2011 Turkish GP, qualifying: Team quotes 

Written by David on May 07th, 2011 at 4:16 pmLast Update: May 07th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Thierry Salvi: “It was quite a good day when you look at the result, especially for the engine because the weather yesterday had limited our running. This morning we worked on the driveability characteristics of the engine and have had some very good feedback from the drivers on that, so that’s another step forward. Cooling-wise, the car was okay because it was colder today than the usual ambient conditions in Turkey, so the engines ran well in the qualifying session.”

Mike Gascoyne: “I think we can be reasonably happy with qualifying and both drivers got the most they could out of the car. Unfortunately we went into qualifying knowing that we had a problem with the DRS on Jarno’s car and that costs quite a lot of time around Istanbul Park which explains his final position. However, we know that we are kinder on the tyres in the race than the cars in front of us so I think we can have a very competitive Sunday and take the fight to the cars in front.”

Riad Asmat: “We keep edging ever closer. Half a second now from Q2 is another improvement and I think it’s a measure of our ongoing development that we keep pushing the teams ahead. We’re still 18 months old and the fact we have, relatively, made the biggest performance gains of any of the teams this season is a sign of the fact we are now an established team ourselves and will keep progressing to make good on that title as the season progresses.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “I am not surprised at this result: the gaps have got smaller between the teams in our part of the pack. However, I do not understand yet why we did not improve our times from this morning, although one can assume that the increased temperature has changed the balance of the cars. Jaime has had a difficult time so far here and we had to change his set-up dramatically from yesterday to today, when he improved a little but not enough and he lost time with his spin. Sebastien looked a bit better this morning, but there was already a hint that Williams had made some more progress. We came here with a few new parts, but it has not been enough. In Q2, we did not want to put all our eggs in one basket, so while Seb tried a second run to see if he could improve his performance, with Jaime we opted to save a fresh set of tyres for tomorrow’s race. As things turned out, it seems Jaime has come off best in that particular decision.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Only six cars managed to beat the 1m26s barrier in Q3 here at Istanbul Park today, and I’m glad to say that Lewis and Jenson were both among that sextet. It’s very tight, very competitive, at the sharp end of the grid this year – and it’s worth noting that, had Lewis managed to string together his three best sector times in a single lap, he’d have been second-quickest. As things turned out, he was fourth-quickest, and Jenson was sixth-quickest, but they’re both fantastic racers and they’ll approach tomorrow’s race with all the controlled aggression that we’ve come to expect from them over the years.”

Ross Brawn: “We’re pleased with the steady progress that we’ve made over the last couple of races. At the start of the season, we said that the car had more potential then we were extracting from it, and that’s now being proven true. There haven’t been any dramatic changes; the team and drivers have just kept their calm, and worked hard to get our package sorted. I’m now hoping we can have a good race tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug: “It was a great lap from Nico and everybody in the team has done a very good job to improve the car consistently over the last two Grands Prix. Third place behind Sebastian and Mark is a good result for us and our guys have worked extremely hard. Michael did not get the perfect lap in Q3, after being second fastest during the morning session, but with a good start from his place on the fourth row, he can improve in the race.”

Peter Sauber: “A problem in the fuel system hindered Kamui from setting a lap time in Q1. That was it for him. The result of Sergio was disappointing for me. Based on his competitive lap time in the first part of qualifying on the hard compound we expected him to make it into Q3, however, for some reason he was not able to extract the maximum from the soft tyres. We calculated a diffrerence of app. one second, but this was finally not the case.”

James Key: “In the morning we carried on with the work from yesterday with some set-up changes to the cars and working still on some mechanical parts. Sergio was quite happy. We had a little bit of work to do with bouncing the car. Sergio didn’t quite get the most out of his run on the soft tyres in the morning. Kamui wasn’t particularly happy. It seemed that the consistency of the car was a bit tricky for him. Missing the soft tyre run yesterday didn’t quite help. For qualifying we changed Kamui’s set to where he was the night before. We sent him out early to check the car, but then he had a sudden drop in fuel pressure. It looks to be fuel problem on the high pressure side which we need to investigate because it’s something we haven’t seen before. That was a shame for Kamui. That presents him with a big challenge for tomorrow, but he’s a fighter and he as a lot of new tyres. There are still opportunities int the race. Sergio’s Q1 lap was on prime tyres and was pretty competitive. In Q2 he used two sets of option tyres but he didn’t find the benefit that we needed to go through to Q3. We just found half a second of the one second plus we expected. This we need to understand. Overall a disappointing qualifying, and we need to work hard to head towards the top then as best we can.”

Christian Horner: “A great team performance today and a fantastic come back from Sebastian after a challenging day yesterday. All the guys worked very hard to make sure the car was ready for this morning and Sebastian repaid them in the best possible way – with an excellent lap on his first run to get the pole. Mark was right up there too and we have secured the front row of the grid. We elected not to do a second run with both drivers; we knew it would be a little tight, but strategically we believe it was the right thing to do, as both drivers now have a new set of tyres available for tomorrow’s race.”

Cyril Dumont: “A really good result today – it’s nice to lock out the front row again. It was a good performance from Sebastian, and even more so when you consider his lack of running yesterday. Mark also did a good job today, so we look forward to the race tomorrow. It was pretty smooth for the engines today – so we will see in the race.”

Sam Michael: “We’re heading in the right direction, thanks to a lot of hard work in the factory. Rubens starts the race in P11, and with new tyres, and Pastor in P14. The day wasn’t without issue, however, as we had to revert to the standard rear wing on both cars after signs of aerodynamic separation on the new version in practice. That cost us some top speed. In addition, Pastor’s KERS wasn’t working, which lost him a couple of places on the grid. These are not excuses but rather that with these issues resolved, we have cause for optimism. Our target now is to get both cars in the points.”

Robert Fernley: “A pretty good day overall. Starting in P12 and P13 puts us in a great position to race strongly and hopefully challenge for more points. It was a shame that we just missed out on getting ahead of Barrichello, but ultimately Williams were just a little quicker today. For the race I think we can expect more of what we saw in China with lots of action throughout the field. It will be interesting to see how the tyres hold up, especially with the demands of turn eight, and we know there are some good overtaking opportunities in the lap which should make for some exciting racing.”

John Booth: “Jerome continues to impress with his rapid development and again achieved two clean Qualifying laps, finding time on his second lap in run one and again in his second run. Overall a ‘grade A’ performance with no faults. We are however disappointed that he will have to start the race from the back of the grid as a result of a yellow flag infringement yesterday, for which we the team must also take some responsibility. Having said that he faces a real ‘racer’s race’ tomorrow to recover and based on what we have seen so far I have no doubt that he will be exciting to watch. Overnight we made a big change to Timo’s car to remove the exhaust and floor elements of the new upgrade. Although there were clear signs that the downforce levels at the rear of the car had improved with it, yesterday we experienced a number of teething problems, especially with heat management, and it was clear that continuing to run it wouldn’t be an option for Qualifying and the race. Unfortunately this is just a natural consequence of not being able to test developments prior to bring to bringing them into the field. It is also clear that there is a big difference between the way the car is balanced for the old package versus the new upgrades and I think this goes some way towards explaining why Timo struggled a little in Qualifying. FP3 is always a tough session to get the car balanced before Qualifying. Timo’s car is also using the tyres slightly more aggressively than Jerome and his second laps didn’t yield an improvement when it looked like this lap had the best potential. He faces a tough race tomorrow as well but we have shown ourselves to be stronger in the race and I’m hopeful that we can use a better race pace and the kind of drive he demonstrated towards the end of the last race in particular to turn things to our advantage.”

Stefano Domenicali: “It seems that Fernando has bought himself a subscription to fifth place on the starting grid, given that once again this season that’s where he starts from. The Spaniard drove a very positive qualifying and put up a spirited fight against very strong opponents. Felipe managed to get through to the final part of the session, but he did not look like setting a competitive time so he chose to pit immediately so as to spare the tyres for the start. Clearly this is not the sort of result we were looking for, but it is equally evident that all the work undertaken in these last few weeks is beginning to deliver some signs of progress. It’s not yet enough, we are well aware of that, but we are moving in the right direction. Now we must concentrate on tomorrow’s race, which will be very long and tough, both for the cars and for the tyres. The number one priority, as always in fact, will be reliability. As for the strategy, we have seen in this early part of the season that there is a great degree of unpredictability about it, so we will have to keep our eyes wide open and a cool head, ready to pounce on any and every opportunity.”

Pat Fry: “First and foremost,, I want to congratulate the whole team who have worked so well between the end of this morning’s free practice and the start of qualifying: in less than two hours, they changed the engine on one car and fixed a problem on the other one which also involved splitting the rear end of the car from the chassis. It’s hard to regard the outcome of qualifying as positive however when we are eight tenths off pole position, but at least we can say we have made progress since the last race. We must push to the maximum on the car development front, because we are in a hurry to make up the performance deficit so that we can fight for the top places in qualifying. Tomorrow, we will see a lot of stops to change tyres during the race: just how many will depend on what’s referred to as the drop-off in tyre behaviour. The pit stop boys will definitely have their work cut out!”

Colin Kolles: “Qualifying was not bad today, as predicted yesterday we made a step forward. We were ahead of one Virgin car and very close to the other one, it would’ve been possible for Tonio to be ahead but nevertheless we’re very happy to be close to our main competitors and also to the top, being 3.6 seconds off the quickest time in Q1 is very positive. Tomorrow we’re hoping for a nice race in which we can fight with others to finish in a good position.”

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