAM ARE FINALLY FIGURING OUT THE FIRESTONE TIRES?
"We are definitely starting to understand the tires better and I think it is beginning to show especially on these setup of circuits. I am really happy with the Firestones. They should help us be competitive all weekend." CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big K Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 11th - "We just screwed up. We tried something on the car that we thought was going to make it a lot better but it made it a lot worse. Actually, they were two very small changes but one of them ended up being a lot bigger than we thought. We went in knowing that there was a chance that it might have been a little worse, but it turned out to be a whole lot worse."
BRYAN HERTA -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 4th - "We struggled a little bit. The track was a bit bumpy so we need to continue to work on the setup, but I think we have enough left in the car to get it up into the top one or two. We just need to work on making this an error-free weekend. The car is working really well and we have been posting some very competitive laps. You know, the car has been working really well, and has been really competitive over the last few races. We need to just keep a positive frame of mind and keep my guys as motivated as they are and keep at it."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 15th - "The car was bouncing around on us a lot this afternoon. It's very unstable right now in the corners and uncomfortable to drive. I lost time under braking also, we need to take a look at the setup and make adjustments to the brakes for tomorrow. Bryan's car is a bit different than mine so we are going to take a look at his setup, compare them and make adjustments."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 16th - "We didn't have the right combination today. We have to go back and work on the setup a bit more. Also, this track is a little harder on my wrist than I thought it was going to be. Apart from that, we just need to continue to work on the car. We need it to work better over the bumps. I think there are more of them here this year than last."
JAN MAGNUSSEN -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 21st - "The car is not that bad. We are struggling a bit with the brakes. The are locking up an awful lot on me and wrecking our tires. I made a mistake on the last lap that cost us because we could have been higher up on the grid. The time we lost in the morning session because of the rain really hurt me because it's my first time here."
WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRACK?
"I like this track, for a street circuit it has some amazingly fast corners."