Formula 1 News - September 2005
11 September: Belgian Grand Prix - Race Report - Sauber
Team SAUBER PETRONAS drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa finished sixth and 10th respectively in today's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
Jacques Villeneuve: "This result makes it all worthwhile going into qualifying with a heavy fuel load! The decision to stay out when the safety car was deployed was exactly the right thing to do. As the race progressed things got better as the fuel load decreased, but I had plenty of adventures along the way. I was completely sideways in Eau Rouge on one lap and I really thought that was it. But I saved it, and then had some wheel-banging with Karthikeyan up at Les Combes, so it wasn't a dull race for me! As the track started to dry it got difficult on intermediates, but the reason Ralf caught me so much on the final lap was because I had to lap a Minardi in a tricky place and lost time. Overall this was a great result that brought me a lot of satisfaction, especially on this challenging track."
Felipe Massa: "What can I say? We could have been on the podium if I had stayed on intermediates, because I was way ahead of Button, My engineer Mike Krack asked me should we stay on them before my second stop, but the track was a bit like it was on Friday when the grooved tyres had worked okay in damp conditions, so I figured it was worth the risk and said let's change to dries. If it had worked we would have been heroes. As it was, the car just became undriveable."
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "This was a dramatic race for everyone. Jacques had a very good drive to sixth and it had not been easy for him to go with the decision to adopt a one-stop strategy. In particular he did a very good job handling a fuel-heavy car in difficult conditions. Felipe was on schedule for a top finishing position, but we agreed with him to take a calculated risk to change to dry tyres, and unfortunately it did not pay off. His second stop came just a bit too early in retrospect, because the track changed five laps later, but at Team SAUBER PETRONAS we are here to race and sometimes these things happen."
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