Formula 1 – Aggregated Driver Quotes – Italian GP Qualifying‏

September 11, 2011

Formula 1




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Sebastian Vettel has once again claimed pole position for tonight’s Italian Grand Prix by half a second. The German was surprised at how competitive the car was on a track that has not suited the Red Bull machine’s in the past. Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had a good result, putting both their cars in 2nd and 3rd respectively followed by Fernando Alonso fourth and Mark Webber in the sister Red Bull fifth. For all the driver’s quotes from your favourite team read on.

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel:

“We are surprised how competitive we are here and thought it would be much closer. We weren’t sure if the tyres were best for the first or second lap, but I made a bit of a mistake on the second. For the second run, I knew I had a bit more time in the car as I did the first lap on my own. For the second, I had one or two cars in front, which always helps here. That said, we would never have thought we could have got pole here, on this track which didn’t suit our car for the last two years. This year, the car is very good and I’m very happy. Apart from the wing level, the most important thing to have here is balance and we’re good on that this year. I felt very comfortable going into qualifying and throughout the session I could feel the track getting quicker. I simply went with the track and that is the secret, if there is any.”

Mark Webber:

“I think I made it a little bit difficult for the team today in terms of my run plan, I wasn’t completely clear, so it wasn’t the best Q3. The tyres were certainly strong enough for the first lap, so two runs was the way forward I think, but ultimately I didn’t get enough out of the car on the tyres on one run only. We were managing the KERS too, as we had some issues on the last lap, which is never ideal but in the end we got fifth position. We know it can be an interesting first lap here, so I’m going to push as hard as I can. I have a good car for the race; so we’ll see how we go.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button:

“I was pretty happy with my first run in Q3, but I thought I’d be able to squeeze another tenth or so out of my final run. But, on my second attempt, I went a tenth down in the first sector and never really caught that up for the remainder of the lap, so I aborted it. Third is usually a pretty good place to start – it’s on the clean side of the track – but around here it can be pretty tough to find a way past the first two cars on the run down to the first corner. But we’re focused on tomorrow, the team is in a good position, and we can definitely score some good points. I think we’ve correctly chosen the appropriate drag and downforce levels, and the right gearing too, so we should be happy with the work we’ve done so far this weekend. I don’t think Red Bull will have it all their own way tomorrow. I think we’ll be in the mix, which is what the fans want to see.”

Lewis Hamilton:

“Clearly, we’re very competitive – Jenson and I both qualified in the top three – but Seb [Vettel] was mega-quick today. In Q1 and Q2 we were pretty close to him, but he pulled out another half-second in Q3. It was an extremely good lap. Still, I’m happy to be starting on the front row – after Spa it gives me another opportunity to be right up there in the race and to bag a lot of points. Above all, I want to finish, of course; but I reckon I can get a good start from where I am, and, if there’s an chance to get into the lead, I’ll take it. We’ve improved all weekend, and second and third is a good result for the team. In fact, we have a good chance to get our first one-two of 2011 tomorrow – I’m optimistic.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso:

“Fourth place is possibly my most common result in qualifying this season, so I definitely cannot be surprised at this performance. Usually, in the race we go better than in qualifying, therefore this grid position could provide the basis for a podium finish, which is our realistic target for tomorrow afternoon. Fighting for the win? I think it will be very difficult, even if this year’s races have often thrown up surprises. I will try to make up some places at the start, which could make the race even more interesting. It was not easy to find the right balance on the car this weekend. We made a lot of changes to the set-up after each session and again this morning we were not satisfied. Then unexpectedly, in qualifying, the car improved and was more stable under braking and easier to drive, to the extent that we were always in the top four or five positions in each session. Clearly the higher temperatures helped, otherwise we would not be just a few hundredths off the McLarens, after being over two seconds away in Spa qualifying. We hope it will be equally hot tomorrow: it would be great to get a result to delight all our fans who will be in the grandstands.”

Felipe Massa:

“All things considered, it was a good qualifying, though definitely not an easy one, because we knew there were some very quick cars out there. The result is pretty much in line with our expectations going into the session. We worked well, trying to fine tune the car in one session after the next. In Q3, on my final run, I had got a good tow behind Michael, but then, I pushed a bit too much and lost precious time at the second chicane and the Lesmo corner. Maybe I could have been one or two places further up, but definitely nothing more than that. Tomorrow, I expect the race will be very close and difficult and rear tyre degradation will be one of the key factors. As usual, strategy will be decisive and I hope I can do well. This is a very important event for Ferrari and we are keen to give our fans something to cheer about. The target? A place on the podium, but I know it will be very difficult.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Michael Schumacher:

“Qualifying today went mostly according to plan. I don’t think we could have taken much more; maybe I could have ended up one place higher. I didn’t have an ideal fast lap as I tried to use the slip stream from Lewis but then he locked up in the second chicane which made me lock up too. However I will be on soft tyres tomorrow which should be better for my race. As our race pace looked quite good yesterday, I was more focusing on the race and trying to use the tyres in the right way. For tomorrow, I will try to get a good start and take it from there.”

Nico Rosberg:

“I’m happy with today’s qualifying and the compromise that we made to be strong in the race tomorrow. The performance in Q2 shows that the car is working well here, and we saved two sets of options which is good. I’m the only driver who took part in Q3 who will be starting on the hard tyre, so it will be interesting and should help me a lot at the start of the race. I think it will be a really good race tomorrow.”

Lotus Renault GP

Bruno Senna:

“I am satisfied with my performance because this was only my second qualifying session this year, and it was definitely a close shave getting into Q3. I was glad to have Vitaly as my reference today because I was struggling to find the right braking points in Q1 and Q2. I put a very respectable lap together at the end of Q2, and I was pleased that I was able to handle the pressure and slot into 10th position. If I had ran in Q3, I would have needed to use two sets of tyres, so I’m glad I was able to save them and hopefully that decision will stand me in good stead come tomorrow’s race. I would also like to thank the team for providing such a competitive car this weekend.”

Vitaly Petrov

“I am extremely pleased to qualify in P7. It was a tough start to the practice session this morning, as we had a few aero issues to cope with. The team then came into the qualifying session having prepared a very good car for me, and they made the right decisions. It looks like we have brought the right downforce package to this race, although we will have to wait until the race tomorrow before we see full evidence of that. We are very, very happy to be lining up on the grid with both cars right up where they should be, and I’m optimistic of having a good race tomorrow.”

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello

“All in all it has been a difficult weekend in terms of performance for us, and although we would be happier further up the order, we’ve done better today than we thought. Starting 13th and 14th gives us hope that we can score points, so we will keep thinking positive and do our best tomorrow.”

Pastor Maldonado:

“It was difficult for everyone in the team today. The mechanics did a great job to fix my car in time for me to get out in Q1. I then had a big moment on the first lap. The tyres weren’t ready so maybe I was a little too optimistic with the rear wing and I lost the car and touched the barrier. There wasn’t too much damage, mainly the front wing which we were able to change. I think we are more competitive today and the team did a great job overall with Rubens in 13th as well, so now we are looking forward to the race.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil:

“It was another normal session for me without any issues and I think we can be quite pleased with the outcome. We knew it would be tough to make Q3, but we were quite close and I feel I got the maximum from the car. Points are definitely possible, but it’s not going to be easy because Renault and Mercedes look quite quick here. Race pace could be a different matter, but we will have to fight very hard to beat them. Plus, there are also a lot of quick cars behind us to watch out for. There are still a lot of unknowns for the race because there are a few options with the strategy and the big question is whether to stop once or twice.”

Paul Di Resta:

“Overall I’m pretty pleased with how things went today. I was very close to making Q3 and it’s a shame to miss out by just six thousandths of a second, but that just shows how fierce the fight is in the middle of the pack. One of the things that made the difference was getting a slipstream, which is something I didn’t manage to get for my final run in Q2. Even so, I’m pleased with what we did because we were on the edge in that session and that’s as much pace as we had. Also, being P11 means I’m the first car to have a free choice of tyres, so perhaps that could work to our advantage, especially as I have a new set of soft tyes available. I’m looking forward to the race because our long run pace has looked pretty good in practice and hopefully that will carry over into the race.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Perez:

“Of course we cannot be happy with our qualifying result, but also I think this is pretty much all we could do today. My fastest lap was a good one, so there is nothing to complain about. Now we have to cope with what we’ve got. I trust our race pace will once again be better than our qualifying performance, and for sure I still want to score points at my first Formula One Grand Prix in Monza.”

Kamui Kobayashi:

“I slightly flat spotted a tyre in Q2, but even without that happening I don’t believe I could have qualified in a significantly better position. We have been quite far away from Q3 today. However, we knew the Monza high speed circuit would be a tough one for us, and in the end it is tomorrow’s race what counts. Of course it will be very difficult to get into the points from where I will be starting, but chances can still open up, so we will see.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari:

“Even if the result is not so good, I can be pleased with the fact that we have at least managed to improve the car since the start of practice, but my lap was simply not quick enough to move up to the next session. The pace was not there. Sebastien did a really good lap, so well done to him for getting into Q2. I have scored points before from starting eighteenth on the grid, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Sebastien Buemi:

“I am satisfied with what I managed to do this afternoon, because getting into Q2 is not bad, given how little track time I got yesterday and my lap was okay. I was reasonably happy with my lap, but of course, it’s a bit hard to take after our much better qualifying in Spa a fortnight ago. We brought many new parts to try here and, in the end, especially because of my accident yesterday, we did not really have time to evaluate everything properly. Recent races have been very open and uncertain, so anything could happen tomorrow. We will just have to try our best and see where we are after 53 laps.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen:

“The car felt good today but I struggled a bit to get the ultimate lap time out of it this afternoon. I don’t really know why so I’ll have a look at the data with the engineers and see where we could find some time, but the good thing is that we have definitely improved since yesterday which shows we keep on going in a positive direction all the time. Even after that I think we didn’t qualify too badly and are in a reasonable position to fight tomorrow. Jarno is strong here and it will be a good battle with him tomorrow. The important thing is to keep the gap to the guys behind us and look ahead, not behind. I think we’ll be ok.”

Jarno Trulli:

“I’m really happy with the job the team has done today and I think I got the most I could out of the car, particularly on the second run. There’s only really one line here in Monza, it’s not a particularly technical circuit but you need to be extremely precise and with the power steering system we had in Hungary back on the car I’m able to feel my way around the whole lap, which gives me the chance to put in laps like I did to get into the 1.26s. The car has definitely improved since yesterday – we found the balance we were struggling for in FP1 and FP2 and I think that puts us in a good place for the race tomorrow.”

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo:

“It feels really nice not being on the back of the grid and finishing ahead of Tonio, which is a small target I had set myself, so I’m happy to have achieved that. But I don’t want to stop there, I want to do it constantly and progress in one way or another. It’s been a tough weekend having suffered some mechanical problems in yesterday’s practice sessions, so we didn’t get to run as much as we would have liked today. I was aware that I had to give everything I could in this qualifying session and it’s really satisfying to have done a good job. Now we have to wait and see how tomorrow goes but I think we should have a good set-up because we didn’t go completely aggressive in qualifying.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi:

“If you take everything into account then, overall, it was a good qualifying session because the car was behaving well. But the thing about Monza is that slipstream is very important in order to set a good time and I wasn’t in the right place at the right place, so I wasn’t able to make the most of this. So, at the end of the day, I’m on the back of the grid. But the car is behaving well for the race so I’m positive that tomorrow we can have a good race.”

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock:

“A disappointing qualifying. We had a problem with the rear wing, it just stayed open and didn’t close again. Then after a certain speed it just closed on its own. We have never had a problem with it before and didn’t have anything wrong yesterday, so we have to look at this and resolve it because it’s not very comfortable to experience that. It was very difficult and frustrating because we were very close to Kovalainen today and close enough I think. With the wing working properly, who knows?”

Jerome D’Ambrosio:

“Today’s wasn’t a bad qualifying and I’m generally very happy with it. I think it was difficult to try and get a tow as there was quite a lot of traffic and that made it even harder. But I felt very comfortable again in the car and in general I’m very satisfied. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race it looks like it’s going to be a very close one.”

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