Qualifying - selected driver quotes 01 Nov 2008
Williams Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima on missing out in Q1; Red Bulls David Coulthard on scoring a P14 grid slot for the final Grand Prix of his career; and Felipe Massa on clinching his third successive Brazilian pole in front of an ecstatic home crowd. All 20 drivers report back on the action
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st, Q3 - 1m 12.368s):
"It's fantastic to have taken a third consecutive pole on this track and it's an incredible emotion to see everyone celebrating in the grandstands. I got a great lap on my first run in Q3 and I could have even not bothered to finish the second one, but you never know what might happen: I was the first to take the chequered flag and I would have looked stupid if someone had improved on my time. Anyway, I know I can count on a good strategy for tomorrow. The car is working very well and now I'm in the best possible position for the start. I will try and win: that is my aim. I'm not thinking about the rest, because it doesn't just depend on me or even on the team. I feel calm: there is so much expectation around me, but all this attention gives me a very positive energy which I will try and exploit tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (2nd, Q3 - 1m 12.737s):
"Before coming here I knew this was one of those difficult, technical tracks where I could be strong and my car could be very competitive. So I have been preparing and waiting for this grand prix and now here I am. We have been competitive all weekend and I played my cards during qualifying, saving my tyres and getting ready for Q3. In the end I put in a really good lap. It's ironic because for the first time in my career I thought I might not make it on Friday because I was feeling really ill with flu. So after this result I have to thank the whole team for the job - the mechanics, the engineers and also to the doctor. I am really happy for everyone and this shows the progress we have made this season. Now we hope to finish on a high."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd, Q3 - 1m 12.825s):
"It wasn't a perfect qualifying but I am satisfied with my grid position, which puts me in a good position for the race. Starting from third is better than being second on this track. I am very confident for the race: we have a great car and the understeer that I suffered with today in Q3 should not be a problem tomorrow. We are well aware of what we have to do so that the team can reach its goals. We will try and get away in the lead and then run our race, as we did in 2007 and then we'll see where we are. Of course, we will need a bit of luck. The tyres are on the limit here in Interlagos and it will be important to manage them well: from this aspect we are in good shape."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (4th, Q3 - 1m 12.830s):
"Congratulations to Felipe for achieving pole position in front of his home crowd - he did a great job today. But, tomorrow, I will be focusing on my own race: it will be a tough afternoon but I'm comfortable with the fuel strategy we chose; the guys in front are probably on a different strategy. But we're in a good position to finish in the same place as we are today - and that's got to be our aim. We don't need to do anything spectacular."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (5th, Q3 - 1m 12.917s):
"I think we had a straightforward qualifying. My car felt good from the beginning of Q1 and the good balance and performance have been demonstrated by my overall fastest time in Q2. For sure, we'd rather be on the front row - however we'll have to see which strategy the competition in front of us will have in the race. We feel confident about our strategy and should have a solid baseline for a good race tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th, Q3 - 1m 12.967s):
"We thought that it would be very close and competitive this afternoon and we were not mistaken. We knew that it would be difficult to try and match the Ferraris and McLarens and so I think we have done our maximum this afternoon by qualifying in 6th place. I now hope that the strategy and the tyres work as expected so that we can have a strong race tomorrow.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (7th, Q3 - 1m 13.082s):
"Good to get both cars in Q3 for the final time this year. It was a fun session. I had a very strong lap in Q2. Then Q3 started very well and I got a good first run, but Im not too sure where I lost the time on my second run, because I lost a bit of feeling for the tyres.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (8th, Q3 - 1m 13.297s):
"Qualifying was okay for me. In Q3 I thought in the end I could have improved more than the three tenths of a second I managed from the harder to the softer compound, but I have to say it was a good lap and I just couldn't do any better. I really hope for a good race tomorrow."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (9th, Q3 - 1m 14.105s):
Naturally, you want to end the season on a high note and this result is super, to be in Q3 again for the sixth time this season. Things have been getting better over the past few races and this performance today confirms that. My lap was probably the best Q3 lap Ive done this year, so I am very happy. My first run in Q1 was a disaster and on the second one I caught a kerb, so I was really worried it was all over. Then in Q2 I just managed to do a good enough lap to make it into the top ten. Tomorrow, theres a strong chance of rain and I think our strategy is flexible enough to deal with that.
Timo Glock, Toyota (10th, Q3 - 1m 14.230s):
"We worked hard today to improve the set-up after the problems we had yesterday. In the end we found a decent balance this afternoon. During Q2 I found a good rhythm and the car felt quick. I made it under 1m 12s on my penultimate run but at the end of the session we went out again on a set of options. In hindsight we could have saved those tyres for Q3, which might have helped. The top ten is not bad but we could have achieved slightly more."
Nelson Piquet, Renault (11th, Q2 - 1m 12.137s):
Its clear that I would have liked to reach Q3 today. The car was working well, I was comfortable and I pushed hard, but that wasnt enough. The times are very close, just as we expect, but I must now concentrate on the race tomorrow where I will do everything to try and move forward and score some points.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (12th, Q2 - 1m 12.289s):
That was a disappointing day for us. We had a pretty good run yesterday, but we always knew it was going to be tight round here in terms of times and unfortunately we didnt have enough pace to get through to Q3. I did the best I could, but its simple - if youre not fast enough you dont go through.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (13th, Q2 - 1m 12.300s):
"This is obviously not the best position for tomorrow's race. This is the second weekend in a row that I have been struggling with the overall grip of the car. Starting from so far behind will make the race very difficult for me."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (14th, Q2 - 1m 12.717s):
Im not really happy with that as my last F1 qualifying session. We went reasonably well here last year and got into the top ten, so we came here thinking that might be possible again. But, in the end, we didnt manage to find enough grip in the middle sector. We are reasonably competitive in the first and last sectors, but in the middle were struggling, as the rear has been sliding, which loses us lap time, The tyres suffer a lot with graining here on the longer runs, we were hoping to keep it together for one lap and then do what we could in the race. Lets see what we can do from there tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (15th, Q2 - 1m 13.139s):
"I'm pleased that we were able to make it into the second qualifying session here in Interlagos today. We had a perfect lap on my second run in Q1 with the option tyres working really well. Unfortunately we couldn't get the same grip level in Q2 and were really struggling with understeer. Despite tweaking the pressures to try and improve, we weren't able to make any further progress. Without the understeer, I could have hoped for 14th or maybe even 13th but we were right on the limit of the car's performance."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (16th, Q1 - 1m 12.800s):
"It was a difficult qualifying session for the team. The balance of the car was there, but the track conditions were quite different to this morning as the temperature was quite a lot higher and that didnt help us. I was comfortable with my performance though based on the pace of the car and I didnt make any mistakes. We just need to find some more speed."
Jenson Button, Honda (17th, Q1 - 1m 12.810s):
"The car was a definite improvement from practice this morning as I had much more front grip. Unfortunately I made a mistake on my second lap in Turn Four, which cost me some time. We made some adjustments to the pressures to help the
front end grip before my final run and we were able to go quicker but not by enough. In any case, my car stopped out on track on my in-lap."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (18th, Q2 - 1m 13.002s):
"On the option tyre, my car was really tough to drive. I just generally lacked grip on the rear. This was possibly because I couldnt warm the tyres up properly due to traffic on my out lap. It could also have been caused by a compromise we made to the set-up before the session in order to help with our race performance."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (19th, Q1 - 1m 13.426s):
The balance felt pretty similar to this morning, but I had front locking and some oversteer through the second sector, which affected the lap time. My second run was a little better, but we struggled in particular through turns eight and ten. Perhaps I could have improved by a couple of tenths, but it would not have made a great difference, maybe one position. We'll look to the strategy to improve tomorrow and try to be flexible to be ready for whatever comes.
Adrian Sutil, Force India (20th, Q1 - 1m 13.508s):
I did three runs and even though each lap was quicker, I'm a little disappointed as my sector times were quite good and I thought we could have done a 13.2 lap time, a couple of tenths quicker. It would not have made a difference to our position, but at least we could have been closer to the other cars in time. It's not been the best qualifying for us!