2010 Hungarian GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on July 31st, 2010 at 5:15 pmLast Update: July 31st, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Eric Boullier: “Today’s qualifying result confirms the strong pace that we have seen from both cars since the beginning of the weekend and especially during practice this morning. It’s good to see Vitaly in P7 and both cars are well placed to score points tomorrow. However, we struggled a bit with the option tyres in Q3 and we probably didn’t extract the maximum performance from them, so we could have been even higher up the grid. But, as I say, it’s still a good result and we know that we can be quick in the race. It will be important to be opportunistic and our target will be to get ahead of Rosberg and see if we can catch Hamilton.”

Alan Permane: “To get both cars into Q3 for the third time this year is a good result for the team after a weekend where the car has been very competitive. Vitaly did an excellent job to qualify seventh, but I still feel that we could have got more pace from both cars in Q3 where we struggled more than we expected. Robert in particular was lacking grip and couldn’t repeat his lap time from Q2. Still, we saw on Friday that our race pace on high fuel was very competitive so I’m confident that we can race strongly tomorrow and hopefully have both cars finish in the points.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “Today’s performance was a little bit better than usual, as we genuinely got both cars into Q2. By this I mean that even if our two drivers have also been in Q2 in recent races, it has usually been because of the misfortune or mistakes of others. We have worked hard over the past months to produce the updates we have brought here, which have delivered something, but clearly it is still not enough.”

Vijay Mallya: “A very good effort from the team and both drivers on a track we know doesn’t completely suit us. It’s very twisty and low grip and our strengths tend to be more to the quicker, flowing circuits. We knew it would be a tough weekend but we’ve put ourselves in a reasonable position for tomorrow’s race. It’s not ideal, but bearing in mind the small issues this morning, to be just two tenths from Q3 is a very encouraging result. The Hungaroring is a difficult place to overtake but it’s not impossible and we will be trying to get as many positions back as we can to maintain our championship position.”

Nick Wirth: “Geeks of the world – rejoice! After the disappointment of not demonstrating Virgin Racing’s performance progress in Silverstone and Hockenheim, we have finally managed to have a relatively smooth weekend with the revised VR-01 and have regained our place at the top of the new teams. Lucas’s day was looking very strong in FP3, but it seems that he ran wide at the beginning of qualifying which tore a big hole in his floor and damaged his front wing. This will have lost a lot of downforce and compromised his qualifying, but he will be strong in the race, as ever. Timo and his crew made a big step forward with the car overnight and we knew after his first run we were in good shape. His second run was another good step and he did a great job to give the team our best qualifying result since Shanghai. From the outset, Virgin Racing has dared to be different and I want to thank all the team, our partners, sponsors and fans for keeping the faith this year in our unique digital development process. In the meantime, we’ll focus on a strong race performance from both cars tomorrow.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Little bit of a disappointing qualifying session today. After the first run both drivers were relatively happy, but neither of them got a clean run on the second set of tyres – Jarno in particular said he had very little grip with the second set. However, we are where we are, and we’re looking for a strong two car finish tomorrow.”

Kamarudin Meranun: “After the issues we had on Friday with Heikki we’ve got to be relatively pleased with where we are. Jarno’s lap was obviously affected by traffic, and I think Heikki got as much out of his runs as he could with the time he lost yesterday, so we’re still hopeful about getting ahead of the Virgin tomorrow, and getting both cars home.”

Colin Kolles: “Today, Sakon Yamamoto has shown a good performance but unfortunately, he made a mistake in the last sector of his final lap, which cost him three and a half tenths. He improved continuously over the weekend and found his pace early in the practices. Bruno Senna did his best lap time on his second outing on option tyres. Tomorrow is going to be a long and physically tough race as the temperatures are getting high on this technical track here in Hungary.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Lewis did a fantastic job to qualify immediately behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris – and, in fact, had he not lost a little time on the second sector of his best lap, it’s just possible that he may even have been able to pip Felipe Massa for fourth.Having said that, P5 puts him on the clean side of the track for tomorrow’s race, and you can be well sure he’ll be his usual precise yet aggressive self on the initial run in to Turn One. Jenson was unlucky to miss out on getting through to Q3 by just 17 thousandths of a second. With hindsight I think perhaps we didn’t engineer him sufficient opportunity to get to grips with the Option tyre. Even so, he, too, will start on the clean side of the track and will also be attacking tomorrow’s race with a mind to bag as many world championship points as he possibly can.”

Ross Brawn: “We’ve had a challenging weekend with the cars here so far. We did make some progress this morning prior to qualifying and clearly we got the car to suit Nico and he did an excellent job this afternoon. However we didn’t find the right solutions for Michael which was not helped by some vibration problems on his last set of tyres in Q2. I must compliment Nico on a great job and achieving a strong starting position which is as good as we could have hoped given the performance of the car.”

Norbert Haug: “Nico and our team did the maximum they could and achieved the best possible result for us today. Sixth place on the dirty side of the track with less grip is not the ideal place for a good start, but our result could have been worse after we faced some problems in finding the right set-up direction for the cars yesterday. Well done to the team for the recovery. Michael tried a different set-up solution which did not work out in the end. A week at Hockenheim, he was eight-thousands of a second slower than Nico and here the margin is much bigger so we just did not get it right.”

Stefano Domenicali: “First of all, we wish to offer our respects, along with all Italian sport, for the recent death of two Italian soldiers in Afghanistan, where they were part of a peace-keeping mission, representing our country abroad with honour. We are pleased with this result because it is the most we could reasonably have expected from this qualifying session. Certainly the gap to the top is very significant and it’s incredible to see how the picture can change in the space of one week: from a gap of two thousandths, we have gone to 1″2 seconds on the same tyres and with almost identical cars to those raced in Germany. Probably, we were not that close in Hockenheim and we are not that far off here: as they said in Ancient Rome, ‘in medio stat virtus.’ I wish to congratulate both our drivers who got the very most out of the car’s potential. Now we must concentrate on the race which will be very long and tough, both in terms of reliability and for the drivers: here the slightest mistake carries a high price. Our aim is to try and make up as much ground as possible in both championships.”

Chris Dyer: “A good job from both our drivers who today were able to extract all the potential available to them from the car. Honestly, I do not think we could have aspired to a better result: we definitely did not have the speed to fight for the front row, however, we managed reasonably comfortably to lock out the second one. Given the situation on the grid, I am almost very slightly disappointed that one of our rivals did not manage to go quicker than Felipe, so that he could start from the clean side! We will try and get a good start and to get amongst the cars starting ahead of us: if we manage it, the race could turn out to be interesting.”

Patrick Head: “It is a long race ahead tomorrow and we will need better starts than at Hockenheim, as well as good first laps. Both tyres look stable but I think most of the front teams will run similar strategies.”

Peter Sauber: “Being ninth was a good performance by Pedro. Congratulation also to the team as it was able to find a very good set-up on a track which we didn’t expect to suit our car. Kamui was blocked twice on his quick laps, which was very unfortunate for him.”

James Key: “At the end it was a mixed day for us. This morning neither driver was able to put their lap times together due to traffic. Looking at the various sector times we were quite confident in the car’s performance, as well as the drivers’. They both reported the car felt better than yesterday. Going into qualifying we did a longer run with the harder tyres on both cars, which looked okay. But on the second run, also on the prime tyres in order to save a set of option tyres, unfortunately Kamui caught some traffic on two of his laps in the final run, which spoilt the laps for him. Nevertheless, had we gone with the softer tyres, I believe he would still have gone through. That was our mistake, and we apologize to Kamui for that. Pedro put in a very good performance that got us through to Q3. It was very close in the end. Ninth is okay, and it is just a few tenths away from the times in front.”

Christian Horner: “It was a fantastic team performance today. The team and both drivers did a fantastic job to secure a dominant front row lock out. Grid position is very important here, it’s also one of the longest runs to the first corner, so we’re starting the Grand Prix in the best possible positions. Hopefully we can have a successful race tomorrow.”

Fabrice Lom: “Our eleventh pole position. We really have a quick car this year and have been such a strong force on Saturdays. We have to build on this performance tomorrow and take advantage to score the maximum points tomorrow. It’s not a difficult track for engines here and power is not the most important factor – I hope we convert this to a one / two result.”

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