United States GP 2022

OCTOBER 22, 2022

Saturday Team Quotes

Lance Stroll, United States GP 2022
© Aston Martin Racing

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton (5th, 1:34.947): "That was a very difficult qualifying session. I felt so optimistic all weekend: the car had been feeling good and everyone back at the factory worked so hard to bring the upgrade, so I was hopeful that we were going to be much closer than we are. Once we got to qualifying, I don't know if it's because temperatures dropped, or the wind picked up, but the car was such a handful suddenly and that made it hard to put the laps together, especially in the final sector. Looking to the race, I think we may be able to keep up with the cars in front - especially through the corners - but they have simply got more baseline pace than us. We are still pushing hard, so it's frustrating not to be closing down that gap to pole, but we will be giving it everything we've got tomorrow."

George Russell (6th, 1:34.988): "It has been a difficult weekend for me, and I was off the pace in all the other sessions, so I'm pleased to be in a more normal position for qualifying. Six tenths to pole is a smaller gap than usual for us on Saturday, and we did bring some updates here which are working, so I'm excited to see what happens tomorrow. It will be a race of high tyre degradation and a lot of different strategic options in play, and I think the race will be won and lost in the choices we make - we will need to be dynamic in how we react. Ferrari looked strong yesterday and I think we looked reasonable to them and Red Bull on the long runs, so I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do from the second row."

Toto Wolff, Team Principal: "That was a decent session for us. I think we saw that the last update of the season is working well and there was a lap in the car that could have been up to three tenths of a second faster - but this car is still so tricky to drive, and that's how it goes sometimes. But overall, the car is working pretty well and we could have been closer to pole - so I think we can be part of some fun games up front tomorrow. Today is a sad day, though, with the news of the death of Dietrich Mateschitz. He was one of the most incredible entrepreneurs in the world - he created an energy drinks market that simply didn't exist before him and built one of the best brands in the world. This sport owes him so much, not just for what he created in Spielberg but also for the two teams he owned and developed. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends."

Andrew Shovlin: "We've been struggling a bit in the windier conditions today, no doubt that's affected everyone but there are a few corners that were really well-balanced yesterday that today we couldn't seem to find a setup to compensate for the increased wind strength. The morning session ran without issue and the drivers were just getting used to that increased tailwind through the Esses which was making the car a bit less predictable. Qualifying was a disappointment given that we showed good promise at times, we were just struggling to put the laps together when it counted. We could also have executed the final session better, we'd decided to do a preparation lap on George's first run which knocked on to our final runs causing us to leave a bit late. That meant Lewis was stuck at the back and lost a bit of tyre temperature having to go slowly in the final few corners starting his lap. We will at least inherit a couple of places due to Sergio's and Charles' penalties which puts both cars on the second row. It's unlikely to be a straightforward race, the degradation has been high this weekend so no doubt a fair bit of tyre management will be required. We've also seen that our race pace is almost always better than qualifying so hopefully this will be one where we can stick with the front group and look for the opportunities as the degradation sets in and the first stops come around."

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (3rd, 1:34.448): "It was tough to hear the news ahead of qualifying, the result today doesn't really matter. What does matter is reflecting on Dietrich and what he did for us as a Team, the whole of Formula One and the wider Red Bull family. Dietrich was always super kind and caring to me. I will forever remember the last visit I had with him a month ago or so, at the time it was very special but it's definitely more special now. He believed in me from such a young age and many other younger drivers and gave incredible opportunities to so many people. Without him I would not be sitting here today. So, it's an incredibly tough day."

Sergio Perez (4th, 1:34.645): "This is a sad day for the whole Red Bull family, it makes you realise there are much more important things in life. Dietrich's influence on sport and the way he supported athletes globally truly made a difference to the world. He gave me an opportunity that no one else ever gave me and I will always be grateful to him. It was a very sad moment when we heard the news because we know we are about to become champions and he won't be here to see us do it. The whole Team are going to be racing for him and his family tomorrow and I really hope we can bring the result he would want from us. We couldn't find the maximum today with just three sets of tyres but it was a weekend where we knew we had the penalty so we have put the focus on tomorrow and the race, hopefully that pays off. It will be tricky to get up there on this track but we will be trying our best because it would really mean a lot this weekend."

Scuderia Ferrari

Carlos Sainz (1st, 1:34.356): "Qualifying went well right from Q1. I was feeling comfortable in the car and building the speed lap after lap until the last attempt in Q3. The wind was tricky today, so every lap was a bit different, but this made it an exciting qualifying as it always is here in Austin. Tomorrow we'll give our absolute best in the race to convert this pole into a win, although we can expect a good battle with our rivals. Despite taking pole, I naturally feel sad after learning of the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz. He was an exceptional man to whom the world of sports owes a lot and he will be dearly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends and to the entire Red Bull family."

Charles Leclerc (2nd, 1:34.421): "A tricky qualifying with quite a bit of wind today. I won't be starting the race in P2 due to the penalty we have received, so my target for tomorrow is to make up as many positions as possible at the start and take any opportunity there is to fight my way to the front. I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dietrich Mateschitz. He will be sorely missed as a person and always remembered for his incredible achievements."

Laurent Mekies, Sporting Director: "The whole team did a great job in what was one of the trickest qualifying sessions of the season. Yesterday we did less preparation work than usual, as we only really had one session to do that, because of the 2023 tyre test. On top of that, as the session got underway, strong winds made life difficult and in this situation Carlos and Charles did a very good job, dialled in to their cars to the extent that in Q2, with both of them being able to go through to Q3 on a scrubbed set of tyres. Carlos put together the perfect lap and this pole is well-deserved after he has come within a few hundreds of being quickest on more than one occasion this year. If it was not for Charles' penalty, we'd be looking at an all-Ferrari front row. Today's result is also down to the team, at the track and in Maranello, allowing us to prepare and manage qualifying to perfection. the F1-75 is clearly very competitive here at what is one of the most complete tracks on the calendar, with its fast corners, long straights and slow speed sections, making it a really demanding test of a car. There are many variables that can affect tomorrow's race, with tyre degradation a factor in addition to the tricky nature of the track. It looks to be a two-stop race and we know from today that the gaps are incredibly small between us and our competitors. We are gearing up for a six-car fight and it will be important for Carlos to get a good start and to manage his tyres well, while Charles will be coming through from the mid-field. Finally, we want to offer our condolences to the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams for the loss of Dietrich Mateschitz. His passion for racing and indeed all sports will be much missed by everyone."

McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris (8th, 1:35.690): "Super-happy. Especially my Q3 lap, which I was really pleased with. A few people have penalties tomorrow, which will move me up a few places up the starting grid. I think it's going to be tricky to stay in position but I'm happy with today and the job that we all did, now we'll focus on tomorrow."

Daniel Ricciardo (17th, 1:37.046): "I'm not happy with that quali. We were struggling a lot with the rear and had a few moments through the first sector. We clearly just didn't get on top of it. We need to figure out why as it's not giving me what I want, but tomorrow there will be opportunities to overtake and think we'll hopefully have a bit more to show. We'll look at it overnight and do everything we can for tomorrow's race. We'll see what happens."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "A challenging Saturday afternoon for us and a mixed result at the Circuit of The Americas. It wasn't easy to extract a clean lap in these conditions and unfortunately that meant an early finish for Daniel in Q1. Lando progressed and put in an outstanding Q3 lap to qualify P8 which, with grid penalties for a couple of cars in front of us, means we'll move further up the starting grid. Our full focus is now on race preparation. We're looking forward to an exciting US Grand Prix in front of a circuit filled with fantastic, sensational fans. Finally, we note with great sadness the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz. His impact on Formula 1 across the last four decades is immeasurable. Alongside the great successes of his teams, he contributed hugely to the development and expansion of the sport around the globe and supported many talented young drivers in their path through the junior formulae. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri teams this evening."

BWT Alpine F1 Team

Fernando Alonso (9th, 1:35.876): "It was very tricky with the gusty conditions and the car felt a little more difficult to drive today, especially through the high-speed corners. In the end, I'm still content with the result, as getting into Q3 was our target going into the session. We unfortunately have the grid penalty, and it would have been nicer to start higher than fourteenth. But we'll have some fun in the race, and I think we can still score decent points with the top ten the target for us."

Esteban Ocon (18th, 1:37.068): "It's been a tough day for us today. Going out of Qualifying in Q1 is always a tough one to swallow, especially as we have a competitive car, and we entered this race having qualified in fifth in Japan. The conditions were tricky today and, to be honest, I have not felt at one with the car all weekend. There is definitely work to do to find out exactly what went wrong today but, as always, I'm sure we'll find those reasons. As for the race, we'll give it everything to try and get back into the points."

Alan Permane, Sporting Director: "It's not quite been our day today and we're certainly disappointed with our Qualifying results. Conditions were very challenging with strong gusts proving difficult for all drivers on track, especially in the high-speed first sector. Unfortunately, Esteban exited in Q1, and he hasn't quite been at one with his car all weekend, so we have some work to do to identify areas for improvement. Fernando has looked strong in all sessions and he will be frustrated not to have qualified higher – at most seventh place – with the top three teams slightly ahead here. With grid penalties, we start in seventeenth with Esteban and fourteenth with Fernando, which, obviously, is not to our usual standards and we have a lot of work ahead of us if we are to come away with points from tomorrow's race. That said, there are always possibilities on strategy and we'll count on both drivers to race well in order to salvage something from this weekend."

Scuderia AlphaTauri

Pierre Gasly (13th, 1:36.740): "I'd felt happy in the car up until Quali, we'd done a good job in the practice sessions and been in the top 10, there was definitely potential to make it to Q3 today, so that's why I'm frustrated. I struggled with the brakes and just couldn't get the temperature into them, so it's a real shame. Looking to tomorrow, I don't see why we can't fight for the points, we will need to capitalise on every opportunity, and I am confident that we can make up ground tomorrow."

Yuki Tsunoda (15th, 1:37.147): "I'm frustrated with our performance in Quali today. Of course, I exceeded track limits on my last lap, but I don't think it made that much of a difference, we didn't have the pace to get through to Q3. We'll go away tonight and see what more we can extract from the car. I'll push as much as possible in the race to try and aim for a points finish."

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: "The setup changes we made overnight were not excessive, as the Friday balance was ballpark and FP3 car balance was pretty much as expected with no major issues. This meant our changes ahead of Qualifying were limited to the normal fine tuning of tools and some minor aero related optimisation. Going into Qualifying, we expected that there would be a very tight midfield battle to fight for a Q3 place, and indeed this is what we saw. We navigated Q1 without any fuss whilst Q2 was less straight forward, as Pierre struggled with his front brakes and Yuki reported that his car balance was a bit too much toward understeer on his last set. He then also exceeded track limits at Turn 9, although this in itself did not prevent him making the cut for Q3. Overall, I feel we have maybe not extracted the most from our package in Qualifying and we will go through the data to understand why and what we could have done better. Our focus now shifts to the race, with the objective being to get our cars moving forward into points scoring positions."

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Lance Stroll (7th, 1:35.598): "The car felt really good today; we found plenty of grip and the car gave me confidence. It gives us a great starting position for tomorrow. I am really pleased for the team because we have made good progress with the car recently and we are looking stronger on Saturdays. I really enjoyed it out there, even though conditions were tricky with the wind. It looks like we will start from fifth place, with a couple of penalties for the cars ahead, which means we are in the mix to pick up a good result on Sunday."

Sebastian Vettel (12th, 1:36.398): "There was more speed in the car today, so I am disappointed with my final qualifying result. I was not happy with my lap in Q2 and I was struggling to find confidence with the rear. Sector one was quite tricky today with the tailwind, but I lost time straight away when the rear end snapped turning into Turn Three, so I lost quite a lot of time in that whole sequence. The rest of the lap was alright, but I was playing catch-up. Small margins made the difference today and that is why I missed out on Q3."

Mike Krack, Chief Operating Officer: "The team performed strongly today. Lance achieved a very good seventh-fastest time in Q3, which we believe will translate to a P5 grid slot for tomorrow's race owing to penalties incurred by [Charles] Leclerc and [Sergio] Perez. Unfortunately, Sebastian failed by a small margin to progress through to Q3. Nonetheless, owing to penalties for drivers who qualified ahead of him, he will start tomorrow's race from P10. So we are in a strong position to challenge for points. Last but far from least, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of everyone at Aston Martin, to offer our sincerest condolences to all at Red Bull, and to the family and friends of Dietrich Mateschitz, on the occasion of the passing of a great man who has done an enormous amount for motorsport over the past quarter-century."

Williams Racing

Alexander Albon (11th, 1:36.368): "Today was quite unexpected if I'm honest. It was quite a tricky weekend before qualifying and the wind is really difficult at this circuit, being hard to read. Track limits are always a talking point and one gust and you're off the track. I was really struggling for rhythm so we made some changes from FP3 to qualifying which initially didn't feel like they were helping too much but as the session went on, we just picked up improvements, got on top of the tyres and put everything together. I'm very happy with the day so looking forward to tomorrow."

Nicholas Latifi (20th, 1:37.244): "It was a very tricky session with the wind picking up quite a bit from yesterday. I didn't do the perfect lap on that last lap and got caught out by a few snaps with the wind not helping there. Today was the first representative laps I got on the Quali tyre so it could've been a bit better. It's difficult to say what we can expect tomorrow but the conditions will be tricky for us with the heat and wind. We'll aim to make the best of it."

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: "The conditions were tricky today, but we got pretty much everything out of the car in qualifying. We were able to do a few more tests in FP3 to build on what we did yesterday, and this helped to refine the setup for today's difficult conditions. Alex and Nicholas were effectively in a private shootout at the end of Q1 with Nicholas looking very strong in the first two sectors but then losing some time in the final corners. This meant that Alex just made it to Q2. The extra couple of runs in Q2 gave him the chance to push the car harder and he was able to go from strength to strength. His final lap was exceptional, helped by some very good work from the engineers and strategists to get him into a good position on track with his brakes and tyres in a good window. It was a shame to miss out on Q3 by 30ms or so, but nonetheless, P11 is a better result than we had anticipated this morning. There are some grid penalties to be applied before we start the race tomorrow and so Alex will start inside the top 10. Although we achieved a strong result today, we know that tomorrow will be tricky and will require another big effort from everyone if we are to stay in the top 10."

Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN

Valtteri Bottas (10th, 1:36.319): "Getting into the top ten was today's target, and we hit it. We knew the upgrades we have brought for this weekend would give us a boost and it took just a small improvement in performance to bring us back into Q3. Starting in the top ten – I believe it could be in seventh place, once all penalties are applied – is really good and it will help with our objective for tomorrow, which is scoring points. We need to score to help us in the battle for sixth in the championship, which is all-important for us. We are making progress, now we have to focus on our own race, do things properly and get some points home."

Guanyu Zhou (14th, 1:36.970): "I had to give everything during the whole qualifying session, especially having missed out on FP3 because of technical issues, and I was happy to get into Q2. I think we had a good chance today, we had amazing pace, and I am gutted about having the lap that would have got me into Q3 deleted. It hurts because, looking at the replay, it feels I was out by just one or two millimetres. It's one lesson to learn, but there are still quite a few positives from this session as we managed to get through to Q3 with Valtteri, and we showed strong performances with these new upgrades. I am looking forward to tomorrow, even though we will start from the back: I think it's possible to overtake here, so hopefully we can have a good race and bring both cars into the points."

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: "We can be pleased about the performance we displayed with both cars today. Valtteri has been in good form all weekend and to see him in the top ten was no surprise. It should have been two cars in Q3 for the first time this season, but sadly Zhou saw his best lap cancelled for a track limits infringement and ended up 14th. It's a shame, it was a really close call but it is what it is. Zhou's performance was even more remarkable as he missed out on most of FP3, and it's a pity he will also have a five-place grid penalty for power unit components, as he definitely had the pace to fight up there in the top ten alongside Valtteri. Now we have to focus on finishing this weekend well: we have a car starting in the points, we have pace and there is nothing to stop up delivering a good performance. We need to finish the job we started and execute our Sunday well."

Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen (16th, 1:36.949): "Apart from Turn 1, it was actually good. I lost three tenths in Turn 1 because of this bump in the middle that the whole weekend we've been ok on and managed to not get too jumpy over, but the car took this massive jump for whatever reason. I lost the rear after that bump and three tenths – we were up by one hundredth, so it's a little bit unfortunate. It's a new day tomorrow and it's a track where you can race on and overtake, so if we have the pace we'll be able to fight back."

Mick Schumacher (19th, 1:37.111): "The pace looked alright and we had a car that would've been able to get into Q2 with the potential for Q3, so it's very unfortunate that we haven't been able to show that. The spin itself, it's very windy up there, it's bumpy and those cars are very much on the edge. It's unfortunate that it happened in Turn 1 because we don't know what the potential could've been but just in terms of a gut feeling, it was high. I didn't drive much in FP3, so we'll look at the data from Kevin to be able to learn and put the car together which hopefully gives us the potential to go forwards and fight for points."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "Not the performance we expected today out of the car. It looked like we could make it into Q2 at least, but we didn't. FP3 was a little bit disrupted by the issues on Mick's car, with the ERS water pump, he got some running in, but it wasn't ideal. Both drivers didn't put their second fast lap together and it's so tight in the midfield – you can either be in Q3 or out in Q1 and we were out in Q1. The long run today from Kevin seemed respectable so hopefully we can fight in the midfield. Starting in P15 and P18 we can still move up, so now we're getting ready for tomorrow."