European GP race notes - Sauber


Sauber drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa finished 13th and 14th respectively in today's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

Jacques Villeneuve: "I was level with Felipe going into the first corner, but then I got caught up in the incident there. Unfortunately for me that put me behind Karthikeyan, and he was fighting me like we were in a 10-lap kart race. Okay, have fun and let's race, I'm not saying don't try to resist the challenge, but relax. He could see I was a lot quicker but whenever I got my nose inside him he just blocked me. That cost me 40 seconds and ruined my strategy, and that's really the story of what was for me a pretty boring race."

Felipe Massa: "Several laps after I made my second stop on the 44th lap, I started to experience vibrations from the front tyres. I hadn't flat spotted either of them, but when I got to Turn 5 on lap 51 I just couldn't stop the car and slid off into the gravel. I got back on to the track but after that the left front was vibrating really badly and then the tread began to break up and damaged my front wing endplate, so I had to make a stop for a new front left tyre and a new wing.

"That was such a shame because my car was fantastic in the race and I was easily keeping ahead of Michael and Montoya until that final stop."

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): "We had a disappointing ending to what had been a great race for us. Felipe was able to steer clear of the first-corner incident and drove with strong pace and the chance to score points for sixth place until he encountered a problem. We have yet to examine the tyres, and while we await a report from Michelin we will also carry out our own analysis of all our car data from the race. As for Jacques, his strategy was compromised by the first-corner collisions and he was never in a position thereafter to be able to recover the lost ground."

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Published: 29/05/2005
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