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Hungarian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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What the teams and drivers said - Friday
Jean Todt: "After a break of about 15 days, it is a good feeling to be on track again, especially in what has been such a positive season for us. We came to Budapest having already taken the Driversí title with Michael Schumacher two races ago and now we have two more objectives: winning the Constructorsí Championship and taking second place in the Driversí classification with Rubens Barrichello. We are close to our first objective, given we have a considerable lead, which means we could wrap it up here in Budapest. As for Rubens, he has to make up a five point gap. Today, we worked on car set-up and on a comparison programme between the two types of tyre available. As far as the latter is concerned, it seems that Bridgestone has done a very good job, which will put us in a strong position for both qualifying and the race. Tomorrow, we will be aiming to get both our cars on the front two rows. We know how important the grid position is on this, the second slowest track on the calendar, after Monaco, given that overtaking is very difficult."
Ross Brawn: "It was a messy session as the track was dirty and every time our drivers went out, it seemed as though they were driving a different car. It was difficult to make changes to the car as the track conditions changed a great deal and also because of cars going off the track. This also made it difficult to run our tyre assessment programme. But know we have a competitive package for the weekend."
Michael Schumacher: "We looked quite strong today. However, we have seen situations like this before, when we have been dominant on Friday but failed to get pole on Saturday. So, I want to wait until tomorrow and see what happens, but we definitely have a good package here, especially as the Bridgestone tyres seem to be very strong here, just as they were last year in Hungary. It feels good to be driving again after our short break and I am enjoying it, especially after a troublefree day like this one."
Rubens Barrichello: "The day went well. As expected, the track is dirty after the rain that fell in recent days. The car set-up was good this morning, but I was less happy with it in the afternoon. All in all, I am happy with the work we have done and I think I can fight for a place on the front two rows tomorrow. It is very important to have a good grid position here as overtaking is just about impossible."
Sam Michael: "We had no reliability problems today. We spent both the sessions evaluating the tyre and now the tyre choice is very clear. We concentrated on the set up as we were struggling quite a bit with the balance but towards the end of the session we found some good corrections. For our technicians and engineers there is quite a lot of work to do on Saturday and Sunday as we are far off from where we wanted to be."
Gerhard Berger: "There is no doubt this is a track with poor levels of grip, and on Friday it is still dusty and dirty, and there are usually a lot of spins. You only get the real picture on Saturday. On this track the quicker driver is the one who has the right tyre. It is quite difficult to predict how the starting grid will look, but for tomorrowís qualifying we are aiming for the second or third row."
Ralf Schumacher: "Our Friday tasks went alright, but you cannot read too much into the Free Practice times, whether you are third or last. We have gone through our set-up programme and we have already made our tyre choice. I think that in the race that Ferrari will be superior to every team, but for us it is important to keep an eye on McLaren."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "We are suffering from low grip levels and I cannot say my day went well. However we have completed some preparation work for the race and now we will concentrate on our grid position, which is very important here."
Ron Dennis: "Everybody struggled with the normal low grip level which is a feature of the first day of practice at the Hungaroring. This makes tyre choice a little more difficult, but of course the challenge is the same for everybody."
Norbert Haug: "A very slippery affair with the track offering a very low grip level which was illustrated by the many spins and offs. There is still a lot to do tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen: "As expected the circuit was still very slippery today, but we found quite a good set up. So I am happy with our work so far. We now have to see how we can further improve the balance in tomorrow's practice when there will be a better grip level because of the additional rubber on the track."
David Coulthard: "As always on the first day at the Hungaroring, the track was very dusty and as a result it was tricky to find the right balance. I lost some time in the second session when I spun at the chicane, which punctured my left rear tyre. As I was making my way back to the pits slowly, my engine became hot so we had to bleed and refill the cooling system. I would have liked to do more laps, but we will try and make it up in tomorrow's two practice sessions."
Gary Anderson: "Iím pleased that we were consistent today and carried forward our momentum from this morning. We concentrated mainly on evaluating the tyres for the race, and although we are looking good, we still have a bit of work to do. The track is quite slippery and dirty at the moment and generally we're quite good in those conditions, but when the track builds up grip, sometimes it doesnít suit us so well. If the surface conditions donít get too hot, we can do a good job. The balance is reasonable and we are looking fairly strong."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Itís been a good day. The car looks alright with good balance on used and new tyres. Today on my best lap I had a little graining with the front tyres and I made a mistake in the last three sectors. But overall itís looking encouraging and Iím pleased to say Iím confident that we could be on the front three or four rows tomorrow."
Takuma Sato: "Iím very pleased today as we had no mechanical problems at all and we put in a lot of laps, which is good for me as itís the first time Iíve been here in Formula One. Itís always good to learn the circuit quickly with the car working well. We still have some work in a couple of areas, but even so the car is going really well and our times look good so Iím feeling positive about tomorrowís qualifying."
Peter Sauber: "Felipe made progress setting up his car in both sessions until the track conditions unfortunately caught him out. Nick wasn't happy with the balance of his car, and will work with his engineers tonight to effect an improvement for tomorrow."
Felipe Massa: "I like this track, but today it was very dirty. A lot of people went off, and I was one of them. I made a small mistake, but it was a big penalty. I improved my times all day, and after a spell running in traffic I got a clear lap again so I was pushing hard. Then, like Nick, I slid on to the dirty part of the track and lost control of the car."
Nick Heidfeld: "All through the morning session I was struggling to get the car balanced, and new tyres tended to make it understeer more. On the lap that I crashed this afternoon I was pushing harder and the car felt a little bit better, but I ran wide on to the kerb up at the chicane after I went into the corner a little bit too quick, and as soon as you get on the dirt here you are in trouble. I spun and hit the wall, and that was end of my session."
Niki Lauda: "This is a very difficult circuit to master when it comes to set-up and balance. The circuit isnít used a great deal throughout the year and subsequently becomes very dusty and slippery. Combined with a somewhat cooler track temperature than usual and it becomes very hard to generate maximum grip levels. We witnessed many drivers fall victim to the poor grip level and one can only hope for more rubber to be laid down by the support races. Hotter temperatures would also be very welcome, but overall we havenít experienced any real surprises today."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We got through a lot of work today, especially on the set-up which has changed considerably over the two sessions. Because of this, the car seems to have picked up more grip, but there is still more time left to extract. I am not entirely satisfied with our set-up and it is difficult to make proper judgements given how slippery the track is Ė particularly around turn eleven where many drivers have crashed this morning. The only real problem I suffered from today was a broken front wing that came about after an incident with Coulthard. I was pushing hard and came up behind DC who appeared to be talking on the radio or something. I tried going around him and at that point he turned into the pit lane and I was there. Apart from a written-off front wing, there was no serious damage to the car. On todayís form, one has to say that qualifying will be very tough unless the track temperature rises significantly."
Eddie Irvine: "The car is very twitchy in places and subsequently very difficult to place going into corners. I was suffering from a lot of oversteer in the first session but that got better during the second session. I also seem to be suffering from what appears to be a problem on the throttle response, albeit nothing that cannot be fixed. The track should, however, get quicker over the weekend and provide more grip which is desperately needed by all concerned. The car is proving to be quite a handful at the moment and not very forgiving. Letís see what qualifying brings but it wonít be easy for us here. Many people appear to be struggling today and it will no doubt make for an interesting day tomorrow."
Denis Chevrier: "We completed our normal Friday preparations without any problems. Overall, I think we had a positive day, in that our work wasn't disrupted during two sessions which saw a significant number of cars leave the circuit for various reasons. Our positions leave us amongst the teams who will be our main competitors, and we now need to prepare to go looking for outright performance tomorrow morning."
Pat Symonds: "A reasonable day where we had one eye on the performance of the cars, and the other on the weather. This led us to alter our normal programme slightly and while we are not yet completely happy with the balance of the car, we nevertheless managed to collect some useful information for the race as well as a little of what might apply in qualifying."
Jenson Button: "To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed to finish tenth today. I thought we seemed pretty competitive this morning, but we didn't manage to keep that level of performance. The car lacks all-round grip - we didn't really find the right answers today, and need to work hard before tomorrow morning."
Jarno Trulli: "It was a useful day which allowed us to learn a lot about the tyres and car set-up. We definitely need to work harder to improve the balance of the car before tomorrow morning. It's up to us to improve our level performance in order to get the best out of the package."
David Richards: "Things didnít quite go according to plan for us today. We had a very good morning session and were obviously hoping to consolidate that progress during the afternoon. However, we developed a series of problems and spent most of the second session in the garage, so we have been unable to improve further today. Clearly, we have some work ahead of us this evening to make sure we are better prepared going into qualifying tomorrow because, as everyone knows, grid position here is so critical."
Jacques Villeneuve: "Today got off to a good start and we were going well on old tyres considering the track conditions. It was quite slippery as is usually the case on a Friday here but generally we were improving throughout the session. We used the new tyres in this afternoon's session and had a harder time trying to get them to work. Then, I made a mistake by braking late into turn 4 and ended up spinning off. The problem with the gravel traps here is that they're more like 'rock' traps and can cause a lot of damage to the car, as we saw. We had to replace the floor and the bargeboards and I lost over 30 minutes in the second session, so I wasn't able to work with the tyres very much at all. We haven't made enough progress today and we have a lot of work to do with the data now to prepare us for tomorrow's session."
Olivier Panis: "Today didn't go at all how we expected. Things had been looking quite good in the morning session but this afternoon I had a gearbox oil leak and a problem with the throttle. This meant that I spent more time in the garage than on the track so we were unable to make any further progress. The Hungaroring is always very dirty for the first day's running so today has been quite a frustrating day overall. It's difficult to know where we stand compared with the other teams but that's always the case on a Friday. All I can do now is work with the engineers to find a solution that will help us to achieve the maximum preparation for qualifying. I'm still feeling positive that we can turn things around but we have a lot of work ahead this afternoon."
Keizo Takahashi: "Both Mika and Allan completed their programmes in today's practice to find a good car set-up for the race. The balance of the car has improved but track conditions have not been so helpful. I think we still have much room for improvement and hopefully the track conditions will be better tomorrow. It is very important to obtain a good position in qualifying in Hungary because overtaking is almost impossible."
Mika Salo: "We improved the car during the two sessions but we still have a little bit of work to do on car balance. It is not too bad at the moment and I am pretty happy for the race set-up. This circuit uses every part of the car, so you need a good balance for the tyres, also good traction control for exit of the corners, basically every part needs to work together in order to be good around the Hungaroring."
Allan McNish: "We struggled to find a good balance on the car, it is oversteering very aggressively at the moment. We managed to complete our programme today and we have a bit of work to do tonight to find some consistency on the car. Apart from a small electronics problem in the afternoon session, we had no mechanical difficulties."Paul Stoddart: "It has been an excellent day at the office. Both KL Minardi Asiatech drivers ran their quota of laps and completed their technical programmes for the day. Weíre pleased to welcome Anthony to the team for the next two races, and are particularly proud of the job he did today. It is all the more commendable when one considers he had not driven the car before this morningís first practice session. It also has to be said he was lucky that the one technical problem he had occurred at the end of the first session rather than at the beginning of the second. This provided the mechanics with sufficient time to sort the matter and get Anthony back on track to complete his running. While on a different programme today to Anthony, Mark put in his usual solid performance, snapping at the heels of the manufacturer-backed teams. We now look forward to a solid performance from both drivers in qualifying tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson: "Iím really happy that I managed to keep the car on the track today and did the most number of laps. Iím still learning the circuit, along with everything else, and I donít yet feel totally at home in the car, so there is definitely lots more to come. Anyway, Iím glad to have the first day of my first Formula One weekend under my belt without any dramas."
Mark Webber: "It has been a pretty good day. We got through our normal programme for Friday, and compared the tyres, which is not a hard decision this weekend: it looks like the soft tyre is definitely the way to go. We had our race fuel load in, as normal, and are looking forward to qualifying tomorrow, which should be quite exciting for us."