Formula 1 News

Drivers' quotes after Brazilian GP Qualifying

Alonso: "My subscription to fifth place has been extended for one more Saturday! This time however, getting to my classic starting place on the grid was a bit more of a struggle than usual."
Saturday, November 26, 2011

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel (1st)
“It’s pretty special to get the record. Nigel (Mansell) obviously took three or four races less to achieve it, but nevertheless it’s been an incredible year for us and an incredible journey and it’s not yet over, we’ve got another chapter tomorrow and I’m very happy. It’s hard to believe. I didn’t feel that happy yesterday, but this morning I was much happier with the car and how it felt, it was much more to my liking and I was able to go from there and improve to get the pole. You know what you can do and the time you should be able to get ahead of the lap, but when you cross the line - you know if you have done it or not, without looking at the time. There wasn’t much left today and that gives extreme satisfaction - and it gets even better when the engineer comes on the radio and tells you you’ve done it.”

Mark Webber (2nd)
“Qualifying was a good effort today from the whole team. It was very close with Sebastian, he did a great lap again, but there wasn’t much between us. It was a good session today and we know there’s going to be some weather coming in, which will mix things up a bit. That’s very good for the people at home watching on TV, but it means a few grey hairs for us sitting in the cockpit. I’m looking forward to the race, it’s a good challenge here and it would be great to finish the season with a good result.”

McLaren

Jenson Button (3rd)
“All in all, Q2 was a bit nerve-wracking for me - but enjoyable in the end because I haven’t managed to get past Q2 here in Brazil since 2005! So, as I say, it was satisfying to get into the top 10. In Q3, the car was working well too: balance-wise, I think the car was as good as we were going to get it. “My quick lap was pretty ragged. I was pretty aggressive on the throttle, which you have to be to be fast around here. That’s not normally my style, but it was definitely quick and in fact I crossed the line thinking I’d be farther up the grid than I eventually was. But that was because the two guys in front of me did a great job too. If it rains here tomorrow, as we’re told it may well do, then it’ll almost certainly pour down - and that’s bound to make things very tricky. Still, this place lends itself to good overtaking - over the years there have been some great moves into Turns One and Four for example - so I think everything is well set for Formula One to put on a fantastic show tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton (4th)
“Jenson was massively quick today. I ended up a couple of tenths away from him, so clearly I could have gone a bit faster, but the fact is that although I didn’t make any mistakes on my best lap I just wasn’t quite quick enough on the day. While that’s inevitably a little disappointing for me personally, Jenson’s pace is very encouraging for the team. We have reason to be optimistic about tomorrow too: we’re both on the second row, and we can definitely mount a strong challenge from there. I don’t think we’re quite there in terms of race pace in the dry, but hopefully we’ll be there if it’s wet. Whatever happens though, it’s going to be a tough, long race; and if the weather is wet or changeable, as predicted, then it’s going to be very interesting indeed.”

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (5th)
“My subscription to fifth place has been extended for one more Saturday! This time however, getting to my classic starting place on the grid was a bit more of a struggle than usual. We are not very pleased with the balance of the car and we were expecting a very competitive Mercedes. However, in Q3, we got much closer to the McLarens than we could have expected, while the first of the Mercedes was left a few tenths back. What this means is that we managed to get a little bit more out of it than our potential would indicate. I certainly can’t say the way qualifying went was much of a surprise. If it really rains tomorrow, it will be a very exciting and open race: no one really knows how competitive they can be in the wet and then it requires next to nothing - one lap more or less out on track at a time when the conditions change - to turn around a situation that looks set in stone. It’s true that for us, the problem of getting the tyres up to temperature are more acute in the wet, but then it’s equally true that when the track does dry, we are quicker than our rivals: the various stages of the race at Silverstone demonstrated this to be the case.

Felipe Massa (7th)
“I was expecting more from this final qualifying of the year and I definitely cannot be happy with this seventh place. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the right balance throughout the weekend. In some corners I was locking up the front and in the slower ones I suffered with understeer, in others I lacked traction: all in all, the car was rather difficult to drive. On top of that, it was a rather complicated day. I had to use two sets of softs in Q2 and I paid for that in Q3, as I could only do one run. For me, it’s always a fantastic feeling racing at this track, in front of my amazing home crowd: I will try my all to do well and to finally make it onto the podium at the end of such a difficult year. It would be a nice way to end my tenth season in Formula One and to celebrate in a worthy manner my hundredth race with Scuderia Ferrari.”

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg (6th)
"That was a good qualifying session today. We saved a set of option tyres for the race, and we qualified ahead of one of the Ferraris which has always been my goal during the season. So I'm quite pleased to be starting from sixth place tomorrow. I was maybe a little too slow on my out lap in Q3 so my tyres didn't work perfectly on my fast lap, and that's why I wasn't as quick as in Q2. I will push to gain a good result tomorrow for the team who have done a great job over the whole season."

Michael Schumacher (10th)
"The forecast says there is a high probability for rain during the race. With this in mind, we have kept all of our options open for tomorrow and we had a strategic approach to qualifying today. Still we need to find out why we weren't able to match our times from this morning. There will be a lot of data checking now, so that tomorrow it will be very different and we can attack for some points."

Force India

Adrian Sutil (8th)
"Another good qualifying session for me to carry on a strong weekend. I had a good feeling all afternoon and I really enjoyed the session because the balance of the car felt great. The only real issue was the fact that it was quite windy, but I was able to adjust my driving and it didn't catch me out. Eighth is a good place to start and I'm feeling confident for tomorrow - whether it's wet or dry. We just have to wait and see what the weather does, but I hope we can come away with a lot of points because I'm targeting ninth place in the drivers' championship. That would be a nice way to end the season."

Paul di Resta (11th)
"I knew it was going to be quite a tough session because I was suffering with a top speed delta compared to Adrian's car and we've not been able to fully understand why that's the case. It meant I was giving away some time on the straights, which is a little frustrating. On the other hand, I have to be reasonably satisfied with P11 and the fact that I only just missed out on Q3. There's rain forecast for tomorrow and we know the car has been competitive in the wet so hopefully we can capitalise on that. And if it's dry we should be strong because our pace during long runs has looked pretty good."

Renault

Bruno Senna (9th)
“I’m very happy with that. It was not what I was expecting when the weekend started but it’s good news. We knew the car had good potential here, but we just weren’t sure the level of that potential - the R31 behaved very well today! In qualifying 2, the team put a good car together and we did a great job. It’s a shame we had used tyres going into Q3 because we could have had an even better result. Having said that, being in Q3 was a victory in itself.”

Vitaly Petrov (15th)
“I’m naturally disappointed with my position because we have been improving the car step by step throughout the weekend and we thought there was more to come from it. We changed the car set-up quite a lot to accommodate for the change in temperature between FP3 and qualifying. As for qualifying itself, I didn’t actually feel I made many mistakes; I had quite a quick lap at the end of Q1 but then I lost some grip on my lap in Q2, which left me where it did.”

Williams

Rubens Barrichello (12th)
“I feel great! I’m so glad that I put in a good lap because I have lots of family here this weekend. Also for the team and for the fans, it really felt like they were pushing me on which was an amazing feeling. I have to drive 71 laps like that tomorrow but we have the best chance now so let’s hope for a good one!”

Pastor Maldonado (18th)
“We’re a bit on the back foot with P18. We didn’t find the best balance on the option tyre and so didn’t get a clean lap in. I will need to make up lots of ground in the race but after doing that in Abu Dhabi, I’m optimistic I can do it again here.”

Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari (13th)
“P13 and P14 on the grid is not so bad for the team. I am pleased to be ahead of Sauber on the grid, but the points are only given out tomorrow, when we can expect a chaotic race because it is meant to rain. The key in those conditions will be not to do anything stupid, nor take too many risks, stay calm and then finish the race. The track conditions have changed a lot even from this morning to this session, but if it rains that evolution won’t continue and it should be an interesting race.”

Sebastien Buemi (14th)
“I am not happy with the result, even if I feel I did the best I could this afternoon. However, we did not have a good preparation for qualifying, as I was unable to run in the morning. Added to the fact I did not drive in FP1, because Jean-Eric (Vergne) was in my car on Friday morning, I’ve really had very few laps so far this weekend. We must learn from these mistakes to ensure we don’t make them again. As for tomorrow’s race, anything is possible, because I think our car is quite competitive, so I am hopeful of having a good afternoon.”

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi (16th)
“Overall, the weekend here is a bit tricky for us. We worked on improving the car’s balance in every practice session and it got better, but it wasn’t a big enough step to find the proper grip to be able to attack. I was really fighting on every lap. It was tight to get into Q2 because already in Q1 it was difficult to warm up the tyres. However, tomorrow a lot will depend on the weather conditions and we will see what we can do.”

Sergio Perez (17th)
“It was a disappointing qualifying with the outcome that the Toro Rosso cars, our direct competitors, are in front of us. The main problem for me was that the car was so inconsistent: every lap was different, and I couldn’t get temperature into the tyres. However, we will not give up. If we get mixed weather conditions tomorrow, anything can happen.”

Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen (19th)
“That is a great way to end qualifying for the season, one of the really good laps. I’ve had a lot of good sessions this year but that really stands out as one of the best. Jarno has been strong here all weekend and I was just behind him after the first runs so I had to really pull out everything to beat him. We made a couple of adjustments to the tyres and it paid off with that final lap with seconds left on the clock. We’ve also finished here closer to the opposition than we have all season, and even though it’s a shorter lap here it’s still a very good sign that we’ve found quite a bit of time with the new rear wing and I think that will help us again tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli (20th)
“I’m reasonably pleased with how it went today. The second set of tyres weren’t as good as the first and even though I improved my time I still couldn’t really push - I’ve had a pretty good weekend so far but still haven’t found a balance I’m really happy with, but the main thing is we’ve increased the gap to the cars behind us and moved closer to the teams directly ahead.”

HRT

Vitantonio Liuzzi (21st)
“The car was a lot better than yesterday, especially the balance. That was a good way to finish the season, in terms of qualifying, ahead of the Virgins. It’s also a good result for me after all the problems we had in Abu Dhabi, so it’s a great feeling to be back in business with a car that is working a hundred per cent allowing us to fight with the others. We showed that when things are working we can perform and that’s what we’re here to do. It could be a crazy race tomorrow as there is a chance of rain so we’ll look forward to that.”

Daniel Ricciardo (22nd)
“In the morning we improved the overall setup and the qualifying session started quite well. With the first set of tyres and I was pretty happy with the balance. I thought we could really improve with the second set and made some changes to help try and achieve this but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. We’re in front of the Virgins which is good but I didn’t improve on the second set of tyres which is frustrating because we could’ve achieved an even better result. Now we have to look ahead, think of tomorrow’s race and try to do a better job.”

Virgin

Jerome D’Ambrosio (23rd)
“It wasn’t a bad qualifying but honestly it wasn’t the best one either. I had a better feeling with the car this morning - I lost performance between this morning and qualifying. We need to have a look and see what is happening. I lost a bit of time in sector two on my best lap. As I say, it wasn’t perfect but it’s not bad and we’ll push hard tomorrow to try and fight with the HRTs. If it rains tomorrow, the most important thing will be to stay on track as anything can happen in Brazil when it’s wet.”

Timo Glock (24th)
“A bit of a disappointing Saturday I would say. The car was bad to drive this morning - suddenly from one run to another it had no stability any more. So it was difficult to go into qualifying with confidence, even though in the first run the car felt okay. I got a safe lap in then I tried to push on the second set of tyres. I had a very good first three corners but then one of the Toro Rossos came out of the pits right in front of me and just stayed there during his out lap, so I couldn’t go quicker and lost some time. It’s a shame as I had to cool the tyres down before doing another lap, but the tyres are never as good as they are in the first lap, at least for me this weekend.

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2
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1'44.496s

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