Atlas F1 News Service

Friday's Selected Quotes - Canadian GP

Friday June 8th, 2001

McLaren

Mika Hakkinen: "We went through a lot of work including a positive tyre evaluation programme. We achieved a fine balance and if we can maintain this for tomorrow, we should be looking good. However it's difficult to compare your performance relatively to the opposition because of the different fuel loads and tyre compounds."

David Coulthard: "We were working on finding the optimum set up and also managed a few practice starts using the launch control, and everything worked well. We are definitely heading in the right direction, but the grip level is always changing on this track, you probably get the best grip during the last lap of the race. I think we went a bit too far set-up wise towards the end of the session but all in all, a reasonable day and I'm looking forward to qualifying."

Ron Dennis: "A good progressive day with no technical problems. The engineers and drivers adapted well to the circuit changes that are a characteristic of Montreal."

Norbert Haug: "A good beginning to the weekend. We have found the right race set up and tomorrow we want to concentrate on qualifying and hope that everything works as well as today including the many starts we practised.'

Jaguar

Eddie Irvine: "We ran through our programme successfully and concentrated particularly on set-up, the michelins look good on one hand and not so good on the other. I'm not going to go into detail about this but there's certainly pros and cons to the tyres around this circuit. The car didn't feel as good as I expected it to around here but overall I'd say we are in good shape. There are some new bits on the car and I don't at this stage know exactly what impact they are having. We are still evaluating these changes and will continue to do so in the run-up to qualifying tomorrow."

Pedro de la Rosa: "That was a productive session apart from the end when I didn't have enough time left to try new tyres, we followed our plan very well today and the car feels reasonably well balanced. I don't really have any issues or problems at this stage and I expect to qualify well tomorrow. I like this circuit and our new aero package seems to be coping quite well with the demands placed upon it. It's too early to begin making predictions about this weekend and we still have some work to get through tomorrow morning before we are fully prepared for qualifying."

Bobby Rahal: "There were some good signs of progress in today's session and I'm reasonably happy with the new aerodynamic package which is demonstrably better than before although we need to keep working on it. I think we showed today that we can be competitive with the BAR's and the Jordan's and we ran quite heavy fuel loads today. Pedro didn't have enough time to run with new tyres but overall I am pleased with our first day's efforts."

Ferrari

Rubens Barrichello: "It was the usual sort of Friday. The track is always dirty on the first day here. We concentrated on the race, especially on brakes and tyres. I'm feeling pretty relaxed as the car is going quite well and we improved it during the session. We still have some work to do on the set-up, but overall I am happy with the day's work."

Michael Schumacher: "At the start of the second half of the session, we decided to make a change to the car which took longer than expected. That is why I did not do so many laps in the second hour. In any case we managed to get though our planned programme. We worked a lot on the brakes, which are put under a lot of stress at this track. I am not worried about qualifying as the difference in lap times between mine and those of my main rivals does not reflect the true situation."

Jean Todt: "Today, we worked exclusively on preparing ourselves for the race. Both drivers worked on assessing the different types of tyre. We still have to fine tune the set-up of the cars for tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session as well making a decision as to which tyres to use. We are confident we can be on the pace to fight for the top grid positions and as usual it should be a tight battle."

Ross Brawn: "We made a mechanical change to Michael's car at the start of the second half of the session, which delayed the programme slightly. We had some things to check out which is why Michael is lower down the order than he would usually be, but it's not a major concern for tomorrow. More specifically with Rubens we were investigating tyres, trying both types to see which compound and combination would best suit this track. All in all, a pretty good session."

Williams

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a pretty good day as we did quite a lot of work, we kept out of trouble, which I think is quite important. We worked to set-up the car and make it better for the race, and I think we did quite a lot of improvements. The track is pretty interesting. It is quite technical in the way you have to be very precise where you put the car on the track."

Ralf Schumacher: "That was a good two sessions, we progressed well. I'm still not 100 per cent happy with my set-up but we are working in the right direction. I'm confident that by tomorrow we will have sorted this. I think we will be in the top five in qualifying tomorrow and the gap to the front will be no more than 0.3-0.4s."

Patrick Head, Technical Director: "I'm reasonably satisfied with how things went. We worked well through a pre-set schedule and both drivers did a good job. I was particularly impressed at home quickly Juan Pablo learned the circuit. The car seems quite well balanced and we've now got a lot of good information on brakes and tyres which we will study to decide what to do for qualifying tomorrow."

Sauber

Nick Heidfeld: "I'm quite happy today. I had no technical problems and most of the things that we did to the car made it better and gave us an indication of where to go next. The new hydraulic differential is working well, and enables us to make fast adjustments. We worked hard on traction and it was okay; it's one of the keys for the race here. I'm pleased with P7, especially as the cars ahead are only tenths quicker."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I don't know what the problem was with my car today, but I wasn't happy with the traction. The team is looking at the data now so that we can improve things for tomorrow."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "It's good to be moving back in the right direction again after Monaco."

Jordan

Jarno Trulli: "The session was pretty good, we learned quite a bit but we are struggling to be quick in race conditions. We are having a few problems with the tyres blistering at the moment. I think we will be quick in qualifying but the signs so far are that it will be much harder in the race. We have worked hard today to find ways of sorting out the problem and we'll have to see if we have found a good solution. Today we concentrated on the race configuration; tomorrow morning we will check the race set-up but we will have to think about qualifying. We didn't have any mechanical problems today and the brakes, always a concern on this circuit, seem okay."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "It felt like I came on some dirt in the braking area which had been put on the track by someone going off in front of me, I wasn't going flat out or braking that hard, but it was enough to cause me to lose the rear of the car and spin off. Until then, everything had been going according to plan as we worked on the race set-up. There hadn't been any problems and we were making progress with trying to find a good balance. Then I crashed. I went backwards pretty fast, there was a big bang, but I'm okay."

Tim Holloway, Head of Engineering: "Today we've been working through the standard Canadian race preparation and set-up, although this circuit is a bit different in the sense that it's very much about the brakes. The track conditions were good today and the tyres appeared consistent. The damage to Heinz's car looks quite extensive so we have a lot of work to do for qualifying tomorrow, but look in good shape in terms of reliability."

BAR

Jacques Villeneuve: "I am very disappointed, we only managed to do a few laps with fuel to find out about the brakes. We were unable to do any work on setup so it was not a good day for us, but Olivier managed to do some good work and I am sure that we can learn from the progress that he made."

Olivier Panis: "It was a good first day for me as we managed to put in a significant amount of laps to generate valuable track time, the balance of the car is good but we still have a lot of work to do as we head towards qualifying, it is good to be back in Canada, apart from 1997 it has always been a good circuit for me and I have been happy with the results I have achieved here so far."

Craig Pollock: "We are very disappointed. The incident with Jacques has set us back and to loose a session on a circuit like this is not ideal. The team however will be working hard to ensure that Jacques has a competitive car for qualifying. Olivier did a good job and was happy with the progress and balance of his car."

Prost

Jean Alesi: "We have tried to run as much as possible today in order to understand how the car reacts to this track. On my side, I have concentrated mainly on setups and tyre tests. We have now to work hard to be able to be more competitive in tomorrow's qualifying."

Luciano Burti: "I have never raced on this track before so today, my objective was to run as much as possible to get acquainted to the circuit. As expected, the track is very dirty and slippery, changing very quickly. The car has improved throughout the two sessions, and we have tried such a lot of different options today that I am confident we have everything in hand to get the best possible setup for tomorrow's qualifying."

Alain Prost: "Today's target for us was to try a variety of setups and we are satisfied since we completed our programme according to plan. We have deliberately chosen to run today with a downforce level which does not optimise the car's top speed for the moment but we will work on this and will be ready for tomorrow's qualifying. Both Jean and Luciano have run a lot of laps, worked in perfect synergy and gathered a great deal of information. We are confident we will be able to make good use of them and also anticipate as much as we can the changing conditions of the track, which are a key element at this Grand Prix. As usual, it's hard to try to predict today where we stand in respect to our competitors and it's only tomorrow that we we will get a clear idea."

Benetton

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I had a good day because we did lots of running and improved the set-up of the car. By the end of the session the car felt quite a bit better when we put new tyres on. It is going to be difficult tomorrow but we were running with a lot of fuel today and I am confident that we can get a better result than this in qualifying."

Jenson Button: "The first session was okay, but during the second we had some problems and I had much less straight-line speed than I was supposed to, but hopefully for tomorrow we can improve that. During the second session there wasn't enough time to work on the set-up or the balance of the car, so there is a lot of stuff still to do. Things have not been fantastic - but tomorrow is another day."

Pat Symonds, Director of Engineering: "It has been a typical first day in Montreal. We have concentrated particularly on high fuel loads to see how the brakes cope because they tend to suffer a lot at this circuit. The track was very dirty, which is normal here, and that makes it harder to get to grips with the car. It was a productive day, however, and we are happy with our tyres and our braking performance. The low point of today was an electronic problem on Jenson's car which stopped him running as much as we would have liked and he didn't get a chance to try new tyres at the end."

Arrows

Jos Verstappen: "Well this morning was a shame but I did have a very good second session. The car felt good but it could be better as there are a lot of things we can do to improve it. It's disappointing that I lost an hour of practice time as you can never get that back but I know the car will improve so that is something I can look forward to."

Enrique Bernoldi: "This is a very nice circuit. It has a really good combination of fast straights and tight chicanes so it's a good challenge for me. I've spent today learning the track and steadily developing the set-up of the car and I'm happy with the progress we have made."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "Jos had a difficult start to the day as a gearbox oil leak put his car out of action for the first session. Having said that he had a very good second session and got through a lot of work. Enrique has been progressing steadily with one minor problem when he ran over debris from Villeneuve's accident which meant we lost a set of tyres. This is why we delayed his start to the second session. Overall though a productive day even though we lost a fair bit of time."

European Minardi

Fernando Alonso: "There is not much to say. I didn't do many laps today after experiencing an engine problem that caused me to lose almost the entire first session. We changed the engine for the second session, but then lost more time in the garage with a starting problem. In the end, I managed to complete 10 laps, but there was only time to learn the braking points and the lines. It was not the time today to take further risks in search of a faster lap."

Tarso Marques: "Unfortunately, we lost a lot of valuable time in both sessions. I should have exploited today to test many things on the car and to learn the track, which I don't know, but there were problems right from the beginning. I tried to improve my time in the second session, but found a lot of traffic. The technical staff are still analysing the cause of the problem in the second session, while we know this morning's difficulties were caused by an engine oil leak."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "It has been a disappointing start to the weekend for the European Minardi team. Neither driver has been here before and the programme we had planned would have allowed them to gain valuable time and experience running on this unusual circuit. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as both cars were beset with mechanical gremlins today. Tarso was not able to complete a full timed run, due to an oil leak in the first session and a fuel pressure problem in the second, so sadly, has it all to do tomorrow. Fernando did complete a timed run on fresh tyres, but lost track time in the afternoon session with a fuel-delivery problem. Hopefully, our problems are now behind us and we'll make good progress tomorrow."



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