Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 2nd )
Jean Todt: “A very good start to
our home grand prix, in front of our fans. At the moment things are going
the right way, but we should not get carried away with this theoretical
all-red front row. The results of the first qualifying session confirm the
potential of the F2002. Bridgestone has done a very good job, providing us
with a tyre which is very quick over a flying lap. Now we must work on
making the right choice for the second qualifying and the race, both in
terms of tyres and strategy.”
Ross Brawn: “This afternoon's performance is a
good start to the weekend for us and it is nice to be first and second
again. Michael went off the track this morning, but the lack of track
timer is not a problem, as we tested extensively here last February. The
mechanics did a good job in repairing the damage quickly. The cars seem to
be well balanced. The tyres worked well over the single flying lap, but we
still have more work to do tomorrow, to make our final choice. At the
moment, there is a slight chance of rain on Sunday, so we could be back on
the wets again.”
Michael Schumacher: “It's great to have both
cars on the front row today. We thought we could get this result, but the
opposition, particularly Williams is very close. We think we have a good
car for the rest of this weekend and I think it is capable of winning. I
hope so for all the tifosi. We always knew that Malaysia and Brazil would
be difficult for us, as has been the case last year. Back then, we came to
Imola and had the upper hand. For the moment, It seems to be the case this
year too. Given our experience with the F2002, racing it here seems to
have been a good decision so far.”
Rubens Barrichello: “It was a normal day,
trying a variety of changes on the car this morning. We concentrated on
comparing the two types of tyre Bridgestone has brought here for us. This
afternoon, I made a very slight mistake on my quick lap. Second place and
the overall performance of the F2002 make me pretty confident for tomorrow
and the rest of the weekend.”
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Williams ( Ralf
Schumacher - 3rd, Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th )
Sam Michael: "This
is obviously a good start to the weekend. Juan made a mistake on his lap
coming out of the second Rivazza corner and Ralf made a couple of mistakes
in sector three. But our performance is definitely improving. We have
introduced a couple of aerodynamic components for this race and it is good
to see the chassis works well with these changes. We are looking forward
Gerhard Berger: "This
was the first time we were running the new parts on our cars in normal
track and weather conditions. Our result shows a big step forward. It
shows what the potential of our car is. Both our drivers made some small
mistakes therefore I am very pleased they could achieve positions three
and four. On Sunday, there could be a place on the podium for us."
Ralf Schumacher: "I
am quite happy with the outcome of my First Qualifying. We have made
progress, especially on the mechanical side. For every race we bring new
parts for our FW25 now and BMW has built a strong engine which pays off
here as well. It was clear that I had some oversteer in a couple of
corners which might have cost about two or three tenths of a second. But I
am confident we will be able to sort this out by tomorrow."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "I
am pretty happy because the car was very good. I think I could have been
quicker but after what happened in Brazil, today I decided to take the
more conservative option. After I saw the sector signs I knew that I
didn't have to push too hard. Coming out of the second Rivazza, I went on
the power and I had some oversteer so I had to get off the throttle and
lost a little bit of time."
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( Mark Webber - 5th, Antonio Pizzonia - 15th )
Dr. Mark Gillan: "We did a
lot of homework in the week leading up to this race and so far, the results
have been very good indeed. We have gone a long way towards solving the fuel
pick-up issue was has heavily penalized our performance over the first three
races and today was the first time we have gone into qualifying on an equal
footing with the other teams. The fact that Mark has gone 5th fastest today is
the clearest indication yet of the improved direction that Jaguar Racing is
taking, albeit we still have a long way to go before we are completely happy.
Mark did another superb job this afternoon and given that we have out-
qualified both Renaults and McLaren-Mercedes in true qualifying trim, it's
very clear to see the progress we have made relative to last year.
We are taking full advantage of the two-hour testing session in that we are
using the T-car to full effect, undertaking tyre comparisons, working on race
preparation and getting ready for Friday qualifying. The Jaguar R4 seems very
competitive around this circuit and given that we are testing new bits here,
the performance is all the more encouraging. Combined with tremendous Cosworth
power and the excellent Michelin tyre, we are very satisfied indeed going into
the second qualifying phase tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "I couldn't have wished for a better start to
the weekend. Our preparation going into the qualifying session was very
thorough and I am very pleased with my lap time. My first sector could
have been better but my last sector was very good. The challenge of
putting in one quick, trouble-free lap is far from easy and I'm very
pleased with the balance and performance of the car. We must remember
however, that the track gets quicker towards the end of the session and
with that in mind, the guys going out at the beginning are not getting
exactly the same deal. Even so, we are very satisfied with the progression
of the Jaguar R4 – especially when you consider that Imola was by far
the hardest race for Jaguar last year. The team suffered from every
problem imaginable at this circuit last year and Imola normally provides
the ‘wake-up' call for many teams after the first three flyaway races.
To go well here is a clear endorsement of the package and the tremendous
hard work that has been undertaken over the winter by everyone at Jaguar
Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics. Imola is a very demanding
circuit and puts considerable demands on balance, braking, traction and
engines. The early signs going into the weekend are very good but let's
see what tomorrow brings. The weather is expected to change to rain on
Sunday and given this, it will be very interesting to see what strategies
the teams employ tomorrow."
Antonio Pizzonia: "My track
time was compromised this morning by an engine problem and this prevented
me from doing a low-fuel run in preparation for the qualifying hour. The
fuel load makes a considerable difference to the car's handling
characteristics, particularly under braking and not having familiarized
myself with this during the Free Practice session cost me some time during
qualifying. Given that I was in the T-car, there was also a limit as to
how much set-up time I had pre-qualifying but to honest, I am not worried.
The fact is that we have a very capable race car which is clearly a major
step forward on last year's R3 and given that the real test of qualifying
is tomorrow, we'll focus on improving my set-up overnight in an effort to
realize the full potential of the package we have."
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BAR ( Jenson Button -
6th, Jacques Villeneuve - 7th )
"We came here with high expectations based upon our test here during
the winter. It was therefore disappointing to lose track time with
Jacques, and to spend most of the first session looking to get the balance
right with Jenson's car. However, things have come together this afternoon
and I'm happy with 6th and 7th, and to clearly be the second Bridgestone
team. I think we're in good shape for tomorrow."
"Not too bad but I'm not completely happy. Both drivers set lap times
comfortably inside the top ten this afternoon, which puts us in a good
position to fight for more points this weekend."
"Jacques' running this morning was shortened by some gearbox damage,
resulting from a procedural error with the software. Apart from this, the
car and the latest step of engine have performed well. In this afternoon's
warm weather, there doesn't appear to be a big difference in tyre
performance. Both drivers underestimated the improvement in the track
conditions this afternoon and clearly felt they could have been quicker.
This is a good first qualifying result for us at a circuit where we were
expecting to be strong and it means that we can now focus on the optimum
strategy for the race. We are confident of a good result."
"Things didn't go too well for me this morning; the balance wasn't
right and the car just didn't feel good. Then in qualifying it felt
completely different; pretty good in fact. Because it was a different car
though, it was hard to know where the limit was. I had a little oversteer
and lost some time in the middle sector but generally I was quite pleased
with the lap. We have the new specification engine for this race and
although we need to continue to make progress, it's a good first step."
"I'm happy we got a good lap in but it's just a shame that, for the
third race running, we didn't get a lot of laps in during the morning. We
had a software problem during practice which affected the gearshift and
that was the case again in qualifying, so we weren't on the limit this
afternoon. There's still time in the car but at least we managed to get a
lap that puts us in a good position for final qualifying tomorrow."
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( Kimi Raikkonen - 8th, David Coulthard - 9th )
"This morning we spent a considerable amount of the session ensuring
that we selected the correct race tyre. This limited the time we were able
to devote to optimising the car's set up, which is clearly not yet there.
Our engineers will now focus on that challenge for tomorrow's qualifying,
which of course is the one that determines our grid positions for the
"We are not happy with our performance today but we will be working
very hard to be better tomorrow."
"It wasn't a particular fast lap from me today. I came in to turn 10
a bit too quickly and as a result lost speed coming out of the corner, but
at the end of the day, tomorrow is when it counts. We went through our
planned program during this morning's practice and will see what happens
in Saturday's qualifying."
"I don't really think we got the full potential out of the car during
my one flying lap today as we would have expected to be a bit closer to
our main rivals. However as always we will look at the data and work
together on where we can improve for tomorrow when it really
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( Heinz Harald Frentzen - 10th, Nick Heidfeld - 14th )
Peter Sauber: "Heinz-Harald
did a very good job, and without his throttle pedal problem could have
gone four-tenths faster. Nick improved his morning time in qualifying, but
unfortunately not enough. Both will get the opportunity to use what we
learned today to go faster tomorrow. In qualifying conditions, we know
that our Bridgestone tyres work well."
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"My main problem today was that I pressed so hard on the throttle
pedal that I broke it! It happened as I was coming out of the Variante
Alta at the top of the circuit, but I was able to complete the lap.
Without that problem I think I'd have been a couple of places higher, but
we still have some analysis to do in preparation for qualifying tomorrow."
"I was struggling a bit to get the car set up this morning and we
made a lot of changes for qualifying. They improved the car significantly
but it took a little bit of getting used to in one flying lap, so the
first part of it especially suffered a little. We still have some work to
do, however, as my car didn't feel as good as it did in our last test here
before the start of the season."
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( Giancarlo Fisichella - 11th, Ralph Firman - 17th )
"As usual we have a lot of work to do this weekend in order to score
points on Sunday. But it was good to take some time out this morning in
order to celebrate our victory in Brazil and see Giancarlo presented with
his trophy. I'd like to thank the FIA and FOM for arranging this
unprecedented gesture, and extend my appreciation to Ron Dennis, Kimi
Raikkonen and the entire McLaren team for their sportsmanship."
"I'm a bit disappointed really. Giancarlo made a mistake in the last
section at Rivazza one and Ralph made a mistake at the Variante Alta
chicane. Having said that, there were not many places for Giancarlo to
move up if he hadn't made the mistake, as we're just not quick enough. We
need to work on the car to make it ride the kerbs a bit better and try and
find some lap time for tomorrow. The trophy ceremony has been the best bit
"Unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes in the last sector,
otherwise I think I had the possibility to be 10th. The car is not too
bad, we need to adjust the set-up bit and I'm confident for tomorrow."
Ralph Firman: "It was going reasonably well but I made a
mistake at the chicane, I just hit the kerb too hard and got the car a bit
oversteery. I had a productive morning though and I'm looking forward to
tomorrow, I think it's going to be a good weekend."
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Toyota ( Olivier
Panis - 12th, Cristiano da Matta - 18th )
Gustav Brunner: "Of course
after this morning's result, we made some set-up adjustments to the
TF103s. The changes were more radical on Panis's car to combat the
handling difficulties from practice, but the overall result is still not
great to be honest. We will carry on with our set-up work tomorrow
morning, adapting Cristiano's car to reflect the major changes we made to
Olivier's car and I hope we will make some more steps ahead."
Olivier Panis: "When I compare
the result we have in qualifying to the free practice session, I think we
have made some good progress. This morning, the car was very difficult
over the kerbs and we did not have enough grip. I think the reaction of
the team to change the set-up was good and I am quite happy with 12th
today. I know it is not good enough, but I think we are heading in a good
direction for tomorrow. We took some risks for the set-up changes between
practice and qualifying sessions and I think it paid off."
Cristiano da Matta: "I made a big mistake in the first
sector, which ruined my whole lap. We still need to find some more speed
in the other sectors too with some modifications to the car's set-up
necessary. It is a slow beginning to the weekend for us, so hopefully
tomorrow will be a better day. We have ninety minutes of free practice
tomorrow in which to improve the car's handling. I like this circuit a
lot, but I feel we have a better potential in the car than we showed
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( Fernando Alonso - 13th, Jarno Trulli - 16th )
Pat Symonds: "While we knew this circuit
would be harder for our cars than the three previous tracks, we are
obviously very unsatisfied with the present result which places us too far
behind our direct competitors. We must now analyse all data and find
solutions for tomorrow's qualifying."
Denis Chevrier: "Overall, a disappointing
day for us. This morning's problems prevented us from developing our full
programme and it's difficult to say where we really are and how much we
can improve. Today the gap to the others is significant and we have to
understand why and react accordingly."
Fernando Alonso: "As we expected, it's going
to be a hard weekend for us, as we are struggling with tyres and on this
very fast circuit. But we still a have a full-days work and I am
optimistic we can reasonably improve our final position on the grid in
Jarno Trulli: "This morning we lost time
during the test and free sessions, with few problems on the car and
therefore this afternoon, I felt the car was not well balanced , which
reflected in my poor lap time. We will have to set to work hard on the car
now, but am confident I can improve my position tomorrow."
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( Jos Verstappen - 19th, Justin Wilson - 20th )
Paul Stoddart: "First of
all, congratulations go today to Matteo Bobbi on his Grand Prix weekend
testing debut. Unfortunately, his car suffered a sensor problem, which denied
him the opportunity to demonstrate his true potential. Both Jos and Justin
went on to complete their technical programmes today, and while only P19 and
P20 at the end of the first qualifying session, we feel there is improvement
to come tomorrow."
Jos Verstappen: "We
tried very hard and went quickly during the morning. I was pretty happy with
the balance of the car – there was slight oversteer in the first sector,
which then became less in sectors two and three. Once again, it's fair to say
we got pretty much all we could out of the package today."
Justin Wilson: "I
made a slight mistake in the middle of the first sector, which cost me some
time. Other than that, I wasn't unhappy with what was my first attempt this
weekend at a low-fuel, qualifying run. I didn't have a chance to simulate a
qualifying run in this morning's practice session because of a mechanical
problem that caused the car to stop on the circuit. All in all, it has been a
reasonable day's effort."
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