Reports & Results
What the teams and drivers said -
( Michael Schumacher - 1st, Rubens Barrichello - 3rd )
Jean Todt: "This result makes us very happy.
Today, the whole team can afford to smile. It's true that an all-red front row
would have been better, but having them in line astern, with one car on pole
is also a good sight to see. I am also happy for Ralf, who will start
alongside Michael and they will thus be together at this difficult time for
them. The qualifying session was very close today, which has not been the case
so far this year.
Of course there is still an element of uncertainty concerning how much fuel
all the cars had on board. We will only find out tomorrow afternoon. I am
happy for the drivers, the race team and the entire Gestione Sportiva who
watched qualifying from a specially reserved grandstand and also for our
technical partners, especially Bridgestone and Shell. But we still have to
face the toughest part of the weekend, which will be tomorrow afternoon's
Ross Brawn: "We certainly have not had to compromise our race
fuel strategy in order to get this pole position. We are confident we have
made the right decision concerning the fuel load we ran and with Michael
starting at the front of the field we have the opportunity to do well in the
race. We were disappointed not to be able to bring the new car here, but today
we have shown that the F2002 is still competitive and we hope to give it a
good farewell send off tomorrow."
"Today, what we refer to as the 'old' car proved what it could do and
what we knew it was capable of. However, it will be interesting to see what
happens depending on today's fuel loads. My lap was not perfect, as I was
cautious and eased off a bit in the final sector. From testing here we knew
what to expect and it felt comfortable today. It is great to be back on top,
especially here in Imola. Some rain is forecast for tomorrow, but we should
not fear the weather conditions as I do not think we will see rivers across
the track, like we did in Brazil."
"Qualifying is always difficult when you have a problem so close to the
start of the session. As I went off the track during the warm-up I was not
able to set up the car as well as possible for qualifying before my run.
Taking this factor into consideration I am happy with my third place,
especially as I will start from the clean side of the track. It is looking
good for tomorrow."
Back to Top
Schumacher - 2nd , Juan Pablo Montoya - 4th )
Sam Michael: "It
is a shame to have just missed the pole position. However, we are pleased
with the positions we have achieved in the final qualifying. The car has
improved a lot and credit should be given to the aero department and the
factory for making this possible. It was a good job from Ralf. After the
accident that he had this morning he had to take the spare car, which did
not have all the latest parts. It was also a good effort by Juan, and we
are really looking forward to tomorrow's race now."
Mario Thiessen: "We
have been very close to Ferrari in the qualifying. Our team looks to be
very strong on the Scuderia's home ground. Two years ago we were
celebrating here in Imola the first victory of our partnership, and the
circuit seems to suit our new car as well. It was an exciting qualifying
session. In the end the World Champion took pole position from us by just
a fraction. The FW25 has improved considerably. We are in a good position
for the race and hope to show our performance over a race distance as
Ralf Schumacher: "After
the first sector, where I was not very fast, I thought my qualifying lap
was compromised, but then surprisingly I made it. I must say thanks to the
t-car team as they did a very good job getting my car ready which I had to
use after the mistake I made this morning. We have been very strong so far
here and I hope the weekend continues like this."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "My
qualifying lap was compromised by some understeer which also caused me to
go slightly off track at the Acque Minerali, where I definitely lost the
time I needed to achieve a better position. The second row is still a very
good place to start the race from, even if tomorrow my grid position will
be on the dirtier side of the track."
Back to Top
( Mark Webber - 5th, Antonio Pizzonia - 15th )
Dr Mark Gillan: "Another very pleasing day apart
from some hiccups we suffered this morning. Mark's warm-up session this
morning was cut short by a hydraulic problem and Antonio unfortunately
suffered again with an engine problem. The team, however, did an impressive
job of getting both cars prepared for qualifying and Mark's lap was simply
sensational. He didn't go out there and aim for a banzai lap and instead, kept
his cool and qualified the car exactly where we had aimed for.
A very polished performance indeed! Antonio also did a good job today but no
doubt it could have been a little better had we not suffered with an engine
problem this morning. A shame given the importance of set-up at this circuit
but it's all to play for tomorrow. We are again well placed for points
tomorrow and unlike Brazil, let's hope there are no surprises! A solid and
aggressive performance will again be the order of the day and should we cross
the finishing line, there is nothing to prevent us from taking points away.
The improvement at Jaguar is taking clear shape and there is nothing we want
to do more right now than reward our workforce, sponsors and our parent
company with some championship points."
Mark Webber: "I was aiming for a top six position and it's
great to have managed P5 on the grid for tomorrow. I was watching the lap
times of others head of me and given that nearly everyone was lapping in the
mid 1m23secs zone, I knew I had to aim for a very low 1m23sec lap. In some
ways, the lap was quite conservative. I didn't want to make any silly mistakes
or over push the car. Knowing how to control your aggression isn't easy over
this one-lap qualifying challenge and there's a very fine line indeed between
going too slowly and too fast. Today, we got it just right and we are now very
well placed for tomorrow's race. I suspect there will be the odd cynical
remark about whether we are running light fuel but as we correctly pointed out
in Brazil, just wait and watch the race tomorrow. We are on a healthy fuel
strategy and there is no deception at work here. Jaguar is making very
impressive and clear progress – it is as simple as that. The aim of the game
now is points. If we can race reliably tomorrow and combine this with some
clever strategy and no driver errors, there is nothing to stop us from taking
points, albeit long overdue points given the potential we have demonstrated
over the past few races."
Antonio Pizzonia: "I again lost valuable track
time this morning because of an engine problem and that didn't help my
preparation going into qualifying. Nonetheless, I am pleased with my lap time
given my strategy for tomorrow's race. The danger over this one lap qualifying
format is over-pushing the car and making a mistake that could relegate you to
the back of the grid. Because of this, it was important to remain steady out
there today and ensure we qualified in a position reflective of my strategy
for tomorrow. With the risk of rain ever-more present for tomorrow's race,
there is still a degree of uncertainly amongst teams as to how to play their
strategies and of course, whether we start on wet tyres or not."
Back to Top
( Kimi Raikkonen - 6th, David Coulthard - 12th )
"The result of today's qualifying was not a great surprise. However
David's mistake cost him several grid positions whilst Kimi too made a
small error. It is the race that matters and we will have to see how our
"Both drivers didn't achieve their optimum lap. It will be
interesting to see how long our competitors can stay out before their
first pitstop. The race should see us in better positions, so we are all
looking forward to tomorrow."
"A reasonable grid position. However I made a small mistake at the
top chicane which cost me some time so I think I could have been a bit
higher up. We have improved the car since yesterday, so we will see what
happens in the race tomorrow."
"Obviously I'm disappointed. I was going well until Rivazza where I
made a mistake, which a quick look at the telemetry showed cost me more
than seven tenths of a second. As the first three races have shown this
year anything can happen and I have done well from low grid positions
before, but its not going to be easy."
Back to Top
BAR ( Jacques Villeneuve -
7th, Jenson Button - 9th )
"It's very encouraging to see how close we qualified to the front row
this year, by comparison with twelve months ago. Jacques' lap was exceptional
but then he does excel at this circuit. From our grid positions, with a
sensible strategy, I feel very positive about tomorrow."
"We had a fault-free morning and achieved a total of 73 laps, running
with Honda's latest step of engine. The performance of the car and the tyres
here enables us to have a reasonably free hand in terms of strategy and we are
reasonably happy with our qualifying positions this afternoon."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "This afternoon wasn't great and
we were expecting to qualify higher than seventh and ninth. The engines have
been performing well this weekend and we're still in a good position to
continue the fight for points tomorrow."
"I'm very happy with my lap because it's quicker than we had been
expecting. We've been working all weekend towards race set-up so to get a good
lap in qualifying today is great. There was still a tenth to be had in the
last corner but I think the signs are good for the race tomorrow. We've always
qualified well here and been worse off in the race, but it looks like things
will be much better for us this year if it's dry. If it rains then it may be a
different story because it will be hard to warm the tyres. It's very close at
the top and this is one of the most difficult tracks to overtake on so the
start will be interesting. It will be tough tomorrow but it looks like we will
be there fighting for points so I'm looking forward to it."
"We made good progress through free practice this morning and I was
much more comfortable with the balance going into qualifying. The first two
sectors of my qualifying lap were OK but then I went a bit wide in the high
speed chicane up the hill and lost a bit of time. I also had a bit too much
understeer in the high speed corners. I'm disappointed but I don't think we're
looking too bad for tomorrow."
Back to Top
( Fernando Alonso - 8th, Jarno Trulli - 16th )
Mike Gascoyne: "We had a difficult qualifying session
especially for Jarno. Just before the warm up, he had to switch to the
spare car which had Fernando's set up. I think we will have a difficult
race but I still think we can have a good race performance and get both
cars into the points."
Denis Chevrier: "For the first time this season we have a
big gap on the grid between our two cars. I would say that Fernando's
position reflects the real potential of our car. Unfortunately the series
of problems we encountered on Jarno's car throughout the weekend forced
him into the spare car right before qualifying and he was obviously
penalized in his lap."
Fernando Alonso: "I am very happy with my 8th place today.
The team worked very well and managed to find solutions to yesterday's
problems. As a consequence, my car felt much better in qualifying, I had a
good lap and I am confident that for tomorrow's race I am in the position
to fight and score some points."
Jarno Trulli: "I had a problem with my car right before the
start of qualifying and it's thanks to my mechanics that I didn't miss the
session! Although they worked hard and fast, the T-car was set up for
Fernando and I just didn't feel comfortable enough on my lap. Tomorrow I
will have to fight hard and I think it will be a tough race."
Back to Top
Olivier Panis - 10th, Cristiano da Matta - 13th )
Keizo Takahashi: "It was generally a good
qualifying for us - and another top ten result. We used the data acquired
yesterday to find a good set-up on the TF103s and the team has worked hard
to improve the car a lot since free practice yesterday. Both Olivier and
Cristiano did a good job and I am very happy with today's result and I am
quite hopeful that we can get a top-eight result tomorrow."
Olivier Panis: "I am really quite pleased with
my flying lap today and another top ten grid position. It was particularly
good considering we did not start in so well yesterday with a lot of
handling problems. The team has done a good job and reacted very well to
adjust and improve the car. It's the first time this season that I have
managed a clean flying lap and I think, in the end, we are looking in
reasonable shape for the race."
Cristiano da Matta: "After a tricky start to the weekend, I
think I got pretty much everything out of the car I could today. The track
conditions were a bit slippery, but my lap was quite good. We have been
making constant improvements to the car all weekend and the whole team has
done a good job. Of course, there is no limit on the work you can do on
car set-up; there is always something extra, but from a driving point of
view, I think it was a good day and I am pleased."
Back to Top
( Nick Heidfeld - 11th, Heinz Harald Frentzen - 14th )
Peter Sauber: "From the three races held so
far this year we know that performance on the one hand depends on the
combination of driver and car, but strategy is also a key element. In the
circumstances Heinz-Harald is about where we had anticipated he would be,
while Nick did well after difficulty finding a balance yesterday and this
morning and was able to deliver what we had expected of him, too."
"I had been struggling to find a good balance on my race car all
weekend, and just before this afternoon's pre-qualifying warm-up I took
the decision to switch to the T-car. We weren't able to make all the
necessary changes in time for the warm-up, but were able to make more for
qualifying. That meant that for the second day in a row I went into
qualifying in a car that was not fully familiar, but I enjoyed the best
balance I have had all weekend and I think we are moving in the right
Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"It was unfortunate that I lost a lot of time with an engine failure
this morning, but my crew did a great job to change the unit in time for
me to do an installation lap at the end of the session. There was a
knock-on effect this afternoon, but taking that into account I am happy.
The balance was good and Nick was able to do further good work this
morning which helped to stand us in good stead for qualifying and the race
Back to Top
( Giancarlo Fisichella - 17th, Ralph Firman - 19th )
"From my point of view it's difficult to know whether that was good
or bad. We've picked a race strategy that we thought was right for them both.
We were two seconds behind Michael yesterday on low fuel qualifying and we're
two seconds behind him today. With whatever fuel strategies everybody else
has, that means we're a lot further back on the grid than we expected. It
seems strange to me. We'll really have to wait until tomorrow. Ralph messed
his lap up – that's one of the downsides of the new qualifying format."
"Obviously this is not a good day. I'm very disappointed and confused
because I don't know where other people are with fuel. Hopefully our strategy
is good for tomorrow. I hope it's going to be wet."
Ralph Firman: "It was a promising day
before qualifying. “But you only get one lap and I made a mistake at the
first corner, locking up the front wheel and then had a big flat spot on the
tyre. From that point on the rest of the lap was very difficult. It should be
Back to Top
( Justin Wilson - 18th, Jos Verstappen - 20th )
Paul Stoddart: "It has been a sharp end to what started as a
promising day. The team had an interesting, and busy morning, with a
precautionary engine change on Jos's car between the free practice session and
qualifying. A slightly slippery track saw Justin have a small ‘moment' in
qualifying, and sadly, Jos have a far larger one, which resulted in him not
completing his lap. I feel for both drivers today, as they were giving 100 per
cent, but the times just didn't quite reflect that. We look forward to a
better race tomorrow."
Justin Wilson: "That was not an easy run - the
track was very slippery with the spots of rain that fell just before
qualifying started. A couple of times I had big slides, but managed to keep
the car on the track. The lap could have been better in a couple of places,
but that is always the case. Generally, I was quite happy with the way it
went, and we'll now see what the race brings us tomorrow."
Jos Verstappen: "Obviously, I'm not very happy with
today's qualifying performance. The situation wasn't helped by the fact we had
to do an engine change after the end of practice, and in this afternoon's
pre-qualifying warm-up the new engine felt different. I wasn't absolutely sure
how it would be in qualifying, but as it turned out, it was fine and the car
was performing well up until the point when I had the accident. I just hit the
curb too hard, picked up oversteer, slid off the track and hit the wall. I'm
fine, but the car was a bit damaged and I apologise to the guys for the extra
work that will be required to make the repairs. Tomorrow could be another
unpredictable race, depending on the weather, so once again it is going to be
important for us to finish in order to capitalise on the misfortunes of
Back to Top
Back to Top