06 March: Australian Grand Prix - Race Report - Sauber
Weather: Cloudy but dry
Drivers (Chassis) Villeneuve (C24-03) 13th Massa (C24-02) 10th Spare car (C24-01)
SAUBER PETRONAS drivers Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve finished in 10th and 13th places respectively in today's Australian
Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Jacques Villeneuve: "That was a very disappointing race. We were a lot slower than I
thought we would be. The car was very difficult to drive and I couldn't get any grip at the start. That's it."
Massa: "It was pretty difficult to drive the car with a lot of fuel aboard but I managed reasonable times and was
keeping ahead of Michael and Kimi until I got very close to Nick one lap and lost grip in his turbulence. Anyway, I just did what I
could and finishing 10th wasn't so bad when you look where I started. In the circumstances, with lots of fuel, the car was
Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "We tried two different strategies today. Since Felipe had to
start so far back we elected to run him on a one-stop plan, while Jacques made two stops. Unfortunately Jacques lost the majority of
his positions after losing momentum battling with Nick in the first corner after the start, and we could not recover them. The
season has started, we have learned a lot from this race, and we are already pushing forward with our development programme to put
ourselves in a stronger position in Sepang."
Drivers (Chassis) 1st Qualifying 2nd Qualifying Aggregate times Villeneuve
(C24-03) 1:36.984s, 4th 1:29.896s, 8th 3:06.846s, 4th Massa (C24-02) no time, 20th no time, 20th no time, 18th Spare car
Team SAUBER PETRONAS drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa will start today's Australian Grand Prix from fourth
and 18th positions respectively after this morning's final qualifying session.
Jacques Villeneuve: "I'm very
happy to be starting from the second row in my first race for Team SAUBER PETRONAS. We had some good tests in the winter, but I was
not quite expecting that. The car is getting better all the time and the hardest part is now out of the way. I did a defensive lap
this morning to be sure of maximising our strong position from yesterday, and I was satisfied with that. It's very difficult to
predict what will happen in the race, but I'm going to be fighting very hard for points. It depends too much on what the others are
Felipe Massa: "As we did not even record a time yesterday because of the rain storm, and given the
need to conserve our tyres and engine, we decided that there was no point in going out this morning as we would only have been able
to achieve a minimal improvement on our grid position. In fact, even without going out we moved up because Michael Schumacher and
Takuma Sato have changed their engines! Starting near the back is not what I had been hoping for, but we can still have a good race