Qualifying - selected driver quotes 20 Oct 2007
Spykers Adrian Sutil on his fuel pressure problems in Q1; Heikki Kovalainen on making a critical mistake in the Renault; Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima on the first qualifying session of his Formula One career; and Ferraris Felipe Massa on scoring a second consecutive pole position at his home Grand Prix. All 22 drivers report back on Saturdays action in Brazil
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st, 1m 11.931s):
"It's fantastic to be on pole again in front of my fans: to feel their affection and to see them celebrate in the stands is really amazing. The car was very competitive and I managed to get the most out of it. I hope to win tomorrow, but obviously I will do whatever is needed to help the team in its fight for the drivers' title. I am sorry not to be fighting for it myself, but I think in any case I have had a good season."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (2nd, 1m 12.082s):
A fantastic last run for me which could have seen me possibly on pole. Overall I am happy with todays qualifying. The car is working well, and I feel really comfortable. Obviously it was a very close and tense session, but the team did a good job in making sure that we both got that final fuel burning lap. I am quite confident and relaxed for tomorrow, and I know what I have to do to win the championship. My focus is not on winning the race but the title.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd,1m 12.322s):
"Of course it would have been better to be on pole position but third place is certainly no bad thing and leaves me in a good position for tomorrow's race, also in light of the strategy we have chosen and the performance of the car. On my final flying lap, I lost precious time at Turn Four because of Hamilton: it is a real shame but there is no point in recriminations over what has happened. I am confident that I will be able to keep my chances alive right to the end."
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (4th, 1m 12.356s):
Obviously I would have liked to be on the front row, but it was not to be. We made some changes to the car for qualifying but unfortunately they didnt work as well as we thought they would and as a result I was not totally confident with the car. However as we have seen in China a lot of things can take place during a long race, so we will have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (5th, 1m 12.928s):
That was a good qualifying session today. Its definitely going to be all about the tyres tomorrow, which should make it a very interesting race. Both cars are in a reasonable shape and weve been competitive all weekend. So, so-far-so-good and well see what we can do tomorrow.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th, 1m 13.081s):
I'm extremely happy. My penultimate lap wasn't bad and the final one was simply great. In qualifying two I was close to missing the top ten, and this was because I had a big slide and almost spun in Turn Six. Right up to the last session of qualifying I had the impression this time we might have gone in the wrong direction with the car's set-up. It would have been an exception because normally we are very good in this. In the end the car felt better again and I think the track conditions also helped.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (7th, 1m 13.129s):
It could have been better, but unfortunately on the last lap I had Fernando Alonso in front of me. He let me by, but I had to take a different line which meant my tyres picked up dirt. In the last corner I was quicker but when braking I locked the front wheel, went straight and lost a lot of time. The race will certainly be hard for the tyre.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (8th, 1m 13.195s):
First of all I have to thank all the team for doing a great job. We swapped to the T-car because I wasnt happy after yesterdays practice sessions. So that was a big effort from them and its good to give them a good result today in return for that hard work. Today the car felt pretty good, and we improved the set-up. I was in P8 in all three qualifying sessions so that is where Ill be tomorrow. The race will be interesting because managing the tyres will play a major role for the race results. So it will be important to be lucky with the tyres, hope not to have too much graining and try to live with it. We will do our best and try to give ourselves a boost as we head into the winter.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (9th, 1m 13.272s):
The option tyre at the beginning of that qualifying session felt really strange, I struggled on it, made a few mistakes and couldnt get it together. I then managed to on my last flying lap, which got me through into the top ten. There was a very slight under fill when the team did my refuelling, so I had to try and do the laps without burning all the fuel, but we managed it okay.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (10th, 1m 13.477s):
My engineers have done a good job improving the car throughout the weekend, particularly since this mornings session, but I think we were still quite lucky to get into Q3 today. I nailed the lap in Q2; I couldnt have got anything more out of the car. In Q3, with more fuel on board, I had a small balance problem and made a minor mistake too, which probably cost me a tenth or two. I could perhaps have just beaten Coulthard if everything had worked out perfectly, but you cannot always get the best out of a lap. I think we have to be pleased with where we are and just try to do our best tomorrow. We seem to be pretty strong over long runs, so we should be in good shape for the race.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (11th, 1m 12.932s):
I am very pleased to have had a stronger weekend so far here at my home race but at the same time a little disappointed that we could not make it through to the final qualifying session today. The car felt very good this morning but this afternoon the rear was moving around a little too much so we lost a bit of time there. We got every last bit of performance out of the car today and I think we can have a good race from 11th.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (12th, 1m 12.968s):
I was right on the limit this afternoon, and I think this was our maximum today. It was hard to do a perfect lap in the slippery, low-grip conditions and it is a shame to miss out on Q3 by such a small margin. I think we will see an interesting race tomorrow, especially when it comes to the tyre behaviour, and hopefully we can find a good strategy to take advantage of this.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (13th, 1m 13.058s):
A few races ago if you had said I would be 13th on the grid in the Brazil I would have been very happy and it shows we are definitely making progress. It was quite a difficult session and at first the car did not work as well as it did in the morning, but we played around with tyre pressures and it got better in the end. I think the track got slower in the early part of qualifying. With two quite soft tyre specifications, tomorrow's race could be interesting, especially when running on the softer of the two. Now we have to give a lot of thought to our strategy for tomorrow afternoon. Of course, some dark clouds and rain would suit us better for tomorrow, but let's see what happens in what is always a tough race round this track.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (14th, 1m 13.251s):
I'm not so happy with this result, because the morning session was pretty good but then I think we had more to give this afternoon. Q1 was okay, but in Q2, I seemed to suffer with a lot of understeer, especially in sectors 2 and 3, as well as graining on the tyres. The track conditions changed a lot from the morning when the car was really well balanced so I was expecting to be stronger in qualifying. My strategy tomorrow? I think I should do whatever Sebastian does as it seemed to work quite well in the last two races!
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (15th, 1m 13.315s):
I didnt have any particular problems in Q2. The traffic was fine and the car felt reasonable enough. I just simply didnt get it right this time which is a pity but thats the way it goes sometimes. Tomorrow is the race and I will do the best job I can from where I am on the grid. Its not a great place to be on the grid but well see what we can do. The good thing is that it is possible to overtake here so we will do everything possible to make up ground during the race. We havent had many results to celebrate lately but we will push for a better day to finish off the year.
Jenson Button, Honda (16th, 1m 13.469s):
Not a great qualifying session for me today which reflects that we have been off the pace pretty much all weekend. The car has a consistent lack of grip and unfortunately we haven't been able to improve the set-up to overcome this. It will be a tough race from 16th so we will just have to see what opportunities the race presents.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (17th, 1m 14.078s):
I was very disappointed not to make it out of Q1. It was simply my mistake: I went too deep into Turn 12, locked the front tyres, got a poor exit and it cost me over six tenths of a second. The grip level was poor compared to this morning, but everybody had to deal with the same conditions. We have been in this position before this year, though, and the results afterwards showed us how important it is to never give up. We won't, and we will be pushing hard for everything we can get tomorrow, but it's going to be a tough race.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (18th, 1m 14.098s):
It was a tough qualifying. The track conditions changed a lot since the first practice session and it was very slippery. I had a lot of slide, but I think everyone seemed to be struggling under the conditions. The first run was relatively good and I was expecting to improve, but unfortunately I had traffic on the out lap and then could not get the best out of our preparations for the timed lap. I couldnt improve on the second run and I missed Q2 by only a few hundredths, which is a big shame. I would like to say well done to the whole team. It has been a tough season and we really wanted to get into Q2 today, but nevertheless it was a good result from all of us.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (19th, 1m 14.417s):
It was difficult today. I dont know why, but the car felt quite different in qualifying compared to this mornings practice session and I couldnt get it completely right. Combined with a couple of mistakes, qualifying was disappointing. I will now go and look at my data in comparison to Nicos and see where I can improve for the race tomorrow.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (20th, 1m 14.596s):
It was a difficult qualifying session. The track had changed quite a lot from FP3 to qualifying and the car lost all its balance. I struggled to get a first lap together and then on my second lap, when I was getting faster, I got a bit of traffic towards the end of the lap and couldnt go quicker than my first time. It is a shame, but I doubt that Q2 was possible today anyway due to these conditions.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (21st, 1m 15.217s):
Unfortunately we had a fuel pressure problem on my first run in qualifying - the engine just cut out and I couldn't go on. It was the same issue we had in the morning, but then I stopped in the pit lane and my mechanics could push me back to the garage to get started again. In the afternoon I was on track and we couldn't do the same. Obviously it is a worry and something we need to sort out for the race, but I think we can get it right tomorrow.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (22nd, 1m 15.487s):
Obviously this qualifying was disappointing. The grip level was lower than I expected and I changed the set-up for qualifying and the race, but the set-up just didn't seem to work that well over one lap. On this point it's a shame, but I think this set-up will work better in the race so I want to push 100 percent and do my best race so far this season.