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2001 San Marino Grand Prix 
What the teams and drivers said - Friday  

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What the teams and drivers said - Friday

Ferrari ( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 2nd )

Jean Todt: "We are happy to be back on home turf, in front of our fans. The day’s programme centred on set-up work and tyre testing. It was a more interesting day than usual because the wet and then drying conditions in the morning and the dry track in the afternoon meant we could try the car in different configurations. That meant we acquired a lot of useful data. As for qualifying, my prediction is not much different to the past weekends: we will see a very close fight for pole position, involving drivers from different teams.”

Michael Schumacher: "Today we encountered all the conditions we wanted to have and that allowed us to get the right set-up and find out how the car was handling in all conditions. In both the wet and dry we have shown we are competitive again. I think what happened in Brazil was just an exception. At least that’s what I hope! I think if we have similar conditions over the weekend, we can confirm that. It is encouraging that we have been quickest throughout the day. Our brakes are working well here, on a track where they normally take a lot of punishment."

Rubens Barrichello: "I’d say today has been pretty good as we were able to run in the wet and the dry. I worked on a different programme to Michael’s. That means now in the briefing, we will be able to put together the two sets of data to do the best possible job of preparing the cars for tomorrow and Sunday. Last year here, right off from the Friday, I was unhappy with the way the car was handing, but today has been a completely different story."

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Williams ( Ralf Schumacher - 3rd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 22nd )

Patrick Head: "We had a mixed day. Ralf’s car has been running well and trouble free and we’ve done some useful work looking between the two tyres that Michelin have offered us and helping us to make a decision for tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. Juan Pablo ran in the damp this morning but this afternoon, after doing just one lap, he felt something was wrong with the engine. He came in and the BMW engineers had a good look at the engine and told us that we shouldn’t be running any more in order to save that engine from further damage."

Ralf Schumacher: "Even though the first Free Practice session is not so significant, position three is not a bad start, furthermore the gap to those behind me is quite big. The positive trend therefore goes on. What could disturb us here is the rain. My car is still a bit nervous and we have to improve the set-up, but the base is good."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "In the morning practice we tried different tyres and I was trying to learn the track but in the wet it was very difficult. In the afternoon, when it was finally dry, I could do one lap only and I heard a strange noise coming from the engine. I came in and BMW told us we had to call it a day."

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McLaren ( Mika Hakkinen - 4th, David Coulthard - 11th )

Ron Dennis: "The limited amount of dry running made optimising the car even more difficult. Neither the drivers nor ourselves are happy with our performance today. As you would expect we work hard to sort the problems out for tomorrow."

Mika Hakkinen: "I’m not so pleased with the car today. I have too much understeer which lost us time. However we are all working hard to understand how we can find a solution and make the car handle better, so we can fight for the front row."

David Coulthard: "My practice was cut short when I went wide at Aque Minerale and lost control of the car. Unfortunately I couldn’t re-select a gear. so that was the end of only my second run in the dry. The balance of the car in the wet was quite good despite a spin when I tried to find the limit."

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BAR ( Olivier Panis - 5th, Jacques Villeneuve - 8th )

Olivier Panis: "I'm really happy with the development of the car and the new aero package, it's a definite improvement. We were quick both in the wet and dry, which is good. We need to make our tyre choice, which is difficult because the conditions could well change. I am looking forward to qualifying and the race."

Jacques Villeneuve: "The car seems to be working better here than at any other track, it seems to like it. We were in the points this time last year and I think that could be possible this year. Today the car was going well in the wet and the dry so I am quite happy. We concentrated mostly on tyre work and we are still quite competitive so I am confident and looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

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Sauber ( Kimi Raikkonen - 6th, Nick Heidfeld - 12th )

Peter Sauber: "We completed our planned programme today, and the C20 proved well suited both to Bridgestone's new tyres and to the fourth different type of track that we have visited this year. It is encouraging to maintain the momentum we have demonstrated so far, and Kimi's time in particular was impressive for a driver who had never seen the circuit before."

Kimi Raikkonen: "It's been a pretty good day for me. I didn't find the track particularly difficult to learn, and the car was good all day. I started on wets then switched to intermediates this morning while I was learning my way round, and the track was slippery. Once it dried out I could really start to push, but my quick lap wasn't anything special."

Nick Heidfeld: "Generally I'm quite happy with the car. It was very competitive in the wet this morning and would have been quicker still except that we ran out of time to make a change in set-up. My final run on new tyres this afternoon was interrupted initially by yellow flags and after that I just didn't get a lap together. Though my lap time might not reflect it, the car is also competitive here in the dry so I know I can go quicker."

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Jaguar ( Eddie Irvine - 7th, Luciano Burti - 10th )

Bobby Rahal: "We are not going to draw too many conclusions at this stage, we've had a reasonable day. Eddie remarked that the car felt pretty good and Luciano was pleased with the new front wing. Given the encouraging feedback from both drivers today, I hope we can qualify further towards the top of the midfield tomorrow."

Eddie Irvine: "We need to keep working, but I'd be surprised if there was a miracle cure to get us much further up the grid than we have been recently. Understeer and front tyre graining seem to be my main enemies. The new front wing certainly gives us more options, but I'd like more time with it before making a definitive choice. For tomorrow we have a new development of the Cosworth CR3 engine. We tested this at Jerez last week and we'll see how that goes tomorrow.”

Luciano Burti: "I tried a new front wing for the first time today and it seems to have made a step forward for me. It helped me with front-end grip and that means not having to compromise the rear as much. The Michelin tyres seem to have made progress again, especially in the dry. We haven't extracted the best set-up for these tyres and I hope to have this sorted for tomorrow. In the wet it was very slippery and I was just cruising to start with, but in the second session I made a much stronger effort to attack the kerbs. Being three tenths off Eddie is encouraging and the car seems to be better here than at any of the three tracks to date this year."

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Jordan ( Jarno Trulli - 9th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 13th )

Jarno Trulli: "'We worked all day with the race in mind; fuel, tyres and so on. Everything was working well but we don't know how quick we are compared to the other teams because we don't know the fuel loads they were running. I'm happy with the balance of the car even if the track conditions changed. We had a wet-set up initially but when the track dried very quickly, I couldn't change the set-up as much as I wanted, which meant I was struggling a little bit. But we already know which direction we have to take tomorrow."

Heinz Harald Frentzen: "The usual Friday practice, concentrating on the race set-up. I had no problems at all. It was unusual to run in the rain here so we learned something from that. But, otherwise, it was routine and I'm happy with progress so far."

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Prost ( Jean Alesi - 14th, Gaston Mazzacane - 16th )

Alain Prost: "We had a very productive first day, testing a wide range of set-ups for different track conditions. Our drivers covered many laps, and all the evolutions and small modifications we introduced this weekend give signs of improvement. It is always risky to draw conclusions from Friday's laptimes as we don't know the fuel-load of the competitors. However, our car performed well on the dry, and in such conditions tomorrow, we would be set for a satisfying grid position."

Jean Alesi: "Due to the changing track conditions, we were able to try in the morning different types of Michelin wet tyres and in the afternoon, on improving different set-ups for dry conditions. The car reacted better on a dry track, and the laptimes we have set today are promising, considering our fuel-load."

Gaston Mazzacane: "We have done a good work today. I felt the car behaved well both in wet and dry conditions and I believe we are in the right direction for a good qualifying."

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Benetton ( Giancarlo Fisichella - 15th, Jenson Button - 17th )

Pat Symonds: "During this mornings practice session it was quite difficult to test the wet tyres as the circuit conditions where changing rapidly, but by following a different programme with each car we were able to make some decisions. In the afternoon when the circuit dried up we worked on our normal race set up with some success."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "If I can be fifteenth tomorrow during qualifying it wouldn't be too bad, even though I am at my home circuit where I would like be among the top three rows. We worked on the race set up today and have improved on the slow corners where I had too much understeering before. In general we need much more grip and some more experience."

Jenson Button: "I did not have a very good morning I'm afraid. It seems that we've lost some power, which now is what we have to work on. I had some understeer in the corners but we sorted that out during the session and it is now under control."

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Minardi ( Tarso Marques - 18th, Fernando Alonso - 20th )

Paul Stoddart: "After a damp first session that, sadly, saw Fernando’s car stop on the circuit with a gearbox problem, the second session was more fruitful, both European Minardi chassis performing in line with current expectations. Both Fernando and Tarso set promising times, despite not having had as many laps as had been planned. We continue to look forward to the weekend ahead, though, especially if the weather remains as changeable as it has over the past few days."

Fernando Alonso: "The first practice session did not go well because my car had a problem affecting the gearbox, which we then had to change for the second session. As a result, I could not do many laps in the morning, and then we lost almost 30 minutes of the second session to fix everything. We couldn’t make a lot of improvements to the car in such a short time, so 18th position is really the best we could obtain today considering the problems we had."

Tarso Marques: "This morning the track conditions were changing a lot and therefore we were not able to establish a good reference point so as to know how to improve the car. I felt my chassis, however, had essentially a good balance. The second session started well, but then my car suffered a leaking water radiator and this caused me to lose more than 20 minutes in the pits. We then decided to fit fresh tyres to improve my lap time, but unfortunately I was unable to improve in the way I had hoped. Despite the problems, though, I still feel optimistic for tomorrow."  

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Arrows ( Enrique Bernoldi - 19th, Jos Verstappen - 21st )

Mike Coughlan: “Jos had the same problem this afternoon as he did this morning which curtailed his running. Enrique did a lot of running with high fuel loads and provided us with the data we need to make our tyre choice. Overall though we’re not best pleased with the results of today and we will have to make the most of tomorrow’s practice sessions in order to get a good result in qualifying.”

Enrique Bernoldi: “I’ve had a pretty good day today and made some solid progress. We got a good balance during the session this morning when the track was still damp then moved onto evaluating tyres in the second session. We got through a lot of laps and it’s a bit of a shame that we had electrical gremlins at the end but we’re pretty happy with what we’ve achieved. It’s great to be racing in Europe again, especially at Imola which is a track I enjoy.”

Jos Verstappen: “That wasn’t the best start to the weekend! We had a fuel pressure problem on my first lap this morning which stopped me out on the track so I lost the whole session. This afternoon it happened again as I was leaving the pit-lane. We could have fixed it but once the marshals had pushed the car back it was game over. It’s bad luck as you can never regain those two hours of lost track time and spend the rest of the weekend playing catch-up. This is racing and these things happen so we’ll just have to do our best tomorrow.”

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Session 2001 2000
First Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Friday Practice Results Report Notes Results
First Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Second Saturday Practice Results Report Notes Results
Qualifying Results Report Notes Results
Warm-up Results Report Notes Results
Race Results Report Notes Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

  The Heretic's Review

 Fan Reviews   

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