Qualifying - selected driver quotes 05 Apr 2008
BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on scoring his - and his teams - maiden pole position; Hondas Jenson Button on his return to Q3; and Super Aguris Takuma Sato on his mistake that prompted red flags at Sakhir. All 22 drivers report back on Saturdays action
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (1st, Q3 - 1m 33.096s):
"I am very happy. I missed the chance to take pole position in Australia, but this time it worked out well. My first run in Q3 was quite good, but I made a small mistake in the first corner. The second run was better, although I again made a small mistake in corner nine. We knew before the season that the car was good due to the results of the computer simulation and the wind tunnel work. Finally it has paid off that we never gave up working hard. I want to thank the entire team who have worked so hard over the last months. We will now study the data and prepare for tomorrow. A long race lies ahead of us."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (2nd, Q3 - 1m 33.123s):
"All things considered, I am still confident after this qualifying. We know we can count on a really good car, as we have seen so far here in Sakhir. In Q3, I always had a bit of traffic, but these things happen. We must remain concentrated and do the best job we can, making the most of all our resources. Congratulations to Robert, who really drove very well."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (3rd, Q3 - 1m 33.292s):
My fastest lap in qualifying was okay, but not perfect. The balance of the car was good, and I think a better time and a position on the front row would have been possible, but the times were very close. Yesterdays accident was no problem for me, at Turn Five where it happened, I was faster today than Friday. It was just a matter of going for it. I know the guys worked until early this morning preparing the car after yesterdays accident, so a big thank you to them. I will now analyse the data together with my engineers and look forward to an interesting race tomorrow. We have a good strategy, and I am confident.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (4th, Q3 - 1m 33.418s):
"I'm not very happy with the way today went, but fourth place is still a good starting position for the race, given the potential we have. The balance of the car was not perfect right from this morning and I struggled a bit to be as quick as I would have liked to be and could have been. Now we have to look at the data to try and find out why. I think that tomorrow in the race, when points are up for grabs, I will be very strong. I think we might have made different choices in terms of strategy, but let's wait and see in the race if that's really the case."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (5th, Q3 - 1m 33.488s):
The car felt good, especially on the softer tyre, but the lap time was not quick enough to get higher up the grid. There was little more wind than yesterday, but I dont think that had any influence. All the times are extremely close. I am positive for tomorrows race and believe we can improve some positions. We are close to the top guys and anything can happen tomorrow. I am confident that we have a good strategy, and the most important thing is to keep scoring the points as we have been doing in the first two races.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th, Q3 - 1m 33.737s):
"First of all I want to congratulate Robert. The first pole position for our team is a great success, and it is fantastic we have a car that enabled us to achieve this. In view of this, of course, I can't be satisfied with sixth. But after I had a lot of difficulties in the practice sessions getting the most out of the tyres and the grip for a single lap, it could have been a lot worse today. Since Friday we have changed the balance of the car and it is much better now. Anyway, on the long runs it was okay right from the beginning therefore I have no reason to hang my head down before the race."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (7th, Q3 - 1m 33.994s):
We are exactly where we wanted to be. Seventh is the best we could achieve in these conditions because we know that Ferrari, McLaren and BMW are still a little bit quicker. So I'm happy, particularly because we again easily made it into the top 10. Before Q3 our fuel rig had an electrical problem so we had to change the rig but it worked out in the end. The car seems well balanced and I am comfortable but obviously we all want a little bit more. We are catching up and we are getting closer to the front. Even if the race is tough with these windy conditions, I'm confident that I will be stronger in the race than in qualifying so we can definitely get points.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (8th, Q3 - 1m 34.015s):
"I am happy because we are back where we expected to be at the moment, which is behind the top three teams, so eighth position is more or less the best we can do. It would have been nice to be ahead of Jarno Trulli, but he was a little bit quicker than me overall. We have a good race car, possibly stronger than our qualifying car, so I think we are in a good position for the race and strategy is also on target. Its definitely all going in the right direction."
Jenson Button, Honda (9th, Q3 - 1m 35.057s):
"I'm very pleased with our qualifying session today. To make it through to Q3 and be lining up on the clean side of the grid tomorrow in P9 is very satisfying for myself and the team. After struggling a little this morning, we were able to resolve the issues before qualifying and the car felt good this afternoon. We can have a strong race from here so I'm excited about the prospects for tomorrow. We haven't made any significant changes to the car since the first two races so really we are just working hard to optimise the current package. The car is still quite new to us as we only had the new aero package just before the first race of the season, so I'm happy with how this season is progressing. We're moving forward with each race and I'm confident that this will also be the case in Barcelona when our next upgrades arrive."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (10th, Q3 - 1m 35.115s):
I am satisfied to have reached Q3 because I had some doubts that we would this morning. But we made several changes before qualifying and we felt they were an improvement after Q1, and that gave us the confidence to be more aggressive in Q2. Once we had qualified for Q3, we knew that it would be difficult to match the pace of the leading cars because we had already been pushing to the limit, so we took the decision to prepare for the race tomorrow. We will now see if we can get some points this weekend.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (11th, Q2 - 1m 32.371s):
Qualifying went smoothly today, in the first session we elected to do the first lap on the hard tyre and we used two sets of options in Q2. We knew it was going to be very tight to get into Q3, which turned out to be the case. It was very tough against Fernando (Alonso) and Jenson (Button) today; we weren't quick enough to go through.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (12th, Q2 - 1m 32.508s):
"I'm quite happy with qualifying today, particularly as we made a lot of improvements to the car since yesterday, so it was a very good job from our engineers overnight. Unfortunately we had a gearbox issue which interfered with my lap during Q2. Without that, I am confident that we could have had a place in the top ten. I enjoy this track and if the car is performing well again tomorrow, then I believe that we can be challenging for points here. A small mistake around this track can cost you a lot of time so the key is to keep focused and have confidence in your braking. If we can achieve this, then I'm expecting a good race."
Timo Glock, Toyota (13th, Q2 - 1m 32.528s):
It was a bit difficult today, especially with the last set of tyres in Q2. On the first run I had confidence in the car and I knew that I could go quicker. But on the out lap for the last run I could feel that it wasn't working the same way. The wind also made it more difficult and the lap was not perfect so I couldn't improve my time. That took me out of the top ten so it just didn't happen this time. I'm disappointed because the last two Saturdays have been good for us and this makes it more difficult at the first corner tomorrow. Still, we will push hard to gain ground during the race.
Nelson Piquet, Renault (14th, Q2 - 1m 32.790s):
I am a bit disappointed because I had hoped to reach the final qualifying session today, even though I knew that it was going to be difficult. I did not do a perfect lap on my final run in Q2, but I hope that I will be able to reverse this tomorrow and that I can fight through the field. The race will be very competitive and we will have to fight hard, but I am determined to attack and to continue learning.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (15th, Q2 - 1m 32.915s):
"My first time in Q2. We came close before and now we have made it. The cars we are racing against are in similar positions, so we could not really expect much more. I had hoped to be a contender for twelfth if we'd had a perfect qualifying but clearly the gap is too big. I think we did the best with what we had and the team worked well, worked really hard. We can take satisfaction from that, keep on working and wait for the new car. In race trim yesterday, the car was quite good over two long runs and its pace was fairly consistent. If we get to the finish and others have problems, maybe we can aim to be in the points."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (16th, Q2 - 1m 32.943s):
"It was not a great qualifying session for me today. I made it into Q2 which was okay, but I wasnt able to get the most out of the car or the tyres, which cost me quite a lot. Here at least it is a circuit where overtaking is possible, which will be important tomorrow considering from where I am starting the race."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (17th, Q1 - 1m 33.433s):
I never felt comfortable with the balance of the car today and on this track you've got to attack on the entries. I had two bad runs in Q1, on the prime tyre and the option. The option lap was good enough to get through to Q2, until the last two turns when I had oversteer on the entry to Turn 13. I moved the brake balance forward to try and push in the last corner, but I had the same situation and dropped a couple of tenths. That was enough to stop me getting through. Tomorrows another day and each day the set up of the car changes on the track, but weve had a lot of oversteer on this circuit all weekend, so well see.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (18th, Q1 - 1m 33.501s):
"Malaysia was five hundredths away, here it was close again so it is really disappointing as we are almost there. We had a problem with the front brakes and especially with the front locking on both laps so it is a bit disappointing. It is important to be close and try to move up in the race."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (19th, Q1 - 1m 33.562s):
"I am disappointed not to have got further than Q1. It has been difficult all weekend and yesterday we struggled to set up the car and we still haven't found the right set up. That made qualifying difficult as you need everything to be right on the car to produce one quick flying lap.We were not strong enough. Of course, it is partly down to me as I drive the car! Struggling with the set-up, I felt it was more a case of the car driving me than me driving the car."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (20th, Q1 - 1m 33.845s):
"The circumstances were quite difficult today and we just had four minutes left when the session restarted after the red flag so everybody went out to do a fast lap. It was very difficult to judge the traffic on the out lap and to find the space, but overall it was quite good. I feel better in the car than in the last races so we have made an improvement, but the field is very close and it is very hard to reach the top 16. We are close, but not quite there at the moment, but we will for sure improve for the next races."
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (21st, Q1 - 1m 34.140s):
A good days qualifying. I was happy with the balance of the car and I have always enjoyed the track here. Today it was good to us; we chased the car ahead closely right up until the end and there was only a few of tenths between me and Sutil. I really think that we have seen the limit of the car today, so we should all be pretty pleased.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (22nd, Q1 - 1m 35.725s):
We made good progress as a result of the overnight changes and the car came together during Free Practice this morning and I was happy with the balance. During qualifying my first run was a little bit slippery, but reasonable. I was much happier during my second run with the grip and I had a good feeling until the very last corner. Then I was touching on the outside kerb and the car ran wide and snapped quickly away from me. It is very disappointing that I could not complete qualifying, but hopefully we will show strong pace for the race tomorrow.