Formula 1 – Aggregated Driver Quotes – Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying‏

November 13, 2011

Formula 1


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Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

“I’m pretty pleased. Yesterday I wasn’t very happy with my own performance and with the car and I didn’t feel that comfortable. Today was much better straightaway when we went out this afternoon, but this evening when the sun went down, I had a much better feeling and the car was more together. It came in my direction and helped us. McLaren looked strong throughout the weekend, but I thought if I get everything right then in Q3 then we might have a chance (for the pole) and that’s the way it came for us. I’m very pleased with the pole and it’s a very special one to equal Nigel Mansell as well. It’s a fantastic year and it’s not over yet, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Mark Webber

“I’m disappointed with my last run, it was a bit scrappy. We had to communicate more than normal during the out lap due to a few things we were managing, so that affected the prep a little. I’m disappointed as there is certainly more there. Sometimes you see Seb’s lap and you go, ‘wow you can’t do that’, he did a good lap for sure today, but I didn’t feel like I got the most out of it when it counted. It will be an interesting first sector, then we’ll get into the race from there. I think this track is traditionally pretty hard to pass on, so it’s likely to be down to the DRS zone and pit stops.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

“It would be nice to have had pole position, but that Red Bull, as always, is very quick in Q3! Still, we’ve got our car to a point where it works particularly well on certain tracks, and we always seem to go well here. To be as competitive as we’ve been this weekend is very encouraging – we’re on the front row so we can have a good race from there. And, for the first time in quite a while, my long-run pace was pretty good too, and I think we had more fuel on board than some of the other teams. I feel really good about tomorrow, in fact. I hope I have a good start – I really want to get into Turn One first. But, if I can’t, I’ll follow Sebastian [Vettel] as closely as I can, I’ll try my hardest not to let him get more than a second ahead, and I’ll try to get ahead through the DRS zones. Last year I started second but braked early into Turn One and let Sebastian have the corner. I’ve just told him that’s not going to happen tomorrow, though…”

Jenson Button

“I haven’t really been able to find a balance that suits me perfectly this weekend. The car changed quite a lot for qualifying. In practice I’d been struggling with the rear end; but, during qualifying, I suddenly had great rear grip and masses of understeer – so the car felt completely different to me. Obviously, there’s only a certain number of things you can do during the qualifying session to counteract that, so we used everything we could to make the car work reasonably well, and I felt much happier as a result. Third isn’t a bad place from which to start – hopefully we’ll get one over on the Red Bulls tomorrow.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso

“We are more or less where we expected to be going into the session. It’s not because this is the eighth time out of eighteen qualifying sessions that I have ended up fifth. It’s that, all year long, with a few rare exceptions, McLaren and Red Bull are stronger than us on Saturday, while on Sunday the situation is usually different, with the gaps between us being much closer. We know we can fight for the podium, but to succeed, we will have to do everything perfectly, beginning with the start and our strategy. In Q3, I thought of doing just one run, but then the first one was not perfect and we preferred to try everything right to the end. I don’t think it would have made such a difference having a new set of tyres tomorrow, also because the degradation does not seem that high. Maybe the best time could have come on the second or third flying lap, but going down that route would have compromised our strategy, as we would have to start on tyres that were more worn than those of our rivals. I will start from the clean side of the track and hope to make up some places: the first lap is a good window of opportunity. The front wing? Mine worked well all weekend, but the team decided to move back with Felipe. In one sense it’s positive, because we will have an even greater amount of data to compare in order to get a good understanding of this new component. Tomorrow it will be interesting to see how the tyres will behave from the start to the finish of the race, as the temperature drops.”

Felipe Massa

“To be honest, I hoped for more from this qualifying. I struggled more than expected to get the best out of the tyres on the first flying lap: maybe it would have been worth trying a longer run, with two attempts. As expected, today McLaren and Red Bull showed they have the edge over us. In the end, we are in the grid positions we can expect in this final part of the season. Sure, having to use the old type of front wing cost me something in terms of performance: in India, when we compared the two versions, I immediately felt the new one was an improvement, giving more grip and better stability under braking. Having said that, I don’t think I could have got a place on the two front rows. Tomorrow
we will have to see what we can do. Certainly the DRS will help with overtaking, but we have seen on other occasions, even with the moveable rear wing, that it is not a foregone conclusion.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Nico Rosberg

“We didn’t quite get the maximum from our qualifying session today which was a shame. The track temperatures dropped during the session and it became more difficult to get the tyres working. On my second run in Q3, I had too much traffic in front of me to warm the tyres up sufficiently and that hurt me on the quick lap, otherwise I think we could have been further ahead. However I’m on the good side of the grid and it should be a fun race tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher

“It was quite a tight qualifying today. I aborted my last lap in Q1 to save tyres, and having some fresh tyres left is the good news from Q3 as well. Overall it was a normal qualifying where we would probably not have much more in the pocket. I also expect a straightforward race and we will try to make the most out of opportunities that arise. The tyres should not be a big issue here, and we tested their behaviour in P2 yesterday which took place at the same time as the race. The fact that the track temperatures will drop during the race might be good for us as we struggle a bit with the tyre temperatures here.”

Lotus Renault GP

Bruno Senna

“I’m disappointed because I made a mistake on my last lap and lost a lot of time. It was a gamble to go for one flying lap, and unfortunately I could not get into the position I wanted to be; I really feel I could have made P11. At least the sets of tyres have only done one lap each, which should be a good thing for the race tomorrow. Let’s hope my below par qualifying position doesn’t harm me too much tomorrow. I’m looking forward to the race, it’s an exciting place to race and I will be giving it my best shot.”

Vitaly Petrov

“We had a difficult start to the weekend, with a few mechanical problems yesterday (steering rack then an electrical component). From there on we were up against it, especially at a track where we are not expected to be high flyers. To be frank, today we took the absolute maximum from our car. We couldn’t have expected any miracles, and I am generally happy with P12 on the grid because I know that both I and the team did all that we could do; setting a competitive lap time at this circuit is tough. Tomorrow will be a demanding day for us; people have said that the tyre degradation will be lower than at many tracks but I’m not so sure – I think it will play a significant role. The race will be long, and we will have to select the right tactics to ensure we come away from this weekend with something positive.”

AT&T Williams

Pastor Maldonado

“It’s a long race here and we need to come up with a strong strategy to get a positive result from 23rd. We’ve obviously been thinking about our strategy all weekend because we’ve known about the grid penalty for a while now. We haven’t decided 100% and we’ll keep working on it tonight to make sure we give ourselves the best possible chance. I will do my best and I know the team will too. We must be confident.”

Rubens Barrichello

“The team tried everything to fix the problem that we had this morning. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to and I couldn’t go out in qualifying. I fully support the team and know we will come through this smiling.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil

“I’m happy with ninth place today and it was a good session for me. In Q3 we waited a bit longer than planned because we wanted to wait and see what Mercedes did. In the end they decided to go out so I also went out and I did a timed lap. The lap was a little bit compromised because I didn’t get the tyres fully up to temperature, so maybe I could have been a bit higher up. Still, I don’t think we can complain too much because P9 is a fair reflection of our pace at the moment.”

Paul Di Resta

“Getting two cars in the top ten was the objective today and that’s what we achieved. We made some good progress this morning perfecting the set-up and I was happy with the car in qualifying. Q1 and Q2 went well and we got the job done by getting in the top ten. Our approach to Q3 was to give us the optimum strategy for tomorrow. For the race we are definitely hoping for points because our focus is to maintain our sixth place in the championship. I’m really looking forward to this race because the place looks spectacular at night. It’s also nice to drive in twilight conditions when it’s a bit cooler.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez

“I’m very happy with 11th in qualifying. Everybody in the team did a good job. I did my fastest lap time in Q2 with a set of soft tyres I had used before in Q1. Of course I was hoping to improve in Q2 when I got the fresh tyres, but it was impossible for me to get them to work. We are in a challenging situation regarding the battle for positions in the constructors’ championship, but I hope for a good race with an aggressive strategy tomorrow. Everything can happen. It will be my first twilight race, but I have seen yesterday and today that the tinted tear off visors work quite well.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“I did what was eventually my fastest lap time in Q2 on the set of soft tyres I had used before in Q1. This lap wasn’t perfect, but I put my hopes on the set of new tyres. Then we struggled a lot to get the fresh ones up to temperature and that’s why I couldn’t improve. The difference in grip between the used set and the new one was really big. Nevertheless I have a good feeling for the race here.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi

“Overall, I am reasonably satisfied with my own performance, even if I am only thirteenth, one tenth of a second off eleventh place, which shows it was quite a difficult session. But I think that, in the cockpit I did a good job and unfortunately, the fact this track is much slower than those at the last three races has not suited us so well. Tomorrow’s race will be tough and long and anything could happen and I will be looking to exploit any opportunity that comes my way and I should be able to fight with those cars directly in front of me on the grid.”

Jaime Alguersuari

“I am pleased that we managed to improve the car from the free practice session to qualifying and I believe we have made the right choices for the race in terms of downforce levels and other set-up tools. We are often more competitive in the race than in qualifying and I believe that will be the case tomorrow, more so than in recent races as this has not been the best track for us. But I do not think my grid position is that bad and I am convinced I can work my way up into a points position by the end of the night.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen

“I am really pleased with that performance today. We definitely got as much performance as we could out of the car and to break into the 1.42s is very satisfying. I pretty much nailed the quick lap and I think we know that where we are on race pace gives us another chance of a strong finish tomorrow. I’m also looking forward to Brazil where we have an update to the rear wing coming – that should give us a better chance of using the DRS more effectively around the whole lap in qualifying, helping us get much closer to our race pace on Saturday afternoons, so another quick lap like that in Brazil with the update would be a great way to finish the qualifying sessions this season.”

Jarno Trulli

“It’s obviously been a tricky Saturday for me, having had to sit out FP3 when we found an issue with the gearbox that couldn’t be fixed in time for me to run in that session. Despite that, the team worked well to fix the problem and gave me the chance to get out in qualifying without incurring any penalties, so putting together a lap that comfortably keeps me ahead of the guys behind is, in the circumstances,
pretty good.”

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Vitantonio Liuzzi

“The result in qualifying was a shame because we’d had a good weekend up until qualifying. After my
second run we suffered a broken suspension bracket and the car had massive understeering on left hand turns but I tried to continue doing some laps so that we could try and understand what the problem was exactly. The car wasn’t fast at all and very unbalanced and that is why we were so far behind. It’s a pity because this is a track where we could have achieved our best performance in qualifying this season. But we can still be competitive in tomorrow’s race if we fix it; tomorrow is another day.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“I’m happy with today’s performance as we were a little bit unsure coming in to qualifying. I always tried to stay positive and believed that I could put in the best performance possible but there were a few doubts with the set-up and free practice hadn’t gone well since yesterday. But we got out there and the car was good, I felt I drove well and managed to clock my best time on my last lap. I had a really good first sector and in the second sector I lost a bit of time because Glock had to let me through so I could’ve maybe even finished above him without that incident. But I pushed as much as
I could like I always do and I’m very happy to get a good result out of it.”

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock

“Today the car was a bit more difficult to drive than yesterday. We already struggled this morning with the braking – I just didn’t have the confidence to go to the maximum and push. Depending on the corner, the rear end behaved differently, making it quite difficult for me to judge. But my qualifying lap was a good one and I am happy to be in front of HRT and pleased with the lap. It was good and no mistakes. But I’m sure that if we have more confidence in the car we can push more, so we have to look into this and understand why it changed overnight.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“I had a reasonable qualifying today. I didn’t get the perfect lap but equally it wasn’t such a bad one. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow as my set-up was oriented more towards the race rather than optimized for qualifying, so I like to think there is more to come. This is a special race track with the timing of the qualifying and race, as the reference points are gradually changing as the light is falling. I hope we can have a good two-car finish for the team.”


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