2010 Italian GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on September 11th, 2010 at 5:10 pmLast Update: September 11th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Mike Gascoyne: “It was an excellent qualifying session. I think we managed to get the most out of both cars today so well done to both drivers and the whole team. Overall I’m happy that we have the right level of wing for the race and after a trouble free session today we’re now looking forward to a solid two car finish tomorrow, ahead of our closest rivals.”

Tony Fernandes: “What an awesome qualifying session! I’m so happy today – what a great way to bring up our first year anniversary! I always felt this would be Jarno’s day, but that’s taking nothing away from Heikki who also did an immense job out there. We are 1.1 seconds off Pedro’s Sauber, and on a power track like Monza that is incredible. I’m so proud of the whole team – they have worked brilliantly all weekend, and it has paid off today with a great performance from everyone. Tomorrow is going to be special, but the goal remains the same – get both cars home and make sure we stay ahead of the other new teams.”

Ross Brawn: “The team and drivers have done a good job so far this weekend to get the most out of the car. It was a particularly good effort from Nico today to achieve seventh position with a strong run in Q3. We have a good high fuel set-up so we have done the work required for the race and can hope to pick up a place or two with both cars. Whilst we are not pushing the guys right at the front, we are maintaining our position just behind, and with our focus on 2011, that is our aim for the rest of this year.”

Norbert Haug: “Nico extracted the performance that was possible from the car today and it was a good job from him and the team to put the car in seventh place behind the Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes and Red Bull cars. Michael was close to making Q3 and he will start from the sixth row and hopefully be in a position to make up places and finish in the points. It looks like it is going to be an interesting race as the top three qualifiers are not the three drivers currently leading the World Championship so I am sure there will be a big fight between the top six drivers and that may help Nico to gain position.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Today we saw a really strong qualifying lap from Jenson. He missed bagging what would have been McLaren’s 147th Formula 1 pole position by just a smidgen over a tenth of a second – and, when it’s that close, you’re inevitably just a little disappointed that you didn’t get pole. But Jenson will start from the front row tomorrow and will therefore be supremely well placed to mount a combative yet disciplined challenge for victory. Clearly, having been quick all weekend, Lewis had hoped for better than fifth place in qualifying. With hindsight, I think we sent him out just a little too close to Mark [Webber]. It’s always a tricky balancing act, because you want to send your drivers out so that they have a chance of getting a tow, but you don’t want to let them get so close to the cars they’re following that they encounter too much dirty air and therefore ‘wash out’ in the corners; I think that’s perhaps what happened to Lewis in Parabolica, hence his slightly disappointing time in sector 3. Having said all that, Lewis is every bit as focused on scoring heavily tomorrow as is Jenson, and those who know him [Lewis] won’t be surprised to hear me say that he’ll be aiming to make up places as soon as the five red lights go out on the startline gantry.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “With everyone so evenly matched in terms of lap time, it was very tight in Q2 this afternoon. We looked a bit better this morning and that was also the case up until our final run in qualifying. However, when the difference is down to just a couple of tenths, there is not much more to say. Maybe we could have done better, but not by a significant amount. As for the new developments we introduced here and have run through the weekend, I hope they perform reliably during the race.”

Peter Sauber: “We expected the characteristics of this high speed track wouldn’t best suit our car, so under the circumstances Kamui’s 13th position is really good. Pedro struggled today, so we have to analyse everything to understand why.”

James Key: “We worked hard overnight looking at the problems we had on Friday. We found one on Kamui’s car with some aerodynamic components, which didn’t help, and also the brake system was a bit problematic for him. So we made the respective modifications on his car and some minor changes on Pedro’s. This morning Kamui was happy with the car and had more confidence. Pedro struggled a little bit with a lack of consistency, so we had to work on this before qualifying. In Q1 a Force India went out, so it was just a matter of putting in a decent lap time to make it to Q2 and save some tyres. In Q2 P13 for Kamui was okay, as the best we expected was P12, and he lost a couple of tenths on his last run. The race speed of the car and its top speed are competitive, so given his strong race performances we can look forward to a good day for him tomorrow. Pedro continued to struggle with his car. We added some downforce before qualifying, but things were looking a bit tricky, particularly under braking. We have to look into it to understand why it was more of an issue for him today than yesterday.”

Eric Boullier: “Following on from a strong weekend in Spa, it’s clearly a bit of a disappointment to find ourselves ninth and 20th on the grid in Monza. We knew this circuit wouldn’t suit us as well as the last one, but we also clearly had the potential to do better in Q3 with Robert. Unfortunately, there is a big gap between our two cars, and both are behind each Mercedes, so it’s clearly not the most promising of positions to start from. But we are still looking forward to a good race, with strong, aggressive first laps and the right strategy, to at least finish in front of Mercedes.”

Alan Permane: “It was another solid qualifying performance from Robert to once again make it into Q3 – something he has achieved at every race this season. If he had managed to repeat his time from Q2, he would have started seventh, but we know how tricky and inconsistent the cars can be to drive here. I am confident he can still have a strong race. As for Vitaly, he lost running time both yesterday and this morning with brake problems, which also recurred in a different form during qualifying. This has made it even more difficult for him to get to grips with the car in low downforce trim. He obviously has a difficult afternoon ahead of him tomorrow, compounded by his five-place grid penalty, and we will try and get him as close to the points as possible.”

Mark Herd: “Today has been another relatively smooth day. The cars went in a slightly different direction in terms of aero setup. We weren’t happy with the differential on Timo’s car and chose to change it before qualifying, thus incurring a five-place grid penalty. Timo was unlucky to be blocked on his first run and then seemed to have an unexpected loss of grip on his final set. Lucas had some small gear-shift issues. It was disappointing that were unable to displace Lotus but the gap to them is small and we look forward to a very close race with them tomorrow.”

Vijay Mallya: “It’s been such a close day of action today that I think we can be pretty pleased to be P11 with Adrian, less than a tenth of a second from Q3. From that position anything’s possible as we’ve seen so many times this season. Tonio had a more difficult day with problems in FP3 and then qualifying, which is obviously frustrating on his home track. However he’s a fighter and more motivated than ever to move up the field. Given the pace yesterday I think that is very possible.”

Sam Michael: “Nico has done an excellent job throughout all the practice and qualifying sessions this weekend. He’s starting the race in a good position to score points tomorrow. Rubens couldn’t get the same lap together as Nico this afternoon, so we’re looking through that now, but we expect both to be solid in the race tomorrow. We had no mechanical problems today.”

Stefano Domenicali: “A really great and important result. Fernando and Felipe did a fantastic job and the team delivered them a very competitive car. It’s nice to have that feeling again which comes from having a car on pole, after such a long time, but we must not forget that what really counts is the race, because that is when the points are given out. Therefore we must all remain totally focussed on preparing for tomorrow’s race, bearing in mind how tough the Monza circuit can be in terms of reliability, which is still the crucial element in all races. It is very pleasing that this long-awaited pole has come at Monza and on a day when our President Luca di Montezemolo and his opposite number at Fiat, John Elkann were both here to witness it. Tomorrow we hope to be able to give them and all our fans something special.”

Chris Dyer: “A fantastic result, for the team, the drivers and for our championship chances. Both Felipe and Fernando were pleased with the handling of their car and we had no problems of any sort today. Both of them did a great job, setting a time at the right moment and being first and third is a just reward. It has been such a long wait to see one of our cars on pole and there could be no better place to do it than here at our home race. We know that usually, one of the F10′s strongest attributes is its race pace, therefore tomorrow we must try and consolidate today’s achievement. From what we have seen yesterday and today, there are no particular problems in terms of tyre life: maybe the hards struggle a bit more to get up to temperature, but we don’t expect to see anything different to usual in terms of strategy.”

Colin Kolles: “It was a positive day for us. We could fix the problems we had on both cars yesterday and therefore I want to thank the team for their great job. Bruno Senna showed a good development during practice three and was close to the other new teams in between. This is a good effort as he couldn’t do many laps yesterday. On Sakon Yamamoto’s car, a drive shaft boot was broken, which forced him to stop prematurely. In qualifying, both of our drivers performed well and are starting the race from positions 22 and 23. We have a good car balance and we found the right set-up for the race tomorrow.”

Christian Horner: “It was a fantastic last lap from Mark to get himself onto the second row ahead of Lewis. Unfortunately for Sebastian his second run in Q3 wasn’t quick enough to improve his position. But, at a circuit that we knew coming here was our worst of the Championship on paper, to be ahead of the Championship leader is a solid team performance. The one thing we all know about Monza is that it tends to produce exciting races, so we’re set for a fascinating race tomorrow.”

Fabrice Lom: “We knew Monza would be a difficult race for us. Unfortunately we cost Mark some running time yesterday and today, so we apologise to him for that. Even so, Mark did an excellent job in qualifying. It’s a good result on this track which does not suit the strength of our car. Sebastian struggled more than Mark and was sixth. I think overall it’s not so bad, even though we didn’t get pole position at this race we’re confident we can do a good race tomorrow. With Hamilton not at the front, it could be an interesting result.”

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