2010 British GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by David on July 10th, 2010 at 5:36 pmLast Update: July 10th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’m pleased because I’m in the position I targeted for qualifying, but even though we’re the fastest of the new teams, that wasn’t my best qualifying session this year. It was pretty tricky out there today – it was windier than in FP3 and I found the balance wasn’t quite where it had been this morning. Nevertheless, we’re in a good position and good shape for tomorrow. The car feels good on the heavier fuel load, so I think we’ll be ok. I also want to say that Jarno did a great job out there – to be within half a second after the bad luck he’s had all weekend is great, and I hope we can get both cars home tomorrow. That’s the main goal, so let’s see what happens.”

Jarno Trulli: “I’m pretty happy with my result to be honest – I managed to learn the circuit very quickly, almost having to do so during qualifying as the problems I had on Friday and Saturday meant I’ve had very little time on track! Qualifying was the first time I managed to really push the car, as a hydraulics problem had cut short FP3, so, overall, I’m happy and my position is better than I expected.”

Sebastien Buemi: “Q 1 went well, but I am a little bit disappointed about Q2, because I was hoping to do better, maybe thirteenth or fourteenth. On my final run, I chose to use the Prime tyre, which is not the best way to go quickly, as you should be able to make the most of the Option, but today the car did not allow me to be significantly faster on the softer tyre, so we decided to try the Prime, after it worked well on my first run in Q1. Now we will have to see if we can do something on the strategy front to try and get something out of tomorrow’s race. You could feel that the wind had increased a lot from this morning, especially in the first corner, but that was the same for everyone. I think we have lost out a bit in terms of performance compared to the other cars around us, but the team is working hard to catch up.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “I had a lot of trouble with heavy traffic this afternoon and effectively, I only got one clean lap. It is a shame, as I am sure that without the traffic I could have got through comfortably to Q2 as the pace was easily there in the car, but I did not have enough fuel to do another lap and there would not have been time to go out again after I came into the pits. The last three qualifying sessions have not gone very well for me, but let’s see if we can come up with a good strategy for tomorrow and have a better afternoon. I am staying calm about it, because these situations happen now and again and I have to keep looking forward.”

Karun Chandhok: “I had quite a messy run with traffic which was really frustrating. We lost about four tenths on the first run when I was in traffic on my quickest lap. Then on the second run, I had a lot of traffic on the out lap and couldn’t get the tyres in the window. It’s a shame because we had the potential to go at least half a second faster. Considering that I was faster this morning in FP3 I think I could have been quicker without the traffic. It’s going to be a long hard race tomorrow with the high loads on the tyres and the bumps and we’ll do the best job we can.”

Sakon Yamamoto: “Yesterday, it was a memorial day for me in my life being back in Formula 1 on my birthday. I am very pleased about the qualifying result even though it was a bit difficult because of changing wind directions. I like this circuit because it is very challenging for the driver and the new track layout is also quite interesting. We expected to go a bit quicker but the car balance was slightly changing compared to the morning session. We will have to find it out for tomorrow. I am looking forward to the race and I am going to do as best as I could to give something back to the team.”

Rubens Barrichello: “Top eight in qualifying is a good effort by the team. We still have to improve but today’s result is satisfying and probably the best we could hope for. I hope we can get into the top six tomorrow. The cars are all very close, and there aren’t too many overtaking opportunities around the lap, so it’s going to be a good battle. The upgrades are all working well, but they need more development if we are to move higher up the field.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “Traffic really destroyed qualifying for me today. As I was going into the first corner on a quick lap in Q2, Liuzzi exited the pitlane under blue flags but didn’t move out of my way. That ruined my lap from the outset as I couldn’t get past him. I also struggled with the car today. I don’t know why and I’ll be looking into that with my engineers now.”

Nico Rosberg: “I’m really pleased with fifth place today and it shows good progress after being so far back in Valencia at the last race. This is a positive step and important for us to know that we really understood what the problems were and how efficiently we have been able to turn the situation around. Everyone at the factory has worked really hard and this gives us a great chance for the race tomorrow at one of our home circuits. My lap was good today and it’s nice to be fighting back up there towards the front again. I’m looking forward to the race and if I get a good start, then we have every reason to expect a strong result.”

Michael Schumacher: “Clearly I am disappointed after today’s qualifying as I couldn’t get my lap together in Q3. After the second session which was pretty good, I wasn’t able to maximise my performance and I am obviously unhappy about my grid position. I made a small mistake on my first quick lap so I slowed down to give the tyres the possibility to work again for the second fast lap. But there wasn’t much more to come and so I pushed harder and therefore made some mistakes. Now I will have to work hard for the race tomorrow which will be difficult from where I am starting as overtaking here is not really possible. I have to do a good start and see how far I can get. I will certainly try to make the most out of it.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Fourth position makes me happy like you wouldn’t believe! And I’m so proud of my team. They’ve been pushing so hard all year, but in the last couple of weeks, they’ve pushed longer and harder than ever to get the upgrade package here. The new parts are an improvement, but we just weren’t able to get them all to work properly yesterday. And while that meant we had to take most of them off last night, the team still did a remarkable job to get us ready for qualifying this afternoon. We knew we were some way off the Red Bulls on sheer pace, so my grid position was really down to getting as good a lap as possible around here. And, honestly, I reckon this is the best lap I’ve ever done – and it’s down to all the fans around here: the support around this track is like nowhere else. British race fans are the best by far. I had to nail that lap as if my life depended on it – and I don’t know how I managed to get so far up the grid. I’m so happy. The guys in front are faster than us, but this race isn’t over.”

Jenson Button: “This morning the car was really good, so it felt like there was something wrong this afternoon. I don’t yet know if there’s an issue, but the car felt very strange. I had to take enormous amounts of front wing out, and I don’t know why. We had a similar problem finding a good balance on Friday. We removed the blown diffuser overnight, and I’m comfortable that that was the right decision. It wouldn’t have been right to run it here. But we’ve still got some aero upgrades on the car – a new front wing – and they’re working really well. While it’s true that we didn’t have too much practice with the exhaust system, things were reasonably good in P3, and I still felt like we could do a reasonable job in qualifying this afternoon. So P14 is very disappointing.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “I am a very happy man today. It was not only my best qualifying this year, but also the best Saturday because in free practice this morning my car was very good. We learned a lot during Friday’s practice sessions and made a lot of changes, aerodynamically as well as mechanically. Now my car is very consistent. Ahead of the weekend we thought we would be quite good here because of the high speed corners, and it has turned out we are. It is good to match expectations. The new parts we took to Valencia worked and the small steps we have for Silverstone are an improvement too.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “The overall performance of the car has definitely improved, but today I found it extremely difficult to put a good lap together. I got it right in one corner, but wrong in the next. Sometimes the grip was there, sometimes it wasn’t. I struggled from a lack of consistency. The race is a different story and from 12th on the grid there is certainly a good chance to score points.”

Timo Glock: “It has been quite a difficult weekend leading up to Qualifying. We experienced a lot of technical problems throughout Free Practice and I couldn’t do any proper set-up work. This morning I had a problem with the throttle pedal and I didn’t have any proper running on the Option tyre, so we went pretty blind into Qualifying in terms of the set-up. In the end I was quite happy with the car, even though it still isn’t fully fine-tuned. However my two Qualifying laps were really good and I’m very pleased to be ahead of Lucas despite the difficulties. We’re also closer to Lotus, having beaten Jarno and being only two or three tenths behind Heikki. It is really positive for the Team and shows our aero package really works. With an easier weekend I think we would have been closer to them. We now have to wait and see how the race goes for us but I’m looking forward to a good fight with Lotus.”

Lucas di Grassi: “I think we improved the car a lot since the last race. It feels much better and I’m looking forward to the Race tomorrow. For Qualifying we didn’t achieve the best lap possible because I wasn’t able to put a lap together and there is more to come from the car. The positive is that we are much closer to Lotus and our upgrades are proven to be exactly as we expected so I’m pleased.”

Adrian Sutil: “We have had a good car the whole weekend but we struggled a bit with the tyre grip today so the result is a little bit disappointing in the end. In Q1 I could set a good time on the hard tyre and it looked really good for a Q3 slot but then in Q2 I just couldn’t get a good lap any more and couldn’t go any quicker. We need to investigate why we couldn’t go faster on the softer tyre but it’s not the end of the world and P11 is a good position to start. The top 10 is of course the goal for the weekend, so it’s important to finish the race, then anything is possible.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “We need to work to understand why we were not so fast this session as we believed a Q3 position was possible with both cars based on the performance in practice. In Q1 it went OK and the balance in both the high and slow speed corners was quite good. Unfortunately I only got one flying lap on my first run and then on the second couldn’t improve. I think P12 or higher was there, but it can happen. We’ll now start 20th because of the penalty – we thought that we had to keep Nico [Hulkenberg] behind and I didn’t realise he was on a hot lap. From there it’s not going to be easy but there are overtaking spots here at least, plus the incentive of racing in front of our home crowd.”

Robert Kubica: “It hasn’t been the easiest weekend so far and we have been struggling with the overall feeling and pace of the car. We’ve been changing lots of things, but it has been difficult to put everything together. It felt like a great result just to get into Q3, so I’m very happy to qualify in P6 and pleased with the lap time – especially because, on the first lap of my final run, I had a big moment in turn 1 and nearly lost the car at 270km/h! Looking to the race, we know how difficult it is to overtake at Silverstone. As usual, the start, the first lap and the pit stops will be the crucial points in the race.”

Vitaly Petrov: “At the start of the session everything seemed quite good: the lap time was there and the speed was there. After my first run in Q2, the engine cut out in the pit lane, and my mechanics did a fantastic job to get me back out before the end of the session. But on my final lap in Q2, I didn’t warm up the tyres very well so I need to analyse the data from my lap. For the race tomorrow we know how difficult it is to overtake here, but as usual I will try my best.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Silverstone is unbelievable. The corner combinations, I can only say it again and again, they’re so much fun – especially in qualifying. Our car obviously works very well in these sorts of corners, it’s so great, the speeds we reach here – I think we’re all a bit crazy, but it’s so much fun. The new section is also good, especially Turns 11 and 12 where you come into the new section with a big bump. I really like this track and fortunately our car always works very well here. It was a tight session today. In Q2 I wasn’t perfectly happy – I think I was pushing too hard and tried a bit too much, so for Q3, I went a bit more conservative. I still had to push and I had two strong laps; in the end we got the pole, which is the key for tomorrow.”

Mark Webber: “That was pretty good; we did the best we could. It was a very tight fight with Sebastian again, unfortunately he got me, but we’ve got a long Grand Prix tomorrow. I have to thank the guys, they’ve absolutely buried themselves to get my car ready for this weekend and have done a great job. We’re at the front and some of our main rivals have had a more difficult day, so it’s interesting. Seb and I ran different spec front wings here for qualifying, but we’re still evaluating which is the best to have, I don’t think there’s a huge amount in them. The effort that goes into any GP is unique, but the English support is massive. There’s a big industry here, Formula One has been here for decades and that’s reflected in people’s passion and desire to be here.”

Fernando Alonso: “We knew that at this type of circuit, the Red Bulls would be out of reach, but we managed to get ahead of the rest of the pack. We are aware we still need to up our performance level but it was important to get a positive indication and I think that, thanks to all the work we have done in the past weeks on the development of the car, we have managed to do that. On my final run, I had traffic in sector three – I think it might have been Michael – but even with a clear track ahead of me, I definitely would not have improved my grid position. Up until now, the weekend has gone well but now we must tackle the part that counts, the race: we must try and finish on the podium, because we need to score a lot of points. In terms of pace, we have proved to be competitive and we must try and at least put the Red Bulls under some pressure to ensure they don’t have an easy time of getting the win. In two days we have seen how easy it is to lose precious time through small errors and this circuit is pretty tough on the cars. This morning’s problem? There was a slight water leak because of a problem with a pipe, but it was all fixed in the break before qualifying.”

Felipe Massa: “I am pleased with the performance of my car which was competitive today. Unfortunately, I always struggled a lot in terms of getting grip from the tyres on the first lap on a new set, as was especially obvious in Q3. I would say that here we saw the same situation that arose in Melbourne and to a greater extent in Barcelona. A shame, as I could have got a better result. I remain very confident for the race: yesterday, when we had a heavy fuel load on board, we managed to maintain a good pace and I hope that tomorrow, it will be even better. I plan to make up some places compared to my grid position, although I am aware it will not be easy. Despite the modifications, in my opinion, the track does not produce many overtaking opportunities: let’s see what we can do.”

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