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Spanish Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
Jean Todt: "It was a very tense race. We showed we were competitive right from the start of the weekend, but we knew we could take nothing for granted right up to the chequered flag. Rubens had an electrical problem with the gear selection at the start of the formation lap. We were concerned that something similar could have happened on Schumacher’s car but it did not. Michael was therefore able to run a fairly comfortable race, making the most of the superiority of our package. I am very disappointed about what happened to Rubens, who had been having a great weekend up to that point. He accepted what happened calmly and given the competitiveness of our car, I am sure his time will come soon. Michael was dominant, picking up ten points which sees him extend his lead in the Drivers’ classification and to continue his extraordinary run of wins. Ferrari has slightly increased its lead in the Constructors’ table. We have reached a great level in terms of performance, thanks to our work with exceptional technical partners like Bridgestone and Shell and thanks to sponsors who give us the means to get the best out of our development programme. We are not yet a third of the way through the season and so we have to keep our feet on the ground. We will be back at work tomorrow, looking to improve the car and its reliability. Finally, I am very happy with the performance of the Ferrari engined Saubers, which picked up five points."
Michael Schumacher: "I started with the T-car as I had a hydraulic problem with my race car in the morning. But that was not an issue as all our three cars are the same. After Rubens had the problem at the start, we tried to be careful during the pit stop and took more care to ensure the same thing did not happen on my car. It was really bad luck for Rubens. Whenever we have had a problem this season, it has been on his car, but that will not continue. In qualifying we were one second ahead but we did not know what the gap would be in the race. The Bridgestones worked very well and were better in qualifying than in Imola, but maintained their consistency for this race. This circuit suits our car and we showed what a good job our engineers have done. As for Austria, it will depend on the tyre situation, even if we have a very competitive package. Here we were dominant, but in Brazil it was a close fight, so for the next races we will have to wait and see. Although I was out in front, I was not bored because I was able to watch the fight for sixth. The team told me it was best not to get involved with it and so I did not try and pass them."
Rubens Barrichello: "Apart from the problem at the start, this has been a very positive weekend, because the car has worked well ever since the start of Friday without any problems, until I got on the grid and could not select first gear. Even though I have been unlucky here and only have six points, my motivation is even stronger, given the potential of the car and the team. I am therefore looking forward to turning the situation around in two weeks time in Austria. This was a frustrating day, but these things happen and they cannot continue for much longer."
Sam Michael: "It is good to come away with second place after such an eventful race on the track and in the pit lane. Juan drove a good race under these conditions and Ralf was very well placed until his extra pit stop as well. After four races of excellent pit stops we had some problems today, which we will review before the next GP."
Gerhard Berger: "We can be happy with the outcome of this hectic race. We couldn’t get more. Ralf unfortunately made a small mistake, which had big consequences. He had to change his nose due to an off and there he lost the race. Therefore it is not so painful that his engine failed on the last lap. Thanks to Juan Pablo’s second place we are now just seven points behind Ferrari, which gives us confidence to continue the fight. But the gap we have to Ferrari on this track alarms us."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I am very pleased with my second place, mostly because we struggled the whole weekend here. Even if we are a bit behind Ferrari this was the best we could do today. In my second pit stop I hit our chief mechanic who was trying to stop me after he started to lift the lollipop as the refuelling wasn't finished yet. I know he is all right now but this accident could have had a much worse outcome if I hadn't managed to stop the car fairly quickly."
Ralf Schumacher: "It definitely wasn’t my day today. First I made a silly mistake, which I do very seldom and that’s why am so angry about it and in the end we also had a technical problem. In the turn before the pit lane entry I went off and damaged some parts of my car, so I had to pit and that effectively ended my race. We now go back home with some work to do for everybody: Myself as well as BMW, WilliamsF1 and Michelin."
Ron Dennis: "Whilst all the top teams suffered problems today, we are still frustrated by the structural failure on Kimi’s rear wing. Within less than a minute we were able to interrogate our database and confirm that the wing assembly on David’s car was effectively new which supported by our extensive test mileage convinced us that there was no risk to David. On the up side David drove a good race and assisted by an effective strategy he ultimately earned the team a third place. It’s useful to have the points, but our sights are still firmly fixed on closing the gap to our main competition."
Norbert Haug: "A good drive by David and a well-performed strategy by the team. Third place was the best we could do today and everybody in the team has done a good job. Having said that we all know that we need to improve our performance."
David Coulthard: "When you start a race from seventh position you realise that it’s difficult to get on the podium so I’m really pleased with third place. I had a good battle with Jenson Button and was able to overtake him after the first pitstop to take third. On the lap before I had noticed that Jenson suffered from understeer in the last corner so I positioned the car as close as possible, got in his slipstream and was able to outbrake him. After that I was on my own pushing as hard as I could and slowly getting closer to Montoya, but despite his problematic pitstop I was unable to catch him."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I don’t know why but all of a sudden my rear wing failed on the straight on lap four when I was in fourth position and that was the end of my race. I know the team will investigate what caused the problem. It’s one of those things that happen very rarely so I don’t worry too much about it."
Peter Sauber: "The strategy was perfect today, and so were the pit stops. Nick drove another strong, smooth and mature race, while Felipe was aggressive when he needed to be but cool under pressure. I'm delighted that we are back in joint fourth place with Renault in the World Championship. Now we go highly motivated to Austria."
Nick Heidfeld: "This has been a really good weekend. As we did last year we just keep improving the car, so I'm very happy. I made a good start, the pit stops were fine, and I enjoyed fighting with the Renaults. We have shown competitive speed all year, and now we have the points we deserve to go with it. That was a really strong race, the car had no technical problems at all, and the set-up was fine and consistent. A great weekend."
Felipe Massa: "It feels amazing to finish fifth in only my fifth Grand Prix! I'm taking things step-by-step and others have more experience than me, but today everything was really good. I made a good start and on my first set of tyres the car was fine. I lost a bit of efficiency with my tyres when I was running behind Button, but I knew it was difficult for anyone to overtake here so I just made sure that I didn't lose my concentration when Frentzen closed up. I thought I had passed Button at one stage, but then I looked over and realised he was still there on the outside. I managed it later, though, and after that I could keep Frentzen at bay, no problem. This was a fabulous race for me, and a great way to celebrate my 21st birthday weekend!"
Tom Walkinshaw: “Now you see why we invested in Heinz-Harald Frentzen! The car has been good all weekend, especially in race trim. I want to thank the team as they have all worked extremely hard for the last six weeks, getting us to where we are now. It is satisfying to be racing with Renault and Sauber and now we need to keep on pushing to beat them. The next step is to get the same engine upgrade for the race that we had for qualifying.”
Mike Coughlan: “Heinz-Harald dropped a place at the start and was struggling initially with understeer. We lost out to Panis in the first pit-stop but after that the car ran extremely well. Heinz-Harald did a brilliant job today to run against the big boys. Enrique’s race was all going to plan and he did a great job keeping Villeneuve at bay. We’re sorry we let him down with a hydraulic leak. We’re looking forward to Austria as historically we’ve gone well there and we should have the engine upgrade from qualifying for the race. Thanks to Bridgestone for good tyres all weekend.”
Heinz Harald Frentzen: “That was great! The team has done a superb job all weekend so they thoroughly deserve this point. I’m confident that this car has the potential to be even better, we just need to work on the balance for qualifying but we have a solution in the pipeline for that. We have shown all weekend that we can be competitive and I had an optimistic feeling about the race. I could push hard every lap and had good battles, especially with Massa in the Sauber. It was difficult to overtake here and I did try very hard! I think we are on an upward curve now. The pressure is off to score a point but very much on to score more!!”
Enrique Bernoldi: "That was a real shame as my race was going well today. I had to retire due to a hydraulic leak. My car felt good all weekend and was running well in the race. I’m very happy that the team got its first point as it proved we are all heading in the right direction.”
David Richards: "I feel like saying "déjà vu". A lot of hard work, another 7th place and still no points. Despite all of this, morale is still extremely high and we will go to Austria with the same level of commitment and determination."
Jacques Villeneuve: "The race went well for me today and we were more competitive than in qualifying. I was angry because Bernoldi put me on to the grass and then I lost a lot of time running behind him. I wasn't happy with the car at first but we made some aerodynamic changes during the pitstop and the car felt much better after that. By the time I started doing quick laps though I was too far behind. It hasn't been a very good weekend generally. Austria should be better for us than here but we still have a lot of work to do."
Olivier Panis: "I'm disappointed that we missed a big opportunity to score one or two points today but I'm very pleased with the team because they did a great job this weekend. I made a very good start and the pitstop strategy and execution were brilliant. After the first stop I rejoined the race ahead of Frentzen and I was able to keep him behind me without difficulty before an exhaust failure ended my race. We seem to have reduced our reliability problems to a minimum but we still need to keep pushing to keep on top of them. When points opportunities come our way we need to be in a position to take advantage of them. I'm looking forward to testing in Estoril next week and to the next race in Austria as I'm hungry for a good result."
Ove Andersson: "To get both cars to the end of the race in 8th and 9th is wonderful. It goes to show that if you want to get a result you have to finish, and we did that today. Mika had a puncture near the start of the race, but there were no major technical problems and I am very pleased for the whole team who have worked so hard all weekend."
Allan McNish: "Considering the starting position it was a good race for us. The balance moved a bit through the race but certainly the car got stronger. The best thing is we had a two-car finish, and that experience will be very good for the team. To have the second finish under my belt this year is great and I quite enjoyed it!."
Mika Salo: "I am reasonably happy even though I had an unscheduled stop due to a punctured left rear tyre, which effectively ruined my race. It is a shame because the car was feeling very good and my lap times were respectable. I lost a lot of time as I couldn't get past Ralf Schumacher, who had problems, but it was good to get 9th place after he retired."
Flavio Briatore: "A bad day for the team. Although we were competitive at the start of the race, the problems show that we are still not quite ready. We now need to work harder to correct them."
Mike Gascoyne: "A very disappointing end to a competitive weekend. Both cars experienced mechanical problems from early on, with an engine problem on Jarno’s car and hydraulics on Jenson’s. This meant we lost places, and finally had to retire the cars just before the end of the race. We should take heart from a competitive weekend, and will now fix the problems before Austria."
Jarno Trulli: "Overall, I had a good race – the car was working well, and I was pleased with our pace. The problem was there from the beginning, but I could handle it until mid-race. After that, it got worse and worse until there was nothing I could do. It’s a shame, but things look promising even so."
Jenson Button: "I’m big time disappointed. The car wasn’t fantastic at the beginning of the race, with high-speed understeer and oversteer in the slower corners. We didn’t manage to adjust the car to correct it during the pitstops, and then I had the hydraulic problem. The steering got very heavy and it was as if somebody had switched the electric off towards the end! As for the Raikkonen incident, I didn’t see anything – I was too busy trying to avoid the wing on the track!”
Niki Lauda: "A weekend to forget. It’s been uphill since we arrived here and while we expected a tough weekend, it doesn’t make the frustration any easier. Pedro spun going into the sixth corner and Eddie suffered a hydraulic failure. Nevertheless, our chances of scoring points are very much against us right now until we solve our aerodynamic problems. The car is not capable of high qualifying positions and when you start races from the back, it is very tough indeed to make up the deficit in the race."
Eddie Irvine: "The car is very difficult to drive and we must keep pushing forward on our development until we have a solution. As things stand, the Jaguar R3 is a very unforgiving car and this makes carrying speed in corners very hard. At a circuit like this, you cannot afford to come under-equipped and our aero package isn’t capable of taking us any further right now. Our new team of aerodynamicists have quite a challenge on their hands and coupled with our new windtunnel, we now expect to take a corrective course of action. As today’s race proved, we do not have the pace to score points with. I pushed as hard as I could today and it still got me nowhere. In the end, a hydraulic problem put an end to my race."
Pedro de la Rosa: "What a disappointing way to exit from your home race! As I braked into turn six, the back-end of the car snapped and before I could do anything about it, the car was stuck in the gravel. I’m not sure whether it was the car or me. Either way, this Spanish Grand Prix is one that I’ll want to forget about. We have a very tough few weeks ahead of us and until July, when our new aero package arrives, we have no choice but to contest some frustrating races."
Eddie Jordan: "Giancarlo’s car suffered the same hydraulic pressure failure as in San Marino. We had already recognised the problem after the last race and have redesigned the relevant component on the car. The manufacturing lead times, however, mean we weren’t able to have the new version this weekend, but we are pushing to have it as soon as possible. Taku went off when he was not able to take turn 13 due to understeer on the car. It has been a hard week for the team with all the changes we announced, but I sense that everyone is more determined than ever to bring the team back to where it should be and today's result will only make us even more steely and committed."
Takuma Sato: "I suffered huge understeer into the high speed corner and just could not correct it. It is a big shame as we were in good shape in warm up and I’d made a good start to the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Not a good day! I had a loss of hydraulic pressure which meant I could not change gears. I am very disappointed as I haven’t been able to finish any races because of various problems and it is clear we are not competitive enough. I hope to improve things for the future."Paul Stoddart: “One of the toughest decisions a team owner can be called upon to make is to withdraw his team from a race. Following the problem with the rear wing on Mark Webber’s car in this morning’s warm-up session, regrettably, I have taken the decision to withdraw both KL Minardi Asiatech entries from today’s Spanish Grand Prix.
We have examined the component that failed on Mark’s car, which was a newly fabricated part but to the same design and specification as we have used all season, and the initial conclusion is that a manufacturing fault specific to that piece was responsible for the problem. If this had happened yesterday, then we would have had time to get the parts back to the factory to have them stress-tested and could have raced today. Unfortunately, there is simply not the time available to us on race day to do that, so we have taken the only decision possible under the circumstances, which is not to take part in the event.
It’s a difficult call, but where safety is concerned, there can be no argument. I really feel for Mark, Alex and the whole team, both here at the circuit and back at the factory, as well as for our partners, Asiatech, Go KL and Magnum, plus our other sponsors. Everyone has worked so hard, and to have to miss a Grand Prix is just hugely disappointing. As ever, though, we will now put this event behind us, learn any lessons that need to be learned, and concentrate our energies on preparing for the next race, in Austria.”
Mark Webber: Did Not Start
Alex Yoong: Did Not Start