DRIVER QUOTES AUSTRIAN GP – QUALIFYING
21 JUNE 2014
INFINITI RED BULL RACING
#1 Sebastian Vettel
“There were no real problems today, other than that we weren’t quick enough. Daniel was quicker in Turn 5 and has been quicker in Turn 2 all weekend. We’ll see how it goes for the race; it should be hotter tomorrow and hopefully we can make a big step and take on some of the other cars.”
#3 Daniel Ricciardo
“It was tough out there. It’s been tough all weekend to be honest and it’s felt like we’ve had to squeeze everything out of the car to get into the top 5, which we just managed to do today. All weekend we’ve been on the back foot and I think respect to the other teams, they managed to get their cars dialled in well for this weekend and we’ve just got to keep pushing. Fifth was the best we could have done in that session today.”
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS
#44 Lewis Hamilton
I just didn’t finish a lap in Q3 today – sometimes you get it all together, sometimes you don’t and today I didn’t get the job done. The feeling in the car has been good all weekend and I think we had the pace. My first lap in Q3 was looking good before I went wide in the second-to-last corner, and I think that lap would probably have done it. Then on the second run, I hit the brakes into Turn 2 and just locked the rears; I still need to look at the data to see exactly what happened. It’s a long race and I need to try and recover as much as I can from this loss. The shot for the win will be very hard so I guess it’s mainly a case of damage limitation; I will be doing all I can to put myself in a strong position and to get good points for the team. Congratulations to Williams as well; I’m very happy for Felipe and his pole position.
#6 Nico Rosberg
That was not a great qualifying for us. I didn’t get the second quick lap in Q3 when Lewis spun in front of me at Turn 2 and I had to slow down for the yellow flags. For sure, from our point of view it makes life harder that the Williams are starting in front of us and I must say well done to them – they have been quick all weekend and took their opportunity today. But I am still feeling confident for tomorrow. We have worked hard to find the best set-up for the race – my balance wasn’t perfect in qualifying, with a bit too much understeer, but I hope it will settle down tomorrow. This track has a few good opportunities for overtaking and I think it’s going to be a very interesting race.
#14 Fernando Alonso
“I have mixed feelings after this qualifying, because on the one hand, this is the best result since early in the season, but it’s also true that the session was very unusual and it’s highly likely that the final order does not reflect the true hierarchy down the field. In Q2, I made a mistake at the final corner, which meant I had to try another run and in Q3, I went long in turn 3. But fourth place makes up for the disappointment of not having done a perfect lap and it should make us proud of what we have accomplished so far, because the updates we started bringing since Canada seem to indicate we are on the right road. With some faster cars behind us, we can expect a difficult race, in which defending will be as important as attacking. Now we must try and work out how to make the most of this advantage for as long as possible in terms of strategy and to have a solid race.”
#7 Kimi Raikkonen
“In these two days I have found it more difficult to put together a good lap and again today in qualifying things did not go well. In Q3, I went out for just a single run on the Supersofts, but the mistakes made at the first corner affected my lap times. On my last run I locked the wheels, damaging the left front tyre, but at that point, I decided to keep on trying to improve. Even if eighth place is not a disaster, I am disappointed because we were quicker than that today, but I was never able to be consistent in the three sectors. Race pace is good and even if I am finding it a bit hard to get the tyres up to temperature, I will try my best tomorrow.”
LOTUS F1 TEAM
#8 Roman Grosjean
“It’s no secret that we’ve struggled so far this weekend. I had a very good Q1 session but Q2 was much more difficult. It’s been a tough weekend and our pace on low fuel hasn’t been great as we saw today. Yesterday we showed good pace on high fuel so hopefully we can use that as best we can in the race tomorrow. Certainly overtaking will be tricky as our top speed has not been one of our strengths this year but we’ll look for a good strategy or maybe a shortcut on the track to help us in the race.”
#13 Pastor Maldonado
“We will start in P13 recovering one more place on tomorrow’s grid which is always good. I think that we made a big improvement from yesterday when we had issues with the power unit. Today we have been a bit better with a bit more power and an improved balance. It was a good last lap for the package that we currently have even though we are not where we want to be. We were hoping to be more competitive on this track however we are suffering on the straights and up the hills. I look forward to tomorrow. Our pace has improved today and we have shown that we have potential on long runs so hopefully we will have a good race on Sunday.”
#22 Jenson Button
“You never really know how much you lose from missing FP3, but it meant we were a little in the dark on set-up going into qualifying.
“Having said that, I think I could’ve made it into the top 10 if my last run in Q2 had worked out: I was about seven seconds behind Romain’s [Grosjean] Lotus, which locked up and run wide at the first three corners. While he eventually pulled over and let me pass, it lost me a bit of time.
“You never know what overtaking will be like in the race. But, being outside the top 10, we can run new tyres at the start of the race, and we can play with the strategy. The DRS zones look interesting, too; not having one at the exit of Turn One looks like it’ll make racing more fun – now, you’ll have to make a move to overtake rather than just passing along the straights, which is what it should be about.”
#20 Kevin Magnussen
“If everything had been perfect today, I think we could have been in the top five. I made a tiny mistake at the final corner on my final lap in Q3, but, even so, I’m happy enough with how things went today. And I think the whole team can feel satisfied, too: we’re definitely making progress, so we just need to keep it up now.
“It’s also nice to see a bit more of a mixed-up grid. It’s quite surprising that the gap to Mercedes has been closed so quickly, and it’s good to see a Williams on pole.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, I don’t know if our race pace will be as strong as our qualifying pace was today. But we’ll do our best.”
SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
#27 Nico Hulkenberg
“It’s quite an interesting grid so it looks like there are all the ingredients for an exciting race. I felt pretty good through all of qualifying and was building up my speed nicely for Q3. It’s a shame my lap in Q3 was disallowed, but it’s difficult when you’re pushing so hard and I obviously ran a little bit wide. At the end of the day losing the lap only changed the result by a few positions so I’m still in good shape for the race. It’s been a long time since Formula One was last here so there are a lot of unanswered questions going into the race. We don’t know how the different strategies will unfold, or how the tyres will behave, but I think we’ve shown recently that we have a very strong race car. Points will be the goal tomorrow.”
#11 Sergio Perez
“We tried to do just one flying lap on my last Q2 run but unfortunately it was not possible to put together the perfect lap. This is a very tricky circuit and we struggled to get the tyres working at their best, but I don’t think that will be so much of an issue tomorrow. It will be a very challenging race and starting five places back from where we qualified won’t be easy, but we need to look ahead and see what can be done to improve our position tomorrow. The first lap will be important and strategy will be crucial to get a good result because overtaking looks to be difficult around here. We have a lot of tyres available for the race so we should try and use this to our advantage to move up into the points.”
SAUBER F1 TEAM
#99 Adrian Sutil
“The qualifying procedure went well and the team sent me out on track at the right time, so that I was not hindered by other drivers. The set-up of the car was the best today in comparison to the rest of the weekend. On my fast lap, I was pushing to the limit and and managed to get the maximum out of the car. Obviously, 17th position is not satisfying, but at the moment we cannot move up, which we have to accept in our current situation. For tomorrow’s race, we hope to achieve more.”
#21 Esteban Gutierrez
“We knew from FP3 that it would be a tough qualifying. At the moment we are quite limited and the amount of time we are missing is definitely not satisfying. We need to keep on working because other teams are catching up. Regarding the track, turn eight is tough in terms of track limits. We did not have the penalty for exceeding the limits on Friday, but today and also for the race we will have it. When you push and get into the corner with a higher speed, it is a risk to go out of the track’s limits. That is another characteristic we need to address. However, I am looking forward for the race as anything can happen.”
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
#25 Jean-Eric Vergne
“We have struggled with the set up all day and I had to fight against a pretty consistent oversteer, which makes it difficult to put in the perfect lap and get into Q3. It’s a real pity as the team has done a really good job and the car has certainly improved with all the new parts that we brought here for this race. This is a one time off when qualifying was bad but the race is still to come, the car is good and I’ll do my best to make it up tomorrow what I have lost today.”
#26 Daniil Kvyat
“This was my best qualifying result so far this season and I’m satisfied with the work the team has done all weekend. We managed to put all the things together like a puzzle and we made a significant step forward from yesterday to today. It was a shame that because of the yellow flags in Turn 2, we couldn’t exploit the full potential of the car. But still, P7 is a good starting position. I really enjoy this circuit and I hope we can have a strong race in front of all the Red Bull family.”
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
#19 Felipe Massa
« It’s an incredible moment for me, but the whole team is feeling this too. The team has a great history and we continue to build on that. It’s a special day. I had some traffic earlier in the session but when it counted I did the best I could. There is a lot to do tomorrow and we have a very strong Mercedes behind us. Today is a day I won’t forget though and it’s the first time my son has seen me get pole so emotions are high. »
#77 Valtteri Bottas
« I am really happy for us as a team as it is such a good result. It couldn’t have been a better Saturday for us. I would have liked to have been on pole, but Felipe had the better lap when it mattered. Tomorrow isn’t going to be easy as the Mercedes are still the quickest car. I pushed a bit too hard on my final lap at Turn Six, but I was already down on my quickest. Tomorrow the strategy will be important and so we have to be clever with what we do. We are in a better position than the Ferraris and the Red Bull so it should be really good fun. »
MARUSSIA F1 TEAM
#17 Jules Bianchi
“I’m pretty happy with where we ended up today. There is still a few tenths between us and the Saubers, but then we did not get the perfect lap either, so there is more to come. On my first run we lost the radio connection, so I was driving a little blind. My lap was not so good, but it still showed some good promise versus Sutil ahead, and with Gutierrez behind at that point. My second run was better and I think it shows that there is still a bit of work to do to get on terms with them. If we can get the most from the car tomorrow, we can certainly have a good fight with them and I hope we can deliver a good result for the Team.”
#4 Max Chilton
“I went into qualifying having lost a bit of track time at the end of Free Practice 3, including my last set of prime tyres and also the Supersoft run, so we didn’t get the best preparation. On my second run I got traffic from Ericsson, so I wasn’t able to improve, and unfortunately this just allowed Kobayashi to squeeze ahead. I’m confident in the pace of the car though so, given the penalty I will take tomorrow, the first job tomorrow will be getting back on the right side of the Caterham and then targeting the cars in front.”
CATERHAM F1 TEAM
#9 Kamui Kobayashi
“Compared to quite a few of the previous races we tried something different with the setup here and that’s given us some real improvements in the car, helping close the gap to our direct rivals and there’s more to come from it at other tracks. As the setup change worked in Austria, a track that is at the lower end in terms of aero sensitivity, we believe it will work even better at tracks like Silverstone where there’s much greater emphasis on aero performance, and that’s a good boost for the team on track and back at the factory.
“With this change I think I had one of the best laps of the season in quali. There was maybe another tenth left but I was pretty much flat out for the whole lap and pleased we finished closer to our nearest competitors than maybe the times had suggested so far this weekend. It makes the race tomorrow very exciting for sure as there’s a group of cars together who will be fighting right from turn one, so strategy and pitstops, both in planning and execution, something we’ve been really good at this year, are going to play an even more important part than normal.”
#10 Marcus Ericsson
“From the first lap in FP3 I was happier in the car. Traction had improved, the balance was better and it was just easier to drive. I wanted to keep working on the braking as there was time to be found from there so we had a look at that on a couple of the runs and I think we found a small improvement for quali and the race.
“However, in Q1 we did two runs on the supersofts but I couldn’t put a clean lap together and finished up with a time I’m obviously disappointed with. From the timesheets it looks like all the Renault teams are struggling a bit on outright power and that, combined with a lot of traffic to deal with on this short circuit, meant I just couldn’t string three clean sectors together on any of my flying laps – that means my final time is not really representative, but what’s done is done. Now I’m focused on the race and determined to make up for today. We’ve been ok on heavy fuel here and I think we’re due a bit of luck, so hopefully that will come tomorrow. Whether it does or not I’ll continue doing the best job I can.”