Formula 1 News - July 2005
2 July: French Grand Prix - Saturday Qualifying Report - Sauber
Weather: cloudy, but warm.
Team SAUBER PETRONAS drivers Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve will start tomorrow's French Grand Prix from ninth and 10th positions respectively after this afternoon's qualifying session.
Jacques Villeneuve: "Qualifying went very well for me, and I was faster than I expected to be. Considering my strategy, I'm happy to be within a tenth of Felipe. In the first high-speed complex I've had understeer all weekend, but on my qualifying lap suddenly there wasn't any. I had been expecting it, so I could actually have gone a little quicker had I known the car was going to be neutral through there, but elsewhere over the lap, apart from maybe saving a tenth under braking, there was nothing more to come. The car went really well. It was a good lap and I'm pleased with it, especially as I got the tyres nicely warmed, I'm in the top 10 and we have a good race strategy. It wasn't an aggressive one, so to be in the top 10 with a normal strategy bodes well for the race."
Felipe Massa: "That was not too bad, I think. I'm happy not just that I have a reasonable fuel strategy, but also that we have the right tyre choice for the race. I was a bit concerned about getting the best out of the tyres over one lap, but that was fine and with a top 10 start I believe I can have a strong race. The car is very good over long runs, and now I just need to make a good start. We have good pace for tomorrow."
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "This was a good qualifying session and we have both cars in the top 10 on the grid for the first time in 2005. This is especially satisfying as in the past the Magny-Cours circuit has not always taken a liking to us! Both drivers achieved strong performances that confirm that the upward performance trend of the C24 continues."
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