Qualifying - selected driver quotes 07 Jul 2007
Hamilton on his home pole; Raikkonen on his near miss; Rosberg on his sudden loss of power; and Davidson on his untimely spin. The 22 qualifiers for Sundays British Grand Prix report back from Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 19.997s):
"That was an intense qualifying session. The Ferraris were extremely quick, as was Fernando (Alonso). 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 couldnt have done it without the team, who changed the tyres so quickly and got me out in time. I just cant 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."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (2nd,1m 20.099s):
"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."
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (3rd, 1m 20.147s):
"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."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (4th, 1m 20.265s):
"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."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (5th, 1m 20.401s):
This morning I didnt 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.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (6th, 1m 20.516s):
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 yesterdays 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. Im on the dirty side of the grid which is not perfect but we will take it from there. Its 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 Im 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.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (7th, 1m 20.721s):
This has been a good recovery from yesterday, when I was struggling a bit with the car. The handling was good all day, and the times were competitive. I had a power steering problem in qualifying though, and that cost me time, especially in Q3. The car was pulling quite hard to the left, so it was very difficult braking and turning in. So for sure there was more time to come, but even so, the third row is a good starting position for me, equal to my best at the last race in Indy, and our performance shows we are going in the right direction. But it's a good starting point, now let's see what the race brings.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (8th, 1m 20.775s):
This result shows we have made more good progress with the new parts we brought here for the car. My feeling is better now, and there is more grip; the result is that the gap to the leading teams has shrunk a little bit more. It is very motivating to be driving with the team at the moment, and seeing the progress we are making at every race thanks to the hard work at the factory and at the track. We know there is the potential for more too, so everybody is feeling confident. In terms of qualifying, I was struggling with understeer this morning in practice, and even through the first part of qualifying. But my engineers did a great job to find some adjustments, and the car got better. My final timed lap was very clean, and fifth is a good starting position because we have a good strategy. I'm looking forward to the race.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (9th, 1m 20.894s):
Of course I am not happy. Ninth position is my worst qualifying result this season. I couldnt 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 wasnt bad. Compared to yesterday this had already improved for this mornings 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.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (10th, 1m 21.240s):
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 didnt 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 Im sure there will be a good atmosphere.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (11th, 1m 20.235s):
Qualifying was pretty close today. On my last run, I went a little wide in Turn 14 and then didnt get the braking right in Turn 15. But, 11th is where we are, so well see what happens tomorrow in the race.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (12th, 1m 20.329s):
Twelfth is actually a bit better than what I expected going into qualifying, as I was struggling in this mornings session. The car felt unsettled in the middle runs, if I gained something in one area, Id 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 dont 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 dont believe it would make a big difference. I think it will be difficult to get into the points, but well do what we can.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (13th, 1m 20.350s):
I think I squeezed quite a bit out of my car today. My fastest lap wasnt 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. Its 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.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (14th, 1m 20.364s):
"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."
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (15th, 1m 20.515s):
"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 (Liuzzi) 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, Toro Rosso (16th, 1m 20.823s):
"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."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (17th, 1m 21.219s):
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, its going to be tough, but well try anyway. I have been really on it this weekend and we were expecting to do better today. Lets hope we can get something more out of tomorrow at the teams home race.
Jenson Button, Honda (18th, 1m 21.335s):
"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."
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (19th, 1m 21.448s):
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.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (20th, 1m 22.019s):
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.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (21st, 1m 22.045s):
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.
Christijan Albers, Spyker (22nd, 1m 22.589s):
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.