Just not fast enough.
Monaco GP - Ferrari - Qualifying Report
Ferrari champion Michael Schumacher was forced to take a back seat to his
younger brother Ralf in this afternoon’s qualifying session for the Monaco
Grand Prix, the ender German only managing fifth place on the gird for tomorrows
race while his younger sibling secured the second pole of his career.
Michael who is bidding for his record-equalling sixth Monaco Grand Prix victory
is far from happy with the end result however he refuses to let it bother him
too much and is confident that their strategy will pay off in the end.
'Obviously, I am not happy with this result, but I am not particularly concerned
about it. I drove a lap which was error free. Right from this morning, we could
see we were not as competitive in the second and third sectors,” he said. “One
explanation could be that, over the course of the weekend, the track has picked
up more rubber and the performance level of the tyres over a single lap seems
to have changed. However, this does not necessarily mean that the situation
will be the same tomorrow. In fact, I still believe we have made a good choice
for the race and we will only find out tomorrow how much fuel the cars have
really got on board."
Meanwhile, teammate Rubens Barrichello crossed the line to secure seventh place,
a position that the Brazilian driver was not impressed with. According to Rubens,
there was little that either he or Michael could have done as their car just
wasn’t fast enough….
'This was not our best qualifying day,” he said.‘The car was going well, but it
just was not fast enough. Now we will have to see what level of fuel the cars
ahead of us are running. This result has not affected my confidence as far as
the race is concerned.'
'After a closely fought qualifying session, we have recorded our least
satisfactory result of the season so far, at a track where the grid position is
very important. However, there is still a question mark over the amount of fuel
the drivers have chosen to go to the start with,” added Jean Todt. ‘We will only
find out the truth during the race. It is clear that if those who are ahead of
us today can do a similar number of laps to us, then we will be in a difficult
situation. However, if we can stay out on the track for longer, then we can be
in the running right to the end. Monte Carlo is the longest race of the year in
terms of time, on a track which is pretty demanding on both car and driver. As
usual, reliability will be the key and our main objective is to get both cars
to the finish.'
'It would have been nicer to be on pole of course, but until we see how the
race develops tomorrow, in terms of the different fuel loads our competitors
are using, it is very difficult to make an accurate judgement,” added Ross Brawn.
“The car was well balanced and we had no real problems. Now, we must just wait
and see what happens in the race.'