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Qualifying - selected driver quotes 15 Sep 2007

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (L to R): Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 with Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 14 September 2007 David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 14 September 2007 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007

Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato on struggling for pace in the SA07; Toro Rosso’s Vitantonio Liuzzi on recovering from his ‘nightmare’ Friday to beat Williams’ Alexander Wurz; and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on edging out team mate Felipe Massa to take pole. All 22 drivers report back on Saturday’s action at Spa…

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st, 1m 45.994s):
"Obviously, I am happy with this pole position, obtained on one of my favourite tracks and also happy with the overall result for the team. On my first run in Q3, the car was very good but I felt something was not quite right with the rear end on my in lap. Apparently everything was okay and so we decided to continue with the second run. Even if it wasn't perfect, it was still good enough to improve and take pole. The balance of the car was good right from this morning. Usually, we are quicker in the race than in qualifying. Tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a good result."

Felipe Massa, Ferrari (2nd, 1m 46.011s):
"It was a good qualifying. My second quick lap in Q3 was perfect right up to the final corner, where I locked my wheels and might have lost just enough time to cost me pole. But second place is a good one to start from for the race. I hope to have a good race tomorrow. Here, we are back to being competitive at the highest level and we have a package that can allow us to fight for the win."

Fernando Alonso, McLaren (3rd, 1m 46.091s):
“Everything went very smoothly for my final lap today, which was good as I was a little worried after I spun on my first attempt. Unfortunately at that moment the tyres just lost their grip and I could do nothing. I am pretty confident for the race even though the Ferrari’s seem quick. This track is quite similar to Turkey so we expected them to be strong, but we have made some definite improvements since then, and it will not be an easy victory for them, that is for sure.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (4th, 1m 46.406s):
“It was a decent qualifying for us and I think that we did a good job. The first session wasn’t great, but I made some improvements to my driving and managed to find the time in the second session. I thought my final lap was really good, with no mistakes. It is always possible to win, and I am pretty confident that I have a strong strategy. We knew the Ferarris would be quick, and it will be an interesting race; anything can happen on the way down to the first corner and obviously there is a long straight where you can overtake.”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (5th, 1m 46.996s):
“After yesterday’s disappointing day, this morning was even more disappointing. We couldn’t test anything for qualifying, and unfortunately once you start qualifying you can’t touch the car. Also I had to run a bit before starting the show, which is important for Q3, so that is why we decided to do two runs in the first session and I think this paid off. In summary it was a positive qualifying and tomorrow anything can happen.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams (6th, 1m 47.334s):
“Today’s qualifying was super, it really went well and I am very happy. I am a bit surprised as well, to be honest, because I didn’t think we’d be so far up as it was very tight to make it into the top ten in Q2. We struggled here a bit more yesterday than we did on other tracks but overnight the team did a good job and found all the right solutions. Fifth position on the grid is really fantastic. This puts us in a strong position to be able to score some good points tomorrow.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th, 1m 47.409s):
“The result is okay. My first lap in the last qualifying session was hampered by yellow flags which were shown after Fernando Alonso’s spin. My final lap was all right - not perfect but without mistakes. In Q2 we had a second outing to be on the safe side, but it would have been enough even without it. I think I can improve my position in the race.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull (8th, 1m 47.524s):
“I would have liked to have got a little bit more from my last lap, but it’s good to qualify eighth at least. We’ve got a reasonable strategy from there, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It was a pretty close qualifying session with middle group tight as ever, but we’ll do what we can in the race to get some points.”

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, 1m 47.798s):
“I am reasonably happy with today’s result. Again we have done quite a good job to get into the top ten and thanks to the team so far it has been a smooth weekend, with no problems on the car. Starting from eighth place is not bad - it is a good place from which to fight in the race tomorrow. It is always difficult to overtake in Formula One but I will give my all to make up some positions. I believe we have quite a good strategy for the race, looking at what happened in Q3, so I am pretty confident. Obviously my aim is to bounce back into the points at the best circuit in the world, and I will do my best. I just hope we can get everything right from the start to the end of the race.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (10th, 1m 48.505s):
“I have been very happy with the car all weekend, and our pace in the second part of qualifying reflected that. I didn't manage to put a good lap together on Friday, so finished quite a long way down the times, but everything came together nicely for me today and I was really able to push the car to the limit. I think our starting position may reflect some differences in strategy, as I know I put in a strong lap on my final run. Both types of tyres were working well in practice, so I think we should feel optimistic for every stint of the race, and look forward to a strong, aggressive performance.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (11th, 1m 46.603s):
“I was already struggling a little with the car this morning, and didn't feel fully comfortable. And unfortunately, I had the same problem in qualifying. The car was sliding a lot, and it meant I just couldn't carry the speed through the corners like I wanted to. In the end, I only missed out on the top ten by a tenth of a second, but we know that if we don't get everything right at the moment, then we have the risk of not getting to the final qualifying session. Hopefully, we can have a better race.”

Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (12th, 1m 46.618s):
“It is frustrating not to get into the top ten because I think we had the pace to do it. Practice went well and we were hopeful of a good result in qualifying. I think we were looking good but unfortunately on my last run in Q2 the out lap didn’t go as planned and I could not warm my tyres and brakes as much as I would have liked, so I had some understeer. That was it really for me. But I believe the car is strong and we have the potential to fight for points tomorrow. Obviously it will be easier for Jarno as he is starting in the top tem but I will try my best from where I am on the grid and we will see what we can do.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, 1m 46.800s):#
“I was pushing hard on my last run in Q2 and went a little off line, which lost me some time. We’ll do what we can from twelfth on the grid tomorrow.”

Jenson Button, Honda (14th, 1m 46.955s):
“A reasonably positive Saturday. On the first run in Q1 I had traffic as I was running too close to the car in front of me. In Q2 I think I got the best out of the car on the first run. On the second run I had a little too much understeer so I just backed off and looked after the tyres for the race. I'm pretty happy with where I will be lining up on the grid and I think we can make progress from there. Aerodynamically this circuit hasn't really suited our car so I'm quite pleased with how qualifying went for us. I'm looking forward to the race.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (15th, 1m 47.115s):
“After a nightmare yesterday, with very few laps because of a problem on the car, it went much better today, resulting in me getting through to Q2. I had found it difficult to get the right balance on the car so we were expecting a difficult Saturday. Fortunately, everything went fine, except that I am not feeling that well and have been sick a lot. I think we did a great job in qualifying to get ahead of a Williams which I am sure is a quicker car. We could not have achieved more than this.”

Alexander Wurz, Williams (16th, 1m 47.394s):
“Some of my problem today was with not enough top speed on the straights. Of course this is quite punishing at a track like Spa. The engineers will have a look at it. Otherwise we have done a very good job and made real progress from yesterday with the set-up and the car felt good under cornering. We should have a good car for tomorrow even if the start position is not great.”

Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (17th, 1m 47.581s):
“It's a shame not to make Q2 by just a few thousandths of a second. My best lap was okay. I lost the rear end a bit going down the back straight and that cost me quite a lot of time. We have improved the car since yesterday and I think we have made a step forward. Now we will have to look at the strategy to see what we can do. Of course the plan is to try and have a good race tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello, Honda (18th, 1m 47.954s):
“Since the beginning of the weekend we have been struggling with the aerodynamic balance of the car. We just don't have enough aerodynamic efficiency here. On my last run I requested more front wing and the car just gave me more understeer, so we need to understand the data. Obviously it will be a battle from 18th position but we will see what the race brings in order to try to improve.”

Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (19th, 1m 47.980s):
“The car had improved a bit this morning with the changes made over night and the team worked really hard with the data collected yesterday. I was happier with the balance today, but we knew it was going to be a tough session. It’s such a shame that we could not introduce more performance in qualifying. I just hope that tomorrow everything turns into a positive for us.”

Adrian Sutil, Spyker (20th, 1m 48.044s):
“Here with the B-spec we saw an improvement. We are quicker on the straights and the downforce is much better through the quicker corners. It was very close and in the end we dropped down the order a little bit, but the car was definitely good enough to take P18 or better. I just lost a little bit of time by locking a wheel in the last chicane that cost a few tenths but I can still be quite happy as it was the strongest performance yet in qualifying. We were really close to the field and hopefully tomorrow we will have even more chance of moving up the order.”

Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (21st, 1m 48.199s):
“It’s been a very difficult weekend here in Spa and it came to a head here in qualifying today. We went the wrong way with car balance in qualifying as a last resort, and it was worth a try. But it made it to hard to drive and grained the rear tyres quite a lot by the end of the lap, so there was no more that I could give. On this performance, we are seriously going to have to consider our race options for tomorrow.”

Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (22nd, 1m 49.577s):
“Generally my day was disappointing. This morning I had a brake problem and then I had to go out for my first run in qualifying with hard tyres to prepare the brakes. Then I came in and lost some time on the scales. We had planned to go out twice on the softer tyre but in fact we only had time to do one run. It was a difficult session but tomorrow I will do my best in the race and I know we can do better from our results in the Friday practices.”