2010 German GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by David on July 24th, 2010 at 5:36 pmLast Update: July 24th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Jenson Button: “It took a little bit of time for us to get used to the balance of the car this weekend. I was pretty happy with my final lap, so I don’t know where the extra seven tenths to pole is. And that’s the slightly worrying thing: it was a good lap, and I don’t really think there was anything else I could’ve got out of the car. But we’ve definitely made a step forward with the blown diffuser – it’s still not quite enough in qualifying spec, but, hopefully, we’ll see some more performance tomorrow. From fifth on the grid, we can still have a good race, and this is a fun place to go racing. The first lap is usually pretty hectic, so I’ll be hoping to pass some cars early on. I definitely think we can get a great result tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton: “My qualifying pace wasn’t great today – there was definitely a bit more time to be gained somewhere. I did the best job I could – it’s just that the two teams in front did a slightly better job. We’re the fastest down the straights, but we don’t have quite enough downforce at the moment. We’ll keep on pushing, but we know we have more work to do. Still, I think there’ll be an improvement in our performance relative to the others tomorrow, because our race pace is generally better than our qualifying pace. Hopefully, the weather will be good, too, so we can push the guys in front and try and make up some places.”

Jarno Trulli: “I’ve had a great weekend so far. I’ve had no troubles with the car and I’ve been able to work on getting the right balance, and being comfortable with how the car feels in all the sessions. You can see from the lap time today just how good it’s been, so I’m really happy, but obviously we always have work to do, and the satisfaction comes from putting in the work and seeing results like the lap today. Tomorrow it’s all about pushing the guys ahead and getting both cars home again, so that’s where the focus is now.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “It’s been quite a difficult weekend for me so far – it seems to be a bit harder than normal and I’m not sure why. The balance was ok today but the grip levels felt poor and I wasn’t able to get the best out of the tyres on either run. It felt like I was getting more out of them on the third lap each time, so we need to analyse that and see what’s behind it. Despite this we’re still in a good position. Jarno did a great lap and I got ahead of Glock pretty comfortably, so there’s everything to fight for tomorrow.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “I am not happy because I should have gone through into Q3. The car was good and the performance in qualifying confirmed this. But on my second run in Q2 I had traffic and needed to slow down a bit. Obviously this wasn’t good for the tyre temperatures and I had a lack of grip afterwards. However, from 12th on the grid I should still be able to score points tomorrow.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “I was certainly hoping to make it into Q3. Overall I think we have been closer to the top ten than expected. The car was good and it will be the same in the race tomorrow. On my second run in Q2 I pushed too hard and had a couple of big moments. This way I obviously couldn’t improve my lap time.”

Adrian Sutil: “Not really such a great day for us! The weekend started so well and in the rain the car was so strong, but it’s not gone right today. This morning I had a problem with the driveshaft and missed the whole session. We also had to change the gearbox as a result of the problem so we knew that we would be facing a tough challenge with the five place penalty we would get. Then in qualifying I didn’t have any grip and the car was sliding around and we were only quick enough for 14th place. All the same it’s only qualifying and there’s a long race tomorrow where anything can happen.With a good strategy we can always go for a good result.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “I had had a good couple of laps but then I hit a wet patch on the kerb or on the grass that wasn’t visible from the track and it then started the accident. I lost the rear and was pushed out quite strongly across the track and into the wall. I wasn’t hurt, but it’s such a shame as we lost the qualifying and now have to start far down the grid. We can still make up some places as we showed in the last race in Silverstone where I came back to 11th and under a second from the points, so the race pace is very strong – let’s see what we can do.”

Rubens Barrichello: “It was a good day all told. In Q2, I set my best time and it was a fantastic lap, and in Q3 for some reason I developed a bit of understeer and lost some balance. So it was a bit of a shame not to be able to repeat the performance as I thought we were capable of P7. That said, we have to be happy with two cars in the top ten and it gives us confidence for good points tomorrow.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was positive to get both cars into the top ten; I think there was a bit more there time-wise at around about Rubens’ pace, but I didn’t have the greatest run right at the end of Q3. All that said, we have a good platform for a strong race tomorrow.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “To be honest I did not expect to be quicker than my team-mate today, as it has been a difficult weekend with not so much testing on a dry track. Therefore, I found it hard to get up to speed in the dry, but in the end, I managed it in qualifying, even if I might have been able to improve by one or two tenths. If it stays like this for the race, who knows what might happen as it is possible that tyre degradation will be a factor that might help me move up the order.”

Sebastien Buemi: “Q1 went well, but I am not really sure what happened in Q2, as I was unable to make the most of the improving track conditions. We will have to see why that was, if it was down to the way we ran the tyres or some other reason to do with the set-up. Therefore I am rather disappointed that things did not go as well as expected. As for tomorrow’s race, there are a couple of places where you can overtake if you have the speed, so let’s wait and see what happens and a lot could depend on the weather. If it is dry, the key element of the strategy will be managing the usage of the soft tyre.”

Sebastian Vettel: “That was extremely exciting, especially in Q3. I knew that both times I went out I only had one timed lap, so I had to get it right. It’s difficult here, there are some places that can easily lead you into a mistake on this track. If you push too much then you can lose the edge of the tyres and some time. My final lap wasn’t 100% perfect and there were a couple of places where I went over the limit, which cost me some time. But, in the end, it was enough – although only just – to stay ahead and get the pole. I am extremely happy – thanks to the team. It is the first time I am on pole at home, but the main challenge will come tomorrow.”

Mark Webber: “I made a mistake into Turn one on my final timed lap. I turned in a little bit late and cut the kerb, which took me out wide so I had to abandon the lap. It was a shame I couldn’t take advantage of the improving track conditions at the end of the session; it wasn’t the best day for me. I let the boys down a bit, but Seb did a good lap for pole. Fourth is still not too bad – let’s see what we can do from there in tomorrow’s race.”

Robert Kubica: “I am reasonably happy to be seventh on the grid and I think that, for now, we have to realise that we could not have qualified any higher than this. My lap could have been better, because I was held up by a Red Bull in the final sector, but I don’t think it would have changed my position. We have had a couple of issues with the car here and in Silverstone, and I have not felt as confident with it, so we know that it’s important to keep working to improve the feeling because that will give us more consistency. As for tomorrow’s race, we saw in Silverstone that anything is possible but we need a good start and a good first lap. We hope that our race pace will be strong, too, but we saw today that the gap to the teams in front is pretty big so I’m expecting a tough afternoon.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It was another tough qualifying session for me. The lap times around the top ten were very close and I was still learning how to get the most from the car and the tyres at this track, then trying to put it all together in a single lap. In the end, getting it right is a question of experience, and I know that better results will come when I can bring the pieces together – even though I wasn’t far from the top ten today.”

Timo Glock: “A very disappointing day after the promising start we made to the weekend yesterday. The gearbox problem we experienced this morning was very frustrating because it cost us the end of the session. The guys did a fantastic job, working through the break to get the car ready in time for Qualifying, but then after the first run we had a problem with the rear brakes and it was too risky to go out again. After the first set of tyres we were in front of Lotus but we couldn’t continue and therefore run the next set of options, so we don’t know how it could have panned out – we could have split the Lotus cars or even been ahead of them. It’s just very disappointing.”

Lucas di Grassi: “It has been a very frustrating day for me and the team because we were looking so good in Free Practice and I think we could have done a really good job in Qualifying. But we had the alternator problem late in the session this morning and then it was clear on my Qualifying out-lap that there was a gearbox problem which could not be fixed in the time we had. We will do the best we can tomorrow in the hope that we can finish as the best of the new teams.”

Nico Rosberg: “I was hoping for a strong weekend here in Hockenheim in front of our fans but unfortunately I struggled a lot in qualifying today. It’s really disappointing and it seems that we are just not making our developments work as well as we hoped this weekend which we need to look into. I hope that we find the problem with the car otherwise it is difficult to explain why we are not closer to the front. I had a lot of oversteer and that made it really difficult as I had to keep coming down on the front wing levels which did not help. I will do my best tomorrow to achieve a good result but it will be difficult from this position.”

Michael Schumacher: “There isn’t much more to say about qualifying other than the result was what was achievable for us today. Clearly it was disappointing because we had expected to be able to fight for fifth or sixth place but from the difference between our two cars, you can see our results are what the potential was. If I want to find something positive, it is that at least I will be starting from the better side of the grid and in the end, I prefer 11th to 10th place because of that. I had some issues with my brakes during qualifying but I do not rate that a real factor for the performance today. We are a bit stronger in race pace than in qualifying but we clearly wanted to achieve more for our fans. Let’s hope that tomorrow the race will develop in a way that we can still show them something.”

Fernando Alonso: “I am happy to be back on the front row after such a long time! We have been competitive all weekend, so this result is not a surprise: although perhaps the small gap to the Red Bull is, given that so far, even when we were close in free practice, or in Q1 and Q2, then in Q3, they always seemed to have that little bit extra. For a few races now, the F10 has improved a lot and that has finally led to us being in the fight for pole position. We have had a good Saturday, but now we have to do the same again on Sunday, as the points are only given out tomorrow. I am happy that Felipe is also in a good position as that means we can defend ourselves, particularly from the McLarens on the opening lap, because with their top speed they could pose a real threat. Tyres could be a significant unknown factor tomorrow: the track has improved so much over the past two days and we are using them much more than yesterday, so we could expect some surprises on the strategy front. The start? At Silverstone, the theoretically slower dirty side was actually cleaner and I hope the same will be true here! We will give it our all in trying to win, because looking at the classification, we need to bring home as many points as possible.”

Felipe Massa: “I am pleased with this third place, as it means I am in a good position for the start of the race. It gives us a chance to score a lot of points for the team and that is our objective for tomorrow, as we have lost too many in recent races! Therefore, we hope that the negative run that dates back to Canada will end here in Germany. The gap between my time and that of the first two is due mainly to the fact that I never managed to produce a perfect lap on my last run. Tomorrow, we will do our best: yesterday, we saw that our race pace is competitive and we will try to make the most of that. On this track, with so many slow corners and where it is important to have a car that is good under braking, the F10 seems to be working very well.”

Sakon Yamamoto: “It was my second qualifying in a row after Silverstone and here we could improve a lot compared to the last weekend. Today it was a bit disappointing as we had a shifting problem on my fastest lap, which needs to be investigated for tomorrow. During the race, the weather conditions will be different and I’m going to do my best and I hope to finish the race again.”

Bruno Senna: “It feels like a really good qualifying for us and we have been closer to our competitors than expected. My lap was almost perfect as I could put all the sectors together. I think it was one of my best laps in qualifying this year, so I’m fairly happy. It was a good effort from the team and we will see how it goes tomorrow.”

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