Turkish GP - Saturday quotes
Qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix saw Sebastian Vettel claim the pole position for the Red Bull Renault team ahead of the dominant Brawn Mercedes duo of Jenson Button
and Rubens Barrichello
. Behind there were a few surprises such as McLaren
struggling more than expected and BMW Sauber picking up the pace with the new aero package. Here's what the racers had to say.
1 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5
“We have a good car here and a good chance for the race. I expected to face more difficulties in qualifying today, I mean it wasn’t easy, but we made it to pole. We now have the best position to start from and it’s definitely an advantage to be on the clean side of the track in terms of grip level. This is just the half-way point though, the main task comes tomorrow. It’s a long race here, very tough and very hot so it won’t be easy for the cars or the drivers – but it should be exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”
2 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"With the changes to the set-up that we made overnight, the car felt much better today and we were really able to get to grips with improving the pace. It's great to be starting on the front row, although of course I would prefer to be on pole, but Sebastian did a great job. It was quite difficult to choose between the tyres today as their performance was quite similar. The prime was a little too twitchy for my liking so I continued to run the option tyre for Q3 which had a more gradual and rolling feel. It should be a good race tomorrow as I really enjoy this circuit and you can overtake here so there will hopefully be some good battles out on the track. We will be trying very hard to change the statistic that everyone who has started from pole here has won the race!"
3 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"The team has done a great job since the practice sessions yesterday to make improvements and the car felt immediately better this morning. Qualifying went really well although I did have a worrying moment in Q2 when traffic affected my second run and the times were so close between the top eleven drivers. The main question in qualifying today was trying to understand which tyre performed better. I had a better feeling through the high-speed corners with the prime tyre and it was the best choice for me so I went for just the one run on the primes in Q3. I lost my first two flying laps to traffic but the third lap was really good. I have the advantage of starting from the clean side tomorrow so will be aiming for a good start and take it from there."
4 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5
“That was a good qualifying session for us, I’m happy with how Q3 went and it’s put us in a reasonable position for the start of the race. We’re also on the right-hand side of the grid, which is good. I don’t think I could have finished much further up. I’m happy with the performance of the car, it worked well today and I’m aiming for a podium tomorrow. The team did a good job today.”
5 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109
"I am happy with this good result, especially after the difficult time we had during the last race weekend. We have made big improvements and it is nice to be back at the front where we belong. The tyre situation was a little tricky today because I was very quick on the hard tyre while I didn't feel I got the most out of the soft option. We need to analyse that to give us the best possible chance tomorrow I'm fired up and looking forward to the race. We were not far off pole position which is very encouraging and gives us high expectations for the race tomorrow. Obviously it is a long race and it's difficult to predict what will happen, but I will be fighting to finish on the podium."
6 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60
“In qualifying the car was better balanced than in free practice but, even on a light fuel load, today we were a bit slower than the best. All weekend we have struggled a bit to get the tyres working at their best on the first lap. For sure, starting from the dirty side of the grid won’t be easy, especially on a track like this, which is hardly ever used for racing, which means the track surface offers little grip off the racing line. We have made progress recently, but the others have also done the same, which is what always happens.”
7 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60
“On low fuel, the car was well balanced and had good grip, while once we had the race fuel on board, the situation got worse and we suffered oversteer, mainly on the softer tyre. Honestly, I’d expected to start higher up the grid, especially as we were pretty competitive in Q1 and Q2. Starting from seventh, it becomes tough to aim for the top, so we have to be realistic. However, we mustn’t forget this will be a long race and anything can happen. As usual, I will give it my best shot.”
8 . F. Alonso - Renault R29
"I have mixed feelings from this qualifying session. Q2 was really difficult and we only just made it through to Q3 in tenth position, but our level of performance and lack of pace meant we could only manage eighth on the grid, which is a bit disappointing. Unfortunately I will start from the dirty side of the track, which will make the start of the race difficult, but I still hope that I can challenge for some good points in the race.”
9 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31
"It really wasn’t easy to choose between the soft and the hard compound to do your fastest lap on today, or to keep a balanced car while changing between the two. I ended up with some understeer and maybe a lost a position because of that, but I’m on the clean side of the grid tomorrow, which will help us to get a good start and maybe gain some positions. Since we also have a good race car, we will be targeting points, which is important for us as a team."
10 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09
"Starting from P10 is definitely better than starting from P18 the way I did in Monaco. However, we still lack a bit of pace compared to the top cars. The track clearly suits our car better than the Monaco track did. However, we really have to fight tomorrow.
Although the gap to the lead cars is quite close, there are a lot of cars between us and the front row. It will be difficult."
11 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09
"I have mixed feelings about today’s qualifying. On one hand it is annoying to miss the top ten qualifying by such a margin, but on the other I’m happy to see the progress we’ve made. The car was quick enough for Q3. I was seventh overall before my final outing in Q2 but then I was stuck in traffic on the last sector of my out lap. Given how the 2009 tyres are, this is enough to prevent them from heating up properly and consequently ruin your flying lap. Our new aero package with the double diffuser is obviously a step forward. This is not only compared to Monaco, but also to Barcelona where I scored two points after starting 13th on the grid.”"
12 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31
"It was fairly a difficult qualifying session as the tyre choice was quite hard. We weren’t entirely sure whether the prime or the option would be better as there wasn’t much in it between the two and this morning’s practice didn’t really clarify things. In Q1, I struggled with the option so we selected the prime for Q2, but unfortunately that wasn’t much of an improvement and I didn’t get the performance I wanted. It’s going to be difficult to get into the points, but P12 is okay and I will be fighting hard."
13 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109
"That was not an easy session for me and it is disappointing to be out of the top 10. This morning we were quick and the set-up felt really good, so I was happy with the car going into qualifying. But when we put the option tyres on with a light fuel load the car had some oversteer and it didn't feel exactly like it did in the morning. We were still competitive and expecting to get into the top 10 but on my final lap of Q2 I made a mistake in the last sector and that was it; I lost time and didn't qualify where I expected. But it's easier to overtake here than in Monaco so I won't give up on the race."
14 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
"Our car doesn’t have enough grip for us to attack the fast corners. The others seem to gain grip through the weekend and are able to better use the Option tyre while we’re using the Prime and losing performance. Braking and acceleration are still very good but we’re just losing grip as the track temperature increases. The gap to the leaders is still too big so we need to do some more work back at the MTC (McLaren Technology Centre) to move closer to the front. We’ll never give up, but tomorrow’s race will be difficult.”
15 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"It was a really good qualifying session for us and I am very happy with the 15th place and Q2 again for the second race in a row. We didn't expect it as we had a few little issues in the weekend so far but we managed a good lap when it mattered. I am happy for the team and I think we can be really proud right now. I'm looking forward to a good race now tomorrow, we'll see what we can do."
16 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
“Our car seems to have got slower relative to the others as the grip has gone down on the track. I pushed as hard as I could today but I just had no grip out there. We now need to make sure we don’t rush into making too many changes to the car for the forthcoming races: we’ll take our time, refine things and sort out the problem with our car. The team has done a fantastic job though: they really have been working night and day with the same determination and drive as ever. This is clearly going to be a challenging year for us, but I have no doubts that we’ll bounce back.”
17 . N. Piquet - Renault R29
“I knew I had a brake problem from the beginning of qualifying and so I was being cautious, but it wasn’t easy as the track was so slippery. On the last run the problem got worse and I spun off. However, I will remain positive for tomorrow as this is a track with good overtaking opportunities and hopefully we can have a strong race.”
18 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“We had a very tough time, especially with the soft compounds, as we were never able to get the most out of them. So the best thing we can do now is think hard about the race and ensure we have the best possible strategy. It will be a difficult afternoon, starting so far back and managing the tyres, specifically the inevitable degradation on the front right. Okay, starting eighteenth I’m not really thinking of a points finish, but we will still give it our best shot.”
19 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"I have had a problem with the brakes today and have had some front locking since this morning, but we made some changes between FP3 and qualifying that helped. Then unfortunately on my best lap there was a yellow flag as Piquet had spun and I had to lift off and couldn't get the time back. It was possible to be in the top 15, but there you go - sometimes it goes for you and others not. For sure the soft tyres are going to be a bit tricky tomorrow, especially in the heat, but I hope we can have a good race from where we are on the grid."
20 . S. Bourdais - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“All I know is that we lack grip and we are off the pace, even being two tenths off Seb. My first run wasn’t too bad, but I had degradation on my next one. Then we changed the tyre pressures a bit, but it seemed that as the session developed the Option began to work better and I was running the Prime which we felt suited us better. We’ve gone backwards a bit this weekend which is hard to take. In the race, I don’t think the difference between the tyres will be that much and in any case, it’s not just the tyres that are our problem this weekend.”