2010 Chinese GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by Nick on April 17th, 2010 at 12:43 pmLast Update: April 17th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Karun Chandhok: “We had some issues this morning which was a bit unfortunate. I left early in qualifying which was not bad for us as we could get closer to the other teams which is very encouraging for us. It will be a difficult race on a tricky circuit. The weather may be wet too and that will be our first race in rain. Whatever the conditions, we will make the best out of it.”

Bruno Senna: “In the morning we found a good performance today and the car felt good. It was much more consistent and I felt more confidence. We have a good improvement from yesterday and we could make a good step forward. I could do some long runs in preparation for the race tomorrow. I went a bit wide on my quick lap in qualifying and lost some time. It is okay, maybe a bit frustrating because I know I could have done much better than this. I went slower than in my fastest lap in free practice 3 because there were some changes to the throttle response which made it difficult to drive. We have to test as we go along. With more knowledge gained, I am confident of a strong run in the race tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello: “Qualifying went ok for us; it was just a shame that we were pipped in the last minute of Q2. Everything is so close at the moment though and, if you think about it, that was our best qualifying for getting closer to the top. It was a great lap and I’m happy with what I did out there this afternoon.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “We had a hard time in the practice sessions and P16 is obviously not what I was hoping for. My last lap wasn’t perfect because I made a mistake in the last corner which cost me time. I think it will probably be wet for the race tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”

Jarno Trulli: “It was a shame because I think I could have gone quicker, but the strong wind played a part and it wasn’t easy out there. It was a very gusty and I struggled a bit with that but having had three good practice sessions I’m expecting a better race tomorrow.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “It was ok today but I couldn’t quite get the perfect lap. The first two sectors were ok but just before the back straight I couldn’t quite get the exit right and I think I lost about three tenths there. The wind has played its part today – in some braking zones at the back of the track there’s a tailwind which unbalances the car, but the second to last corner is into a headwind and it felt really good under braking into there but it’s no big deal – it’s just one of those things! The race tomorrow will be better for sure. The car has felt good all weekend on heavy fuel so let’s see what happens then.”

Jenson Button: “I was struggling a little with the car in the first two sessions. By Q3, though, it was much better, but it was a little bit too late by then: the car felt quite different, balance-wise, and I had to play around with the diff and the front wing to find a good feeling in the car. So it wasn’t a bad lap; it’s just a bit frustrating that it took us that long in qualifying to get the balance right. But fifth is just about okay, and I think we’ll have a good car for the race tomorrow. It’s probably going to rain tomorrow anyway, so the set-up we have may well be pretty good in the wet conditions.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m a little disappointed – we wanted to get pole today, and thought we could –, and I don’t really know where the time went in Q3. The tyres felt fine – pretty much exactly the same as in Q1 and Q2, when the car felt great – but in Q3 the car started moving around a lot more, and it felt like the front was bottoming. We’d been quick all weekend, but sixth was the best I could do in Q3. I think we ought to have been further up the grid – but we’ll fight our way as far up the field as we can tomorrow. I’m sure it will be a good race.”

Sebastian Vettel: “It was tough today. I was not happy yesterday and this morning, as Mark was quite a bit quicker than me. We made some changes to the car in Mark’s direction, but it was still extremely difficult. I was struggling in the first sector, but then I got a purple (fastest) time in sector one on my last lap, so I think we made a good step forward! I found a better line that worked, remembering things from last year. I lost my way a little bit in free practice this morning, but I had two very good runs in Q3. I think the first would have already been a good time, but I was too wide in the last corner. The second run was better – it was a fantastic lap. We got a fourth consecutive pole position for Red Bull. We’re proving that we have a very good car, no matter what the circuit. I’m very pleased with today. Thanks to the mechanics, as they had zero lunch due to all the changes that were required between free practice and qualifying.”

Mark Webber: “In P3, things came a little bit my way on some of the settings and it was a good battle again between me and Seb. He did a good job in Q3. I’m on the front row – which is not a bad position to start from. It’s a big credit to the team that we’ve locked out the front row again, after doing the same in Melbourne – it’s very positive. Thanks to the mechanics too. There was stuff coming out last night for our cars that should never have got here with the volcano exploding in Europe. It wasn’t easy for the team to arrange, so it was a great team effort. We’re set for an interesting Grand Prix tomorrow – I’m looking forward to it.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “We are getting closer to Q3 and I think we did a good job so far this weekend, especially as it’s my first time at this track. I expect we can have a good race tomorrow, as the car works well over a distance, running consistently and we seem to have got it to work better than in Malaysia. We will have to wait and see what the weather brings, but I think I have a realistic chance of scoring points tomorrow, whether it is wet or dry, so I would prefer it if it does not rain.”

Sebastien Buemi: “I had no problem with getting back in the car after what happened yesterday, although of course the lack of track time affected me. In any case the team did a good job to rebuild the car so that I could run trouble free today. To be honest, I was expecting to get a better grid position, but it’s understandable when you don’t drive on Friday. As for the race, we have gone for a compromise setting that should also work if the predicted rain arrives tomorrow. P13 is not too far away from the points, so let’s wait and see what we can do.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Personally I’m happy with the lap I put in. I had no traffic, did the best I could and think I achieved what was possible. We do have areas where we need to improve and we will improve. Overall we don’t have enough grip yet, braking stability is not perfect and my car tends to understeer. I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow’s race and I’m really hungry for a grand prix finish again. The weather prediction says there is a good chance of rain. This would make for an exciting race. I generally like driving in the wet although visibility is always a problem.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “My first attempt on the soft tyres in Q2 wasn’t good from my side, but the last lap was very good until I made a mistake before turn 14. I locked the rear and it cost me almost half a second. Finishing two places higher up would have been realistic, but not a lot more. The car felt well balanced, so there is nothing to complain about. We did not use our new rear wing system in qualifying because we want to continue testing it.”

Timo Glock: “It was a good Qualifying session and I am happy, despite only really having one clean shot. On the first set of tyres I had traffic with Rubens doing a slow in-lap, so that frustrated my first quick run. With a proper first run I think we could have improved even more for the second, but overall I’m pleased with the lap and it’s important to be in front of Lotus again. I have to say that on Friday things were looking difficult for us here, but it has been a good demonstration of what the team is capable of. With the engineers we have been able to improve the car quite a lot overnight to make the car work better at this track and the mechanics did a nice job. So far our weekend has been trouble-free, so we will wait and see what possibilities tomorrow brings.”

Lucas di Grassi: “This was not a great qualifying session for me. The car behaved as expected and it was performing quite well. Reliability-wise we have also been very good. I was very quick on the first two sectors but made a mistake that cost me 3 or 4 tenths. As a result, I lost two or three positions on the grid. The important thing is to finish tomorrow’s race as the best of the new teams again, so we will perform as well as possible and see what opportunities are there to take advantage of.”

Robert Kubica: “It was good qualifying session for me – probably my best performance this year from a driving point of view, and I was particularly pleased with my laps in Q3. If you had said to me yesterday I would start the race from eighth, I would have been happy, so it’s a good result and puts us in a good position to score points in the race.”

Vitaly Petrov: “I’m pleased with my performance, which is my best result from a dry qualifying session, even if my ultimate objective has to be to make it through to Q3 because Robert has shown this is what the car can do. Overall, things are going in the right direction for me: I’m improving my driving and getting more comfortable with the car all the time. I also need to say a big ‘thank you’ to my mechanics, who did a fantastic job to repair my car in time for qualifying after my accident in free practice.”

Nico Rosberg: “Fourth place is quite a nice surprise and I’m very pleased that we seem to have made a step forward this weekend. We really got the most out of the car in qualifying and I’ve worked well with my engineer Jock and the team to improve the car and get the set-up right this weekend. We didn’t think we would be this far up the grid today as we were struggling in practice this morning compared to the McLarens but to be level with the quickest Ferrari and a bit closer to the Red Bulls is very satisfying. It’s a good step for us and we’re well placed to have a good race tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher: “I am obviously disappointed about my qualifying. It didn’t really come together today. In certain areas I was just not quick enough and at some corner exits, I struggled a bit with rear end grip. I haven’t really found the balance of the car all weekend. It will be tough to be too optimistic for tomorrow from my grid position but then I had some good starts lately and there is always room for lots of things to happen in Formula One races. We can still achieve some good points and I am definitely going to go for it.”

Adrian Sutil: “Another Q3 qualifying performance for us, I think we can be very pleased with that. Again, it’s P10 – I know this position very well from the last races in Australia and Bahrain! The car is behaving very well and we can be happy about the balance we have. It’s a bit difficult in the mid sector though as the grip is missing a little bit so we have a touch of oversteer and it’s hard to drive on the limit. However from the team’s point of view we can look forward to the race tomorrow: I think our long runs were quite good on Friday.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “We were fast in the morning and the car was reacting well to changes and seemed to have a good pace. Again, though, for the third time in four races I got caught in traffic, again with a Williams and an HRT. But that’s how it is, it happens, we have to look at why and then work on this. Tomorrow I think we are in great shape for the race as the speed has been there when we were on the longer runs but when you start in 18th place it makes life much more difficult. We are still optimistic though and we keep pushing whatever happens.”

Felipe Massa: “I’m a bit disappointed because I wasn’t able to do a clean lap on my last run in Q3. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the final corner which lost me at least a few tenths. Up to that point, I was in line for a lap that would have seen me into the top five, but when everyone is so close, it takes very little to find yourself dropping down the grid. It might rain tomorrow, so there’s a chance it could shake up the order, but it is clear that starting seventh, it will be hard to fight for the top positions. In terms of race pace, we can hold our own, as was the case in yesterday’s free practice: the soft tyres seem to degrade more than the hard but maybe with a bit more rubber on the track, the situation could improve. It will be very important to get a good start and make up some places immediately.”

Fernando Alonso: “At the moment, I’d say this result is an accurate reflection of our qualifying potential. The Red Bulls seem unbeatable, but it’s definitely not a surprise, because they are always strong on Saturday. I am happy with the way things went: third is a good place to start such a long race. We can do well and aim for a podium finish. Today, I was more comfortable on the hard tyres, as the soft ones were trickier to use. I am pleased with the benefits of the new aerodynamic package in terms of performance and it is thanks to these parts that I was able to take part in the press conference for the top three drivers. The team is working well, with a clear philosophy that it’s in the race that the points are given out, not in qualifying. If it rains, a lot will depend on when the tyres will need to be changed: getting it right, along with making the best tyre choice, can bring you the win, but if you get it wrong, you could lose everything. It’s hard to say where we are in terms of being competitive in the wet, because during winter testing, we were never all out on track under the same conditions and on the same fuel loads. However, in Australia, it went pretty well…”

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply