Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
What the teams and drivers said - Friday
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Team and Driver Quotes following Friday Practice Sessions
Sam Michael: "We have gone through our normal programme with evaluation of tyres and brakes. The track was lot cleaner than in previous years due to the new vacuum cleaner used, but still low grip to start with. We also concentrated on the start procedure with both drivers. In conclusion, we have had a good first day here and all the new parts we have brought to the car are working well. Although it is always a bit risky to bring new parts straight to a race, we have had a lot of confidence in the wind tunnel correlation to the track which enables us to do this."
Mario Theissen: "The first day of practice with the modified car ran positively smoothly and we made good use of our time. Now it is important that we also manage to set up the carduring the 90 minutes of tomorrow morning's practice sessions. Also the improvement we have made during the shakedown in Silverstone in order to improve our starting procedure showed itself to work well today."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "We have made good use of today's practice and my lap time was okay by the end of the session. But there's still quite a lot of work ahead of us, because we know there's more in the car. The track was very dirty at the beginning of Free Practice and there was no grip at all, but conditions improved throughout the session and they were acceptable towards the end. However the balance of the FW26 wasn't ideal under cornering and on the bumpy sections. We need now to address this and get the car in good shape for tomorrow."
Antonio Pizzonia: "Today it has been a learning day for me,
as it was my first time on this track in a F1 car and I basically spent my
time learning the circuit. I am quite happy the way we went through our
programme and the results show that it was a productive session. We have
collected good data and tyre choice seems pretty clear to us, at the
moment, even if we know the track is going to improve a lot.
Tsutomu Tomita: "Not a bad opening day for us. Olivier
enjoyed two trouble-free sessions and he was able to set some competitive
lap times, although he is still not totally happy with the balance of the
car. Similarly, Ricardo had small problems with the balance and also made
a mistake on his new tyre run.
Olivier Panis: "The weekend has started off in a very positive way. We had two productive sessions without any problems. I am working with a new team on my car from this weekend, but the fact that I know all the guys has been a big help. Now we need to concentrate on tomorrow in order to try to keep our current pace."
Ricardo Zonta: "It was a quite comprehensive day for me with
many things to do. On my final run with new tyres, I unfortunately made a
mistake in the last corner so that my best lap time of the day was actually
done on old tyres. Generally, I felt very comfortable driving one of the race
cars in practice for the first time.
Ryan Briscoe: "Today was my first
experience of being a part of the race team and I really enjoyed it. I am
happy with the general result and with the work that we have achieved. It was
quite difficult to reacquaint myself with the track in the first session, as
the grip level was very low, so I just took it easy and was gradually getting
more and more confident.
David Richards: "It is great to get back to the business of racing, and have everyone focused on our results on the track. It was clearly important to maintain the momentum that we had in Hockenheim, and I am really pleased that the team has picked up where they left off three weeks ago. Today we have completed all the tasks we had set out in our programme, all three drivers have had a good day, and we have put ourselves in a strong position for the rest of the weekend. We will see tomorrow exactly where we are versus the competition, but the key thing is that today has dispelled any notion that we might get distracted from the task in hand."
Shuhei Nakamoto: "In total our three drivers have completed well over a race distance today so we have got back into things well after the break. The grid is very close and I think the battle for pole will be very tough tomorrow - several drivers seem to have a good chance including Taku and Jenson."
Geoffrey Willis: "As usual the track was very dusty to start with and this showed up with poor rear grip and traction, particularly over the bumps. The circuit improves greatly through the sessions with the result that lap time comparisons are difficult to make. We made some set-up changes over the lunch break, which combined with the improvement in the circuit made the cars considerably better in the second session. We completed all our planned running without problems and generally we are happy with the performance of the car and now have enough information to make our tyre choice for tomorrow."
Takuma Sato: "I'm happy with our performance today and I think this is a good indication of how strong we will be this weekend. I haven't driven the new circuit before as the track was changed for last year when I wasn't racing, so I had some acclimatisation to do this morning. The car is very strong though and I think we should be on a similar pace as we were in Germany three weeks ago. I have come back from the three-week break feeling physically and mentally relaxed and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."
Jenson Button: "I'm really pleased to be back on track after the three-week break. I'm focusing purely on the Hungarian Grand Prix, which promises to be a very exciting race for us, not least because the weather is throwing up some surprises. As is always the case here, the track conditions were very dusty this morning and Anthony did most of the running in the second session. This afternoon gave us a better opportunity to evaluate the tyres and start to work on set-up. The car is looking strong though and we now have to continue working towards our objective of a podium here this weekend."
Anthony Davidson: "I had a very good morning session and was pleased to be up there with the Ferraris. The track started to clean up this afternoon and we could have improved a lot, but I struck the inside kerb at turn five a bit too hard and had to come in, which lost me track time and the chance of a better lap. It was nice to come to a circuit where I have raced before but unfortunately we couldn't do a quick lap on new tyres. I'm happy with the tyre choice for Jenson and Taku and believe we should have a good chance of a strong result this weekend."
Pat Symonds: Not Provided
Denis Chevrier: Not Provided
Fernando Alonso: "Track conditions today were very poor, and it was therefore difficult to learn very much for the rest of the weekend: I certainly think we will have a more interesting programme tomorrow. But having said that, on a Friday, your aim is always to be confident in the tyres you will choose, and after these two sessions, we are. The car was very under-steery today, particularly because the front tyres were graining, but that is normal here in Hungary on a Friday. We will be able to sort this out in the next sessions."
Jarno Trulli: "The car balance changed a lot between the two types of tyre that I ran today, and so it was hard to make much progress on the set-up side. The car was quite inconsistent this morning and then the scenario changed completely for the afternoon, which explains my position in the times. Whatever our performance today may suggest, though, I think we can be competitive this weekend. Let's see what happens tomorrow."
Dr. Mark Gillan: "Our sessions on track have been very
productive today. All three drivers have managed to complete their programmes
with only a couple of minor distractions. Mark's heat-shields were touching
his exhaust so it created some smoke while he was on track. We pulled him in
and fixed this without delay. He was then back out for the end of the session
and going into his second session he did 33-laps. Again Bjorn and Christian
had two good sessions and they both enjoyed being out on track with the R5.
Bjorn Wirdheim: "I like this track and I feel very comfortable here. I had two really productive sessions today which have allowed me to compete 46-laps. I was spending my time focusing on tyre preparation and some engine endurance work. This worked really well and we have some good data to look at. I am pleased with my lap times here and hope that the team can continue with their point-scoring this weekend. The car is certainly performing well and is looking good on track."
Christian Klien: "I don't know this track so well but I am doing my best to get up to speed as quickly as possible. In my first session I made a minor mistake going into corner nine and ended up in the gravel, not ideal, but there was no damage to the car. My second session was pretty good although I did lock heavily at one stage and this cost me some time. I am generally pleased though with my two sessions as I completed my programme and the car is feeling good, the balance in particular is working well for me. I am now focusing on tomorrow as I need to spend some more time on track ahead of qualifying."
James Robinson: "It's great to be back racing - after a three
week break you tend to miss it so it's really good to be back on top of that,
we had a good, solid start to our first day. We have two very strong tyre
choices from Bridgestone and it's difficult to know which of them to go with
as they both offer great performance. We had no mechanical problems at all and
completed a good reliable day's homework. We also saw a solid days work from
Timo, this being his first experience of this unique track."
Timo Glock: "First practice was quite good for me, and I learnt the track fairly quickly. I did some tyre comparisons and it was interesting to see the difference between the two sessions as the feel was completely different in the afternoon, which makes it a little bit difficult to choose the right tyre. We will have to look at the information and discuss with the other drivers' feedback. The last run was good for me although I lost time at the first corner braking zone, other than that the lap time was okay and I was satisfied that we all did a good job."
Giorgio Pantano: "This afternoon we found our tyre comparison work a little bit strange given the changing grip conditions. We need to understand why this was so we can decide the limits of our car and tyre package at this track and which way to go for the race."
Willy Rampf: "Our main problem today was lack of grip. As a consequence, this was effecting the car balance quite a lot with understeer in the beginning moving to oversteer. Due to the layout of the track with many directional changes any handling problem is magnified. Our main area to improve the performance is therefore to find a more consistent balance."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "Generally we lacked grip today. It was windy at times and the conditions were from lap to lap inconsistent, and understeer was our problem. That's why I went off in Turn Four, I ran wide and then got on to the gravel. Luckily the car wasn't damaged. On long runs we weren't so bad, but we have some set-up work to do."
Felipe Massa: "It was not an easy day! The car was pretty loose both this morning and this afternoon, and I had a lot of understeer. That caught me out in Turn Four this afternoon, just like Giancarlo, but it's just the first day, and the track is still very green."
Bas, on the other hand, had an excellent day, completing his full technical programme and setting the fastest time of the Minardi drivers. We now look forward to making further progress tomorrow."
Bas Leinders: "For me, today
showed that I can improve every time I am able to go out in a Formula One car,
and that is reflected in my lap times. I pushed very hard straightaway on my
early runs this morning, despite the track being dirty. Working with my
engineer, we were successful in dialling out a heavy oversteer during the
first session, and then we concentrated mostly on tyre comparisons during the
Zsolt Baumgartner: "I'm satisfied even if we still have to
find the perfect chassis set-up for tomorrow. Bas did a very good job today.
He has tested new parts, which proved to be successful. It is very important
that tomorrow we find the correct set-up for both the qualifying session and
the race. I hope to be able to get close to the Jordans, as to reduce the gap
to them is something I really like!
Gianmaria Bruni: "It was okay at the beginning, but then we changed the car for the second session compared with how we started the morning. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at turn 11 on my first run of the afternoon and the car became stuck in the gravel, so that was the day finished. It's really a pity, but we will aim to improve tomorrow."