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Sunday Qualifying: Team Notes

NEWS STORY
08/05/2005

Renault

Fernando Alonso: I was very pleased with the lap this morning – I was nearer the limit than yesterday, and only missed out on the front row by a small margin to Mark (Webber). However, in third place I am on the clean side of the circuit, and we know that our real strong point is the pace on the long runs. I am where I need to be to fight for the podium, and hopefully give all the fans something to cheer about.

Giancarlo Fisichella: I hit my target again: I am sixth, in the first three rows, after a good lap. The balance of the car was good, and we know that the race conditions favour our car. I am aiming for the podium this afternoon.

Minardi

Minardi F1 Team drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher recorded the 17th and 18th fastest laps respectively in today's final qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix, and on aggregate times, would therefore normally start from those positions on the grid. With Tiago Monteiro, Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello all having to drop positions as the penalty for unscheduled engine changes to their cars, however, the Minardi drivers will each move up three spots on the starting grid.

Christijan Albers: This morning's run wasn't too bad from my perspective, and I'm quite happy with how things have gone, but the most important thing now is the race this afternoon. We are definitely going in the right direction with the car, although there remains development to do on it. The Bridgestone tyres are working well here, and every time we run the car we are finding out more about it and making steady progress. I'm feeling positive.

Patrick Friesacher: The car was not handling so well on that run, and therefore I couldn't really push to the maximum. I'm finding the front end just a bit too aggressive on turn-in, so we have to work on that. There is no doubt the PS05 has a lot of potential; we just need to spend some more time testing and in the wind tunnel to unlock that potential.

McLaren

West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen will start today's Spanish Grand Prix from pole position after emerging fastest from today's second qualifying session. It's the Finn's second pole position of the season and his fifth in Formula One. Kimi's aggregate time is 2:31.421. Juan Pablo improved on his provisional starting position from yesterday by finishing seventh overall with an aggregate time of 2:33.472.

Kimi Raikkonen: "I'm pleased to be on pole position but there is still a race to go. Today's lap was pretty good and my aggregate time would have been even better if I hadn't made the mistake in yesterday's qualifying. Our package is obviously working well and if everything comes together I think we are in with a chance of winning the race."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a good lap and I have gained quite a few places on the grid which is positive. I think it will be a great race as the car is working really well and we should be in a strong position to get some points. So far my shoulder has been fine but the real challenge will come in the race."

Ron Dennis: "A perfect lap from Kimi saw him achieving pole position and I'm particularly pleased with the gap to Alonso and the Toyotas. Juan Pablo also put in a strong performance and consequently gained quite a few positions. We are expecting a strong race where we want to challenge for the victory."

Norbert Haug: "A great job from both the drivers and the entire team. Kimi was faultless and Juan Pablo gained effectively three places on the grid. We think we have chosen the best possible strategy and after the second consecutive pole position from Kimi, the entire team is looking forward to achieve similar positions in the race."

Red Bull

David Coulthard: It was a straightforward morning. The car went well apart from some oversteer in the fast corners. I expected to loose a place to Juan Pablo as he has a quicker car and made a mistake in yesterday's qualifying. I expected the balance of the car to be a bit better, so we might struggle a bit at the start of the race, but it should improve as the tyres evolve.

Tonio Liuzzi: This was a good lap for me, with no mistakes. Obviously, the car felt a bit lazier on a full fuel load, but I think this morning's lap shows we should have a good race pace and I think we have made the right choice in terms of strategy. It is going to be a tough race, as overtaking is difficult, but we look in good shape.

Toyota

Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers Ralf Schumacher will line up in 4th and 5th positions on the grid for today's Spanish Grand Prix after a tough second qualifying session. Both drivers complained of understeer during their laps and while Ralf was able to maintain his position from yesterday, Jarno dropped onto the third row from his provisional pole. Both drivers remain in excellent shape for the race and they are optimistic that they can take more points for the team this afternoon.

Ralf Schumacher will line up in 4th place for this afternoon's Spanish Grand Prix, his best qualifying performance of 2005 so far. The German complained of understeer during this morning's lap but he is confident ahead of today's race.

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