Archive for the ‘Qualifying’ Category

Paul di Resta excelled once again to take sixth

Red Bull’s Saturday qualifying domination continued with Mark Webber edging out team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone but the result was overshadowed by the row over diffuser use.

Despite regulations only being decided upon minutes before the qualifying session began, the Red Bull’s still managed to monopolise the front row.

It is only the second time in nine races that Vettel has not found himself on pole but the German will still be confident of a good result.

The Red Bulls nearest challenge seems set to come from Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa on row two and the Spaniard was just a tenth behind the Australian pacesetter.

The Scuderia seem to have made up a lot of ground on Red Bull with many feeling they are chief beneficiaries of the new rules.

But Webber thinks it is still too early to tell: “Normally on tracks like this we’d be further down the road,” he said.

“There might be a bit of a form card starting to build, but we need some more races to see if that is the case.”

McLaren though looked to be badly affected however with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton managing just fifth and tenth respectively in front of their home ground.

“We did not put on a competitive showing in qualifying,” said the McLaren team boss, Martin Whitmarsh. “Our car is not quick enough and that’s how it is.

“But we are not going to give up on Sunday. We are going to try and win races. We are not giving up on the championship.”

Force India’s Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi continued to impress with sixth, sevnth and eighth ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg who’s best lap was ruined by rain.

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Kobayashi on the limit

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi (13th, Q2 – 1m 15.285s)

“It is a difficult weekend for us. My biggest problem here is driving over the kerbs. I have an overall lack of grip and find it really tricky to get to the limit with the car.”

Pedro de la Rosa (17th, Q1 – 1m 15.587s)
“It is obviously a very eventful time for me. Yesterday morning I didn’t expect to sit in a racing car, and this morning I actually didn’t expect a lot from qualifying. It is not easy to familiarise yourself with the car and all the new buttons in such a short space of time.

“Of course, the crash I had this morning didn’t help either. I lost the car and then also a bit of confidence goes. I am very happy the team managed to repair the car and I want to thank them.”

Peter Sauber, Sauber team principal
“First of all I’d like to thank the mechanics who have had a lot of work this weekend, and did a fantastic job to get two cars ready for qualifying. Kamui finished qualifying in P13, and that’s the same position he had in Monaco where he was able to deliver a great result. Considering Pedro only learned yesterday after one o’clock that he was going to race this weekend, he did an excellent job making it into Q2. Congratulations!”

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi (15th, Q2 – 1m 15.334s)

“I would say we are more or less where I thought we would be, fighting with the Williams and the Saubers. My best lap was pretty good, but I’m a bit disappointed that half a tenth of a second cost me two places.

“Now we must wait and see what happens tomorrow, because I think our race pace is a bit better than what we could produce in qualifying today.”

Jaime Alguersuari (18th, Q1 – 1m 16.294s)
“I have been struggling under braking and, after the morning, we changed something on the set-up to try and improve the car for qualifying. It looked a bit more positive, but I locked up the brakes and flat-spotted the front left tyre which limited my performance on that lap.

“It’s important that we try and learn from this session, to see why we are struggling so that we can improve our qualifying performance in Valencia in two weeks time and give me a better feeling from the car.”

Giorgio Ascanelli, Toro Rosso technical director
“The result of qualifying is pretty much where I expected us to be, although maybe a little bit better than expected with Sebastien.

“With Jaime, we are still struggling, as we have not found a way of giving him a car in which he can trust.

“I am hoping for a dry race tomorrow, because if it rains, I think we will be at a disadvantage.”

Lotus
Jarno Trulli (19th, Q1 – 1m 16.745s)

“I’m pleased with the performance today. The gap to the guys ahead keeps coming down and I think with the rain tomorrow it’s going to be an eventful race, and hopefully we’ll be in a position to take advantage.”

Heikki Kovalainen (20th, Q1 – 1m 16.786s)
“A pretty good session for me today. The car felt fine and the strategy worked out as we wanted it to so I think we did what we set out to. Little by little we keep on improving and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow – it’s going to be eventful and I think what we’ve shown all season is that we can fight with the guys ahead, so let’s see what happens.”

Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
“I am very happy with today. From my perspective that was the best qualifying of my short career in Formula One because we showed that we did not have to rely on other teams making mistakes or using different tyre strategies to finish the session with a very small gap to making it into Q2 on merit.

“That is a clear sign that the hard work being put in across the team is paying dividends as we are genuinely edging ever closer to the midfield.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“That was a good qualifying session for us and overall it has been a very solid weekend so far for the whole team.”

HRT
Vitantonio Liuzzi (21st, Q1 – 1m 18.424)

“It will be an interesting Sunday. We showed today that we have made a step forward; we’re ahead of our closest competitor so we’ve got an interesting race ahead.

“For me the 107 percent rule is not a problem anymore but, for sure, in this kind of circuit where KERS and DRS make a difference, we weren’t that far off it but it’s not something that should worry us for the future, we must just focus on beating our rivals.”

Narain Karthikeyan (23rd, Q1 – 1m 18.574)
“I struggled with the warm up on my first set of tyres, something changed in the car from yesterday to today.

“ I’ve made some progress in the last few races, I’m only a tenth away from Tonio so, after five and a half years out of Formula One, it is a good feeling to be so close.”

Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
“I think it has been proven that we have made a step forward, we qualified ahead of the Virgins and the gap with Lotus is smaller than in previous races and it could’ve been even smaller.

“For tomorrow we don’t know the weather conditions, the forecast is rain but this could change. If it rains it will be a crazy grand prix, it could turn out to be a lottery which traditionally favours the smaller teams.”

Virgin
Timo Glock (22nd, Q1 – 1m 18.537s)

“Quite a tough day for us I think. We tried to concentrate on getting a setup for wet conditions as the forecast was strongly indicating rain and so our downforce level is more suitable for wet conditions than for dry. The predictions are still uncertain but we hope this will work in our favour. We just have to see what tomorrow brings.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio (Q1 – 1m 19.414s)
“It’s been a tough 24 hours since my crash yesterday – both for me and the team.

“The car felt completely different to yesterday and clearly Timo’s time is more representative of what we should have achieved in qualifying. I am very appreciative of the fact that the stewards have permitted me to race and I’m now focusing on tomorrow.”

 
Vettel took his sixth pole of the season

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel (1st, Q3 – 1m 13.014s)

“I’m happy with that. I had a rough start yesterday morning, but thankfully the guys could fix the car and I had more practice in the afternoon, which is important here.

“All in all, I’m very happy. It’s obviously a big step we’ve made today, but the big task comes tomorrow. The conditions are likely to change and I’m sure we’ll see some rain – the question is when and how much. We’ll see, but P1 is the best position to start from.”

Mark Webber (4th, Q3 – 1m 13.429s)
“It was a good afternoon and I was happy with how we recovered. I couldn’t have got much more out of the car for qualifying today; I didn’t have KERS, which affected my performance. The guys did everything they could to get it ready after the problem we had this morning and we were confident that it was fixed, but on the formation lap it lapsed again.

“It’s a long Grand Prix tomorrow and there’s likely to be a bit of weather coming in, so it should be an interesting race.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
“It’s fantastic to get our first pole position in Montreal. It was a great performance by Sebastian again today, completing two laps in Q3 that were good enough for pole. The Ferrari’s have been very quick here and we expect them and McLaren to be a big challenge tomorrow.”

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso (2nd, Q3 – 1m 13.199s)

“It’s been a long time – since Singapore 2010 in fact – that I was last on the front row and I am pleased that Felipe is also right up close to me on the starting grid. It means the whole team has worked well, at the track and back home on trying to improve our car performance. It was important to show we can be competitive and we managed it.

“We will try to put the Red Bulls under pressure, right from the start, but we know McLaren will also be very strong, especially as their rear wing is possibly better adapted to the conditions in the case of a wet track.”

Felipe Massa (3rd, Q3 – 1m 13.217s)
“It’s been a great weekend so far: we have always been competitive and finally we will be able to start from a good grid position.

“I expect McLaren will be very strong tomorrow as will be the Red Bulls obviously. A podium would be a great result, fighting for the win would be even better. What will happen if it rains? That’s a good question, because this year we have never had a real opportunity to run in the wet. On top of that, at this track, the slightest slip up carries a very high price, therefore it’s important to be very careful.”

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
“For the first time this year we managed to fight for the very top places on the grid, right down to the final second and, for once, the gap to pole position is reasonable. It’s our best qualifying of the season and it’s great to have both cars on the front two rows.”

McLaren have gambled on raceday rain

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton (5th, Q3 – 1m 13.565s)

“Personally, I was very happy with my lap: I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car as hard in my life as I did this afternoon. I was right on the ragged edge and I think I even touched the wall at one stage. But, even so, I managed only P5; that was all I could do.

“I hope our race pace will prove to be stronger tomorrow than our qualifying pace was today: we’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We’ve got a long seventh gear – a bit too long for qualifying perhaps – but that should be good for overtaking.”

 
Jenson Button (7th, Q3 – 1m 13.838s)
“We didn’t quite have the pace that we’d hoped for – and that’s a little frustrating. My last lap in Q3 was looking really good – but then I overdrove, started locking up and lost a bit of time.”

 
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Perhaps our cars had a little bit too much downforce for today’s qualifying session, which was dry; but, if it rains tomorrow, which is what the weather forecast tells us it will probably do, then we should be in good shape.”

 
Mercedes GP
Nico Rosberg (6th, Q3 – 1m 13.814s)

“Generally we have made good progress this weekend and qualifying in sixth position was good for us today. It’s good to have saved a set of new options as well.”

Michael Schumacher (8th, Q3 – 1m 13.864s)
“We can be quite happy with today’s qualifying.

“We have developed our set-up in the right direction over the weekend, and the long runs looked quite good this morning, so we should be ok in the race.”

Renault
Nick Heidfeld (9th, Q3 – 1m 14.062s)

“I am extremely happy because I think I achieved the maximum I could have done today. We actually drove with more downforce than normal, as we were gambling a bit and hoping for wet conditions tomorrow.

“Obviously you always want to be higher up than P9 but being in the top ten is satisfying and we will try to improve on this tomorrow by securing a good pace and gaining some places.”

Vitaly Petrov (10th, Q3 – 1m 14.085s)
“The track temperatures were much lower than yesterday and it was very difficult to warm-up the tyres properly throughout qualifying. As a result, I was lacking grip out there and I lost a bit of time during my quickest lap.”

Force India
Paul di Resta (11th, Q2 – 1m 14.752s)

“We were very close to making it through to Q3 today, but in the end we had to settle for P11. Maybe the tyre strategy we opted for was not optimal for qualifying, but I’ve managed to save a set of new options for the race so hopefully that will help us tomorrow.

P11 is a good place to start from and it’s probably better to be on the clean side of the track. We’ve been competitive here since the start of the weekend and I’m sure we can have a good race tomorrow and hopefully score some points.”

Adrian Sutil (14th, Q2 – 1m 15.287s)
“It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends so far, but I was still hoping for a bit more from the qualifying session. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the hairpin on my last lap. I hit a bump under braking which caused the rear tyres to lock and I slid wide.”

Williams
Pastor Maldonado (12th, Q2 – 1m 15.043s)

“I got 100 percent out of the car this afternoon so I’m happy with my qualifying performance.

“Our pace is good and the field is very close. We are not too far from the points and, with overtaking possible here, there’s every chance we can have a good day tomorrow. I think it’s going to be an exciting race.”

Rubens Barrichello (16th, Q2 – 1m 15.361s)
“Unfortunately, we had with a problem with the front disc in Q2. It wasn’t coming up to temperature so the car was pulling to one side and eventually caused me to go off the track.

“We actually have a very good car that is capable of better things but there are overtaking opportunities here, and we have the pace, so there is every reason to be positive for a strong race.”