British GP - Saturday quotes
A semblance of normality resumed today at Silverstone as qualifying took place ahead of Sunday’s 60-lap British Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel claimed his second straight Red Bull Renault pole position as championship leader Jenson Button
a season-low of sixth. Still worse for Lewis Hamilton in front of his home fans as he was just 19th. Here’s what the drivers had to say...
1 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5
“It’s been a fantastic weekend, we haven’t had a single problem. We brought new parts here, which seem to work very well and we’ve made a good step forward. There’s always tension in qualifying and you try to do your best. It was quite difficult today and we were struggling a little bit with traffic. It’s tricky when you have cars ahead of you – even when they’re three seconds ahead, it does still affect you. In Q3 we had two very good runs, especially the last one, I think it was the lap of the weekend. Normally you think you could have got a bit more, but this lap was very good. I was able to use the tyres perfectly and when I got to the chequered flag I was surprised how quick I was – and it was enough for pole! All I can say is huge compliments to the guys back at the factory, they have been working so hard to get this car to where it is now – so it’s all down to them. Both of us have proved the car is working very well and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
2 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"I'm really happy to be starting from the front row of the grid tomorrow on a track that I love and feels like home to me. After some hard work overnight we changed the car a little and my engineers did a great job to get the set-up to my liking ready for qualifying. I really got everything out of the car today and we were able to achieve a little more than we expected. It's clear that the Red Bulls have made a good step forward so I'm delighted to have put the car on the front row and split Sebastian and Mark. We hoped for third today so it's great to go one better. Now I hope that we can go one better tomorrow as well!"
3 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5
“It’s been a good weekend for us so far. I would have liked a slightly cleaner lap on my last run, but Kimi was dreaming or something – I don’t know. He was on the racing line, which wrecked my rhythm into Stowe so I was tight into there. I would have liked to have got more out of the car on that last lap, but it didn’t happen and I’m third. Congratulations to Seb, he did a great job and I think both of us are getting some good results out of the car now. So, to everyone at Red Bull, a big thank you for all your hard work!”
4 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109
"We had a very good run today in qualifying so I am pleased with the result and I am very happy with the car. We have made some aerodynamic upgrades for this race which have improved our performance and the gap to the fastest cars in low-fuel qualifying was quite small so this is a positive sign. The team has done a great job this weekend because from the first practice session the car felt strong and was very competitive. This has continued all through the weekend so far. Maybe my lap in Q3 could have been slightly quicker and we could have made it into the top three but in the end I think we are where we deserve to be. I have to admit I don't normally enjoy Silverstone and I haven't had much luck here so I am really happy to be at the front of the grid for what could be the last Grand Prix here for a while."
5 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31
"Fifth is the best qualifying result I’ve had so far so I’m really happy. After yesterday’s practice, I thought we could be quite strong today because the car is working really well here. We seem to have taken a step forward so many thanks to the team as they’ve brought a really good upgrade package to this race. To be sitting in fifth position on the grid and racing on my favourite track tomorrow is great and my goal will be to have a solid race and score some points for the team."
6 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
"Whilst qualifying in sixth is by no means a bad result of course I'm hugely disappointed not to be starting my home Grand Prix from further up the grid. We knew that we would find it difficult here as our car doesn't work so well at low temperatures and I really struggled to get the tyres into their working range. I struggled massively with understeer in the high speed corners and then had oversteer at low speed so it wasn't the best balance for such a competitive qualifying session. My aim as always in the race will be to score as many points as possible and I hope that we can put on a great show for the thousands of fans who will be here to enjoy the race at this fantastic circuit."
7 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31
"On the one hand, I‘m pleased because we’ve made progress with the car and are looking competitive. On the other hand, it wasn’t the perfect day for me today because I didn’t manage to get the best out of the car in Q3. I’m still really pleased with where we are with the car, though. The team has done a fantastic job, even on this track which is normally one of the most challenging for us. Being in fifth and seventh shows we’re up there and, with a strong strategy tomorrow, we should score points. And that was a good job by Kazuki who’s been quick all weekend here. I’ll try to catch him tomorrow."
8 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109
"The result is pretty good and I have to be happy about being in the top eight because I was not sure it would be possible after practice yesterday. I have been struggling a bit with the car and compared to Jarno I haven't been able to achieve the same lap times. The problem for me has been getting temperature into the tyres and that has caused me to struggle for grip at times. I've not been completely happy all weekend but the result today looks decent so I hope I can score points tomorrow."
9 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60
“To be honest, I didn’t expect much more. This is our current performance level and today it was difficult to do any better. Each weekend we try our best: again on this track, the F60 was well balanced but, as we have seen so often this year, we don’t have enough grip. I did a good lap in Q2 but, with race fuel on board, the car was not as quick as the others. We have improved the car in these last two races, but it seems the others have taken a bigger step forward than we have."
10 . F.
Alonso - Renault R29
“Today we were carrying quite a bit of fuel as we decided it was better to do this than start light and lose track position by having to pit early. I think points could be possible in the race, but we have to hope that the strategy will come to us around the time of the pit-stops. I think the most important factor tomorrow will be managing the tyres because Silverstone is very demanding on them. So we need to look after them, especially the softer compound, on the long stints.”
11 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60
“Not a great weekend for us, there’s no point denying it. Today I missed out on getting into Q3 because I made a mistake in the final sector. Up until then, I was a few tenths up on my previous best time. We must always push to the limit because the car doesn’t give you a margin to make it through in qualifying and that can lead to one making mistakes. The F60 feels balanced but we are not quick enough. In the last two races, some teams have made significant progress in their development, while we haven’t improved our performance enough. It will be a hard race, but maybe something will happen that could see us getting a good result. From our side, all we can do is give it our best shot and try all the time.”
12 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09
"This has been a very difficult weekend so far. Yesterday, I had technical problems in both sessions and then again this morning. During the three free practice sessions I had maybe ten laps without any problems, which was simply not enough to do the necessary work. No surprise that the set-up of the car was not very good in qualifying. P12 was the maximum I could achieve under the circumstances."
13 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
"Today’s result is obviously disappointing for the team but, given the circumstances, I’m satisfied with my performance: I gave it my all and couldn’t have gone any quicker. I didn’t make any mistakes and was on the limit all the time. We knew this circuit wouldn’t suit our car and that it would be difficult to get into Q3, but the balance was quite okay this afternoon. We’re all working extremely hard to address the car’s lack of downforce. The guys worked hard overnight to make a lot of changes to the car and we worked really well together to get the most from the car during the morning session. The work doesn’t stop here, however, and our immediate aim is to maximise our strategy and finish the race.”
14 . N. Piquet - Renault R29
“The car felt good at the start of the session and we had improved it since free practice, but something didn’t feel right at the rear of the car at the end of Q2 and so I had to abort the lap. I would have liked to have been a bit higher up, but we needed a couple of extra tenths to make it into Q3. Tomorrow will be a tough race as it’s difficult to overtake here, but with a good start and strategy we could challenge for some points.”
15 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09
"Being 15th on the grid is obviously disappointing, although I have to admit I didn’t have too high expectations before we came here. We brought a new front wing to this race, but other teams apparently have bigger updates. It will be difficult to collect points from where we are starting – that is if it stays dry, which is something you never can rely on here in Silverstone. However, for the next races we have more new parts, so we will keep working and never give up."
16 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"We made an improvement but unfortunately on the last set of tyres, Buemi was in front of me and I slowed down on my first lap. Then on the second lap there was the red flag due to Adrian's accident and I couldn't improve. I was looking at a top 12 start so it's a shame, but it's just too bad this time. Tomorrow I want to get to the end of the race and it would be nice to score a point but it will be difficult."
17 . S. Bourdais - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“I think we improved the car by two or three tenths compared to Turkey, but so did the others. Our car is much nicer to drive and a bit quicker. I felt comfortable inside the cockpit and I think I had the pace to make it into Q2, but the red flag came at just the wrong time for me. It’s a real shame. This is an awesome track and when you get the car set up right, a qualifying lap is an unbelievable feeling.”
18 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"Firstly, I think we have had a good weekend in general and until the accident quite a good qualifying. I had a brake problem and then had no brakes going into the complex. I pushed on the pedal but there wasn't anything. I tried to avoid a big accident but it was impossible so I crashed really hard. I'm completely okay, I was just taken to the medical centre for some checks as it was a big crash. We've now got a lot of work to do on the car. Of course it's disappointing as both cars lost their positions and definite possibility to go into Q2."
19 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
“I did the best I could today. I was pushing as hard as I could but our car is too slow. I gave it my all and there wasn’t really much more I could have got from the car. I was pushing on that final lap – but it was nothing special. However, we live to fight another day and anything can happen in the race tomorrow. We’ll keep pushing on and hopefully put on a good show for all the fans. The great thing is that I’ve had incredible support these past few days from the fans – they’re the ones who are really helping me to get through it, so a big thank-you to all of them.”
20 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“It’s been a bad weekend so far, with a few small problems and if you don’t get many clean laps without any trouble, then when you go into qualifying, you really pay the price. It is disappointing that I couldn’t use the quick-shift on the gearbox in qualifying, which cost me at least three tenths and that is a big difference here. But that’s racing and now we will have to see what we can do tomorrow. It will be a difficult race whatever happens.”