2010 Spanish GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on May 08th, 2010 at 6:17 pmLast Update: May 08th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Giorgio Ascanelli: “We can be quite happy with this result. It was to be expected that we would struggle a bit here, as we have not brought a major update, because we currently do not have the capacity to do so. However, in some ways, we did better than expected, even if it’s a shame that Sebastien was unable to produce a clean lap in Q2 as both of them were affected by traffic: while with Rosberg it was simply unfortunate, with Petrov it seemed to me to be deliberate on the part of his team. Having said that, traffic is the same problem for everybody. As for Jaime, he did a good job.”

Sam Michael: “Overall, that wasn’t a good qualifying performance for the team. Rubens failed to make it out of Q3 after issues with traffic, while we were unable to convert Nico’s pace in Q1 to take him through Q2 and into the top ten. We’ll look at the data to understand why and work on further improvements.”

Mike Gascoyne: “It was an excellent session for the team today, and a very good job by both drivers. Jarno has been a bit less happy with the balance of his car today than in practice yesterday, but still put in a great performance, whereas Heikki felt the balance had improved. Overall, our times today show how the package we’ve brought to Barcelona has helped us move ahead, so we can all be very pleased. Now we’re all looking to close the gap to the teams ahead, and take the race to them.”

Tony Fernandes: “I’m really very happy. We’ve talked a lot about Barcelona, so turning that talk into results has been important and we have clearly made a big step forward. I think we’re about a second and a half away from the established teams, and obviously pulling away from the other new boys, so hopefully that speed, with consistent reliability, will see us able to challenge higher up the grid. It’s obviously good to see the results of the efforts that have been put in, and when you think where we’ve come from, about nine seconds off the pace when we first went out on track in testing in Jerez, it’s a huge accomplishment to the whole Lotus Racing team. It’s also great to see our profile continuing to rise across the world. We’ve launched our first range of merchandise here, and it’s good to see flags in the stands, and shirts in the crowd, so we’ll do our best to give the fans something to cheer for tomorrow.”

Chris Dyer: “We cannot be happy to find ourselves almost a second off pole position, that’s for sure. Both Felipe and Fernando have struggled all weekend, especially in terms of grip levels. On his last qualifying lap, Fernando produced an exceptional lap and getting the car at least onto the second row was down to his talent. Tomorrow, it will be vital to manage to get a good start, given that, on this track, overtaking is very difficult. One unknown factor is tyre behaviour: from what we have seen so far, there might be some surprises over the long runs.”

Stefano Domenicali: “First and foremost I want to congratulate Fernando. He drove a really fantastic lap, getting every last thousandth of a second of performance out of the package he had today. Felipe never managed to find the right feeling for the car this weekend and today he did the best he could: we have to analyse the reasons that led to this situation. On this track, so far one team has been untouchable, while the other top three teams are all very close. We will see if this will still be the case in tomorrow’s race, especially in terms of tyre performance. Points are handed out on Sunday and before jumping to conclusions, it’s best to wait for the chequered flag.”

Vijay Mallya: “I think the positions we are in today don’t really represent our true form and pace here. The updates we have brought to the track are performing as expected and we have been consistent over the longer runs in practice. Tonio has had a hard day in the office and couldn’t get the most out of the session after he struggled to find a balance following his earlier practice problems. Adrian was unlucky to get caught in traffic on his fastest lap, which would have given us enough to make Q3 for the fifth consecutive race. From where we are points are definitely still possible and we’ll look to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to get them.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Both Lewis and Jenson drove really well in qualifying here in Barcelona, and the result was an uneventful session for us. Ideally, we’d been aiming to sew up the second row, but in the end we narrowly failed to achieve that, finishing up third and fifth. Even so, we’re in a strong position from which to launch an ambitious race effort tomorrow. We expect to be closer to the Red Bulls on race pace than we were today – and, spearheaded by the proven ability of our two world champion drivers to deliver superbly gritty race performances under pressure, we’ll be pushing as hard as ever to bag as many world championship points as possible tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “I am pleased with the performance of our drivers today with Michael and Nico doing a good job. Michael has continued the progress that we saw in the first three races whilst Nico hasn’t been completely happy with the car this weekend and that reflects in his position. I am comfortable that we have made progress but other teams have also moved forward so we have further work to do. I’m not happy with the overall performance, but I am confident that if we hadn’t done all of the work that we have, we would have been much further back. It’s evident that this has happened to the teams who have not made progress since the last race. There are some positive signs but we need to be faster.”

Norbert Haug: “We have certainly improved our car considerably since the beginning of the season but other teams have improved as well and the third and fourth rows are not where we hoped to start this important first race of the European season. Michael has done a very good job since the first lap here in Barcelona with Nico closing the gap to his team-mate from half a second yesterday to just over a tenth today. But of course sixth and eight places are not where we want to start a race from and we will be working very hard to improve that position as soon as possible.”

Eric Boullier: “Robert did an excellent job to qualify in seventh and if somebody had told us before the weekend that we would qualify ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes, we would have been very happy. Obviously our expectations are changing with every race and we are now aiming even higher up the grid compared to the start of the season. Vitaly was unlucky to get caught out with his accident this morning, which affected this preparation for qualifying. Even so he only missed out on Q3 by three tenths and without losing the track time I’m sure he could have made it into the top ten. So it’s encouraging to know that both cars have the potential to make it into Q3. Again I want to say a big thanks to the team for their hard work to get Vitaly’s car ready in time for the start of Q1.”

Alan Permane: “A lot of the teams have brought updates to this race, but overall our relative position remains similar to the first four races. Robert is in seventh, ahead of one of the Mercedes, which is good to see because we thought they might move away from us this weekend. Vitaly had an accident in final practice this morning, but the crew put in a tremendous effort to get the car ready for the start of qualifying and Vitaly was very close on pace with cars around him in Q2. For the race tomorrow we don’t have any particular concerns with the car in terms of tyres or brake wear, so we’re looking forward to a strong performance and hopefully scoring another good haul of points.”

Christian Horner: “A fantastic team result. It was a brilliant lap by Mark, the drivers have been closely matched all weekend and there’s literally just been hundredths of a second between them. It was a dominant Red Bull display, which is testimony to a superb team effort. The amount of work that’s gone into the components that have been bought out here has been immense, with members of the team giving up their bank holiday weekend and time at home. Our performance today is very much due to that.”

Fabrice Lom: “Wow, what a great result again. It was another very good qualifying, our fifth pole position in a row and our third front row start. We proved that the work we have done since China has paid off and we are still in front, which is really good. Sunday is the most important time, so we need to focus on that. Congratulations to Mark, he has done a very good job; everything is now in our hands”

Nick Wirth: “Overnight we analysed the data from our first day with Timo’s new car and added some late arriving parts to complete the package. The aero characteristics of the new car are different from the original version, and so we completed our first round of investigations with Timo in P3 and we ended up happy with the results – the on-track measured downforce gain of the new configuration coming in a little bit ahead of our CFD predictions, which has been the same with all our upgrades this year. In qualifying, we chose to save a fresh set of option tyres for the race and both drivers did a good job. For obvious reasons, the new car is a bit heavier than the old one, and we are still fine-tuning its new characteristics, so we haven’t shown the true difference in pace that the car gives, but that will come soon. Considering that our major performance steps are yet to come in the next races, I’m pleased by how close our sector times are to our competitors. The team and our major suppliers have been completely focused on improving our transmission and hydraulics reliability in the lead-up to this race, so I’m hoping we can show a step forward in this respect by late tomorrow afternoon. Finally, I must pay tribute to the guys in the garage for their incredible work this weekend.”

Peter Sauber: “If you want to move forward on the grid, you have to take two steps, because the competition is not standing still. And that’s exactly what we achieved. A great compliment and thank you to the whole team. We can be happy with what we achieved today.”

James Key: “That was an excellent qualifying result for our team, along with a genuine pace from both drivers, which was very encouraging. We weren’t sure how far we could push forward in qualifying, but I think after Q1 we realised we had a good chance of doing well, and I think in Q2 that proved to be the case. Pedro was just a few tenths of a second shy of Q3, but Kamui put an excellent single lap together to get through. We didn’t have any new tyres for Q3, but we decided nevertheless to give it a go. A great performance from both drivers, and a well deserved result for the team. The updates worked, which was very much a team effort, and we can be proud of the step we made. Now we have to keep it going.”

Colin Kolles: “We are currently investigating how we can produce a more satisfactory set-up for the race. This morning the red flag interruption hampered our work and we generally suffered from a lack of grip from overnight rain. What we need tomorrow is another two cars finish.”

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