2010 British GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on July 10th, 2010 at 5:35 pmLast Update: July 10th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Mike Gascoyne: “I have mixed feelings after qualifying. Again we had some mechanical problems with Jarno this morning, which meant that going into qualifying he had only completed 12 laps over the whole weekend on the new circuit layout, so he had a very difficult task in front of him and did a good job to be as close in time to his team mate as he was. Heikki had traffic on both his runs, which was a shame as he could have got a little more out of the car had he had a clear run, but he was ahead of the other new teams so that’s a positive. Overall it’s been quite a difficult weekend so far but we’re looking forward to the race tomorrow and are focusing on getting both cars to the finish.”

Tony Fernandes: “We did as well as we could have expected with not a lot of running this weekend, but well done to Heikki who probably could have gone faster if he had not hit so much traffic. Jarno did exceptionally well, having only run a few laps all weekend, and that’s what his pace, experience and knowledge gives us. It was great to see the Lotus Racing flags in the crowd, and a lot of green and yellow shirts and caps. Tomorrow, hopefully, we can make them proud, bring two cars home and put on a show worthy of the efforts of the team.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “There’s not much to say about this qualifying: we were simply not fast enough and it is down to the car as the drivers did what they could. I expected us to be outpaced here and we are pretty much running at our maximum capacity. However, we hope to have something good coming in the next race or two, which will allow us to move forward. We had two good races in Canada and Valencia, even if we were already losing ground to our nearest rivals, but at those tracks, our drivers were able to make a difference, but that was not possible here.”

Colin Kolles: “It was a difficult day for us but everyone in the team did a great job. The changing crosswinds had effects on the car balance. In qualifying, we had a small balance problem on the rear end of Sakon Yamamoto’s car which didn’t allow us to go quicker. Karun Chandhok was unlucky on his second outing when he was disturbed by traffic. Otherwise he could have done a quicker lap. For Sakon it is not easy to start into the season without having raced since 2007. There are many small details like how to use or heat the tyres that he has to learn about. But Sakon is improving every lap and as there are 52 laps to go in the race tomorrow, he can show a good performance. All in all, we could work on the set-up for the race and are confident, to fight for positions with the other teams on Sunday.”

Sam Michael: “That was a good qualifying by Rubens. It was a shame that Nico didn’t go through to Q3. All the new parts have improved the cars’ pace but, as usual, we need to keep working hard on the whole car package. Our focus is now on the race and scoring points tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “Nico did a very good job today and his fifth place puts us in a decent position for the race. Michael looked quick after Q2 and we were expecting an equally strong Q3 however he made a mistake on his lap and unfortunately that was it. But we saw today what Michael is capable of and that’s encouraging for the future. This is an important weekend for the team as we focus on consolidating our position and today probably finds us in our natural position in the order right now. We have a fantastic team and I am pleased that they have had some modest reward today from the commitment and hours of hard work that went into our upgrades. Of course the race is what counts so we will wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug: “A step forward compared to our performance at the last race in Valencia. The gap to the best placed ‘non Red Bulls’ is not too big today and Nico extracted everything possible from our car. It’s a pity for Michael who was in fifth place in Q2 and in a position to repeat that result in Q3 if it had not been for a slight mistake on his only run. However Michael is a good starter and can make up places. For Nico, a respectable result is possible tomorrow and this would be the best reward for all of our hard-working team members at Brackley and Brixworth. Many of them will watch their home race from the grandstands in Silverstone hoping for a good result for Mercedes GP.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “With extremely limited testing opportunities and a big upgrade package to develop, we were always going to be up against it this weekend – and so it proved. Nonetheless, I want to pay tribute to the indefatigable work ethic of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Everyone has made a truly enormous effort – and, although we had hoped to qualify rather more impressively than we did here at our home grand prix, everyone did an absolutely fantastic job when you consider that we found ourselves on the back foot this morning with an untried configuration to take into qualifying. Moreover, Lewis drove superbly this afternoon to record a seriously impressive second-row grid slot, and will be pushing as hard as ever to convert that starting position into a significant points haul tomorrow afternoon. As for Jenson, it’s a pity that we didn’t manage to supply him with a car in which he could feel comfortable today – but, like Lewis, he never gives up and on race day he’ll be giving no quarter in his attempts to score as many points as he possibly can.”

Peter Sauber: “For the first time this season our lap times in qualifying have been competitive and this certainly is pleasing.”

James Key: “We had anticipated this track would suit our car better than some others, but we needed to work a lot after we arrived here. The engineers did an excellent job to get the car’s balance right. In the morning session you could see we had made a good step forward, so our target was to get to Q3. It was a brilliant drive from Pedro. He put in a superb lap for his best qualifying result so far this season. Kamui also did very well coming so close to Q3, and he just missed it by a tenth of a second. We will now concentrate on the race tomorrow and hope to score some more points.”

Nick Wirth: “That was fun! It’s been tough waiting for this moment, and to be in a good qualifying fight has certainly lifted the whole team. Lucas continued his great string of consistent and fast performances and the work that he and his engineers have done this weekend have been very valuable for the team. We aren’t quite there on car weight with Lucas’s chassis which is costing him a few tenths, but we’ll get there soon. It certainly hasn’t been anywhere near a smooth enough weekend on Timo’s car and we got another new front wing on his car with minutes to spare before qualifying. Frankly, he did a fantastic job considering his lack of running this weekend and that’s great for him. For the team, this session marks a clear step forward in performance where we have caught up Lotus and pulled further away from HRT, and it couldn’t be a more public validation of our digital development process. We’ll keep our heads down and focus on another strong two-car finish in front of our fans, friends and families.”

Vijay Mallya: “It’s a shame we couldn’t produce a better qualifying result at our home race this weekend, but we shouldn’t be too downcast by the starting positions. As we saw in Valencia, a lot is still possible from these positions and we could still yet get a good haul of points. Both drivers couldn’t quite get the optimum lap but our performance in the earlier part of the weekend shows that the pace is there. We’ve gone well at Silverstone before and the drivers feel confident round here so we’ve got to keep focussed right till the end.”

Eric Boullier: “Today’s qualifying session was a mixed one for us. Robert drove superbly to deliver the perfect lap on his final set of tyres in Q3 and his sixth place is an excellent result. Once again we are pleased to be ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes. Vitaly’s session was more complicated because there was a fuel pick-up problem at the end of his first run in Q2, which cut the engine and put him under pressure for the rest of the session. His result was not what we were hoping for, especially after an excellent lap in Q1 and the speed he had shown earlier in the weekend. I hope tomorrow he can show some good race pace and make up some positions.”

Alan Permane: “This weekend hasn’t been the most straightforward for us, but it’s difficult to pinpoint where we are struggling. Overall I think Robert’s sixth place is pretty much where we deserved to be, but it was a real fight to get him up there. He and his engineers did an excellent job in Q3 and managed to get the best out of the tyres, which brought him up to P6. Obviously P16 is disappointing for Vitaly, but we had a fuel pick-up problem during Q2. The mechanics did a great job to get the car turned around in time for another run, but it wasn’t enough to get him into Q3. It’s a real shame for Vitaly because he had matched Robert this morning and did a strong job in Q1.”

Christian Horner: “A brilliant performance by the team today – both drivers were excellent, there was really nothing to choose between the two of them. After this morning’s incident we only had one new spec front wing available for qualifying, which Adrian was very keen to run; not necessarily because it was better, but because it offered a new direction to look at. Therefore it came to me to make a difficult decision as to which car it went on. A situation like that is not ideal and it doesn’t happen very often. It went to Sebastian based on Championship position, his performance in P3 and the drivers’ feedback on the different front wings from yesterday. In the end it was a great team performance to be first and second for tomorrow’s race in front of so many members of our factory which is based 20 minutes away. The drivers were very, very closely matched through all three sectors of the qualifying and were quick at different parts of the circuit. I’m really pleased for the team to be starting its local race at the front of the grid.”

Fabrice Lom: “The team’s ninth pole position out of a possible ten this year is great. We have a front row lock up at Silverstone, which is a track that’s full of history. It’s a very good result for us; it’s the local race for many people from the Red Bull Renault team and we’re very happy to offer this front row to our friends at Red Bull in Milton Keynes. Now we need to confirm this tomorrow and try to reproduce what we did last year with a perfect one two.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We can be reasonably satisfied with today’s outcome. Fernando had a great qualifying, getting all the potential out of the car. A shame for Felipe, who could have finished higher, although his chances of having a good race are still intact. Looking to tomorrow, clearly our aim is to get a podium finish. We start behind what looks like the untouchable Red Bulls, but several times this year we have seen our car prove to be more competitive in the race than in qualifying. It will be important to get a good start and, as usual in fact, reliability remains the key factor. Usually in qualifying, you see all the potential in terms of performance and for us it is encouraging to see that on a track whose characteristics definitely do not favour our car, the extensive work of the past few weeks is reaping its rewards: now we must transform that into results.”

Chris Dyer: “We had a few minor problems this morning on Fernando’s car, because of a water loss: it was down to a leaking pipe which was promptly repaired, but it meant our Spanish driver was unable to try the soft tyres before qualifying. In any case, it would not have changed much in terms of his grid position. Fernando did a great job, getting the maximum out of his car, while Felipe was unable to do the same, mainly because of a lack of grip: a shame as maybe he could have been a few places higher up the order. We knew the Red Bulls would be strong here, but we are happy to be ahead of our other rivals. Both drivers start from the clean side of the track and so we hope to be able to make up some places at the start and then make the most of our race pace and maybe improve still further through strategy and how we carry out the pit stops. From what we saw yesterday, we should not have any problems with the tyres, neither the hard nor the soft.”

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