Atlas F1 News Service

Sunday's Selected Quotes - Canadian GP

Sunday June 10th, 2001


Ralf Schumacher: "It was a great race today. The whole time with the two of us together I was waiting for Michael to make a mistake, but he didn't! I wanted to see how the pit stop strategy would work. The car was brilliant and so were the Michelin tyres. I would like to thank everybody in the team for the great effort for giving me an incredible car and performing a perfect pit stop."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was really strange as when I went over the kerb and put the power on the rear the rear just stepped out, I don't know what happened. I was doing exactly the same every lap. I knew how close Rubens was, he was there for ten to 15 laps, and I was pretty calm. I was trying to pass Mika in the last sector, as this was the only sector where I was quicker than him. I think the car was all right but from that position it was quite difficult to overtake."

Frank Williams: "This was a true team effort. We have always known how strong the BMW engine is and it proved it today. Another important factor was the brilliant Michelin tyres - they looked like new after 51 laps!."

Patrick Head, Technical Director: "It was a brilliant race from Ralf who drove a wise and fast race. All of us in the team have been under pressure recently because of lack of reliability. And everyone has worked hard for this result."

Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "After Imola everything has come togather perfectly again - chassis, engine, tyres and driver. Ralf's performance was very strong and he showed maturity when behind Michael by waiting for the pit stop to overtake."

Gerhard Berger, BMW Motorsport Director: "From the word 'go' we saw a realistic chance of victory here. The fact it happened proved we are quite good at predicting performance. It was the right choice using the hard tyres, even if it was a slight disadvantage in qualifying. The whole weekend Ralf was extremely strong and after the recent reliability problems this shows a great effort by the entire team."


Michael Schumacher: "If I have to be beaten by someone, certainly my brother is the best person: rather him than anyone else! I am sure our parents will be very proud as this is the first time we finish in this order on the podium together. I am happy to finish the day with six important points for the championship. We were the best Bridgestone finisher and I could pull away from Coulthard and Hakkinen. After the Safety Car went in I knew Ralf was a bit faster, so I was hoping we could go longer before making the pits stop. But we could not and from then on I knew I had lost the race. When Ralf was behind me, I was not worried about him doing anything wrong. He tried to get past me, but on the inside line he had to brake early and I could brake much later. So after the pit stop, initially I pushed very hard to close the gap. But normally that does not work, because with a full fuel load at the start of the stint, you are slower. So then I drove at my pace, but the car felt a bit nervous because I was pretty near the limit. After that I settled for second place and just looked after my car to the finish."

Rubens Barrichello: "Right from the start, I had problems with the traction control. On lap 3 I had to switch it off as it was causing a misfire. It might have been a problem with a sensor, but we will have to investigate. This is what caused me to spin. I was very close to Ralf at the exit to the hairpin so I tried to push, but the car just went round. After that, the car was not as competitive as at the start of the race. When I came up behind Montoya I was not able to pass him because I no longer had traction control and the car had to much oversteer. Then, he went sideways and off the track and came back across it. I tried to avoid him but there was no room to get by and so I ended up in the wall. This has been a poor weekend for me."

Jean Todt: "We were expecting a hard race. Unfortunately, we lost Rubens in the early stages. He ended up spinning because of a problem with the traction control, which we will now have to investigate. Later, Barrichello ended up in wall trying to avoid Montoya's car which had also hit the wall. Today, the total Ralf Schumacher, Williams-BMW, Michelin package was stronger than ours and deserved to win. Our result is nevertheless important in view of the championships. We have extended our lead over our nearest rivals by two points in the 'Constructors' and six in the 'Drivers'. I am also very happy with the results obtained by the Sauber and Prost teams, taking two more Ferrari engines into the points."

Ross Brawn: "There was a technical problem which caused Rubens's spin, so we had to change the settings on his car. He was able to run, but it was not working as well as it should have done. He was very quick today, so it was a great shame, that Montoya spun in front of him and Rubens could not avoid him. We managed to find some setting where at least the car was working and he was very quick so we could have had a good result today. The Safety Car did not affect Michael's strategy, but unfortunately the tyres blistered, so we were unable to achieve the performance in the race which we thought we could have done. Ralf on his Michelins was much stronger than us today. We thought the Williams would be quick in the race, because we knew they had chosen the hard tyres and they were already quick on them yesterday, so we knew they would be tough opposition today."


Mika Hakkinen: "I'm relieved to finally have made it to the podium which is a good achievement when you start from eighth. The pitstop strategy helped to achieve this although I was not 100% happy with the car, because I lost time entering corners. During the last 15 laps, I felt a vibration and I'm not sure what caused it, but at the end it meant I had to hold the steering wheel tighter and tighter."

David Coulthard: "On the formation lap I realised that I had a problem with the front suspension, as the left to right handling characteristics were different. As the race progressed, it got worse but having discussed it with the team, I decided to continue and go for the points which I would have been capable of achieving. However with 16 laps to go, the engine suddenly let go. I have no doubt that I can still win the World Championship and will continue to work towards it - if you don't like a challenge you shouldn't be in Formula One."

Ron Dennis: "A difficult race for David who struggled from the very beginning with a partial failure of the left-hand front suspension. We assessed the risk and ultimately David decided to continue. In the circumstances, he drove an outstanding race up until his engine failed. Mika's long absence from the podium came to an end as a result of a disciplined drive and well executed strategy. With nine races to go, both Championships are still wide open and as always we will be fighting for points until the end."

Norbert Haug: "Unfortunately the water pressure in David's engine went up and consequently the water temperature increased lap by lap until the engine failed. At this stage we are establishing what the cause was. It's nice to see Mika on the podium again. All in all we are not happy with our performance, but now we have to concentrate on the next race at the Nürburgring."


Kimi Raikkonen:"I'm really pleased to finish in fourth place again. After Verstappen passed me on the opening lap I settled down to a good rhythm until my rear tyres began to go off. Then Zonta hit the back of my car on the straight. I was really lucky not to go off. Once we got a new set of tyres on the car it began handling really well again and I was able to pace myself easily to keep Alesi behind me in the closing stages. I think we proved again today what a good car the C20 is."

Nick Heidfeld:"Going into the third corner on the second lap Irvine hit my rear tyre and spun me into the wall. He was far from being alongside me, but I guess he was pushing hard because he was on a two-stop strategy. It's a real shame because the car felt good on the formation lap and the first lap of the race, and I was really looking forward to the race. Looking at the result it should have been easy to score some more points today. I'm hoping that my luck changes for the next race."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal:"This is another fantastic result for us, to score another three points and to reaffirm our competitive form while moving up to fourth place in the World Championship for Constructors. Kimi Räikkönen did a great job, especially with a damaged rear wing, while Nick Heidfeld was unlucky as he too should have been in the points."


Jean Alesi: "One of the most important things on this track is the brakes, and the team has done an excellent job on this aspect. Despite a disappointing qualifying position yesterday and a poor start today, I never had any problem and could push throughout the race. The team has given me a very reliable car so far this season, especially in the last two races, which has allowed me to give my best. These two points mean a lot for us, and they are well deserved. I want to thank everybody in the team here and in Guyancourt for the fantastic job done."

Luciano Burti: "This race has been hectic for most of the drivers, and it's been difficult for me too. I almost stalled the car on the grid, because the start function did not work properly, and I had to do a manual start. I was therefore last in the first corners but soon after the safety car came out because of Barrichello and Montoya's accident, which allowed me to catch up. After the restart, my car felt good. I was following Jean, and I was even quicker than him. But I made a mistake on the braking and to avoid hitting him I went onto the grass. The car started overheating because there was grass in the radiators and I had to anticipate my pit-stop. Then I got some blisters on the tyres which made the car almost undriveable for a while. The tyres slowly cleaned up and I managed to catch up Zonta by the end of the race. Unfortunately it was too late to improve my final position. However I feel very happy for Jean and for the team."

Alain Prost: "This was a very exciting race. Jean, Luciano and all the team behind them accomplished a remarkable performance. We fought for quite a long time among the first group of cars with Jean and our two cars once again finished the race. It is an intense happiness the team is experiencing today : more than just two essential points for us, this result is the confirmation of our performance in Monaco, of our motivation and our potential. We know the amountof work that is still ahead of us, but today is an extraodinary encouragement. We wish to thank Michelin for the quality of the tyres they provided us, as well as for their collaboration and contribution to our result. We also congratulate them for their 2nd victory this season."

Henri Durand, Technical Director: "This is a very good result for the team. After having struggled a bit this week-end, especially in qualifying, our cars finally behaved very well throughout the race. They were equipped with the modifications we have introduced on the aerodynamic package and the rear suspension in Monaco, and they proved to be less hard on tyres than other cars running on Michelin. This enabled us to run on a one stop strategy keeping a very good pace throughout the race and especially in the end. It is a satisfaction for us to see how our cars have been competitive today."


Pedro de la Rosa: "I'm delighted to have scored my first point for Jaguar Racing, I pushed very hard throughout the race because I was on a two-stop strategy. The car didn't give me any problems and apart from the Schumacher brothers, my pace was pretty consistent with the rest of the pack. My only concern during the race was the rear tyres in that I was worried about them blistering too early. I did actually struggle a little with rear-end grip but towards the end things got better. The whole team deserves this point and I suppose it helps compensate for some of the bad luck that I have suffered recently."

Eddie Irvine: "We made some set-up changes overnight and it transformed the car in a big way in that it was back to the way it should have been, the car felt great during morning warm-up and it's all the more disappointing to retire in the manner that I did. I tried taking Heidfeld on the inside into Turn Three and he turned onto the racing line and we touched. When you're 15th on the grid you have little choice but to get stuck in and that's what I did. It certainly wasn't his entire fault and to be honest, I accept two-thirds of the blame for this one. Nothing more than a racing incident."

Bobby Rahal: "It's great to score points two races running but we were a little lucky today, we've given points away recently by been unlucky so you have take these opportunities when they come. Take nothing away from Pedro though. He drove a hard and committed race and has been well rewarded with a point. We rolled the dice on the strategy today and maybe it hurt us a bit but we had nothing to lose given that we started from 14th and 15th on the grid. The car performed well and apart from Eddie's unfortunate exit, we have salvaged something positive from today."


Ricardo Zonta: "It felt great to compete in a Grand Prix race again, particularly as the racing was so good, I made a good start, moving up three places, and enjoyed a few fights with other cars. I was behind a Sauber and when I came very close to overtaking him, he braked unexpectedly and I hit him from behind which was dangerous. Luckily I was able to carry on with no real damage to the car. Half way though the race, I began to have problems with the brakes. After the pit stop I had difficulty braking late so had to put a lot of brake balance to the rear and just try to finish the race. The car was generally very well balanced and very fast, so it's a shame we didn’t pick up any points today."

Jarno Trulli: "I made a good start and was having a very strong race up in the top six for the entire time. Unfortunately, for the last ten or so laps, I just couldn't push anymore to retain my fourth place as there was a problem with the brakes which caused me to retire just six laps from the end. I am very disappointed and frustrated because I keep suffering from different problems which are stopping me from finishing races and winning points. It's very important that we now work hard to resolve the problems that have hindered us over the last few races, and return to our competitive form."

Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive: "Both Jarno and Ricardo drove a very strong and solid race, but yet again, we failed to score points due to reliability problems which is a great shame as we needed points and should have won them today. Ricardo's performance was commendable and he did an excellent job to hold off strong competition in the early part of the race. It looks like Jarno had brake hydraulic failure of some kind, as the brake wear and temperatures were fine. It's so important that we work hard to iron out these issues."

European Minardi

Tarso Marques: "It was a hard race, particularly after the second stop, as I had a few problems with the tyres that were fitted. We are now trying to work out what might have occurred with that second set, which resulted in it being markedly slower than the previous one. The chassis balance was not bad; however, on the straights it was clear we were at a power disadvantage to a number of our rivals. I made a good start and was able to gain one or two places, but could not maintain my position simply because other cars could easily pass me on the straights."

Fernando Alonso: "Today was a truly disappointing day. I felt I performed well during the morning warm-up. I was happy with my car's behaviour and felt confident for the race, but after a few laps there was a problem with the drive to the wheels. It is a shame, because the whole team worked flat out right through the weekend. We have just been really unlucky right from the first day."

Paul Stoddart, Team Principal: "Tarso's ninth place finish in today's action-packed race was a positive result at the end of what has been a weekend-long struggle with an assortment of problems. In fact, the result was all the more creditable for the fact he had to deal with loose bargeboards on his car for the last 10 laps. Sadly, Fernando's weekend was curtailed by what appears to have been a driveshaft problem. The team now returns to Europe and will be carrying out further testing of its new gearbox and aerodynamic package. Once in place, this will assist us in addressing the recent reliability issues that have affected the team’s performance."


Jos Verstappen:"I am very very disappointed. I got a great start and was up to seventh place by lap two. By the time the Safety Car came out I was up into a points-scoring position but I couldn't hear anything on the radio. I didn't hear the call to come in for a pit-stop so we lost the opportunity to pit during the Safety Car period. I was having a lot of problems with my brakes and that was what caused me to go off at the end. I'm unhappy as we lost points today."

Enrique Bernoldi:"I got a reasonable start and gained a couple of places but I got something in my radiator when cars went off on the first lap. I came in for a pit-stop to clear out the debris as the engine temperatures were rising. After my stop I was pleased to see the Safety Car come out as I could catch up again but my engine temperatures kept going up and I had to retire."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director:"I think we had a large dose of bad luck today. Jos' radio didn't work after a few laps so we missed a pit-stop opportunity and then he lost his front brakes at the end when we were on for a point. We had to call Enrique in as his temperatures went through the roof. We later found out that this was caused by a hamburger wrapper blocking his radiator so would ask the spectators to use the litter bins next time!


Jacques Villeneuve: "It was a very hard weekend. Everything happened Friday, Saturday and today. There was always something that went wrong. I think we used up all our bad luck for the year. During the race the anti-stall kicked in so I lost a lot of time. The car was running strong after that but then we started having brake problems and eventually a driveshaft problem ended my race."

Olivier Panis: "I am very disappointed. I made a very good start and the car was really quick. We had a good strategy for today but on lap 28 I had problems with the brakes - the brake pedal was too far away and I could not stop the car. Everyone has worked really hard this weekend; it is really disappointing because we were looking strong. We need to understand very quickly how we can improve so that we can move forward."

Craig Pollock: "A very disappointing race. It has been a very hard weekend for everyone. The problems that we experienced with both cars today are ones that we need to investigate, as they are problems that we have never had before. Clearly we have a lot of work to do when we get back home. It is very hard to leave Canada on such a low after we overcame the problems we had leading up to qualifying."

Malcolm Oastler, Technical Director: "A shocking day and not one we want to repeat in a hurry. We had a great opportunity with a fast car and two fast drivers but we didn’t achieve anything, which is very disappointing. We had a problem with the launch control on Jacques car, which held him up at the start and put him back into eighteenth position. Then he had a driveshaft problem. Olivier was pushing hard and running in fifth when he ran out of brakes. At the moment we are unsure why this happened but we will be looking at the data to understand why."


Jenson Button: "My car started to creep a little at the start, despite the clutch being right at the biting point, and that led to me picking up a stop-go penalty for moving too soon. Then the first lap was just mad, with absolutely loads of things going on all over the place. It can be great fun when it is like that, but we did not gain many places in the mayhem. On the way down to the hairpin I came alongside Giancarlo on the straight and he braked early. I then moved over because Bernoldi came across as well and then Giancarlo ran into the back of me, which unfortunately destroyed his race. It also damaged my rear wing, which did not help the balance of the car. It was very skittish under braking. I then had to come into the pits twice ­ once for the stop and go and then a second time to make sure everything was all right with the car after the knock. It wasn't too bad so we decided to carry on, and I don't think the lap times were too bad in the circumstances. Unfortunately, however, the car developed an oil leak and so I had to stop."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "On the first lap I was coming out of the hairpin and Bernoldi, who was ahead, appeared to have some kind of engine problem. He slowed as we accelerated and I couldn't avoid hitting him, which damaged my front wing. Then, as we were coming into the final corner, I touched Jenson's car, which broke my front right suspension and forced me out of the race. That was a great shame because I have always done very well at this track before."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "I can only say that it was a very disappointing day at a race that has been so favourable to us in the past and a race in which it would have been easy to score points had we finished. Giancarlo was involved in an accident at the hairpin on the first lap when Bernoldi didn't accelerate in front of him and that damaged his front wing. At the end of the lap he was planning to stop for a new wing, but due to the damaged front wing compromising his breaking he unfortunately hit Jenson at the final corner. That was his race run. When Jenson served his stop-go penalty we saw that his rear wing was damaged, so we stopped him again as a precaution to make sure it was safe for him to continue, which it was. He later retired with what we suspect was an oil leak."

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