Qualifying - selected driver quotes 02 Aug 2008
BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld on failing to make it past Q1; Jenson Button on getting the most out of the Honda; and Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen on scoring an all-McLaren front row. All 20 drivers give their qualifying verdicts
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 20.899s):
"The team has done a fantastic job of continually improving the car over the past few weeks, so Im really proud of what weve achieved today. Its great to have locked out the front row with Heikki - weve been threatening to do it for a number of races, so to achieve it at a track where its tricky to pass is really satisfying. Theres a great harmony within the team at the moment and we really deserved this. I couldnt ask to be in a better position, weve both got good strategies for tomorrow and well be challenging for the win."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (2nd, 1m 21.140s):
"It was difficult to choose the right tyre for the final session and I felt I could have done a slightly faster lap in Q3, but I was a little cautious in Turn Two. Still, weve found a great direction with the car and Ive got a great opportunity to win the race tomorrow. Its fantastic to be starting on the front row alongside Lewis. I hope that starting on. the dirty side of the track wont be a disadvantage and I fully expect us to look out for each other in the first corner tomorrow. This result really repays the team for all its efforts over the past few months."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (3rd, 1m 21.191s):
"It's a shame I didn't manage to get the best out of the car in Q3, mainly because of traffic, especially on my second run. In the first two parts of qualifying the car felt good, as can be seen from my times, but then I never managed to prepare the tyres in the best way. Clearly, overtaking isn't easy but we have a good pace and I will try and exploit that in fighting with the two drivers ahead of me on the grid."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (4th, 1m 21.281s):
I am really happy with the result. This was certainly one of my best qualifying sessions so far this season. I was not expecting to start from fourth as the car has been quite difficult to drive over the entire weekend. We struggled a bit with the balance, but in the end I was able to make the harder tyre compound work very well and here we are. I am now looking forward to the race.
Timo Glock, Toyota (5th, 1m 21.326s):
"That was a very good qualifying session for me and I'm obviously delighted. We made a good start in first practice yesterday. The team did a good job overnight and we made the right choice over set-up. It wasn't easy today because we had a very tight choice over tyres so we had to make a close decision for every lap. But in the end my engineers stayed cool and got it right. In Q2 the car felt perfect. Then on the very last lap it was a bit trickier again because the tyres didn't behave quite as well, but I'm happy with P5. We are in a great situation for tomorrow. It's good for all of us and after Hockenheim this is the perfect answer for the faith I have in the whole team."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (6th, 1m 21.516s):
"I made a mistake on my final flying lap which cost me precious time, and that followed on from not having got a great lap on my previous attempt, which explains why I'm sixth. Of course I am not happy and, starting from the third row, my race will be an uphill struggle. I will try and make the most of this situation, given that the car today was not that bad. We are going through a bit of a difficult time but we mustn't give up: all we need to do is put together all the pieces of the jigsaw and then the results will come to us again."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (7th, 1m 21.698s):
We knew that the qualifying session would be very close and that proved to be the case. The first part was very competitive, but we managed to reach Q3 with both cars, which is positive. But I think the race tomorrow will be difficult, thats for sure. I will try and do my best to be on the pace and hopefully score some points.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (8th, 1m 21.732s):
That was a pretty good qualifying session, quite straightforward. It would have been nice to have had a bit more pace in Q3, but Q2 and Q1 went well for us. Im disappointed Im on the wrong side of the grid, an odd number is always better, but we definitely have a chance to get something from where we are, so well see how we go tomorrow.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, 1m 21.767s):
"I'm glad to be in the top ten but that was a difficult qualifying session and P9 is disappointing. Since this morning I have struggled for grip and balance and unfortunately we weren't able to find the answers in time. I had the same problems in qualifying so we will have to investigate that tonight. I'm happy for Timo, who has done a good job this weekend and it is clearly important for us to score as many points as possible for the constructors' championship. Overtaking is very difficult here but tomorrow is a very long race and we will see what we can achieve."
Nelson Piquet, Renault (10th, 1m 21.371s):
"The session was very competitive and more difficult than I though it would be. In the end I managed to reach Q3 and I am happy about that. It means we can approach the race sensibly tomorrow and I hope we can make the most of this grid position to score some points.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (11th, 1m 20.144s):
A shame to miss out on Q3 by one hundredth, but we expected it to be tight. We can be happy though, especially given I only managed nine laps yesterday. It means we did a good job today. Now we can do what we like in terms of fuel load for the race and hopefully find a good strategy. Ive yet to do a long run this weekend but I think we can find a good compromise between qualifying and race pace and we have a good set-up on the car.
Jenson Button, Honda (12th, 1m 20.332s):
"I'm happy to have qualified in P12 today after a good lap on the final run in Q2 pushed me a few places up the grid. We've definitely made some progress with the new developments to the car and in particular the new rear suspension is working well and this has enabled us to improve the car step by step over the weekend. I got the most out of the car today and it's encouraging to see we were only three-tenths away from the top ten as it has been a while since we were that close. I'm on the dirty side of the grid, which is a disadvantage, but I am sure we can have a good race tomorrow from here nonetheless."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, 1m 20.502s):
I was losing a little bit of time in each of the sectors and I couldnt deliver that last little bit of lap time because I was bringing the mid-corner speed too low. Its tough from thirteenth for sure, but the Hungarian race can be unpredictable, so lets see.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (14th, 1m 20.963s):
I struggled with the Option tyre as it gave me no grip and I was sliding around more and had no feel for the car. I was very happy in a well balanced car earlier on but after that Im not really sure what happened. I am disappointed, because even if Q3 would have been hard to reach, I could not match my Q1 time in Q2.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (15th, 1m 15.633s):
"We had a difficult start to this weekend, but weve improved throughout the sessions and learnt a lot of things along the way. We therefore werent looking too bad for qualifying. I made a mistake on my fast lap in Q1 and lost two and a half tenths in one corner, so my Q1 time did not show the true potential of our car. We then had a good chance of making it into Q3, but a hydraulic problem meant I couldnt go out at all in Q2 which was disappointing. Its pretty interesting here tyre-wise as both are very soft on this track, but the harder ones were better for me today."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (16th, 1m 21.045s):
Im totally disappointed. It looked quite good at the end of yesterdays practice and also this morning. But on my last lap in Q1 I had four cars in my way. Most of them at least tried to give me room, but it still cost me time. Towards the end of the lap I had one car in front which was on an out lap. He saw me and accelerated. He then overtook Sebastien Bourdais before the last corner, and then Sebastien was right in my way. I was hoping it was so obvious he would be penalised right away and I could still get into Q2.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (17th, 1m 21.085s):
"It was a difficult qualifying for me. Aside from plenty of traffic, I didnt really manage to find the right balance on my last set of option tyres. Both factors compromised my run. We now need to go through the data and work out whats happening in order to get the most out of the car for tomorrow."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (18th, 1m 21.332s):
"Choosing which tyre to run was a really tough decision today and it was a difficult qualifying session. I felt the supersoft option tyre was working slightly better with the car so I stayed with that for my final run. After a good first sector, I went in too quick for turn 11 and made a mistake which ruined my lap. With that went the chance to progress to Q2 and the time from my previous run puts me in 18th place on the grid. The lap was going quite well but a mistake at turn 11 meant that I had to abort the lap. I have to settle for 18th place today and turn my focus now to the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (19th, 1m 21.670s):
"Conditions today were tough but actually that was the maximum we could do. The target was to do a 1 min 21.7 or 21.8 and we did a 21.6 so that was the most we could get out of the car. The balance was not too bad, but unfortunately the grip level is still very poor. I think we're not particularly quick round here and we have to accept that, but we are still quite close we are to the others."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (20th, 1m 22.113s):
"It was a hot, tough qualifying and I am not 100 percent happy with the session. The tyres did not behave as we expected and I had lots of graining, which meant we couldn't get a good balance out of the car. I decided to run the harder set of tyres in the end for my fastest lap, but at least I didn't get the effects of the graining with them. Overall I'm not that happy, but let's see what happens tomorrow."