2008 Singapore Grand Prix, (night) qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on September 27th, 2008 at 7:16 pmLast Update: September 27th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

2008 Singapore Grand PrixPat Symonds: “All the way through practice Fernando has shown a potential on this wonderful new circuit better than we have had all year. That makes it doubly frustrating to have this problem in qualifying which prevented Fernando and the team from showing what we could have done. But as a team we never give up, and as it is apparently difficult to overtake here, we will have to be creative!”

Denis Chevrier
: “At the moment we can only look at the data on our systems and so we have to wait to recover Fernando’s car to understand exactly what happened. It is of course an enormous disappointment because we were in a position to aim for a great result this evening. We now have to decide our strategy for tomorrow, but we can be sure that our drivers will do everything to progress in the race.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A very difficult day for us. Adrian struggled all day with the balance of his car. Giancarlo looked reasonably competitive in the morning, but unfortunately he just took off over the kerbs at the chicane and went into the barriers, which caused a lot of damage to the car. The team did an absolutely excellent job to get the cars back out and even though we are at the back of the grid, we should hold our head up high for the effort that has gone in today. It will be a long, hot race tomorrow and if we can get two cars to the finish we can still get something out of the weekend.”

Vijay Mallya
: “Both drivers have had their problems, but the team did a tremendous job to get Giancarlo’s car out in time for qualifying, something I think we can all be very proud of. As a small team, such knock-backs can be tough, but everyone dealt with it admirably. Hopefully we’ve had all our bad luck this weekend and can look to picking up some positions tomorrow.”

Luca Baldisserri: “It was an exciting qualifying session, set against a really unique backdrop. On a track with so many twists and turns, Felipe was the only one to put together the perfect lap in Q3 and his gap to the others is the proof of that. Kimi did a good job, given his set-up problems yesterday and technical issues this morning which cost him a lot of valuable track time. Tomorrow, we must not lose concentration for a moment because it’s going to be a very long race full of potential pitfalls.”

Sam Michael: “It was good to get both cars through to Q3 and congratulations to Kazuki on his first top ten qualifying result. We expected to be a bit stronger in the final session, but we will see how tomorrow’s race materialises. We have had no problems on the cars today.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “Before the session I thought seventh and tenth was possible and I still believe Bourdais could have done it. As yet, we have seen nothing in the data to indicate an anomaly, so now we will check everything very carefully to understand the situation better. I am happy with Vettel’s performance, although I didn’t expect to have Heidfeld in front of us, so maybe he is going shorter on fuel. In Q2, we decided not to send Vettel out for a second run, not so as to save a set of tyres for the race, but to have the possibility of using an additional set in Q3. In the end, his first run was good, but it was still a wise precaution.”

Mario Theissen: “That was a very good performance by both of our drivers under difficult conditions. We had to be prepared all the time for yellow flags out on the track. Apart from that it wasn’t obvious which tyre would be quicker. Because of that in Q1 and Q2 we went out twice and used both types of tyres. In the end Robert made it to P4 with the harder compound and Nick qualified sixth with the softer ones. We have very good grid positions to start the race from.”

Stefano Domenicali: “A great result this evening, but it is only the first step towards achieving our objective for this weekend. Felipe produced a fantastic lap and Kimi also did a very good job. The F2008 confirmed that it is competitive in qualifying, with half this season’s poles going to our drivers. Now we must not get over excited but keep our feet firmly on the ground. Tomorrow should see a long race, riddled with difficulties. In order to win, everything will need to be executed perfectly, right down to the smallest detail.”

Willy Rampf: “It was a very exciting qualifying, and with fourth and sixth we are well prepared for the race. Under these tricky conditions both drivers did a very good job to get a perfect lap. Even if overtaking will be quite difficult, we are expecting an exciting race tomorrow.”

Pascal Vasselon
: “The circumstances were quite a challenge in qualifying. In terms of tyres the situation was a little unexpected because there was no clearly preferred compound for qualifying and we used both before finishing with the prime. For the race, that decision is clearer. It was all about getting a lap at the right time and it was not that obvious, especially in the first session when there were a lot of cars on the track. At one stage we were close to missing out in Q1 but in the end it worked out reasonably well and we got both cars through. Timo did a very good job to reach Q3 relatively easily and eighth is a promising position. Jarno has had a difficult weekend and we were hoping he could find something extra from the car in qualifying. He did that but he was just out of the top 10. Starting from 11th could be very interesting in the race because we are free to choose his fuel load and it could be an eventful race.”

Ron Dennis
: “Well, that was a pretty stressful qualifying hour! Lewis was hampered by a yellow flag on one of his runs and by traffic on another, which made things a little too close for comfort in the second session, but then did a very good job in the final session. Heikki did a very good job too, but he also had a problem; in his case it came in his first run in the final session. From now on, though, it’s all about race strategy. Fuel weight is a very significant factor in terms of lap time on this circuit, so let’s just say that we’re looking forward to a close and competitive race tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug: “Lewis had problems with his brakes in the second part of qualifying, then was called in for a weight check and, when he was finally back on track, he hit traffic in the last sector – but fortunately he moved up to Q3 – possibly some good luck was on our side. Afterwards Lewis qualified second which is okay. Our basis with Lewis in second and Heikki in fifth positions on the grid respectively is not quite ideal, but the race is tomorrow. Today we didn’t get it 100 per cent right, but tomorrow we want to do a better job, and I think our strategy will help us to do so.”

Christian Horner
: “The weekend so far has been quite challenging and it’s obviously disappointing to line up 13th and 14th. Traffic in the final sector of Mark’s last lap cost him a place in the top ten, but I’m sure it’s going to be an incident filled race tomorrow. I think this race is a welcome new addition on the Formula One calendar. The organisers have done a superb job in putting together a first class facility and it’s a great spectacle to see Formula One at night time.”

Fabrice Lom: “I don’t know what to say. It was a bad result today – for Red Bull and for Renault. It’s only the second time this year that we haven’t had a Renault in Q3. We need to look at the results today and understand why we weren’t quick enough.”

Steve Clark: “Singapore is a maximum downforce circuit, on which the RA108 is certainly more competitive. Getting the set-up right has been a challenge but we made some improvements overnight and we have seen the benefit of that today with Jenson, who had a strong qualifying session and was certainly in contention for the top ten today.The weekend has been more frustrating for Rubens, who was unlucky today when traffic compromised both his runs in Q1 because he certainly had the pace to progress to Q2.Tomorrow’s race is going to be very interesting indeed. This is much more of a street circuit, which will pose some real challenges in race conditions. The unusually bumpy nature of the track, coupled with the potential for overheating brakes could easily cause problems and we could expect incidents which might force a safety car situation.The race is also going to be a big challenge for the drivers as 61 laps in these conditions will be hard on their concentration. We must stay focused and be ready to make the most of any opportunity. Above all, both our team and our drivers are very excited about tomorrow’s very first night race here in Singapore.”

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