Qualifying - selected driver quotes 10 May 2008
Ferraris Felipe Massa on scoring his third successive pole position at Istanbul Park; McLarens Lewis Hamilton on opting for the harder tyre for his final Q3 run; and Williams Kazuki Nakajima and Renaults Nelson Piquet on failing to make it through to the second stage of qualifying. All 20 drivers report back on the action
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st, Q3 - 1m 27.617s):
"I am very happy to have taken a third consecutive pole at this circuit: it is really motivating and it would be fantastic to do the same again tomorrow in the race. Driving this track is nice and fun, with Turn 8 being exceptional, although there are others that are also very tough. Today, the car was great and I got the most out of it. Tomorrow I will have to watch out for all those who are around me on the grid. It will be important to work out the best way to manage the tyres in the light of how the track will evolve and how the temperature changes. In Q2, I had a bit of traffic, but in Q3 I was able to do two completely trouble free laps."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (2nd, Q3 - 1m 27.808s):
"The two weeks following my accident in Spain have been a little bit like a rollercoaster ride and I am really happy to start from the front row here in Istanbul. I have felt comfortable in the car since my first lap yesterday, and everything has been running smoothly.In my second run in the third part of qualifying I attacked as much as possible, and the lap was absolutely clean which was great. The tyre choice this weekend has been extremely tricky. I am starting from the dirty side of the circuit but don't think this will be a problem, and we have a good basis for tomorrow's race."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (3rd, Q3 - 1m 27.923s):
"I am not completely satisfied with third place today, as I think I could have gone a bit faster and also didn't make the right tyre choice as I was on the harder Bridgestone tyre for my final run. I did a great lap in Q1 and felt the car worked better there than in Q2 which was why I made the tyre decision I did. My final lap wasn't that great either, so all in all I am a bit disappointed. However looking forward we have a very good technical package and will push hard tomorrow to fight for a good result. I think we are close to Ferrari, but it will be a tough race. As this circuit provides some overtaking opportunities it should be a good one for the spectators and the fans as well."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (4th, Q3 - 1m 27.936s):
"Obviously, I would have preferred to have been further up the grid, but this position is definitely not the end of the world. What matters is the race when the points are given out. We are up against very strong opposition, which is no surprise to us. Of course, there's a question mark over fuel loads and we won't get an answer to that until the first pit stops tomorrow afternoon. I am a bit disappointed but I made mistakes on my second lap in Q3 and I have to accept that: I didn't go into the final corner before the pit straight quite right and lost a lot of speed. We can count on a car that is good over a distance and we will try and make the most of it, trying to get as many points as possible. Winning is never easy, but I'll give it a go!"
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (5th, Q3 - 1m 28.390s):
"I am quite happy with my qualifying result and hope for a good race. We were expecting a little bit more after finishing P2 in the second qualifying session, but after refuelling the balance of the car was not good in a few corners and it became difficult to drive. With the high fuel load we picked up a lot of understeer. We shall now analyse the data and try to understand why."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (6th, Q3 - 1m 28.417s):
"It's good to get P6 today, after letting the team down yesterday with a bit of a shunt. The only downside of today's result is that we're on the left-hand side of the grid, but, apart from that, it went very well. We're in reasonable shape to get some good points tomorrow, we'll just have to keep our nose clean and have good clean pit stops. It's going to be an interesting race, the team has done a great job today - to get both cars into Q3 was a good effort."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (7th, Q3 - 1m 28.422s):
Today we made it easily into Q3 and so I will start the race in seventh place, which is more or less where we expected to be, although I think that we could have done a little better. For tomorrow, the start of the race will be vital, but I think that we should be able to fight for some points. Its important not to forget were we were just two races ago. We are moving forward, that is for certain.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (8th, Q3 - 1m 28.836s):
It was good to make it into the top ten again and to be on the fourth row is better than I expected. But I am not really satisfied. I just couldn't get the set-up right so I had some trouble with understeer and oversteer. That meant the car was difficult to drive and I could not repeat the same lap times that I did at the beginning of the session. Maybe there was something strange happening with the wind on the track but that's the same for everyone. We're in a very tight group of teams so we will have to push hard for a result in the race.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (9th, Q3 - 1m 28.882s):
"Of course I'm not happy with P9, but I can also see something positive in today's qualifying - it went much better than practice did. The sun came out and this helped me to heat up the tyres. My very last lap was actually really good until the final sector when I made a mistake which cost me about three tenths of a second. I think I can move up the field in the race."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (10th, Q2 - 1m 29.959s):
"I'm happy to be through to the top ten after problems at the last two grands prix. We used all our option tyres to get there though, two sets in Q1 and two sets in Q2, as I didn't want to take any risks. As a result, we only had primes left at the end. We only did one run in Q3 as we wanted to save fuel, so the car was very heavy."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (11th, Q2 - 1m 27.012s):
"It didnt go the way we expected it to today. I thought we could get into the top ten but it wasnt possible as there were a couple of things on the car I was not completely happy with. However, 11th is a good starting position and we are normally good off the line, which gives me confidence going into the first corner. On top of that, I can now choose what strategy I want to run, which gives us the opportunity to pull it back in the race and do well."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (12th, Q2 - 1m 27.219s):
"It was a good effort from everyone today however unfortunately we are not as fast as we thought we might be here in Turkey. It is a balance problem, rather than the tyres or grip levels, and I believe we achieved the best that we could today. I could not get the car to perform well over the whole lap. The first and second sector were good, but the third sector was not working for us. Realistically this is where the car is at the moment. We need another step to make us a regular qualifier into Q3."
Jenson Button, Honda (13th, Q2 - 1m 27.298s):
"I have to be reasonably pleased with 13th as we were struggling to get the tyres working in qualifying today. Q1 was not too bad and we completed both runs on the prime tyre. We switched to the option for my first run in Q2 as everyone seemed to be going quicker on that tyre but for some reason the option didn't work for me and I had no grip. So we went back to the prime which should be about three-tenths slower around here so 13th is not too bad. It's annoying that we can't get the option to work but our prime tyre pace is very good, particularly over longer runs."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (14th, Q2 - 1m 27.412s):
The track was changing a lot, the earlier rain did not help, but I am happy because at the last two races I struggled a lot to find the balance and now we are slowly
getting there and I feel we have made a step forward. Its nice to give our old car a good grid position for its final appearance. In Q2, it was very close with the Hondas and unfortunately we did not progress as the track conditions improved. Overall, we can be happy with today and now Im looking forward to getting through 58 laps tomorrow.
Timo Glock, Toyota (15th, Q2 - 1m 27.806s):
That's a disappointing result because I have been happy with the handling of the car this weekend and I was able to push this afternoon. In Q2 we had a good qualifying lap until turn nine. I braked in and suddenly I felt a problem with the front right wheel. I couldn't finish the lap and I had to give up and bring the car back. It's a shame because it was a good lap and I think it would easily have been good enough to make the top ten. Instead this result clearly means we have a difficult race ahead.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (16th, Q3 - 1m 27.547s):
"It was a tough qualifying session for me, and a shame to miss Q2 by just one position. The balance on the car was ok, but we couldnt quite pull everything together this afternoon. I also struggled getting enough grip out there. Well now work hard to try to find some improvements before tomorrows race."
Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault (17th, Q3 - 1m 27.568s):
I am extremely disappointed today after my performance in qualifying. I finished in 17th while my team mate progressed comfortably into Q3. So its not going to be an easy race tomorrow, but I will give my maximum to try and recover. I will work hard with my engineers this evening so that we can try and improve for tomorrow and for the races to come. After that it will be down to me to do what I can on the track during the race.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (18th, Q3 - 1m 27.621s):
Bad traffic, basically the Force India guys, ruined my afternoon: on my first run I was held up by Sutil as early as Turn 3 and on the second, I came up behind Fisichella in Turn 8. That meant we werent too sure about the handling of the car and I asked for an adjustment to be made for the last run which turned out not the right thing to do. Its annoying because I came within two-tenths of Q2. Everyone seems to behave quite well in qualifying, but I dont know what those guys were doing on their 'out' laps. It was a bit surprising. Starting 18th, our expectations are limited, but I will give it my best shot as usual and try and make the most of any unusual circumstances that might occur.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (19th, Q3 - 1m 27.807s):
I did a clean lap and the team did a good job with the car. The balance is not bad, but we just need more grip and more downforce to move forward with the grid position. I am looking forward to a better race tomorrow.
Adrian Sutil, Force India (20th, Q3 - 1m 28.325s):
Actually I had quite a good qualifying and we made a big improvement from practice. My car in the free practice had a few problems with the balance so we did a few changes between the sessions and it was better for the afternoon. On the last set of tyres I couldn't improve my time and didn't get the grip I expected and locked up into Turn 12, but it was not so bad overall. From a performance perspective, to better to the practice pace and to get close to the rest of the field is positive.