Driver Quotes: Bahrain GP qualifying



05 APRIL 2014


#1 Sebastian Vettel

“We weren’t quick enough today. I was pretty happy yesterday, but I think this morning didn’t help

us when I spun off and did some damage to the car. It’s hard to say how big the impact of that was,

as once you start qualifying you just get your head down and try to do the best you can. It was

quite tight with Kimi and there wasn’t a lot missing to get to Q3, but that’s how it goes. We get an

extra set of tyres tomorrow and I think in the race things will calm down and we’ll be able to be a

bit more consistent and attack for some good points. I think our speed is okay on a longer run –

and actually on a shorter run too, as Dan has shown today. It will be hard to overtake some cars

tomorrow, but we will try our best.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo

“Today was nice, tomorrow will be less nice with the ten place penalty, but I was really happy with

qualifying. I think through all the runs and on both tyres I was happy with my performance. We

may have saved one set of tyres compared to the others, so that’s good, hopefully I’m going to

need it tomorrow for coming through the pack; hopefully it will help us. I did the best I could

today, so for that I’m pleased. I think Seb and I will both be charging hard tomorrow and will aim to

put on a good race.”


#44 Lewis Hamilton

« Second place is pretty good for us today. I made a mistake on my last lap which was a shame but

it’s great for the team to have both cars on the front row. They’ve done a fantastic job this weekend

with the set-up simulations and we did a lot of testing here before the season started which has

helped. The car has felt good so far but I definitely felt more comfortable in practice than I did this

evening in qualifying. I’m not really sure why but we’ll have a good look at the data tonight and see

if there is anything we can identify before the race tomorrow. Congratulations to Nico today, he’s

done a great job so far this weekend and nailed a really quick lap in qualifying. I’m happy that it’s

my team-mate there on pole and not someone else! »

#6 Nico Rosberg

« It’s fantastic to be on pole again here in Bahrain. I really enjoy the track and I won my GP2 Series

title here so it has some pretty special memories for me. We’ve had a good weekend so far and I’ve

been able improve my pace throughout the practice sessions so I was hoping for a strong

qualifying. It’s so difficult to get everything completely right with all the new technology and setup

requirements on the car but I felt really comfortable this evening and was able to put some

great laps together. I’m looking forward to the race as I had a good run on high fuel but we’re

going to need to be careful with tyre degradation. »


#14 Fernando Alonso

“We tried our best as usual today and now we need to wait for the car to come back

from parc ferme to work out why there was a drop in power in Q3. In winter testing here we had

already seen that this circuit is particularly suited to the Mercedes powered cars, because the long

straights allow them to use their top end performance. But given how free practice and the first

two parts of qualifying had gone, maybe we could have hoped to be a bit higher up the order.

Now, we must think only of doing well tomorrow, especially at the start, given we are on the clean

side because of Ricciardo’s penalty. Then we must work out the best strategy, choosing between

two or three stops. A lot will depend on how the tyres perform: I think that, in lower temperatures

than we have seen so far, the Medium could throw up some surprises.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen

“I am reasonably pleased with my qualifying, because up until this morning, I did not feel

completely comfortable in the car, but the faith I put in what we had at our disposal was paid back

with this result. We are improving in all areas, on the engine, data acquisition, electronics and the

new parts fitted to the car have given me a better feeling from the front end. Sure, we are not yet

where we want to be, but I think we are on the right path and we have the right people to give us

every possibility to continue to move forward. It’s hard to say how tomorrow’s race will go, because

in the simulation done yesterday, I was struggling on the Medium tyre, while the balance was

better on the Soft. We know we can’t fight with Mercedes, but today’s result gives me more

confidence than at the previous races and I will do my best to bring home a good result.”


#8 Roman Grosjean

“It was tight to get to Q2. We knew beforehand that we were around the cut off, so it was great to

get through. If we look at the whole weekend we’ve been struggling on the track. This evening the

car felt more together and more driveable – of course sixteenth is not great and we’re never going

to be satisfied with that, but I’m happy with the way the team has been working and pushing in

the right direction. We have to try things and try to understand why we are where we are and why

we are not unlocking our potential. I hope the race pace will be a little bit better than the qualifying

pace and then we can put up a good fight in the race.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado

“We’re not here to fight for P16 and P17 so it’s a bit disappointing to see ourselves where we are in

qualifying at the moment. We just need to be focused and try to push even more on the

development of the car to catch the people around us. At the moment it’s fair to say our car is a bit

on the slow side and quite difficult to drive. However we’ve made an important step forwards in

terms of reliability. There have been no problems this weekend which is quite positive so fingers

crossed for tomorrow. For race pace we look much more competitive than in qualifying. I’m

looking forward to the race and seeing what is possible.”


#22 Jenson Button

“Although we haven’t qualified where we’d ideally like to have done, as a team I reckon we’ve done

a more or less perfect job so far this weekend.

“It was very tight out there, we did all we could, and we ended up very close to P4; all you can do is

get the best out of the car, and that’s what we did here today.

“The four fly-away races are all about picking up points as and when you can. We’ve done that

pretty well the first two races, and we’ve got to continue doing that. We’re not the quickest, so

we’ve got to make the best of what we have and what we are.

“A podium finish tomorrow would be great, but it’ll be very difficult because the first two places are

already fully booked as long as the two Mercedes cars are reliable. But let’s be positive: we’ve got a

fighting chance of making up places tomorrow, and third place is only three spots better than

where we’ll be starting from [sixth].”

#20 Kevin Magnussen

“I’m not entirely happy with my qualifying position today, to be honest.

“We’d hoped that the cool temperatures would confer more of an advantage to us, and help us a

little bit more, but it didn’t work out that way. Having said that, Jenson did a very good job, and got

a bit more out of the car than I did, and I think that’s probably the most anyone could have got out

of it today.

“Our race pace might be better than our qualifying pace was, and we should hopefully be a bit

more competitive tomorrow as a result of that. We should be in the thick of the fight for points.

“But, first of all, I need to make a clean start tomorrow. I don’t want any damage to the front wing at

the first corner!”


#27 Nico Hulkenberg

“My lap in Q2 was not the best one. I made a mistake in turn 11 and ran wide on the exit kerb,

which completely ruined my lap. I lost a couple of tenths and that made the difference between

making it into Q3 and missing out. I do believe the chance for a good result tomorrow is still there

and I feel optimistic. We showed on Friday that we have good long run pace and I have two new

sets of soft tyes for the race. The strategy decisions for tomorrow will be important to help me

move forward and with the cooler conditions it should be easier on the tyres compared to


#11 Sergio Perez

“It was definitely a great qualifying session and the team did a fantastic job to give me such a

competitive car. After the problems we had in the first two races I feel this has been the first real

opportunity to show the potential of the car. I believe we could have been even closer to the front,

but I couldn’t warm up my brakes enough on the out lap of my final run in Q3 and so I didn’t

improve. We’re already thinking about tomorrow and I think the clear target must be to aim for the

podium. We’re in the best possible position to fight at the front and I’m going to make the most of

it. I’ve got some very good memories of this track but tomorrow I want to create even better ones.”


#99 Adrian Sutil

“Today there was not much to achieve. However, making it into Q2 could have been possible.

Unfortunately, we are still too slow on the straights, and I am personally struggling with the fact the

car is overweight. I only had one lap, as I had traffic on my second run. This resulted in aborting my

final lap. We have to concentrate on tomorrow, and we need to be better in the race. However, it

will be difficult to finish in the points. We are working on the car, and I think when we get to Europe

we will be able to move further up the grid. I am looking forward to that and I will put all my efforts

into it.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez

“I am satisfied with the result of qualifying today. We managed to put together some fast laps. I

want to thank my team; they did a good job in finding the right balance from my feedback. We

need to look forward and still work hard, because we are missing quite a lot of pace to be where

we want to be. I have a great team and we are all working hard. Today it was the optimum I could

get out of the car on my last really good lap. With the lower temperatures the tyres are behaving in

a different way. I feel positive for the race tomorrow, but with our pace we cannot be in the top ten

at the moment. However, I am sure if we work consistently we can get some points in the future.”


#25 Jean-Eric Vergne

“Today the team did again a very good job to give me a car that was more suitable for me and I

had a good feeling in Q2. We made a good step forward compared to yesterday, even though I felt

down in power and we will have to investigate the reasons for this. Anyway, we have to stay

positive, also because starting 14th on the grid is not too bad and everything is possible. We just

have to keep our head down and stay focussed.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat

“I am a little bit disappointed and also surprised with only making it to Q2, because we were fast

enough to get into Q3 looking at how the rest of the weekend went so far. But unfortunately the

others were faster and we didn’t manage to improve enough so it wasn’t a very satisfying

Qualifying session. We will have a look at this tonight and hopefully we can have another strong

race tomorrow.”


#19 Felipe Massa

« That was not a very easy qualifying. I made a few mistakes on my lap in Q3 as I had a bit of

oversteer, so lost some time and I really should have been quicker. We will start P7 tomorrow after

Ricciardo’s penalty and it’s a long race so a lot could happen. We look competitive which is good to

see, and we are in the fight for tomorrow. »

#77 Valtteri Bottas

« It was a good qualifying session; I think we got the maximum potential out of the car today. After

the Red Bull penalty we are third and after the last two races it’s good to see the full potential of the

car on a Saturday. We haven’t done too many laps this weekend so there are things we can still

improve for the race, but if we get the strategy right and take the opportunities that come our way

we should be in for a good result. »


#17 Jules Bianchi

“The car balance was pretty good today. We lost some time on the straight – 0.3s – which I thought

we had got on top of and ultimately this cost us getting ahead of Kobayashi. It’s something we

need to look at as we need to get back in front of the Caterhams, not losing out to them. We will

hope to recover a little bit of ground tomorrow but it will be tough.”

#4 Max Chilton

“I’m a little bit disappointed after that qualifying session as I thought we had done enough to edge

a bit closer to Q2. When everything comes together we aren’t that far away and if you look at the

overall spread of times we have made some progress. We didn’t achieve everything we could

today, but having said that, I think tomorrow we’ll have a better showing.”


#9 Kamui Kobayashi

“FP3 was a much better session than we’d had yesterday. The guys had worked until just before

curfew to get the cars ready and they did really well to prepare for Saturday. The car was

performing pretty well in FP3, a little oversteer, but that was to be expected with the track

temperatures in the afternoon, but we didn’t want to make any changes as it was obviously going

to be cooler in the evening.

“In quali my first run was good – one flying lap on the options that I didn’t think I could improve on

so I boxed and we waited until there were about three minutes left and then went out for one

more flying lap. I definitely got everything I could out of the car on that run and finished about

four-tenths from Q2, a realistic view of where we are now with performance.

“That’s the first time this season we’ve really had a chance to extract maximum performance from

the car, after a good Friday and Saturday, so it’s clear what we need to do to improve. We saw last

week in Malaysia we have good race pace, but we need to bridge that gap to be able to fight in

quali with teams like Lotus and Sauber, and that’s the target. For tomorrow I think we’re in a much

better position than we were in the first two races, particularly with the work we did yesterday, so if

we can continue this better reliability the race could be a good one for us.”

#10 Marcus Ericsson

“We definitely made some improvements overnight and I want to thank everyone in the team for

the efforts they put in to move on from what had been a bit of a difficult Friday. My final run on the

options was the best of the weekend so far – we’d improved the braking and the overall balance so

I went into quali feeling pretty positive about being able to fight with our nearest rivals.

“We started Q1 on a set of new options but I had a bit of a lock-up that cost me quite a bit of time

on the first run. I wasn’t going to get any more out of that set of tyres so we boxed and then went

for another final run towards the end of the session. My final lap was definitely my best of the

weekend but I didn’t have a great outlap so I know I could have found more, but overall I’m

reasonably pleased with how Saturday has gone. It’s been a much better weekend so far with

reliability and with the improvements we made today I’m now focused on having another solid

race tomorrow. I’m learning all the time, and with the mileage we’ve now done here in Bahrain I

want to make tomorrow’s race my strongest yet – do that and this will have been a good



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