2010 Italian GP, qualifying: Driver quotes 

Written by David on September 11th, 2010 at 5:09 pmLast Update: September 11th, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Jarno Trulli: “It was a great qualifying session for the whole team today because both cars are in front of a Force India and it’s looking good for tomorrow. The mechanics sorted out a little problem on the car just before the session, and they’ve been working really well all weekend so it’s good to repay that with the result. It’s always good to be able to perform like this at your home race and being best of the new guys means it’s been a good day.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’m very happy with the performance today. It’s been a really good qualifying for both me and Jarno and we’re both in a good position for the race tomorrow. I had a great long run in yesterday’s practice and I’m looking forward to the race, perhaps more than most of the races this season. We’ve had a few races this season where we haven’t got the most out of the Friday sessions, but we did so yesterday, and that, combined with the promise of a dry race tomorrow and a very good race car, means I think we’ll put in a strong performance.”

Nico Rosberg: “Seventh place is definitely the best performance that was possible for us today so both I and the team can be pleased with that. However we obviously want to be further up the grid so we shouldn’t get too used to being happy with such results. In race trim, we are probably a little stronger than in qualifying, so I can hopefully gain a place or two tomorrow if something happens amongst the top six guys, and look to achieve some good points.”

Michael Schumacher: “I am obviously not very happy with our qualifying today but my position is probably what my car was giving me. We did not have a perfect balance, especially in some corners where the car was a bit loose, but then we did not come here expecting to achieve a great performance. However the race will be long tomorrow and having been welcomed so nicely by all of my Italian fans, I obviously wish to at least grab some points for them.”

Jenson Button: “I’ve felt very happy all weekend running the higher of our two downforce packages. The car has felt very good and I’ve been comfortable with the stability of the rear. You know you’ll be competitive when you keep finding small increments of time here and there. Over a single lap, the car is good, but its real benefit will be felt in the race tomorrow, when we should have stronger long-run pace. We’re running more downforce than most people; that’ll make it more tricky over the first couple of laps, but we should be more consistent in the race. I want to say a big thank you to the whole team for bringing a great package to this weekend’s race. Our car is moving forwards all the time. It will be an incredible battle at the front tomorrow, but, starting from the front row, my aim must be for a victory. A win here would be very important; I’ve got the world championship trophy at home – and I want it to stay there!”

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m a little bit disappointed – it would appear that we took the wrong route by running without the F-duct this weekend. I just didn’t have the downforce today, and the car was sliding in the corners – I couldn’t push any harder because the car just wouldn’t give me any more. For tomorrow’s race, I’ll have good top speed, but the car is going to be sliding through the corners, so I won’t be able to follow closely enough through the corners to try and pass, so it’ll be tough. But I have to congratulate Jenson on doing a great job. Today wasn’t my best qualifying performance of the season, but we’ll still push like crazy tomorrow and fight for some good points from the third row. It looks like it’ll be a tough race.”

Sebastien Buemi: “I am reasonably happy with my performance, because I think I got almost the maximum out of the car and I am quite confident that we can have a strong race tomorrow. The important thing is that generally this weekend, we seem to be a bit more competitive than we were at Spa and in previous races, which is a positive step. It proves the updates we brought here are having an effect and that the team is doing a good job. It’s a bit disappointing to be only three hundredths behind Kobayashi, as maybe I could have been thirteenth, but overall it’s not bad.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “I am quite satisfied with the way things went this afternoon, after having some problems yesterday. Today, we also made a few changes to the car and I think we ended up pretty much where we expected to be. I am not sure what we can do in the race, as yesterday I did not manage to do a long run on high fuel to see what the tyre degradation will be like. So, it will be a new experience, but I’m looking forward to it anyway.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “I had no problems in qualifying and I think with regards to my lap time and position this is what was possible today. Michael (Schumacher) is ahead of me in 12th, but he is three tenths of a second faster, which is quite a big gap. Compared to the first free practice session here, the car’s balance is better, the grip level has increased and I feel more confident. Of course I will try to score points in tomorrow’s race.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “It was a tough qualifying for me. Since this morning I haven’t felt comfortable in the car, and it just didn’t feel like it did yesterday. We put on more downforce, but we never managed to get a good compromise between rear end stability and top end speed. However, I think the car will perform better in the race and I will see what I can do.”

Robert Kubica: “We knew that the best we could hope for today in a normal qualifying session was P7 on the grid, but the battle was very tight with Mercedes and Williams. I managed to set a good time in Q2 and get through with just one run, so I saved a set of option tyres for the final session. On my first run, I was two tenths up on my best when I took the decision to pit, so that I would have time to do two timed laps on my final run and hopefully improve even more. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to repeat my time – and I ended up two hundredths away from seventh. It’s not ideal, because the cars around us are very competitive on top speeds, but we know that it will be a long afternoon for everybody, so I hope we can make the most of any opportunities that come our way.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It was a tough qualifying session this afternoon with very small gaps between the cars around the top ten. Our car is not as competitive as at the last race, and I have been learning how to find the right rhythm, and get the most from the tyres, with this low level of downforce. As for the incident with Timo, I can only apologise to him if I held him up. I didn’t see him coming up behind me and didn’t see any blue flags as I came out of the pits. My grid penalty will make things even harder in the race but, as we saw in Spa, tomorrow is another day and a lot can still happen.”

Timo Glock: “I’m a little disappointed to end qualifying the way we did because we had good pace early on in the session. On the very first run my lap was penalised by Vitaly Petrov, who came out of the pits and pulled out on to the racing line into turn one. On the second run I had good pace and we were ahead of Lotus, but on the third set of tyres there was no grip on the rear. Everyone was able to improve but we didn’t. We have incurred a grid penalty for tomorrow as a result of taking the decision to change our differential, but it was the right thing to do. In general I am happy with the car so we will see what the race brings tomorrow.”

Lucas di Grassi: “A good Saturday overall. I’m satisfied with my lap time in qualifying and I extracted the maximum from the car today as our set-up is a compromise for the long race tomorrow. So far the whole team and car has run really smoothly this weekend so I can see a lot of progress in this area and I hope it continues for tomorrow.”

Adrian Sutil: “The times have been so close today that we knew qualifying would be tight as well. All the same we were very, very near to getting into Q3 – just a couple of hundredths of a second – so we can be happy with the performance. Starting P11 means we will get to start on a new set of tyres and the clean side of the grid, which can be an advantage. I think we’re still looking good for a points’ finish tomorrow.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “We had a problem in the morning’s session where the car seemed to lose drive and did just a few laps. We did some analysis between the sessions and tried to solve the problem but then in qualifying a similar issue occurred. On the first lap we lost power and then we had to stop completely once I got it back to the garage so I couldn’t get a real flying lap in. It’s a shame but tomorrow’s the most important – we’ve got a good car here and you never know what can happen so we won’t give up until the end.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a very, very positive qualifying and I really enjoyed driving here today – the car feels good, I really enjoy the track, so you might call it harmony! This gave me a lot of confidence and meant I was able to put in a mega lap in Q3, even though I could have been quicker in sector 1. Overall I am really pleased and I must thank the factory who developed a great aero package that works well on the straights for top speed, but is also perfectly balanced under cornering. This afternoon’s performance means I am now really looking forward to the prospect of the race tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello: “It’s been quite difficult for me to find an ideal set-up here despite the fact that at I am at home on this track as I won here last year. I think we hoped for better, around P7, which should have been possible, but we have not quite optimised our potential so far. However, the race still provides plenty of opportunity tomorrow and I am sure we have the possibility of a good result.”

Fernando Alonso: “Pole position at last! And it’s come at the best possible place, here in front of all the Ferrari fans! We managed to save two sets of new soft tyres for Q3 and so we were able to post a time immediately, before giving it absolutely everything on the second run. In fact, the time on the first run was good enough. The team and I have been without a pole for too long and two Ferraris in the top three is a fantastic result. At this track, the car really gets a hard time so we must try and keep all the parameters under control. We must make the most of this opportunity to bring home a lot of points: we will try and get a good start and tackle the first chicane as cleanly as possible, which is always difficult on the first lap. We needed this result: coming off the back of a weekend like Spa, which had raised some doubts about the car, but here it has improved a lot day after day. It would be nice to get a one-two tomorrow in front of our fantastic fans: I feel at home here, just like in Spain.”

Felipe Massa: “Today I could have taken pole, but maybe in Q3, we did not adopt the best strategy. In Q2, my time on the soft tyres came on the third lap, so for the next part, we opted to do a series of three laps, but things did not go as we had wanted. Then on my second run, I did not manage to improve enough to take pole. All the same, it was a good qualifying and I am pleased with the performance of the car, which improved yet again today. We changed various things compared to yesterday morning which saw us become more competitive. I have never been very lucky at Monza, but tomorrow I will be starting from a good grid position. It is very motivating, especially when you see how happy are our fans, and it gives you a little bit extra. It would be nice to reward them for it…”

Sakon Yamamoto: “Yesterday, we couldn’t get enough mileage due to a mechanical problem. In the third practice this morning, we had a problem on the drive shaft and I had to stop before the end of the session. Because of this, I couldn’t use the option tyres in a session before qualifying. I want to thank the team, who managed to get the car ready and prepared it well. We will try to do our best tomorrow and are looking forward to the race.”

Bruno Senna: “I am happy that the problem we had yesterday has been fixed and I want to thank the team for the good job they did. In the third practice session, I had traffic on all of my best laps. That’s why I couldn’t manage to be further up. The qualifying was okay and we did the best we could. My teammate and I are close together and we hope to have a good race tomorrow.”

Mark Webber: “I was pretty happy with today’s qualifying. It’s tight round here and trying to get it all together is not the easiest; when you’re pushing hard on the chicanes it’s easy to over cook them. The guys did a good job. We were up and down with the wing levels, but everyone’s in the same position trying to get the car set up in the best way for Monza. It didn’t help that we got the car back quite late after we stopped out on track in P3, but we stayed cool. I didn’t get many laps on the option tyre, but the engineers were able to look at what Sebastian found out on them and the team worked closely to give me some information, which helped me. The Ferraris are flying today; it should be a good race.”

Sebastian Vettel: “I’m a bit disappointed. We were very quick yesterday and had decent pace this morning too. I don’t know where the speed went this afternoon. I was around 3-4kph quicker yesterday than I was this afternoon with less fuel. There are a lot of straights in Monza, so it was quite costly. But we have a good race car, so let’s see what tomorrow brings. With high fuel it will be different around here and we’re seeing different approaches, for example McLaren is running one driver on lower wing and the other on higher wing, so we’ll see how it works on high fuel. It might be quite slippery at the beginning of the race. We’re not the fastest here, we know that, but we’ll see what we can do.”

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