British GP Qualifying: Saturday Quotes
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:21.706): "Third is not the result we were hoping for, but it's not to be sneezed at, as we always have to take into consideration that the final score only comes tomorrow, when we have worked out what fuel loads the other drivers have. Compared to yesterday, the situation is definitely better. We worked a lot on the car set-up and, especially in Q3 the balance wasn't bad. There was a lot of wind, which made it hard to fully understand the track because the conditions were changing all the time. In race trim, we have a good car and I think tomorrow I can get a good result. The rain? We saw this morning that we are also competitive in the wet, so we are ready for any eventuality. Well done to Heikki for his first pole position."
Felipe Massa (9th, 1:23.305): "It's a real shame ending up ninth on the grid because of a problem with my pit stop. I lost so much time as the mechanics had trouble changing the right rear wheel and I was unable to start my second run. I think I could have done a good time, maybe not enough to take pole but at least good enough for a place on the front two rows. There was a lot of wind today and the balance of the car was not as good as yesterday and we were not as quick as at last week's test. Tomorrow I can definitely expect to be fighting all race long to move up the order and I will do all I can to bring home a good result: but it won't be easy."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "This is definitely not the result we expected nor the one we wanted. Problems such as the one that befell Felipe are serious and I am very sorry for him as we prevented him from giving it his best shot. On top of that, we need to understand why our performance, even taking into account all the unknowns regarding the various strategy choices, was not up to our usual standard. Nevertheless, this is only Saturday afternoon and we still have the race ahead of us. We are up against very strong opponents, but we will also be doing our utmost to bring home a good result."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "This is definitely not a pleasing result, both in terms of performance and of the work of the team. What happened at Felipe's pit stop, which incidentally has nothing in common with what happened on the grid at the Monaco Grand Prix, will have to be investigated thoroughly as we cannot let it happen again. Compared with last week's test it seems we have taken a step backwards and this is another thing we will have to look at and try to understand. Having said that, in evaluating this result we have to keep in mind that this is one of the circuits where the weight of fuel has a greater influence on lap times and therefore, we will only see tomorrow how things really stand. Anything can happen at this track in the race, even more so if it should rain. We will try and make the best out of our situation."
Nick Heidfeld (5th, 1:21.873): "I'm quite happy with fifth because it just continues a positive trend which began in qualifying in Magny-Cours, and confirms all our efforts and work have paid off. I can now manage again to heat up the tires properly and get them to work, but we shall continue to work on this subject. In Q2 Robert and I where just separated by two hundreds of a second. Generally my car was a lot better today than on Friday. However, on my last lap in Q3 it felt a little bit strange, so we have to find out what this was. I think we shall have an exciting race tomorrow. There is a high chance of rain!"
Robert Kubica (10th, No Time): "It was a difficult qualifying in the end. Finally we were on the right pace. Qualifying 1 was good and qualifying 2 was even better, as the first time on option tires was very good. I backed off in the last sector to just bring the car home, and it was still enough to be two or three tenths off the McLaren time. In qualifying 3 I went through the first sector without any problems, but then I felt the same problem at the rear I felt on Friday. Now we have to analyze everything and see what is going on."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Up to the top ten qualifying session everything went according to plan, but then Robert aborted his lap in Q3 because he realized he had a technical problem with the car. Unfortunately time was too short to analyze the problem during the session and get him back out on the track. It is a shame because both drivers were strong, which is proved by Nick's fifth place. It was a very good performance by him."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "Both our drivers were well on their way in the first two qualifying sessions, and only needed a single lap to easily advance into the final stage of qualifying. However, in Q3 Robert couldn't complete his fast lap, and over the radio told us about a technical problem with the car. Nick's performance was impressive and put him fifth fastest. We are all very happy about that. The weather prediction for tomorrow is mixed. We are prepared for anything that might come."
Fernando Alonso (6th, 1:22.029): "It was a difficult qualifying session with changeable track conditions, wind and rain. But we have done our maximum and so overall it's a satisfying result for the team. If the race tomorrow takes place in normal conditions, we can hope to have a strong finish. If it rains, the race will be open and anything can happen. I must now prepare for that and will give my all once again to achieve a good result."
Nelson Piquet (7th, 1:22.491): "I'm very happy with today's qualifying session. The car felt good and we were improving lap by lap. I struggled a bit at the end of Q3 with Heidfeld, but it worked out okay in the end and so it does look promising for tomorrow. Now I'm looking forward to the race and I hope we can put on a good show in the team's local race."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "An exciting qualifying session, with one eye on what the cars were doing and one eye on the weather. But overall it was a very satisfying session with both cars solidly inside the top ten on good fuel loads. Tomorrow is going to be exciting, mainly due to unpredictable weather, but we've put ourselves in the best position to exploit anything that may come."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "It was essential to secure ourselves some good grid positions today, especially as we can expect changeable conditions tomorrow and an eventful race. We made it through to Q3 without any problems with both cars, which is satisfying, especially for Nelson who has shown that he is able to manage the demands of a competitive qualifying session. I think that we can have high hopes for the race tomorrow, and hopefully we will be in a position to realize them."
Kazuki Nakajima (15th, 1:21.112): "Obviously it was a very hard qualifying session for us. I made it through to Q2, but was struggling with grip, and the difference between our times and those of the other team's is quite significant. We need to find something from the car, and from me, and we will need to do a lot of work tonight to make sure we have the best strategy in place for the race."
Nico Rosberg (18th, 1:21.667): "I've had a problem with my suspension all weekend which is making the car really hard to drive in the corners because it just jumps around all over the place. We've obviously been trying to find a solution throughout the sessions but, so far, nothing has worked. The race is going to be very tough."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We had a malfunction in the suspension system of Nico's car which prevented him from improving his lap time. We will correct it for tomorrow by changing parts. Kazuki did not have the same problem, but our car is clearly not working well at Silverstone and his grid position is the result. This does not represent the capability of the AT&T Williams team, and we must work to do rectify that."
Mark Webber (2nd, 1:21.554): "It's gone really well for us today and to be on the front of the grid for tomorrow's race is very encouraging. The guys have worked really hard since the last race and, with the factory just down the road, there's an amazing atmosphere. Five percent of the job is done, but we've got a long race ahead of us tomorrow and we're expecting to have some trouble keeping the Ferraris and McLarens behind us. But, we're happy for now - this has been coming for a while, we've shown good consistency this year and the team's done a good job."
David Coulthard (11th, 1:20.174): "It's disappointing to finish eleventh. If we'd done some more running this morning, I think we'd have been in better shape. But, we had a problem with an engine oil leak and so were using Q1 to get up to speed in the dry today. Changing conditions are always a big factor around this track. On other tracks, a loss of running time wouldn't really be an issue, but this one is very open to the wind, so every day is different. The reality is that we've got the pace to be in the top ten, we just didn't deliver it on the lap that counted today. Looking to the positives, we're just outside the top ten, so are able to fuel the car as we want - and the changing conditions may be a factor tomorrow."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic result for the team. Our first front row start, and where better to do it than just up the road from the factory when so many team members are in attendance, It's important that we turn the grid position into a strong result tomorrow, but Mark's been competitive all weekend, so hopefully we can convert it. For David, he was compromised this morning by missing P3 and not getting a run in the dry. But, he starts eleventh, which means we can pick his strategy."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "We are very, very happy - this is the first front row for the combination of Red Bull / Renault and it's great to do it at such a historical track. Silverstone is very hard on the engine, so we are very pleased. That said, the only lap that counts is the last lap of the race so, we enjoy this qualifying result, but our focus is on the race tomorrow."
Timo Glock (12th, 1:20.274): "Following our problems yesterday, when we missed half the day's practice, today was another difficult day. A lot of cars were close together and we just failed to reach Q3 so the running time that we missed probably had an effect. Still, we had quite a good pace this morning and my feeling was that we would be in the top ten. So I don't know why it didn't work out. After today's rain, the track was a bit more green. In those conditions we don't seem to be able to get 100 percent out of the tires and perhaps that is why we struggled. We will have to see how the weather is tomorrow but the race could be quite tricky."
Jarno Trulli (14th, 1:20.601): "I am disappointed because we are out of the top ten and we haven't looked very competitive here. We understood what happened yesterday and these things happen, no problem. But I've struggled a lot this weekend with car balance. Qualifying was not great and the car was bottoming too much in the first sector. That cost me time which I could not recover in the rest of the lap. That is strange because we didn't change the car itself. It's difficult to find the right set-up when the wind changes so much but I went for a wet set-up in case we have a wet race tomorrow. Now I just hope that will pay off and our Sunday will be better."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "That was clearly not the result we expected after last week's test here which was in line with our performance in Magny-Cours. We had a difficult Friday for various reasons on both cars but we had every indication that we would recover from that. This morning our usual preparations in P3 went well, but what happened in qualifying did not reflect that. The weather disturbed a bit of Q1 but we had a clear forecast and managed those conditions well so that did not affect the result. So now we need to go back to work and understand what has happened because that is really not where we wanted to be here. Of course the weather is uncertain to say the least so anything can happen and we'll see how we can best benefit from the conditions tomorrow."
Sebastian Vettel (8th, 1:23.251): "I qualified seventh in Indy with BMW (last year) but to be eighth with Toro Rosso means we can be very proud of what we have achieved today. We had a very good balance on the car and all weekend I've felt very comfortable even on my first race weekend at this tough and challenging track. It seems we are moving in the right direction with the new car and we have made a step forward. It's fun fighting in the top ten. We should be in good shape tomorrow, whatever the weather and we will deal with whatever comes."
Sebastien Bourdais (13th, 1:20.531): "Thirteenth is not exactly the most satisfying result, but given how much we struggled here in practice, it's good to move up a notch and be a bit more competitive. We struggled to find the right set-up so we went for the best compromise and the result was rather encouraging. I don't think anyone knows what the weather will do tomorrow, but definitely, it seemed to go well in the wet in the morning and I found the car easier to drive in those conditions, so I wouldn't complain if it rained tomorrow afternoon."
Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director: "This is a great result, our best qualifying of the year, proving that the team is getting better and it's the result of getting to know our car, which performed really well and working hard."
Rubens Barrichello (16th, 1:21.512): "It's unfortunate that we were not able to progress further in qualifying today and I'm afraid that reflects the true potential of the car on a dry track. Out on the circuit, I thought we were through in 15th when it began to rain, but unfortunately it was just raining in the section of track that I was on and others were able to improve further round the lap, dropping me to 16th. I wasn't able to improve on my final lap at the end of the session as I had too much understeer in the car and the tires were graining on the damp surface. We're expecting wet conditions for the race tomorrow which should make it exciting and open up possibilities if we can stay out of trouble."
Jenson Button (17th, 1:21.631): "It was a disappointing qualifying session today for my home Grand Prix. The brief rain shower did come just at the wrong moment for us as my final run on the completely dry track was compromised by traffic through Becketts, which left me in 18th when the shower began. So I had to go out right at the end of the session to try to improve regardless of the conditions. Unfortunately I couldn't get heat into my tires through the first sector, which is always difficult, but even more so when the track was still slippery. I made a little bit of progress to jump Rosberg into 17th but not enough to make it into Q2. It's disappointing, but we know the car is not that competitive in the dry. It'll be a tough race but you can make progress here during the race, particularly if we have the expected wet conditions."
Steve Clark, Head of Race & Test Engineering: "The car performed as expected this morning in both wet and dry conditions, which was just outside the top ten. Qualifying started with a little fluster as there were showers predicted so everyone rushed out to get a dry lap in. In the melée we found ourselves in the drop-out zone when the shower eventually came. We were fortunate that it dried in time for another run but the improvement was not enough to carry us through to Q2. The drivers did not have the perfect lap or balance, but in reality, had we made Q2, I don't believe we had the pace to progress further in these conditions. Very little can be changed with the car due to parc ferme regulations. In any case I don't think that we would alter the cars' set-up very much as the basic balance is good following the test here. The strategy will be adjusted to suit our grid position, although in a dry race points will be difficult. Rain is still predicted however, which could make our chances much more interesting."
Adrian Sutil (19th, 1:21.786): "It was quite a good qualifying for us as I think we could get nearly all the performance out of the car, although we had a little problem with graining on the front tires that cost us a little bit of time. There is a better trend at the moment; we have a new update on the car, it works well and we are not too far away from the others - only about two tenths."
Giancarlo Fisichella (20th, 1:21.885): "Unfortunately I had a problem with the engine cover during the session and I lost some downforce as the right side of the car was in a bad position. That said, I was only three tenths away from Q2 so it's not too bad considering."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "An exciting qualifying session with the threat of rain throughout. As we expected we had clearly made a step forward to the group in front, but unfortunately just not quite enough this time out. Giancarlo had a problem with a loose piece of bodywork that we weren't able to fix during the session as he got scrutineered twice. Then, on his last lap, which probably would have been enough to put him very close to Q2, he unfortunately spun in the complex at the end of the lap. While it is disappointing that we just missed out on Q2, it is encouraging that we are closer."
Heikki Kovalainen (1st, 1:21.049): "We've been going really well all weekend after finding some good pace during testing last week. I've spent a lot of time racing in the UK so it feels great to have scored my first ever Formula One pole position at Silverstone. The car feels just fantastic at the moment; I was able to steadily improve throughout all three qualifying session and I'm confident our pace is going to be strong tomorrow."
Lewis Hamilton (4th, 1:21.835): "Congratulations to Heikki on his first Formula One pole position. I felt comfortable in the car and the speed was there; however, on my first flying lap in Q3 I ran a bit wide at the exit of Priory and went onto the gravel. Obviously I just pushed a little bit too hard and it's a pity that I missed the front row. However, with our strategy and the predicted rain for tomorrow's race everything will be possible and I very much look forward to racing here in front of my home crowd tomorrow."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Heikki showed great determination and a lot of skill to master the gusty, tricky conditions so well. The result was his first pole position in Formula One - and it was thoroughly well deserved because he's been driving beautifully all weekend. Lewis made a small mistake in sector three, and his P4 grid position doesn't therefore reflect his latent pace, but he remains confident that he can put in a strong performance tomorrow. Overall, then, we feel we're in a good position and are looking forward to doing very well at McLaren's home race tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "We saw Heikki driving superbly all weekend so far and the lap that resulted in his first ever Formula One pole position was very special. Congratulations to Heikki and his guys on this great result. Lewis is starting from row two and everything is possible for him tomorrow. He will be strong in front of his home crowd, as will Heikki."
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