Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix
Team and Driver Quotes following Friday Practice Sessions
(selected team quotes, for a full team and driver preview click on the team name)
Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 1st, Jacques Villeneuve - 18th )
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "This was a good test day for us, and of course it is always gratifying when you finish a session fastest. What was important is that we completed our programme, with both cars. Felipe and Jacques ran different tyre specifications and fuel loads at different times, so the gap between them is not representative. We are satisfied with what we have learned today, and will use that to go faster still tomorrow."
McLaren Mercedes ( Juan Pablo Montoya - 2nd, Kimi Raikkonen - 4th, Pedro de la Rosa - 13th )
Ron Dennis "Apart from Kimi's off we completed today's planned programme. Our package seems to be working well here at Sepang, and we are looking forward to the rest of the weekend and what should be an exciting race in extremely hot conditions for the team, especially the drivers and the cars."
Toyota ( Ricardo Zonta - 3rd, Ralf Schumacher - 5th, Jarno Trulli - 11th )
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis
Renault ( Giancarlo Fisichella 6th, Fernando Alonso - 9th )
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering “Our tyre evaluations were somewhat compromised by traffic and lots of yellow flags, but we will nevertheless be able to get the information we need from them to choose our tyres. Neither car is particularly well balanced at this stage, but in Malaysia, we always need to tune the car set-up in order to counteract the fact that in high temperatures, the cars are inherently more prone to oversteer. We will carry out that tuning tomorrow morning.”
Ferrari ( Rubens Barrichello - 7th, Michael Schumacher - 16th )
Jean Todt: “As expected, it has been a very hot Friday. We worked mainly on a comparison test of the two types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. Here in Malaysia, tyres will play an even more key role than usual. We need to find the right compromise between qualifying and race performance, given that we have to stick with the same set of tyres from Saturday afternoon onwards. It will be important to evaluate potential engine performance as, for almost competitors, it is a case of using the same power unit as in Melbourne. Today’s results make it difficult to assess the true pecking order among the teams.”
BAR Honda ( Jenson Button - 8th, Takuma Sato - 14th )
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "This is a positive start to the weekend. We had two good sessions today with both cars completing our planned programme. The cars are working well with the very high track temperatures and we have been pleased with our consistently good performance throughout the sessions. These high temperatures are tough on the drivers but we do not have any concerns with cooling of the engine or other car systems. We look forward to another positive day tomorrow."
Red Bull ( David Coulthard - 10th, Christian Klien - 12th, Vitantonio Liuzzi - 20th )
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: “Obviously we had all three cars out there and the drivers did a good job. Unfortunately Tonio’s session was cut short because of a rear suspension problem and Christian also had a problem, but we did manage to work through the programme and have a good idea of what we want to do tomorrow.”
Williams BMW ( Nick Heidfeld - 3rd, Mark Webber - 15th )
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1): After a good morning session, we had a gear change problem on Mark's car in the afternoon. We are now looking for what caused that problem. Nick continued with testing tyres and evaluating cooling configurations for Sunday's race. We have brought quite a lot aerodynamic improvements to the FW27 here and they are all working correctly. It is going to be a hard race here on cooling, engines, gearboxes and brakes, just a typical Malaysian Grand Prix.
Jordan ( Robert Doornbos - 17th, Narain Karthikeyan - 19th, Tiago Monteiro - 21st )
Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director - “Today was another productive day with the three cars running very well. Robert Doornbos did an excellent job for us in evaluating tyres. We have learnt a lot about the car and we are looking forward to a good weekend.”
Minardi ( Patrick Friesacher - 22nd, Christijan Albers - 23rd )
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth: “It’s clear to everyone that the 2005 regulations are a resounding success – so much so that they’ve succeeded in adding more than three seconds to Minardi lap times compared with last year. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that, in the first practice session today, in near-identical climatic conditions to 2004, the top 10 cars were, without exception, faster than last year.”
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: “As always the track was very dusty first thing this morning. This didn’t encourage the teams to do much running, although with new drivers in need of driving time, the Jordan and Minardi teams did quite a few laps. Our teams did their main tyre comparison runs, however, in the second practice session this afternoon. Rubens unfortunately went off early in this session so Michael completed the majority of Ferrari’s work. We have plenty of data to analyse this evening before final selections are made for the remainder of the weekend. Track temperatures were quite hot, reaching a high of 55 degrees Celsius so we were pleased with the results today and are looking forward to a competitive weekend.”
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director “Track temperatures have been
every bit as hot as we anticipated, at about 50-55 degrees, but despite the conditions we have encountered no problems at all. The
tyre compounds we are using this weekend are appreciably different from those we ran so successfully in Melbourne two weeks ago –
it would have been a serious error of judgment to take any other approach, given the contrasting nature of this weekend’s