One car on the second row and one on the third: that was the outcome of the final qualifying session of 2010 for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Fernando Alonso
was third fastest in Q3, Felipe Massa sixth at the end of a very closely contested session. "Overall, we can claim to be satisfied
with this result, especially in terms of the Drivers' classification," commented Stefano Domenicali. "Fernando did a great lap on his final run, while unfortunately, Felipe had so much traffic on his out lap that he was not in the best of shapes when starting his final timed lap, so that he even decided to abort it and pit early. Tomorrow we can expect a very long and difficult race. The key parameters will be the same as always -- reliability, the start, strategy, team work and the drivers' ability at the wheel -- but more than ever before, tomorrow afternoon, the main thing will be to keep a cool head. We have to stay concentrated on our work: if we can put together another perfect day, then we will have the opportunity to reach the target we have set our sights on."Fernando Alonso
: "After a good Friday, during which we worked on the set-up, today along came a good Saturday, in which we secured a good grid position, especially in terms of where our main title rival finds himself on the grid. Now, we need one more day at this level and that should bring us closer to our objective. It was an important qualifying session, but you cannot call it decisive, because the race is tomorrow. Reliability and team work will make the difference, as is usually the case. The start? We will see what happens in first ten or twenty metres and then decide if it will be best to attack or wiser to defend. We have to keep in the mind that the world championship definitely does not get won at the first corner, but there is a chance of losing it there. We knew we could expect a difficult weekend, with Red Bull being strong as ever and McLaren at a very high level. Having only Vettel ahead of me, rather than both Red Bulls is positive. It was a very closely contested session, with the order changing all the time. Our first run in Q3 was not the best, because we had problems with traffic, but we knew we had the potential to do better and that's how it turned out: I started the lap, also thinking about saving the tyres for the final sector so as to avoid the risk of getting there and finding myself in trouble. I am confident for tomorrow but I want to repeat one more time that, however it ends up tomorrow afternoon, it has been a great year for me at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, where we enjoy a very special atmosphere together."
Felipe Massa: "On my last out lap, I came up behind so much traffic and it was all very confusing, especially as Hamilton, who was ahead of me, had slowed a lot at Turn 14. At the end of the session, I was called to the Stewards to discuss this incident and also the one with Hamilton again in Q2: this sort of thing can happen as can be seen from the fact that no action was taken.I reached the exit of the final corner, I saw the red light and, instinctively, I thought I had not got there in time to do the flying lap. In fact, I had made it, but I did not push immediately as hard as I could have done, so I came back to the pits when I realised I would not have improved my time. It's a real shame because I could definitely have done better and therefore started further up the grid. Tomorrow, I am expecting a very hard fought battle between three teams -- us, McLaren and Red Bull -- who are all very much on the pace. I will try to make up some places at the start and then to do the maximum for the team. However, in terms of performance, I think the situation is better than we could have expected. Fernando starts with a couple of aces to play, which in Poker usually signifies a strong hand."
Chris Dyer: "A great qualifying from Fernando, which puts in a strong position for tomorrow's race. I knew the Red Bulls were very quick and to manage to get ahead of Webber is really a nice result. We saw various strategies adopted in qualifying, but I think the one that we and McLaren adopted paid off best. Starting from third with Mark fifth is definitely positive in terms of the championship. A shame for Felipe, who was unable to get a second run in Q3. Considering the potential at his disposal, he could have ended up further up the grid. As usual, the start will be very important but here, more than elsewhere, it will be interesting to monitor the behaviour of the soft tyre in the first part of the race, given that degradation seems higher than we have seen at other tracks."