Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix
Team and Driver Quotes following Saturday Qualifying
(selected team quotes, for a full team and driver preview click on the team name)
Renault ( Fernando Alonso - 1st, Giancarlo Fisichella - 3rd )
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
Toyota ( Jarno Trulli - 2nd, Ralf Schumacher - 5th )
Mike Gascoyne - Technical Director Chassis "Firstly I would like to say what an excellent job everyone in the race team and in Cologne has done over the winter to get us where we are this weekend. This was the first real dry qualifying session of the season after rain disrupted play in Australia. We have been able to show the full potential of the TF105 over the last two days. The Michelin tyres are working very well and we have no problems going into tomorrow. Ralf unfortunately had too much understeer at the start of his lap, but he was able to match Jarno over the last two sectors. Two cars in the top five is an exceptionally positive start for the team. We need to look carefully at our strategy for second qualifying tomorrow morning to try and take pole and subsequently endeavour to win the race. The top step of the podium must be our aim for tomorrow."
McLaren Mercedes ( Kimi Raikkonen - 4th, Juan Pablo Montoya - 7th )
Ron Dennis "Single lap qualifying without fuel doesn't play to the cars' ability to be kind to its Michelin tyres. Hopefully we will improve our grid positions tomorrow morning and put ourselves in with the chance of strong race."
Williams BMW ( Mark Webber - 6th, Nick Heidfeld - 8th )
Sam Michael (Technical Director, WilliamsF1): We have had a reasonable day today. We have made some more aerodynamic improvements to the FW27. However, everything in Formula One is relative to your competitors and we are still pushing hard to improve. The race is going to be interesting, in particular on the cooling side because the temperatures are so hot. Tyre degradation and wear management will be a key factor to a successful race tomorrow.
BAR Honda ( Jenson Button - 9th, Takuma Sato - 15th )
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "We are reasonably pleased with our qualifying results, given the fact that Jenson lost the whole of the second practice session today while we sought to rectify an engine oil leak and Anthony stepped into the car at short notice with only two short sessions to adjust to the circuit and had the significant disadvantage of running first this afternoon. Both drivers are happy with the car set-up and clearly could have gone quicker this afternoon. The nature of the aggregate qualifying time will make it more of a challenge to improve our positions in Sunday's session but we are confident that the cars and tyres will work well in tomorrow's race."
Red Bull ( Christian Klien - 10th, David Coulthard - 11th )
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: “I think 10th and 11th is respectable but we have got the potential to go better. Neither driver is happy with the lap that they did. Christian went a little bit wide on turn one and lost a few tenths but he recovered well for the rest of his lap and David lost a little bit of time at the end of the lap. There were no problems reported as such although the balance did change from this morning’s sessions and we had to deal with a higher track temperature this afternoon. We’re in good shape with the tyres and overall I think we’re in the ballpark. Tomorrow will be an interesting second half and we will see if we can move forward.”
Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 12th, Rubens Barrichello - 14th )
Jean Todt: “It was a very difficult qualifying for us and we are unhappy with the result. We reckoned we would be competitive in the race, but we were also aware that, at the moment, our package is not sufficiently competitive over a single timed lap. I do not expect tomorrow morning’s qualifying to significantly shake up today’s order and so we can expect a very tough race, complicated by not starting from the front row, with all the risks that can entail. One thing is certain: we will tackle the race with maximum determination, with the aim of bringing home as many points as possible.”
Sauber ( Felipe Massa - 13th, Jacques Villeneuve - 16th )
Peter Sauber (Team Principal): "After our good result yesterday we expected better today, to be honest. Now we must concentrate on our race preparation, and choosing the right strategy for what we all know will be a very tough race."
Jordan ( Narain Karthikeyan - 17th, Tiago Monteiro - 18th )
Trevor Carlin, Sporting Director: “Today’s first qualifying session was a steady performance by both drivers. Under the circumstances of an unknown track for Tiago and Narain and the hot weather conditions, we qualified where we expected to be.”
Minardi ( Patrick Friesacher - 19th, Christijan Albers - 20th )
Paul Stoddart, Team Principal, Minardi Cosworth
“On a positive note, today’s qualifying performance saw Minardi less than a second off its last year’s best qualifying time here at SIC. My thanks go to the entire team, including those at the factory in Faenza, for the splendid way in which they have worked to improve this car, and to both drivers, for a job well done. I just hope that the unexpected additional workload involved in improving the old car does not delay the introduction of the Minardi Cosworth PS05, planned for Imola. It was also very gratifying, at the end of today’s qualifying session, to see four former Minardi drivers occupying the top six positions.”
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport: “Although we are naturally a little disappointed by the qualifying times of our drivers in today’s first session, we are, however, pleased with the consistency of our tyres in race trim. This was evident from the previous practice sessions, where we observed excellent degradation rates. We would like to see our teams in better shape in qualifying in the future but we are not downbeat about this weekend as tomorrow could well be a different story and we are confident of being in good shape for the race. It will undoubtedly be a tough race for everyone but a consistent performance from the tyres will be key.”
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director