2006 Monte Carlo Grand Prix - Race 7/18

Soldato
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fuz said:
I can't live without live timing now

Laptop and TV is all I need

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lol look at Montoya’s reaction :D :D
 
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To anyone, absolutely anyone who has ever complained about the ITV coverage and commentators for Formula 1; you should have to watch coverage on CBS. Not only did I have to put up with the worst commentators I've ever heard (seriously, the football fan Joe Public commentators they have on SKY are better), they didn't even show DC's post race interview :(

Boring race, I bet an awful lot of sponsors would complain if they tried to drop it from the calender though :/
 
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Especially for Fuz....

Horner keeps his word

Christian Horner is a man of his words. Before the weekend, the young team principal had vowed to jump in the Red Bull Energy Station pool - naked - if his team could score a podium in Monaco.

He probably thought he was safe from it coming true, even when David Coulthard managed to qualify his Red Bull in seventh.

By the closing stages of the race, however, as cars near the front hit trouble, the way was left open for Coulthard to grab the team's maiden podium finish. And poor Horner probably did not know whether to laugh or cry.

In the FIA press conference autosport.com innocently asked DC whether he would make sure Horner went through with his pledge.

"My advise was to give his 'wally' a good rub before he does it because if you are going to get photographed naked you want to look as favourable as possible," smiled the Scotsman.

We can't confirm that he did indeed rub anything before making the leap, but he did stay true to his word - naked, except for the red Superman cape that Coulthard wore on the podium!

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More and larger... :eek:

http://www.flibster.com/F1/2006/Images/Nekkid/horner1.jpeg
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http://www.flibster.com/F1/2006/Images/Nekkid/horner5.jpeg
http://www.flibster.com/F1/2006/Images/Nekkid/horner6.jpeg
http://www.flibster.com/F1/2006/Images/Nekkid/horner7.jpeg
http://www.flibster.com/F1/2006/Images/Nekkid/horner8.jpeg
 
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De la Rosa threatens to quit GPDA

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa has said he will resign from the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) if Michael Schumacher does not stand down over the Monaco Grand Prix controversy.

De la Rosa is one of several drivers who has been left unhappy at Schumacher's antics in qualifying, where the stewards claimed he deliberately stopped his car on the track to try and impede his rivals.

And amid suggestions that there will be a push by drivers to get Schumacher to stand down from his role as president of the GPDA, de la Rosa has made it clear that if the seven-time World Champion does not go then he will.

"I think what he did was a disaster for a seven-time World Champion," said de la Rosa at Monaco. "If someone like Ide had done that they would have taken his licence away.

"In my opinion I don't see how he can remain a GPDA director, but this is only my opinion, not the opinion of the organisation.

"We will have to discuss this matter at the next meeting [at Silverstone]. But if he remains as a director, then I cannot continue to do so."
 
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Schumacher sorry but upholds innocence

Michael Schumacher has apologised for spoiling Fernando Alonso's qualifying efforts yesterday, but the German remains adamant that it was not his intention and said he was still 'shocked' by the penalty handed to him last night.

Schumacher was forced to start from the back of the grid after the race stewards believed he had deliberately stopped his car on the track to try and stop his rivals from beating him to pole position.

Despite recovering brilliantly to charge through the field and claim four points for fifth place, Schumacher has said he is still unhappy about what happened to him.

"During the race obviously I didn't have time to think about it, and also from a certain point you have to push away these things and prepare for the race," said Schumacher.

"But I have to admit that the disappointment from yesterday is still there, especially when we see what could have been possible today. The harshness of the penalty has left us all shocked."

When told that 74% of the Premiere TV viewers in Germany thought his penalty was too harsh, Schumacher added: "It would have been nice to know that before the race."

But he remains adamant that he did not stop his car deliberately on the track in qualifying - which has left him unimpressed at the wave of criticism that has come his way.

"To a certain point I am used to living with criticism, but nobody else but me was sitting inside the car, and without all the information which we had and in terms of what feeling I had in the car you cannot make a proper judgement," he explained.

"But I have to admit that some of it looks quite strange from the outside. But there are reasons for all of this. For those who are thinking I tried to destroy Fernando's lap on purpose, I have to disappoint them.

"I can only apologise that it happened, but it was not my intention. I did not know where Alonso was at this point, I did not have radio contact to say exactly where he was.

"But I have learnt very often that the past does get turned up. But I think everybody has black dots on their white jacket.

"I have been in F1 for 15 or 16 years and I think I can say there are not too many black dots on my jacket. In a way, I can live with it that people argue about these black dots."

Schumacher said, however, that he was not surprised by the reaction of some of his fellow drivers. "There are some who speak to the press and don't speak to me, and there are others who don't go to the press and do speak to me," the German said.

"That is life. You cannot always have friends, you also have rivals and people who don't get on with you very well. Why should that be different in F1 as it is in normal life?"

Schumacher's failure to beat Alonso in Monaco has allowed his Renault rival to now open up a 21 points gap in the title chase. But despite that, Schumacher has said there is no point in giving up on the title fight just yet.

"We will never think he is unbeatable for the championship," he said. "We are now at the seventh race so there are still points to get, everything is open and a lot can happen. Those who know me and saw the race today can see that giving up is not my style."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - WilliamsF1

Sam Michael, Technical Director, WilliamsF1: "It was a shame that both drivers had to stop the race due to exhaust failures that then allowed hot exhaust gas to burn through wiring looms. Up until then Mark was doing really well and he was in line for a strong second place. The car was really competitive and had a lot of fuel on board. The qualifying pace of the car was clearly good as well if you look at the lengths of the first stints compared to the other front running cars, so it's a shame we didn't come away with more points from this circuit. Nico's race suffered from the result of poor qualifying which left him stuck in traffic right from the beginning. We now must get to the bottom of the exhaust problems that have affected us today and ensure they are fixed."

Mark Webber: "I am very disappointed of course, it felt like we deserved something today, but reliability has let us down. There is no rewind button and all the hard work we did over the last few days is invisible now. We were quick here, I was going a lot longer than Fernando in the second stint and Juan-Pablo wasn't really a threat, so the podium was there. Aside from the start, when I got on the brakes a sniff late into Ste Devote and lost the place to Kimi - who was on new tyres - it was an hour of running at qualifying pace and I just had a bit more to go and it would have been a great result."

Nico Rosberg: "The team has done a great job in improving our starts and today I had a very good start and gained two positions. Unfortunately this wasn't enough because I was stuck in 6th position behind Barrichello, who was much slower than me. From then on my race was compromised, I think, because I was on a two-stop strategy and everyone around me was one-stopping. I am very sorry for the team because we had one of the strongest cars out there, and Mark's performance proved it. We would have finished on the podium for sure today and it's a pity that we came away from here with no points. After the safety car came in, I felt I had a problem with the throttle sticking open and when I tried to slow down, it pushed me into the barriers."

Chris Jilbert, Principal Engineer - Cosworth, F1 Race Engineering: "A thoroughly disappointing end to what was shaping up to be a promising event for Cosworth following Mark's exceptional qualifying position. Unfortunately both cars retired due to exhaust failures. We need to give both engines a thorough inspection back in Northampton to assess the extent of the fire damage."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - BMW

Despite a disappointing qualifying, the BMW Sauber F1 Team still managed to collect two more championship points at the Monaco Grand Prix when Nick Heidfeld finished seventh. Jacques Villeneuve finished the race but was out of the points.

Nick Heidfeld: I am extremely happy with today. Before the race not everyone was optimistic, but you should never give up. It could have turned out completely differently, but we were lucky with the circumstances and also made the most of what we had. At the start I gained four positions, but then I slowed as I thought I had damaged the car. It turned out I just used the tyres too hard, especially the rears. I pitted earlier than planned and after the safety car I just looked after the rear tyres. I was not sure about getting points here, but in Monaco the most important thing is not to make mistakes and that way you can get the car to the finish.

Jacques Villeneuve: The start itself was not very good as my clutch was slipping, but the first corner went well and I caught Jenson Button. Then I tried to save the brakes a bit. Half way through the race I had to let the leaders by and David Coulthard also overtook me. This made me drive off the racing line, I got dirt on my tyres and they were gone so we decided to make an early pit stop. Unfortunately this didn't work very well because shortly after that the safety car came out. After all that I got a drive through penalty so it was not a good day for me.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): If you start on the streets of Monaco 14th and 15th on the grid and still collect two points you can't complain. Of course we benefited from retirements in front of us, but Nick deserved his two points. His start was excellent and his race performance good. Jacques didn't get the chance to be so far up the field and then was delayed by a drive through penalty.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director Chassis): For us it was a very difficult race. We started with very heavy cars and soon noticed the lap times dropping. Because of this we decided to call our cars in early and change the original strategy. Thanks to Nick's consistent performance after his stop we have two points. Considering our grid positions, our race result is good.
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Renault

This afternoon at the Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso took his fourth win of the 2006 season with a measured, mistake-free drive from pole position.

His team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella, having been forced to start from ninth on the grid following a penalty yesterday afternoon, drove a dynamic race to finish sixth. The combined result allowed the Renault F1 Team to consolidate its lead in the Constructors' Championship, with a total of 91 points from seven races, and a 28-point lead over its nearest challenger.

Fernando enjoyed a trouble-free afternoon after starting from pole position. He took the lead at the first corner, and then controlled his pace as he was chased throughout the first stint by Kimi Raikkonen. His longer first stint allowed him to emerge from the pits ahead of his rival, and also meant the team could cover the McLaren-Mercedes strategy by fuelling longer in the second stint. However, a safety car period on lap 49 rendered this academic, as all the leading runners pitted for their second and final stops. Following Raikkonen's retirement during the safety car period, Fernando was able to look after his tyres and engine during the remaining 30 laps, preserving the performance potential of the V8 for its next race, while controlling the gap to Montoya in second. He has extended his championship lead to 21 points over Michael Schumacher, and has a total of 64 points from a possible 70.

Giancarlo Fisichella began the day with a much harder task: starting from ninth position following a post-qualifying penalty, but on a strategy designed for a position at the front grid. This left him running a shorter first stint than his immediate competitors, and required an aggressive approach to convert his grid slot into points. Giancarlo delivered in style, with an aggressive start, dynamic driving and strong pace. He also disproved the myth that overtaking at Monaco is impossible, with impressive manoeuvres on three fellow competitors on the track (Rosberg, Villeneuve, Coulthard). The safety car period disadvantaged him relative to the cars around him who were running one stop strategies, but he nevertheless raced to a strong sixth position – and three valuable championship points. He now lies third in the drivers' championship.

Fernando Alonso: This is a special place for any driver to win a race, for the history, for what it represents to Formula 1 and because it is such a big challenge to get through the race with no mistakes. We have been trying since 2003, and Renault had a good car here every year, but now we have done it. To be honest, I was quite surprised by Raikkonen's speed but I knew that I had to control my pace as well to look after the tyres. We seemed to have more problems with the rear wear than our competitors, but I managed the situation to keep the tyres fresh for the end of the stints, and to build a gap when I needed it. Michelin did a fantastic job for this race, and I want to say thank-you to all their employees for their work. Looking at the championship, I am in a great position, and the consistency is the best part of it. We know that podium finishes are the key to winning the title, and so far this year we have had seven from seven races.

Giancarlo Fisichella: I lost my chance of a good finish yesterday after the penalty in qualifying. With the strategy we had for the car, it was almost impossible to do anything from ninth position. So I just had to go out there and push to the maximum. I was behind a lot of traffic for most of the race, but still managed to overtake some people on the track – Rosberg, Villeneuve and Coulthard. I was able to do a good pace at the end, and managed to get sixth position, which is good for the team along with Fernando's victory. Renault is in really good shape at the moment, and we are very optimistic that we can be quick at Silverstone after a very strong test there. We will certainly be trying to get both cars on the podium.

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: This was a great team performance from Renault today. We want to dedicate the win to Edouard Michelin. Michelin was a big part of our world title success last year, and they have played an important role in putting us in the lead of the championship in 2006. We are very happy to win here in Monaco, and to be able to pay tribute to his memory in the way he would have wanted.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: Congratulations to Fernando. He took a fantastic win on the ultimate driver's circuit. There is not much to say about his race, apart from the fact that he had it perfectly under control. He was very deliberately taking it easy after each pit-stop because this circuit is so demanding for the rear tyres, owing to the heavy traction demands. Throughout the race, though, Fernando had the ability to increase his pace when he needed to. As for Giancarlo, it was a true pleasure to watch him race today. His overtaking manoeuvres were daring and well-judged, and I cannot remember a driver working so aggressively in many years to move through the field here at Monaco. In spite of this, his race was effectively controlled by traffic, and the Safety Car prevented his strategy from playing out fully, but we could not have asked much more of him today. Our thoughts are also with Michelin today. They brought tyres that struck the perfect balance between first-lap performance and long run consistency, and we are proud to have taken their fifth consecutive Monaco victory, all the more so in such poignant circumstances.
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Toro Rosso

Tonio Liuzzi: "I think we picked the wrong moment to refuel. We should have stopped earlier. At least we finished the race, but we were out of luck with the safety car, as it spoilt our strategy. Tenth place is quite a good result, but it is not acceptable when you think you we should have got points."

Scott Speed: "The first lap was awesome and I made up a couple of places. After that I just didn't have the pace to do anything more. In the early stages, we had a lot of problems with the rear end of the car. I was doing everything I could in terms of engine braking and brake bias to try and cure it. It got a bit better, but basically we were just slow. I'm finding it difficult to walk at the moment as my brake knee was rubbing against the monocoque all race long and I have a big blister on my foot. It was a very physical race, hard on your body because it's so bumpy and you move around all the time."

Franz Tost: "It was a disappointing race for us, because for example, if you look where the two Ferraris ended the race, having started behind us, then you can see that we put in a weak performance today. We now have to work on all the areas where we are losing out."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Honda

Rubens Barrichello brought home five championship points today at the end of a tough Monaco Grand Prix for the Honda Racing F1 Team. He got a good start on heavy fuel, holding 5th position off the grid, and maintained a solid performance throughout the 78-lap race. Rubens enjoyed a thrilling battle with Jarno Trulli for much of the race and a superbly executed pit stop on lap 46 meant the Brazilian rejoined the action ahead of Trulli. Rubens battled with oversteer but pushed hard and was challenging for a podium position until he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. He closed in on David Coulthard, finishing only a second behind despite losing 13 seconds as he took the penalty.

On the other side of the garage it was a long hard afternoon for Jenson Button. He never really recovered from his 13th position on the grid and came home in 11th place.

Rubens Barrichello: "4th is a good points finish and my best so far this season but I'm disappointed because I was looking good for 3rd today. It was a tough race and I didn't feel competitive at all. I was carrying a lot of fuel but I did a good job to keep pace because I was really struggling with the balance of the car. It was obviously a huge blow to be called in for the drive-through penalty because I was sure the limiter light was on. I'm really very upset for the team and for myself because it would have been an extra point, but more than that, my first podium of the year. The guys did a great job all weekend, especially for us to qualify well on such a lot of fuel and I thank them for that."

Jenson Button: "After qualifying where we did yesterday, this was always going to be a struggle for me. I lost rear tyre grip and had to stop a lot earlier than I wanted to because of that. At the stop we put scrubbed tyres on and took a lot of front wing off. After that the car was doing okay. All in all, this was definitely a race to forget for me but at least we are taking away a lot of information. Even though Rubens was fourth today we certainly didn't get the best out of the car this weekend and we still have a lot of work to do to catch up with the front runners."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "An extremely tough afternoon full of highs and lows. Both drivers were struggling with the balance of the car throughout the race, nevertheless due to Rubens' good grid position, he eventually found himself in a podium position. Of course we were devastated with Rubens' drive-through penalty, although 4th place is his best result with our team so far. Jenson was unable to recover from the low grid position, especially given the handling difficulties we were having."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development: "Rubens battled hard today and nearly achieved a podium finish for us. Monaco has always proved to be a tough race on the cars and engines and I am pleased we got both engines to the end of their second races."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Toyota

Panasonic Toyota Racing will come away from today's Monaco Grand Prix with a solitary point after a battling drive to 8th place from Ralf Schumacher on a one-stop strategy. But it was a day of heartbreak for Jarno Trulli, who came within five laps of making the podium after an inspired day's work around the streets of the principality. The Italian made the most of a similar strategy to power his way up to 3rd place before he succumbed to a hydraulic failure, coasting to a halt on the way up the hill from Ste Devote. Toyota is scheduled to continue testing its new TF106B package at Barcelona this week in preparation for next month's British Grand Prix.

Ralf Schumacher: "To come away with a point is something, but it could have been so much more for Toyota today. We lost too many places at the start and I spent the first half of the race behind Heidfeld. We were quicker but as usual here it was impossible to overtake and our strategy did not allow us to break out of the traffic. That put paid to our chances of getting a better result. Still, the car went well and I kept pushing and we ended the race in the final points-scoring position. It was a hard day's work out there but at least we have shown stronger pace this weekend and we must now look to build on that in the coming races."

Jarno Trulli: "Once again it's a tale of woe for me! It's frustrating because I am giving my best, doing everything I can in qualifying and the race and yet things are just not going right for me. Our pace was good today and the tyres were consistent. I could have gone quicker but I spent most of the afternoon in traffic so I never had a clear lap to really push. When I came into the pits with Barrichello I could tell that he had forgotten to hit the pit limiter. At the end I was just bringing the car home and everything was under control until the sudden hydraulic problem. It's obviously a pity to miss out on a podium here for the second year in a row. But at least we showed better pace at times and we must now build on that. I still believe that the team is doing a good job and working really hard but there is still work to do."

Tsutomu Tomita – Team Principal: "We have to be pleased about getting a point from Ralf, who battled hard throughout the race. But to say we are disappointed about what happened to Jarno is an understatement. He had raced hard from the start in heavy traffic and for him to suffer a hydraulic problem so close to the flag was a cruel blow. So it was a bitter finish, but at least we can say that the team performed better over the course of the weekend. It was a correct decision to go for a one-stop strategy and it worked well. We will have to investigate our poor starts but at least our pace was good on the heavy tanks. We brought Ralf in earlier than we had to because he was stuck behind Heidfeld, who we expected so stay out longer. Unfortunately they both came in at the same time but it was the only thing we could try. Jarno similarly spent most of his race behind Barrichello so we can only congratulate the drivers on doing such a good job today. It was a bad day for us in terms of the race results but the gap to the top teams is closing and we will continue developing and fighting in order to achieve a podium as soon as possible."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Midland

Midland F1 Racing overcame a calamitous start to the Monaco Grand Prix to claim its third two-car finish of the season.

An unfortunate start line incident saw Christijan Albers lightly collide with teammate Tiago Monteiro and push him into the barriers, damaging Monteiro's front wing and forcing him into an early, unscheduled pit stop. Albers was assessed a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident and also lost valuable track positions.

Despite these handicaps, both drivers drove aggressive races and displayed impressive pace, making the most of their opponents' retirements and penalties. Albers claimed an impressive 12th-place finish, while Monteiro brought home his M16 in 15th position, despite being held up by slower cars for much of the race.

The team now returns home to prepare for the British Grand Prix, across the road from the factory at Silverstone Circuit, in two weeks' time.

Tiago Monteiro: "A very frustrating weekend, to be sure. We had the pace to be competitive this weekend, which was great - a big, big improvement over last year. We were among the 10th and 15th fastest cars all weekend but got hit by bad luck during a tricky qualifying session, which wasn't completely unexpected. Unfortunately, we had that unnecessary incident at the start, and I lost a lot of time on the ensuing pit stop. I had to make up about 30 seconds and get past the Super Aguris, so my race was effectively shot right there. I spent a long time behind Montagny, waiting for him to make a mistake, because it's very difficult to pass here. But once I got by him, I had a clear track and was able to push hard and put in some good times. I was very happy with the car all weekend, and I have to thank my team of engineers and mechanics for that. Things didn't turn out as well as we would have liked but on the positive side we were quick, so that's a good sign for the future."

Christijan Albers: "I think we had really strong pace today, especially before the pit stop. At one point, we were almost the quickest ones on the track. It was just a shame to get a drive-through penalty. I have no clue why, to be honest, because from my point of view, my front wing was ahead and I had position. But everyone has their own opinion of that, so we'll leave that alone for now. I have to say I'm quite happy with our result today because my car struggled quite badly at the beginning of the weekend and ended up being very good. You can't really complain about a 12th-place finish with a drive-through penalty, so I'm really happy and would like to thank my mechanics and engineers for the good job they were able to do to."

James Key, Technical Director: "A busy and eventful afternoon, to say the least. Both drivers had extremely good pace during the race. Obviously, the situation at the beginning really messed up the afternoon because it resulted in Tiago losing a lot of time with a nose change and Christijan got a drive-through penalty. That was really unfortunate because they were both on the pace. In fact, they were quicker than the cars ahead of them and caught them up very quickly afterward. So that was a real shame because everything else today was quite positive. The cars were reliable, the Bridgestone tyres were very good and the performance was encouraging. It's just a shame that wasn't reflected in the final result."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Red Bull

David Coulthard: "It's so great, fantastic. It's been a couple of years since I was on the podium, so it's especially great to finish on it here in Monaco. It's the first podium for Red Bull Racing too and a great reward for all the team's hard work. Monaco's always a tough race. Once you get into it, you think you've done about fifty laps, but then you see that you've only done about twelve. It's such a hard, physical race and takes a lot out of you."

Christian Klien: "I lost drive during the race and that was the end of it. It's such a shame as the car was feeling strong until that point and I was up for a good points finish. It's frustrating that the car wasn't reliable and we need to work harder to ensure we get more race finishes. It was a great result for David though, and it shows the car has potential, which is encouraging."

Christian Horner: "It's a fantastic result for the whole team. David's driven well all weekend and was desperately unlucky in qualifying, but now he's got the result he deserved. It was a great strategy from the team, when we decided to change from a two-stop to a one-stop race and David did really well. But, let's not forget Christian in all this. He was looking really strong here and was very unfortunate to suffer a loss of drive in his car. We're sure that, without that problem, he would have been right up there too today."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Super Aguri

Takuma Sato: "I am very disappointed not to have finished the race. Up to my retirement I had enjoyed it immensely and although we did not make a great start, I had moved up a few positions and the car was running well. Our pitstop strategy and traffic control enabled me to make consistent runs and to push all the time. But suddenly we encountered an electrical issue and the speed dramatically dropped, so I came back to the pits and we made a setting change, but after one lap we suffered total failure and I had to retire from the race. It is a shame because the team has done such a great job this weekend and our progress has been very encouraging. I am also personally extremely disappointed not to have finished this Grand Prix, but that is motor racing and I will try again next year."

Franck Montagny: "I am happy to have finished a Grand Prix for the first time and the fact that it is has been here in Monaco makes it a special race. I had a good fight with Monteiro for 40 laps, however I am sure that he will not say the same, but this is racing after all. The car was hard to drive but I still enjoyed it. On the positive side we have collected 70 laps of data, so I am happy about that. We can now work towards improving the car with this latest information for the next race."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "All in all it was a very tough race for us. Takuma was doing well until he suffered with an electrical problem and Franck did a great job to finish his first race for the team. It is a difficult track and he said that the car was very hard to handle. We have not achieved our goal of another two-car finish once again, but I would like to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - McLaren

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Juan Pablo Montoya finished today's Monaco Grand Prix in second position. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen retired from second place on lap 51 having never been more than a second behind eventual race winner Fernando Alonso. Both drivers were on two-stop strategies. Juan Pablo came in for the first time on lap 21 (9.9 seconds) whilst Kimi pitted one lap later (10.3 seconds). Both drivers used the Safety Car period starting on lap 49 for their second stops which lasted 6.3 seconds (Kimi) and 7.4 seconds (Juan Pablo). Kimi is fourth in the Drivers' ranking with 27 points and Juan Pablo is now fifth with 23 points. Team McLaren Mercedes holds third place in the Constructors' Championship with 50 points. In preparation for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone the team will be testing at Barcelona this coming week.

Juan Pablo Montoya: "I'm pleased with today's result as it’s a reward for everybody at McLaren and Mercedes who have been working hard for the past couple of weeks to improve our competitiveness. As is often the case in Monaco I really struggled with traffic and lost too much time to Fernando to be able to mount a challenge when I had a clear track ahead of me. The car was good, and I think we could have won today if things had gone our way. However Monaco is such an unpredictable race where you have to be in the right place at the right time. We now want to work hard to continue our progress. There is still some way to go, but I'm really looking forward to the British Grand Prix."

Kimi Raikkonen: "Things just didn't go my way today. Our strategy would probably have meant that I would have been able to take the lead after the second series of pitstops, but we really lost out when the Safety Car came out. Then there was a small fire caused by a heat shield which damaged a wiring loom and that was the end of the race for me. It's always disappointing to retire both for me and the team, but it's particularly hard when you all know that you are in with a good chance to win. However we have made progress, and the car was really competitive today, and we aim to do well at Silverstone."

Ron Dennis: "A good result for Juan Pablo whose challenge for the lead was hampered by the traffic between him and Fernando following his last stop which took place during the Safety Car period. After the first round of pitstops it was clear to us that Kimi had seven laps more fuel than Fernando. Kimi was just saving his tyres and engine but then the deployment of the Safety Car following Webber's on-track retirement caused us to lose this advantage. During Kimi's stop the exhaust temperature rose significantly and failed to cool sufficiently following his return to the track behind the Safety Car. The excessive heat burnt a wiring loom which finished his race. At least we were very competitive, and our target is to maintain the momentum into Silverstone."

Norbert Haug: "We showed good speed during the whole weekend and the right strategy to be in with the best chance of winning. I am sorry for Kimi who had to retire due to a heat shield fire. Well done to Juan Pablo who drove a solid race to finish second. This weekend has seen us taking a step forward, and we want to continue this trend. We are now looking forward to the next race at Silverstone."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Michelin

Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director: "This has been a very emotional event for everyone at Michelin. We have been very touched by the Formula One community's thoughtfulness throughout the weekend and we appreciated the top three drivers' comments and gestures immediately after the race.

"In technical and sporting terms, this has been a fantastic result. Fernando Alonso drove with great control and our tyres performed exactly as we expected them to, despite a wide range of strategies - David Coulthard ran his second set for 49 laps, for instance.

"The result strengthens Renault's position at the head of both World Championships and takes us another step closer to completing our Grand Prix century, which is now just two victories away."
 
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Monaco GP: Race notes - Bridgestone

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager: "Despite not having a Bridgestone runner finish on the podium today I am very proud of the performance of our tyres this weekend. The new soft compounds brought for the Monaco Grand Prix were clearly working very well.

"Mark Webber was undoubtedly set for a podium before having to pull over and Michael Schumacher climbed from the back of the field to fifth place. He also set the fastest lap towards the end of the race which really showed the consistency of the tyres as he was on a long second stint.

"It was then very frustrating to see Jarno Trulli, who was running in third place in the closing stages of the race, retire with a mechanical problem. So, although our teams will leave Monaco with just a handful of points, we feel satisfied that Bridgestone had the better tyre, capable of winning the race."
 
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Post-race press conference - Monaco

TV Unilaterals

Q. Fernando, no doubt today has been an emotional day for you: waking up to find yourself on the pole, a clean sweep for Michelin on a sad day for Michelin, and your first win here.

Fernando Alonso: I think first of all, I want to dedicate this victory to Edouard Michelin of whom we had such sad news on Friday. I think Michelin have done a great job in Formula One over the last two or three years and especially this year, and again this race - to give us the possibility to win and to beat our opponents - I think this victory extends to Michelin. All three drivers on the podium were on Michelin tyres so thanks to them, and I dedicate this to them and all their work.

Yes, it's true that the race was quite emotional but for sure, starting from pole position makes things a little bit easier. Kimi put some pressure on me in the race. I was controlling the tyres a bit for the right moment to push because it's impossible to overtake, so I slowed down a little bit, but yeah, it was not an easy race. You have to keep concentrated at Monaco, not touch anybody for seventy-eight laps, push to the limit and we managed to win this race. It was one of the races in the calendar I had put a cross against and thanks to all of the team and Michelin, we did it.

Q. That control was particularly evident in the second stint when you were doing 1m 18s for a while and then suddenly down into the 1m 16s.

FA: Yeah. In the last part of the first stint on old tyres that had done 25 laps I felt the car oversteering and not much traction in the tyres. The second stint was planned to be quite long, so I knew that the time to push was when Kimi was making his second stop, so I tried to save the tyres to give them an easy life for the first ten or 15 laps, and then push. We had a safety car period so that wasn't the time to push but I think that thanks to the characteristics of the Monaco circuit you can control the race a little bit more.

Q. Juan Pablo, at the beginning of the second stint you were right up with the leaders.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Yeah, at the beginning, in the first part of the race, my car went a little bit to oversteer and I made a couple of mistakes and I lost a bit of space. In the second stint, as Fernando backed off the pace, my car was feeling pretty good so I caught up with them. It's very hard because you start getting into traffic. You go to some circuits and traffic means one car, but here traffic is four or five cars.

By the time you start passing the first one, they are already past the fifth one and they just pull away into the distance, so that makes it really hard to keep up. It's tough. They put out blue flags and the next car which is meant to be lapped as well takes advantage of it. I had one car which nearly hit me two or three times. I thought, what's going on?

Q. There's been a lot of work at McLaren Mercedes recently, great to see that work come through in this result.

JPM: Yeah, I think the last few races were tough, especially for me. We did quite a few changes in the car and we are heading in the right direction. I think we had good pace today, but the most important thing is to try and translate this pace into the next few races. That's going to be the key.

Q. David, a great drive on a one stop strategy, a very heavy fuel load in the second phase of the race.

David Coulthard: Yeah, absolutely, so that made it quite difficult to push at the end because the tyres were worn out, but obviously delighted, for myself, to be back here. It's been a long time. Delighted for the team and echoing Fernando's words, as a mark of respect to Mr Michelin, we didn't spray the champagne. Moving on from that, today was a very important day for Red Bull Racing, for all the hard work of those involved and hopefully this can give us a boost for the coming races.

Q. And a hard day's work, following a lot of cars for all the race distance.

DC: Yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned, a lot of fuel in that last stint, a very long stint and obviously just had to control the way I pushed the car. Somewhat fortunate with some of the other cars dropping out, but that's the challenge of Monaco and I think this is a great reward for everyone in the team when you consider what a difficult winter and a difficult start to the season we've had. There's no bigger race than Monaco so it's great.

Q. Fernando, a big win for you today in terms of points; your thoughts on that?

FA: Yeah, every race becomes more and more important for the championship. Again, Kimi didn't take any points today so it's ten points more than him in the championship and Michael also scored five so it's another five, up to 22 in the championship. We're building a nice gap, step by step and hopefully in the next coming races we can increase the gap even more and then have an easy part at the end.

Press Conference

Q. So, Fernando, what's it like to win at Monaco, because they always say it's the most rewarding victory?

FA: It's nice, but after Barcelona, it's difficult to feel something more than Spain, but sure, it's very special, probably the most popular motor race in the world and we did it. I think in 2003 we had a small opportunity, the car wasn't really good enough to fight for victory, but in 2004 I was teamed with Trulli and we had the incident in the tunnel. In 2005 we were on the pace until the tyres went due to a small mistake we made. And the third time was the definite time and we did it: 2006.

Q. How hard was Kimi pushing you? You had him close behind you almost to lap 50?

FA: Yeah, he was pushing quite hard but it's almost impossible to overtake at Monaco. I knew that there were important parts of the race, laps close to the pit stops and the laps after the pit stops, and I wanted to have the tyres in good condition for those laps. For me, it wasn't important to push on lap 30. I pushed two or three laps, he was behind me with no problems so when I saw that it was impossible to open up a gap, I said OK, I will manage the tyres and when it's time to push my tyres will be ready.

Q. And in the last stint you just seemed to be maintaining the gap.

FA: Yeah, thanks to the people between me and Juan Pablo during the safety car period, when Juan Pablo was in clean air, he was twelve or 15 seconds behind me, so it was already impossible to catch me up and we both controlled the revs and engine, the pace and tried to finish the race.

Q. Juan Pablo, you must be pleased with the result here today.

JPM: We were competitive all weekend, lost of a bit of ground in the first stint. I passed a backmarker into the chicane and got completely sideways and lost a bit of time. From there, it was just a matter of trying to keep up, and when Renault and Fernando upped the pace, my car was pretty good so I managed to close the gap pretty easily. We were looking after the car and waiting to see what happens.

If you have an opportunity, you take it and just everything came into our hands. Monaco is a race where you've just got to be there to be good and we did. We had the pace, we probably even had the pace to win the race but I think second is great. From where we've been in the last few races, it's shown that McLaren and Mercedes have stepped up their game quite a lot and we're fighting them. Now the important thing is to try and translate this into the next few races.

Q. Do you think you can maintain this pace on conventional circuits?

JPM: Yeah, I think we have improved our pace, I think we're closing up a little bit to Renault. They're still a little bit quicker than us on normal circuits but we're definitely heading in the right direction.

Q. Did you have any inkling what happened to Kimi; did the team mention anything to you?

JPM: No. I wasn't really interested to be honest. My engine came from the last race, it worked well in the last race and here it worked well all weekend. It's good.

Q. David, from where you were sometimes in this race, were you expecting to be on the podium? DC: No, of course a podium is a dream result for us, from where we are at this time. Monaco is the sort of track where you can get results like that so I'm obviously very happy to be there at the end.

Q. You seemed to be in serious traffic for just about every lap apart from the last 15.

DC: Rubens was obviously on a long stint and he was just holding everyone up. Again, that's Monaco, there's nothing you can do about it, so you're just running round in formation, waiting for people to pit and hoping that you can get some free laps before or after your pit stop and then obviously some other cars had some problems and we were able to be in the right place and it all came out in the wash at the end.

As I say, that's Monaco. I'm very happy to be back on the podium, especially here. It's been a tough start to the season for everyone at Red Bull so I think it's a nice place to have a little celebration.

Q. What were you going to be doing behind Christian?

DC: I was going to overtake him of course! I was quicker, so working on the basis that it's not good for teammates to crash together I was presuming he would give me some room, but I never got the chance because he stopped before then.

Questions From The Floor

Q. (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) A question to the three of you: what do you think of the judgement that was taken yesterday by the stewards regarding Schumacher? Was it correct or too hard? What is your position?

DC: I can answer that first – I don't think about it. I don't think about it. You asked me what I think about it – I don't. That's the only answer I've got.

FA: (The) same.. I don't want to say anything.

JPM: Really it's, you know, it's hard to say -- from the stewards' point of view he made something wrong and he got penalised for it. That's it. Simple. Last year, they thought I did something wrong and I didn't think I did and I still got penalised. It's just racing you know. You make a mistake, or whatever it was, and that's it.

Q. (Damien Smith - Autosport) A question for David: apparently on television before the race, Christian Horner said that if Red Bull scored a podium today he would jump in the harbour naked. Are you going to make sure he goes through with that?

DC: Well, he did tell me, when I was doing the slowing-down lap, that it was actually to jump in the pool at the energy centre naked so my advice was to give his 'wally' a good rub before he does it because if you are going to get photographed naked you want to look as favourable as possible.

Q. (Dan Knutson, National Speed Sport News) For Fernando, at the end of the race, Michael set the fastest lap. How difficult do you think the race would have been if he had been on pole?

FA: I don't know, but he was not in pole and I don't think about what the others are doing from the back and I don't see the times also from Monteiro and Albers. It doesn't matter. I try to see the times from Kimi, who was the main opponent today, and Webber, so I don't know. I think the fastest laps are not really representative at all of the races.

Today I think the track was improving every lap, especially here in Monaco, and while the first cars were cruising and controlling the race and the revs, to race with this engine in Silverstone, the other teams can push a lot and improve the times -- and well done to them for the fastest laps.

Q. (Juha Paatalo – Financial Times Deutschland) Fernando, five more points gap to Michael and ten to Kimi must be like a gift result to you for this weekend – what do you think this means for the World Championship?

FA: Every race is getting more and more interesting and important in terms of the championship. Basically, you cannot win anything in the races, but you can lose a lot and this time Kimi lost a lot and I didn't win too much, but in seven races, four wins and three seconds is a perfect start -- and if I keep doing that in the next seven then probably the championship will look very good.

Q. (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Fernando, your main competitor, McLaren, is always having problems with the car, or is not so fast as your car is... Do you sometimes ask yourself -- ‘what did I do when I signed for McLaren?'

FA: I think we will wait and see, but I have to concentrate on keeping this consistency in the championship. I think I won it last year, without making any mistakes, and by finishing with 15 podiums and now I have seven. So if I keep like this, then I can fight for this 2006 championship and for next year we will see, but it is a new challenge for sure with a new team and I am sure we will fight again for the championship next year.

Q. (Juha Paatalo – Financial Times Deutschland) A question to David: yesterday, there were some rumours that there would be some actions taken by the drivers to exclude Michael from the Drivers Asociation. As you are a director of that, can you give an update on what is the real situation?

DC: Well, obviously, I've heard all of the rumours and, to be absolutely clear, there has been no discussion among the directors. There may have been individual discussions among other members of the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association), but nobody has contacted the office and our secretary is here all this weekend -- so it is rumours rather than fact.

And, just to remind you all, the main role of the GPDA is for driver safety and track safety and not to be involved in political issues like stewards decisions and the two are completely separate. And, irrespective of any individual driver's view on Michael's actions yesterday, he does remain to be one of the most active members on track safety and one of the main funders of the GPDA over the years. So you have to separate the two things.

Q. (Fabritsio Lazakis - Four wheels magazine) For Fernando: we saw in Spain that Renault was very fast and here you said you couldn't build a gap ahead of Kimi. Why? What happened?

FA: I don't know. I think McLaren improved and we were not as competitive as we were in Barcelona in this type of track and I think we probably had more problems with the rear tyres here than our competitors. So, if you cannot build it up, there is no point in pushing and to destroy the tyres just altogether in a group. I think you just have to be conservative a little bit and to push just before the pit stops.

Q. (James Roberts – Motorsport News) David does this result improve your chances of staying with Red Bull next year?

DC: I think results, naturally, don't do any harm, but the reality is that the conversations regarding next year are ongoing and have been and it is quite clear what my intention is and in a matter of course there will be an announcement.

Q. (Michael Schmidt – Auto Motor und Sport) David, was your first pit stop scheduled or to get out of traffic and did the Safety Car work in your favour or against you?

DC: The first stop was scheduled, but we changed from a two-stop strategy to a one-stop because of not being able to get past Rubens at the start so the plan was to try and jump both the Honda and the Toyota and, obviously, I was able to get the Toyota but not Rubens.

So, it was quite clear it was not going to work and that's why we did such a long second stint. Safety Car-wise, I am not sure if it helped, or not, because I have not had a chance to see where I was on the track at that time.

Q. (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) How does it feel to give Red Bull this first podium in Monaco where you live and on one of your favourite tracks?

DC: I think its great. At any given time there are only one or two teams that are fighting for victories, but Monaco is a track where you know something can happen and give a team -- I don't want to say a smaller team because we are well funded, but we are a team that is building at the moment and its great to get these results and for my own personal satisfaction I race because I want to do as well as I possibly can and its always nice to get another podium.

Q. (Matthias Brunner – Motorsport Aktuell) For Fernando, how do you rate your chances in the upcoming race at Silverstone?

FA: I think it will be good for our team we were very competitive last year fighting with Juan Pablo for victory and in the tests in the winter we were extremely quick and we will be full of confidence to fight again. The tyres were really good in the winter, compared to Bridgestone, also, so hopefully we can have the chance to be fighting again.

Q (Byron Young – Speed Sport News) Yesterday Schumacher got a good kicking for the events on the circuit. Today, he raced from the back of the grid to finish fifth. Can I ask for your comments on his performance today please?

JPM: Last year I started last and finished fourth! (laughter).

DC: My television wasn't working so I haven't had a chance to see it yet.

FA: I don't know. I only saw a lot of retirements so this normally helps.
 
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