British GP - Saturday - Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:19.997): "That was an intense qualifying session. The Ferraris were extremely quick, as was Fernando. I lost a bit of time on my first flying lap, so I really just had to pull it all out and thankfully I did a sweet job on that last lap. I really couldn't have done it without the team, who changed the tyres so quickly and got me out in time. I just can't wait for tomorrow now, and I am going to do the best job that I can. It is great to see so many supporters, today has been fantastic. I nearly lost my voice, when I came across the line I was screaming just as loud as all the fans."
Fernando Alonso (3rd, 1:20.147): "I am quite happy with the car and we performed well today. Obviously I wanted to be on pole position but third place was the best we could do. Hopefully tomorrow in the race the car will continue to be strong and our strategy will give us the chance to improve on this. I was not so happy with the car yesterday but today it has been much quicker. That is thanks to the fantastic work from the team overnight to make some changes, as it felt like a different car this morning in practice."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "It has been a great day today and both drivers did a fantastic job, just how good will be revealed tomorrow as the race unfolds. We can all enjoy today and tonight, but the race is tomorrow. It has been great to see so many people here supporting the team."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "You can't do any better, and it couldn't get any more exciting. This was a thrilling qualifying and motor racing at its best. Lewis showed an excellent performance achieving pole position in his first ever home Grand Prix which was the 50th for the McLaren Mercedes partnership. Fernando did an excellent job, he is third with less than1.5 tenths of a second behind pole. First and third is a great base for tomorrow's race, as both of our cars will start on the clean side of the track. This is an ideal result for all the colleagues and their families from Woking and Brixworth who came to attend this race weekend and to see the team in action."
Heikki Kovalainen (7th, 1:20.721): "When you come out of qualifying, you always think you could have done a little better on the last timed lap - and for me, I felt I made a small mistake that cost me some time. But once again, our result this afternoon shows we are heading in the right direction, as I got into Q3 for the third consecutive time. Toyota were the surprise for us this afternoon, as they have been much stronger than they were in France - and we will need a good strategy to beat them. For me, the first target for tomorrow is to get round the first lap without any problems, unlike in Magny-Cours. Then we need a consistent performance from the car all through the stints, and a good strategy. I'm confident we will have that, and that we can make up positions in the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella (8th, 1:20.775): "It was a very tight session all the way through the field, but it was very clean for us, with no problems and the car working well. My only problem came on the most important lap, the last timed one, when a small problem with the brakes meant I missed the line through turns four and five - which probably cost me a couple of tenths. Looking ahead to the race, the car performed consistently on the long runs yesterday, so I think we can feel positive for tomorrow afternoon. After that, we will have to race hard, and try to take points away from BMW."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Our aim at the moment is to qualify and race with BMW, and we appear to have achieved that this afternoon. The windy conditions are still making life difficult for the drivers and engineers, but the recent improvements we have made to the driveability of the car have undoubtedly helped us cope with this factor. As always, tomorrow's race will be hard-fought, and tough for both the drivers and the cars on such a punishing circuit. But I feel confident that we can race strongly all the way through, to achieve a good result."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Silverstone is well-known as a selective circuit for the cars, so it is not particularly surprising to see the top ten positions on the grid filled by just five teams. Judging by recent form, the unexpected factor is to see Toyota among those top five teams - and Ralf, in particular, could be troublesome in tomorrow's race starting from the third row. This is a tough circuit in every respect: for the engines, for the chassis under high aerodynamic load, and physically for the drivers. We will need to be at our best in every area tomorrow afternoon, to try and maximise our points score behind the two fastest teams - and to try and pick up any crumbs that should fall from their top table, should they encounter problems in the race."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd, 1:20.099): "I can't hide my disappointment. I made a mistake at the exit of the final corner on my second run in Q3. I finished up slightly on the grass and lost traction, which cost me a lot, cost me too much time. But it's not worth spending too long thinking about it. What's done is done and it cannot be changed. Now we only have to concentrate on the race. Clearly, starting on the dirty side of the track is not exactly an advantage but we know we have a good pace over a long run. A lot will depend on the start and the strategy worked out by the team. It's not over yet. We will do our best to bring home the best result possible."
Felipe Massa (4th, 1:20.265): "A very close qualifying session with hardly any difference in the lap times for the top four runners. My final run was reasonably good but I lost time in the second sector, especially at Turn 7. We know our car works well in race trim and tomorrow afternoon's race will be a long and difficult one with strategy making the difference."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "This was a closely fought qualifying session the outcome of which was only decided in the final second. As we expected, the two top teams are very evenly matched as can be seen from the very small gaps between the times. When assessing this qualifying, we obviously have to consider the usual unknowns as regards strategy. Tomorrow, the decisive factors will be the work of the team and the drivers, the timing of the pit stops and car and tyre performance over the distance. For our part, we will do our utmost as usual. This race is a key moment in the fight for both championships and with all our heart we want to bring home the best result possible."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "Yet another very exciting qualifying, decided at the death. A shame for Kimi who made a small slip right at the end which probably cost him pole position. The race looks to be very open. We have a very quick car, especially over a long run and that means we can be confident about the final outcome of this Grand Prix."
Rubens Barrichello (14th, 1:20.364): "I got the maximum possible performance from the car during the second qualifying session today. It was a really good lap and I pushed as hard as possible. However at the moment, even one-tenth of a second can mean the difference between finishing at the top or bottom of the tight group that we are competing with right now. The team performed really well today, the set-up of the car was good and I felt happy with the balance, but unfortunately we just do not have the pace to get into Q3."
Jenson Button (18th, 1:21.335): "What can I say? I'm obviously massively disappointed with the way qualifying went, here at Silverstone, in front of my home crowd. On my first run I got traffic from one of the BMW Saubers. Then in the second I let Anthony through because he was on a quick lap. He went off which brought the yellow flags out and that was that. As ever in this situation, the race is going to be a tough one, made all the more difficult here. We will just have to do what we can from where we are."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "Rubens gave it everything he had, so it is somewhat frustrating to finish 14th when we were only 0.2 sec from a top ten position. That's the way it goes nowadays because the field is so tight. Jenson was quite happy with his car balance but lifted for Anthony who had spun off and therefore did not make it through to Q2."
Robert Kubica (5th, 1:20.401): "This morning I didn't do a lot of running because of a gearbox problem. However, everything turned into better shape for me at the most important point of the weekend. Qualifying was good, in fact better than we expected and I had a good pace. We struggled yesterday with my set up, but we changed something for qualifying and it looks like this has made the difference. If I was joking I would say we were the first of the B championship. It looks like Ferrari and McLaren here are too far away to fight with them, but it is important to be there if someone has a failure and so we can gain positions"
Nick Heidfeld (9th, 1:20.894): "Of course I am not happy. Ninth position is my worst qualifying result this season. I couldn't get the most out of the tyres - neither at the beginning of the lap nor towards the end when they started graining. The balance of my car wasn't bad. Compared to yesterday this had already improved for this morning's session, as we identified a set- up mistake we made yesterday. Naturally I hope some cars starting in front of me have to refuel before me, but you can never tell."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "During the third free practice this morning we had to change Robert's gearbox. The fact he lost no more than 20 minutes running time after such a major repair was due to a brilliant effort from the mechanics. To make up for some of the lost track time Robert did two outings in Q1. I am very pleased he made it to fifth position under these circumstances. Nick on the other hand didn't manage to get a perfect lap and will start from ninth. He will have an awful lot of work to do."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "All in all it is a good result. Again, for the ninth time this season, we managed to qualify both drivers in the top ten. We adapted Robert's programme after he lost some time in the morning session due to a gearbox problem, and based on this his performance was great. With fifth on the grid we can be very satisfied. Meanwhile Nick did not find a perfect lap in the last part of qualifying."
Ralf Schumacher (6th, 1:20.516): "This is my best qualifying result of the year so I am happy with what we have achieved. Both the test a fortnight ago and yesterday's practice session went well. The car seems to suit me better here this weekend and I can just do what I want with it so I am happy. We were relatively quick in the race in Magny-Cours so I naturally hope that can continue tomorrow. First we must concentrate on making a good start. I'm on the dirty side of the grid which is not perfect but we will take it from there. It's been a difficult season but the whole team has kept working very hard - both at the race tracks and at the factory. We know what we want to achieve and we are pushing so I'm sure we can turn the corner. To have both cars in the top ten means that we have a chance to score points which we really need."
Jarno Trulli (10th, 1:21.240): "To make it into the top ten was a good qualifying result for me considering how things have gone all weekend. I have been struggling with the set-up and I have really found it hard to get hold of the car. We tried to improve the set-up this morning but we didn't succeed. It seems that whatever I tried to do I would be slow. So this was about as much as I could manage today. We are still in a good position for the race so we will see what we can do to improve things for tomorrow. Now I just hope to make the finish and see if we can score some more points. The British fans are passionate about F1 and there are a lot of people here giving support to all the drivers so I'm sure there will be a good atmosphere."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "This has been a good weekend for us, in line with the test we did here a couple of weeks ago where we saw we were higher up the pecking order. So far everything has gone smoothly, we have had no reliability issues and we have been able to improve our set-up session after session. Ralf has done an especially good job throughout the weekend and his position in Q3 is a deserved reward. Jarno also did well to make Q3 but he has been slightly less comfortable with the set-up, particularly for qualifying trim. But we are confident in our strategies and both drivers should be in good shape for the race. Both tyre specifications are able to do the job here so, while the option had a clear advantage as usual in qualifying, there is no particular strategy required to manage the difference between them tomorrow. There is nothing particular about this circuit that has made us perform well but since Barcelona we've seen that in this downforce window our car is better than it is at medium to low downforce tracks like Indianapolis and Montreal. Even in Magny-Cours where our race was destroyed by incidents, our pace was where we expected it to be. Now we can look forward to a good race tomorrow."
Mark Webber (11th, 1:20.235): "Qualifying was pretty close today. On my last run, I went a little wide in Turn 14 and then didn't get the braking right in Turn 15. But, 11th is where we are, so we'll see what happens tomorrow in the race."
David Coulthard (12th, 1:20.329): "Twelfth is actually a bit better than what I expected going into qualifying, as I was struggling in this morning's session. The car felt unsettled in the middle runs, if I gained something in one area, I'd lose it in another, but on the last lap I managed to hook up all the sectors. Maybe the final lap was a little conservative, but I don't think I could have done any more to get into the top ten. This is a circuit where track position and car pace is what will play out, therefore even if we decide to run heavy tomorrow, which would be an option, I don't believe it would make a big difference. I think it will be difficult to get into the points, but we'll do what we can."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Eleventh and twelfth is a frustrating place to start, especially given how close the field is. Less than a tenth would have put Mark into the third qualifying session, but unfortunately it didn't happen today, so we need to make sure we've got a good strategy for tomorrow."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "We are slightly disappointed today after qualifying. We missed Q3 for the second Grand Prix running. We were pretty satisfied after the third practice this morning, as we were quite quick, but it seems all the teams improved a lot in between Q1 and Q2. It's very tight as we missed entering in Q3 by 0.05 sec. Everything worked well on the technical side, we will have to work hard tonight on our strategy to make the most of our eleventh and twelfth positions on the grid tomorrow for the race, as our target will be to score some points."
Alexander Wurz (13th, 1:20.350): "I think I squeezed quite a bit out of my car today. My fastest lap wasn't too bad, although I think I could have gained another half a tenth in the last sector. I cannot be happy with 13th because you need to be a bit further up the grid to make it easier to score points. It's going to be a hard race as everyone is so close at the moment. Strategy here is going to be similar to what it was in Magny-Cours, which means that most teams are going to be doing pretty much the same thing. I need to have an aggressive start tomorrow and will give everything I can. I am a fighter."
Nico Rosberg (17th, 1:21.219): "I had a technical problem on the car which lost me a lot of straight line speed, up to 20km/h, so the session was disappointing. It was going well this morning, the car was really comfortable and I was looking forward to a good qualifying session. From 17th on the grid, it's going to be tough, but we'll try anyway. I have been really on it this weekend and we were expecting to do better today. Let's hope we can get something more out of tomorrow at the team's home race."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "After a decent performance in all the practice sessions, that was obviously a pretty disappointing qualifying. It was good for Alex that he made it into Q2 and 13th. Nico's car misfired in Q1, so we are now checking all the wiring looms and electrical boxes to identify and then fix the problem. Looking ahead to the race tomorrow, we will work out a good strategy tonight to allow the drivers to fight from their starting positions."
Scott Speed (15th, 1:20.515): "Our pace was similar to what we had in Magny-Cours. When it comes time for everyone to go for a qualifying lap, me and Tonio have a bit less in hand. Maybe it's because we push one another in practice, so we are getting the most out of the car then, without keeping anything in reserve for qualifying. Fifteen and sixteen is not bad, but we need to find a couple more tenths to really be fighting in the middle of the pack."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (16th, 1:20.823): "At the end, the gearbox would not accept any downshifts and we will have to find out why. At the start of the week, I did not expect to be in Q2, but we did a lot of work yesterday night and this morning it was clear the car was improved with a big step forward in terms of balance. We were still struggling a bit with understeer in qualifying though, which cost me time in Turn 5. I also had some traffic in my second run in Q2 and then the gearbox problem."
Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director: "I thought it would be difficult to get into Q2 and fifteenth and sixteenth is about what I hoped we could achieve. Scott did a great job this afternoon and he was on it. As I said before, the pack is very close in terms of lap times and we have to be happy with this performance. Unfortunately, we had a gearbox problem with Tonio, which at the moment I assume is different from anything we have seen so far. Therefore we will have to analyse it now and I am sure it will be fixed for tomorrow."
Adrian Sutil (20th, 1:22.019): "We had a good Qualifying. I had to go straight out when the session started as we did three stints; the first run was OK, but the track was not perfect as the surface was quite dirty. The second run was actually very good as the tyres were really grippy and I did a very quick lap, but I had a bit less grip for the third run and I lost a little bit of time everywhere. On this run there was also a yellow flag in the last sector so I came straight into the pits to save the tyres for the race, but I was already really happy with my lap in the second run and feel confident for tomorrow."
Christijan Albers (22nd, 1:22.589): "I was quite disappointed as we started the day really well and I think we could have done a much better time than this. Between the morning to the afternoon session we had some more understeer and I just lost a lot of time, particularly through turn 10. We also had some problems with traffic and then we struggled with warming up new tyres. It's really a shame as I think Jody my engineer and the boys are doing a good job, but we know that we are stronger in the race than in Qualifying."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A reasonable Qualifying, with our positions pretty much what we expected. Adrian did a good lap to qualify in front of one of the Super Aguris and we now have to look to get a consistent race with two cars to the finish."
Anthony Davidson (19th, 1:21.448): "It was obviously a disappointing Qualifying session. It was always going to be tough trying to get into Q2 today. The car again did not quite have the speed like we saw in Magny-Cours, but I was confident that I could have pulled something out of the bag, until the last run, when I came out in a sea of traffic ahead of me on the opening of my lap as they came out of the pits, so I decided to abort the lap. I tried to find a good space and get a bit more heat into the rear tyres, but basically I overcooked it coming out of Brooklands, trying to get as much force into the tyres as possible and the car snapped on me. I still believe that we have a better race car than Qualifying and you never know, the British weather can be unpredictable, so I am looking forward to my first British Grand Prix tomorrow."
Takuma Sato (21st, 1:22.045): "We need to find out what was wrong with the car. It was not performing well and I never got comfortable grip or stability. It is disappointing as yesterday we made some progress and this morning we tried to improve the performance again for Qualifying, but the speed was not there. On my final lap I was trapped by the Yellow Flag, so I could not improve on my lap time, so I am disappointed."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "Poor. It's been getting tighter and tighter all year. This is one of the bigger circuits, so you'd think that there would be a bit more latitude, but there wasn't. Our cars did not have the performance today and again our Qualifying session was not error free."