Qualifying - selected driver quotes 19 Jul 2008
McLarens Lewis Hamilton on his third pole position of the season; Jarno Trulli on putting Toyota on row two; and Sebastian Vettel on beating the man he will replace at Red Bull, David Coulthard. All 20 drivers give their qualifying verdicts
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 15.666s):
"What a lap! My first run during Q3 wasnt bad, but my final lap was very smooth and I expected to set an even better time. The wind made today's conditions quite tricky and sometimes it was difficult to stay on the racing line, particularly in the stadium section - where the wind seemed to change a couple of times. The team did a really good job to adjust to these conditions and to prepare the car perfectly. Weve been fast and consistent all weekend, we have good pace, and Im confident for tomorrow."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (2nd, 1m 15.859):
"I am pleased with this result. Of course you'd always prefer to be on pole position, but all weekend long we have been trading fastest times during the sessions and, in the end, our main rivals managed to find a little extra, even if the fuel load is an unknown quantity. It will be a very difficult race: our aim is still to win, but it will be important anyway to pick up many points. We must try to get a good start and make the most of what we have."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (3rd, 1m 16.143s):
"In the final session my car felt the best it has all weekend. But on my first run I lost the rear-end entering the stadium section and ran wide. And on my final run I did a little bit of rally-crossing at the last corner. Taking that into account, it was a good lap."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (4th, 1m 16.191s):
"It was a very good performance so I am really happy. The car handled very well and we made many small changes through the session to get closer and closer to the perfect balance. At the very end of Q3 I put in a very strong lap to give me fourth position, which was very satisfying. I am particularly happy for the team because they are working hard at the track and at the factory so it is a pleasure for me to show such a good performance. We have a good chance tomorrow now, even if it will be difficult to battle with Ferrari and McLaren. We will do our best and we know we are competitive so I am confident we can have a good result again. Clearly the goal is to score plenty of points and fight for the best possible finish."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (5th, 1m 16.385):
"Our performance today is a nice surprise because we still had some doubts this morning and the first two parts of qualifying were not easy, and the field was very closely matched, as Nelson (Piquet) found out. The track conditions were slightly different to this morning and there was a bit more wind. We must now aim to maintain this pace in the race, which has been our weak point so far, and, if we can do that, we can hope to have a great result in the race tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (6th, 1m 16.389s):
"All weekend long, we have been struggling a bit to find a good set-up for the car. At the end of yesterday, it seemed we were on the right road and this morning we tried to improve still further down this path, but it was not the right one. Then, in qualifying, we went reasonably well with low fuel, but in the final session, the car was not as good. Clearly sixth place is not satisfying and tomorrow we won't be in for an easy time, but it's definitely not the end of the world. It will be a long race tomorrow and that's when the points are allocated. For our part, we will do all we can to get a good finish position."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (7th, 1m 16.521s):
"The qualifying had some ups and downs. In Q1 one of the Force India cars blocked me on my quick lap. As a result, I only finished the session on position 14 and nearly did not make it to Q2. I was satisfied with Q2 but due to the additional fuel load in Q3 I faced some problems with the balance of the car. Let's hope that good luck returns for tomorrow's race."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (8th, 1m 17.014s):
Weve got a bit of work to do tomorrow I think. This has been one of the harder circuits for us, in terms of getting the car balance set up correctly. It normally comes together a little easier than it has done this weekend. But, we will defend our position tomorrow, although Q2 showed how tight it now is between the cars.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (9th, 1m 17.244s):
I had a very good qualifying and the whole weekend so far has been good too, although its been difficult to find the right balance mainly because of the tricky wind conditions. Q2 was quite tight and I was pleased to make it through to Q3 with my final lap. The fact I know this track so well is helping me a bit, because the characteristics of this circuit are not the most suited to our package. It was nice to see the fans cheering on my out lap and it was only later I realised I was the only German through to Q3. We have a great grid position so now we must see what we can do tomorrow.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (10th, 1m 17.503s):
I didnt manage to hook it up properly with fuel on board in Q3. I had oversteer on the prime tyres going through Turn one and then understeer on the option, so I ran off the circuit. It was a pretty messy lap and we should have been a little bit higher. However, as the fuel burns off tomorrow, we should pick up the pace.
Timo Glock, Toyota (11th, 1m 15.508s):
"Up until the last lap it was not a bad qualifying because we easily made it through Q1 and we were looking pretty strong in Q2, with a good chance of getting into the top 10. But we couldn't improve on the last run when it was really important. I don't know how many times I have just missed out on Q3 by the tiniest of margins and it has happened again. It is extremely disappointing but of course I will fight as hard as possible in the race and we'll see what is possible."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (12th, 1m 15.581s):
"Of course position twelve is disappointing, especially since things were running well up to Q2. On my first run in Q2 I had some trouble in the last sector. It was then that the tyres started graining causing understeering. On my second run I messed it up on my own. I was a little late on the brakes before the hairpin, after the parabolika, the rear wheels locked massively and that was it. Now I will go fight for points in the race, that's the minimum target. As we are out of the top ten we can freely choose the fuel load for the start. We will work on a good strategy. Also overtaking is not impossible in Hockenheim."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (13th, 1m 15.633s):
It was all pretty close today and we had a good chance to make it into the top ten but it just didnt play out that way in the end. Nevertheless, I am still quite happy with the improvements in our car and we have taken a step forward. Out on track today it was a bit difficult, especially during my last runs because we had changeable conditions, with the wind intensity and direction constantly variable, which seemed to affect the car. Lets hope that tomorrow we can have a good race and score some points, which from P13 is a real possibility.
Jenson Button, Honda (14th, 1m 15.701s):
"Realistically we got the best out of the car today, although it is frustrating that we were not quite able to put a complete lap together. On my first run in Q2, the tyres were graining during the last sector, so we tried to look after them on my second run. Unfortunately that meant that they did not work fully in the first sector, putting me two-tenths down on my best lap time halfway round the lap. Once the tyres started working well in the middle sector I was able to gain all of the time back and improve my lap time. So it's a little bit disappointing. However we improved all the way through qualifying today and have generally been working well over the weekend. It's a nice feeling as I haven't felt totally confident with the car for the last couple of races."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (15th, 1m 15.858s):
On my last run, I tried to push harder, knowing I was chasing four tenths of a second to get into Q3 and I wanted to get the most out of the car. Unfortunately, I locked up the right front for no apparent reason. But given where we were yesterday, when I was in the garage for much of the day, only managing twelve laps and not being able to evaluate a qualifying set-up, its not too bad. Generally, there is quite a bit of overtaking at this race and it can get pretty hot on the opening laps so I hope I can make the most of any opportunities that come my way.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (16th, 1m 16.083s):
Unfortunately today I dont think I managed to get everything out of the car in the last lap, especially in sector three where I realised I was being too conservative. Because it was so tight at the end of Q1 today, it cost me quite badly, but with every lap, the feeling I have with the car is improving, so hopefully I will have a better race.
Nelson Piquet, Renault (17th, 1m 16.189s):
"After a very promising practice session this morning, I am of course disappointed not to have passed through the first stage of qualifying. During my lap, Vettel was in front of me, which unsettled me a little, although the FIA felt that he did not impede me."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (18th, 1m 16.246s):
"The last time that I started 18th on the grid at Hockenheim I won the race in 2000, so you never know what might happen tomorrow! Realistically the car was just not quick enough in a very competitive midfield today. We were losing a couple of tenths in the first sector but it was the long middle sector that really cost us time. We are having to run a compromised downforce set-up because of the straights and that then impacts the third sector through the stadium complex, so it is difficult to hook up a consistently good lap time. We are so close to the limit of the car's performance that if you don't quite get it right, you can lose a lot of places, and that's what happened today. I'm not sure that it is going to rain tomorrow but that's what we need to have a good race."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (19th, 1m 16.657s):
I'm a bit disappointed to be honest with this qualifying as I think we could have done a bit better. My second run was looking good, the car felt well balanced and I was comfortable, but then I ran a little bit wide on the last corner going into the straight and lost a couple of tenths. My last run was not so good as the balance had changed a little, but I did improve a bit, just not enough. It's a shame, but as we look better in race conditions we will see for tomorrow.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (20th, 1m 16.963s):
We did three runs today, and on my fastest lap I hit some traffic in the last sector and couldn't record the time I think we could have done round here, so I'm quite disappointed. Of course we don't know what's going to happen in the race tomorrow, there are some overtaking possibilities at this track so we can try and make up some places like this.