Driver quotes: German GP qualifying




06 JULY 2013

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

“Congratulations to Lewis on pole. It was very tight today, I tried everything. The car felt fine; I was

struggling a little bit this afternoon in the first sector, I was losing time there and then trying to catch up.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, but it looks like we are a bit closer to the Mercedes here than we were

in Silverstone, so I think we made some progress and can have confidence for tomorrow. We had a

good run yesterday looking at the race, so I think we have done our homework. We have put the car on

the first row; it wasn’t quite enough for pole position, but we should have a good race from there


Mark Webber

“I was actually happy with third position today, as it was very sensitive out there. We lost a little bit in

the first sector and struggled to find the rhythm that we had had there in P3, but we know there was a

shift in track temp and it pulled everyone together a bit, at least for the short runs. With the long runs,

we’re happy with the car, so we’re in a good position to put pressure on for the race victory tomorrow.”

Scuderia Ferrari

Fernando Alonso

“The strategy we used today was dictated by looking at our average qualifying performance, given that

pole is not yet within our grasp and the two scenarios were either starting fifth or sixth on the Soft tyres

or start sixth or seventh on the Mediums. We won’t know the true worth of our choice until tomorrow.

Maybe here it’s not too important to start from the front because the Soft tyre shows very high

degradation and so, from lap 8 onwards the run of pit stops will begin and traffic will build up. At that

point we will have to push like if they were all qualifying laps. All weekend we have been off the pace by

an average of six tenths, but compared to Silverstone we can say we are back to normal, capable of

fighting in the lead group. Of course, we still need to improve a lot, but in the race we think we can be in

the hunt, without forgetting that, regardless of the tyres and the starting positions, it’s the fastest who


Felipe Massa

“In terms of performance, it was a good qualifying, even if we opted for a completely different

strategy to the teams who are ahead of us on the grid. The car worked very well and with the Soft

tyres, we were very competitive, more so than at Silverstone, where we suffered on both

compounds, but even so, we could not have ended up any higher than fourth or fifth. When I saw I

was first at the end of Q1 and Q2, I felt like I wanted to fight all the way to the finish, but based on the

simulation we carried out during free practice, we felt our choice was the right direction to go in. It’s

hard to think we will be able to make up places immediately starting on the Medium tyres, but

yesterday we saw that the Softs degrade after just a few laps and this could work out to our

advantage. If the car handles well and we manage to have a good race, we could get a really

fantastic result”.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button

“My lap in Q2 was about as good as it’s going to get for us at the moment – in fact, it was one of the

best laps I’ve done in a very long time. I don’t think I left anything out there, so I’m very happy about

that. Strategically, it was a difficult decision for Q3: do we run the Option, the Prime, or do we not run at

all? My heart said we should go out and set a time, whereas my head said we probably shouldn’t! Our

pace suggested that qualifying sixth would have made it worthwhile [to go out and set a time on the

Option], and we probably could have done that – but we chose not to complete a lap, playing a cat-andmouse

game with Nico [Hulkenberg]. Nevertheless, starting ninth is not too bad – I’ll be on the clean

side of the grid, and I have the freedom to choose my tyre compound, because I didn’t set a laptime

this afternoon. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the Option tyre early on in the race, but I think

we’ve put ourselves in the best possible position for tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez

“It hasn’t been the best day for us, and starting 13th wasn’t what I was hoping for. Jenson did a great

lap, but I’ve struggled all weekend to match him – especially today, when I think we went a little bit in

the wrong direction. This morning, we encountered some problems with the car; perhaps we overcompensated

for that, going back on the set-up, getting understeer, and finding it quite difficult to get

the tyres warmed up. This was a tough afternoon for me, but we can do better tomorrow. I didn’t get

everything out of the car today, but it’s going to be very interesting to see how the tyres perform in the


Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Räikkönen

“My car was okay today, but in my Q3 lap on the new tyres I struggled to get the fronts up to

temperature which meant I lost quite a bit of time in the first sector; probably because there was traffic

on my out lap meaning I couldn’t push as much as I wanted. For sure it didn’t help and we probably

should have been P3 today, but P4 is still a pretty good place to be for the race.”

Romain Grosjean

“P5 is a pretty good result, but to be honest I’m a little disappointed with my fastest lap as there were

definitely a few tenths lost in the first sector. We struggled a little getting the front tyres working this

morning but the car felt really good during qualifying and we improved with every lap. It was a strong

performance for the team with Kimi P4 as well, so we’re happy to be back at the front after paying a few

unwanted visits to the lower positions recently.”

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Lewis Hamilton

“I’m very proud to put the car on pole for Mercedes-Benz today. I have been with Mercedes for a long

time and it’s a great result for us to achieve pole here in Germany. I’m a little bit overwhelmed, to be

honest, because I have been struggling since first practice this weekend. We were so far off this

morning that we took the set-up back to where we started, tried to analyse everything and just

worked really hard to improve it. I’m so grateful for the work the engineers and mechanics did for me,

and it’s all down to them really. But we don’t get any points for today and the real hard work comes

tomorrow. It’s a shame what happened to Nico this afternoon, we got caught out there but hopefully

he can still have a strong race.”

Nico Rosberg

“I was really shocked when I saw the times falling in Q2 today and realised that I was in P11. I didn’t

see it coming and we just underestimated how much the track would ramp up in terms of grip and lap

time. I could have been on the front row today and that’s why I’m so disappointed. It’s been a tough

day but sometimes that’s how racing is. I will be doing my best to climb up through the field tomorrow

but it won’t be easy.”

Sauber F1 Team

Nico Hülkenberg

“To reach Q3 today has been a success for us. I am confident we can achieve a good result tomorrow.

Compared to yesterday afternoon, we were able to improve the set-up for free practice this morning. I

think we have a package now that allows us to fight for points. The long runs yesterday looked

promising and, combined with the strategy which I can choose for the start of the race tomorrow, I am

confident we can achieve a good result. I didn’t set a time in Q3, so I am free to choose my tryes for the

start of the race tomorrow. I am convinced that will be an advantage. The team told me that P6 was

possible today, but today it’s Saturday and the race is what counts, as you only get points tomorrow.

The soft tyres are quite challenging to handle here, especially with a full tank. We will start in the top ten

tomorrow and our goal is to stay in the points.”

Esteban Gutiérrez

“Today is a step forward for us. We worked with a lot of different set-ups yesterday and were able to

make the right conclusions from the data we gathered. I was able to attack and get a lot out of the car

in qualifying. However, I still have to improve. Nico did a fantastic lap and it’s challenging, but I will keep

working to improve my performance level, especially in qualifying. P14 is, along with Malaysia, the

highest place I have achieved so far. For tomorrow we have to put a good strategy together in order to

improve from there.”

Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team

Paul Di Resta

“It’s been quite a difficult couple of days trying to get the car in the right operating window and I’ve

never felt totally comfortable. All the changes we’ve made have been a compromise and I’ve really

struggled with the balance. Ahead of qualifying we completely changed the set-up to try to improve

things and it certainly helped. For tomorrow we just have to hope that we can repeat the race pace

we’ve shown earlier in the season because that has been one of our strengths.”

Adrian Sutil

“P15 for my home race is a bit disappointing. I had a technical issue with my DRS during Q2 and it was

not working, which cost me about half a second per lap. That’s why P15 was all that was possible

today. Otherwise I think I would have been very close to making Q3. We can fix the issue for tomorrow

so we will be ready for the race. Apart from that our absolute pace has not been at our usual level and

we’ve struggled to deliver the performance we showed at Silverstone. Tomorrow is a new day; we will

push on and I believe points are still possible. ”

Williams F1 Team

Valtteri Bottas

“We got the most out of the car this afternoon. Things were very close between me and Pastor, but

we don’t have the pace at the moment to progress any further. The track temperatures are higher

and it’s a bit windier today which meant that every tenth or hundredth counted, resulting in a very

close session. We need to keep pushing and do what we can in the race tomorrow.”

Pastor Maldonado

“We were expecting something a bit better today, but the car is very tricky to drive on a track like this.

We need to keep working hard to solve the problems we have identified with the car and move

further up the grid. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow as the slow corners do not suit our car, but

we’ll do everything we can to score some points.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo

“I’m really delighted with the way qualifying went and it’s very encouraging to be sixth fastest for the

second race in a row, which means we are seeing signs of progress and consistency. However, it was

not as straightforward here as in Silverstone last week and we definitely had to pull something out of

the bag to do the time and get into Q3. We exceeded our expectations today, as in FP3 we did not look

so strong. I was particularly pleased with my Q2 lap. I think we did the best we could today and now we

look ahead to the race. Last weekend I felt there was a better result than eighth waiting for me and I

would like to go for better than seventh, which is my best finish so far. If there’s a chance of a podium,

let’s go for it! Nothing’s impossible. The tyre strategy is going to be very interesting with some of the top

ten on the grid starting on Primes.”

Jean-Éric Vergne

“We just weren’t quick enough this afternoon. All weekend my car has been very difficult to drive and

that situation hasn’t improved since Friday and I have never really managed to put together a good lap.

In qualifying, I didn’t make any mistakes and I was hoping for much better. Even if we cannot work on

the cars before the race, we need to understand exactly what caused this drop in performance. Maybe

it is linked to the tyres, their temperature or pressure, but I’m not sure. We will see what we can do

tomorrow, where I hope to be more competitive and be able to push harder.”

Caterham F1 Team

Charles Pic

“The focus for FP3 was more work on seeing how the track was evolving and preparing for quali.

Carrying on from a good day yesterday and the work we did overnight we started the session with

more front grip than I’d had in either Friday session and an improved balance overall. We had to

make a small adjustment for the stronger wind on track today but the car felt good for the whole

session and the deg levels we saw were positive. On the performance run the balance felt good so

we were feeling pretty positive about quali. In qualifying we went for two runs on new softs. On the

first run we the quick lap was pretty good but I was called to the weighbridge at the end of that run

and we had an issue with the starter motor. The pitcrew had to push me back to the garage but we’d

decided to go for a one lap second run anyway so we just had time to get the car back, fire it up and

get back on track. On the final lap my pace was good but we were held up with traffic in the second

sector which maybe cost us a couple of tenths, but we still finished ahead of our nearest rivals in

19th and that was the target. I do want to say thanks to the pitcrew for doing a great job to get me

back to the garage and out for the final lap – a few of them have been running the tracks this year

and that work paid off!”

Giedo van der Garde

“Friday had gone ok and having been through all the data from yesterday we made a few changes

overnight for FP3. In the morning session we were doing some work for quali and the race and the

session went ok but we were still having issues getting the front tyres up to temperature fast enough.

On the first run I still had some of the understeer that had been the main balance issue yesterday,

but it was now only really in the high speed section in S3, so we made a couple more mechanical

changes for the next run and the balance improved. We went onto the softs for the performance run

but I was still having problems with tyre temps so I didn’t really have a chance to get the maximum

out of them on the first lap on the softs, but despite that it still felt like we’d made some progress from

Friday. When quali started we went out pretty early and on the first run I had two clear laps to post a

time. The first run was ok and the tyres were coming in better than they had in FP3 so we went for

one quick lap on the second run. We went out with a couple of minutes left in the session but the

tyres weren’t working for most of the first half of the lap and, even though the second half was much

better, I’d still lost enough time in S1 that I couldn’t really get any more out of it. However, I think we

have a decent car for tomorrow and our long run pace has been pretty good, so we’ll aim for a clean

start and see how it unfolds on Sunday.”

Marussia F1 Team

Jules Bianchi

“This morning I was feeling much better than yesterday, but not quite 100%, so I think another night’s

rest will help again. It was good to get back in the car this morning and start the process of getting up to

speed, which I think has gone quite well. It took some time to balance the car to our liking but we’re in a

good place for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in terms of race pace.

The key will be to get ahead of Charles as soon as possible – and keep it that way.”

Max Chilton

“I was obviously hoping for more today as Van Der Garde has been within reach all weekend. I seemed

to struggle a little more in qualifying and for some reason we did not get the best from the car, which is

encouraging to some extent because it means we can depend on our stronger race pace. We’ll have a

good look at the data this evening and do everything we can to ensure a good fight with the Caterhams


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