2010 German GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on July 24th, 2010 at 5:37 pmLast Update: July 24th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Martin Whitmarsh: “No-one at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is ever going to be fully satisfied by a qualifying session that results in our cars qualifying only fifth and sixth – but we have reason to be confident that our race pace will be stronger. Our straight-line speed is impressive – perhaps more than we needed for an optimal qualifying set-up – but it’s likely to pay dividends tomorrow. As ever, both Jenson and Lewis will be looking to make up places early on, and thereafter they’ll approach the race with their usual combination of combative ambition and disciplined adherence to a race strategy that we hope will bag them another decent haul of world championship points. And, having scored 149 points out of a possible 172 in the past four races, we’re focusing on maintaining our consistency above all else.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Mixed feelings today. A very good job from Jarno who was pretty happy with the balance of his car, but disappointing for Heikki who lost 3/10ths in a straight line to Jarno and we’ll have to look at the reasons for that. Overall he hasn’t been happy with the balance all weekend and I think the team didn’t do a good enough job on his car before qualifying. However, on the positive side we finished the best of the new teams, and we’re looking to take this form into the race tomorrow with a strong double finish.”

Kamarudin Meranun: “It’s very exciting to see us finish 18th and 19th, and we’ll be going up another position on the grid due to Sutil’s penalty. I’m sorry for Heikki, but very happy for Jarno and I’m sure Heikki will put in a very strong performance tomorrow – we’re firmly ahead of the new teams and closer than ever to those ahead, so it’s a good day!”

Peter Sauber: “The positive aspect of today is the fact our car made another step forward with regard to performance, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to compete at such a level. However, it’s disappointing we didn’t make it into Q3.”

James Key: “We came in this morning after working over night on the cars to address some of the issues we found in dry conditions yesterday. Both drivers were happy with the cars this morning, and we looked reasonably competitive. We went to qualifying knowing we had a realistic chance of a getting into Q3. There was a big accident in the first session, and it was good to see Vitantonio Liuzzi walk away from that. Then it was about concentrating on getting the tyres to work. The first outings were reasonable. Kamui was in the top ten straightaway, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the most out of the new tyres on the second run, where we didn’t improve at all. That left us just outside the top ten. Ultimately it was disappointing, but I’m pleased the car has taken a step forward. We should be able to fight for points tomorrow.”

Otmar Szafnauer: “Obviously we’re disappointed with the session today. We were hoping for more in qualifying but had technical problems with the driveshaft failure on Adrian’s car in FP3, which compromised his performance in qualifying. Tonio then had an accident at the last corner, which eliminated him in Q1. But as we always say there’s no points for qualifying. Our long run pace this weekend on both cars has been strong and both Adrian and Tonio are real fighters who will keep pushing until the flag. They have fought hard in the past and, even after the difficulties today, are exceptionally motivated to do it again here in Hockenheim.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “After this afternoon’s session, we are looking a bit better than in Silverstone a fortnight ago, however that is mainly due to Liuzzi’s crash – I’m glad he seems okay – rather than due to our own efforts. ”

Sam Michael: “Today was another good qualifying performance by the team and it is great to have both cars in the top 10. We believed we could get up to 7th, but we just missed a bit of time in the last sector relative to Q2. Looking to tomorrow’s race, our target is to put away more points with both cars. The weather here this weekend has made things interesting so far, but it’s still clear on the tyres and other items.”

Christian Horner: “It was a fantastic lap from Sebastian to get pole at his home race, albeit by the tightest of margins. Mark was right up there throughout the two qualifying sessions and again the drivers were split by very little. Unfortunately he ran wide at Turn one at the start of his last timed lap, but first and fourth is still a strong team result and it promises to be a good race tomorrow.”

Fabrice Lom: “What a nice feeling to have a pole position at Sebastian’s home race. It’s so good for him, I imagine he’s very happy. Also to get pole by the tiniest margin, two thousandths of a second, is a very good achievement. Mark is a bit further back behind the Ferraris, but first and fourth ahead of the McLarens is a strong qualifying result. We need to capitalise on this tomorrow in the race in order to close the gap in the Championship.”

Eric Boullier: “I am pretty pleased with our qualifying performance today, considering that all of the teams ahead of us – and some behind – are running with the F-duct. It’s good to be the leading team without that system, and particularly nice to have Robert ahead of the two Mercedes – although he could have gone quicker had he not hit traffic on his fastest lap. Of course, our ambitions are greater than P7, but this was a good result today. On the other side of the garage, Vitaly didn’t quite make the cut for Q3 – but in his defence, the times were very close today and he was just a few tenths away.”

Alan Permane: “At the moment, we know that we are a step away from the three teams ahead of us on the grid, so it’s pleasing to see Robert qualify ahead of both Williams and both Mercedes. It was a shame that Vitaly wasn’t able to get closer to the top ten, but he did a good job after two disjointed days of practice. It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends for us overall, and it’s fair to say we struggled with the car yesterday, but we got on top of the situation this morning and during qualifying. Looking to Sunday, the changeable weather conditions have been a feature of the weekend so far, but we are not currently expecting any rain for the race. ”

Nick Wirth: “We are all extremely disappointed by today’s results. After a few encouraging laps on the drying track this morning, Lucas experienced an engine alternator failure and oil leak which caused the gearbox control system to temporarily lose control of the gearshift with the sudden electrical voltage drop. It was unclear at the time whether this had caused damage to the gearbox, and after successful tests in the garage before qualifying, we elected to try it rather than change the gearbox and take a grid penalty. Sadly, a gearbox problem quickly became apparent when he tried his first qualifying run and we’ll have to change his gearbox tonight. Timo’s hopes of a good showing in front of his home crowd were thwarted by a different gearbox problem in free practice which stopped him doing any meaningful running this morning and forced us to change his gearbox before qualifying. His first proper run of the day was a great effort, but a small brake caliper hose fitting leak was spotted as his final set of tyres were being fitted, and we simply couldn’t risk a final run. I guess the most annoying thing was that we have been unable to demonstrate the clear performance progress we have continued to make but hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to do this tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “We obviously had a disappointing qualifying today at one of our home races, particularly considering the promise that we showed over the practice sessions. With the changeable weather conditions over the weekend and a new aero package on the car, clearly we haven’t understood how to get the best from it here. That’s eventually shown in qualifying today and the drivers were not able to extract any more performance from the car than their respective positions. We will look at all of the data available and understand what is happening to ensure that we make better use of the package in the future.”

Norbert Haug: “Ninth place for Nico and 11th place for Michael are not what we hoped to achieve for the home race of Mercedes-Benz. Our team has worked very hard to get the upgrades on our cars in time for Hockenheim but we must admit that after the limited amount of dry running, we could not make best use of them. But that is the price that sometimes you unfortunately have to pay when the team needs to accelerate its development process from race to race. We had a similar qualifying outcome in Valencia and a fortnight later, the upgrades delivered at Silverstone. I am convinced that with more running and more knowledge, we will make our latest development step work. Disappointment and frustration will not be in our minds right now but quite the opposite and let’s see what the race will bring tomorrow. Nico, Michael and everybody in the team will be fully focused on achieving the best possible result.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We are very pleased with this result, even if there’s just a hint of regret that pole escaped us by a whisker. This result is down to the whole team, both at the track and at the factory, which over the past weeks, has put in an incredible effort to improve the performance of our car. Already, for the past three races, we could see we were getting better but, for various reasons and events, we did not pick up the results that were within our grasp. Now we have to remain focussed and prepare for tomorrow, down to the smallest detail. Above all, we hope we can finally have a normal race. The time has come to reap the rewards of all the work we have done so far.”

Chris Dyer: “A great result which confirms what a good job the team has done in improving the F10. I think everyone now realises that. Clearly, missing out on pole by just two thousandths is a slight disappointment, but that is far outweighed by the satisfaction of getting one car onto the first row and the other on the second, something we have not managed for quite some time. For several races now we have seen signs of progress, but we did not manage to turn it into points, but now the time has come to do so.”

Colin Kolles: “Today we are happy with the result both drivers achieved in both sessions. Bruno Senna showed his best qualifying performance this season. Sakon Yamamoto learnt a lot from yesterday’s practices and could improve his performance. Unfortunately, he had a shifting problem which is going to be investigated. We could catch up with the other new teams and we are confident to race the other teams tomorrow.”

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