Driver Quotes- USGP




17 NOVEMBER 2012

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

“It’s good to start from pole and be on the clean side of the grid. It was important to feel the car from the

first session onwards, in order to get more out of it as the weekend developed – we can be happy with

the result and look forward to tomorrow. The car feels great. In terms of the Championship, we need to

focus on ourselves and try to get the best result that we can. If you’re thinking about where the others

are, then you don’t get the optimum from yourself, and that’s what we need to focus on. Our job is done

today, but so far no one has scored any points”

Mark Webber

“We were all a bit concerned about the grip difference between the left and right hand side of the grid.

We were able to make some practice starts after P3, which was important and made it a bit more even.

The field wasn’t that settled today during qualifying, but it’s a tricky venue on tyres and that was the

theme of the day. I’m happy to be third. The strategy for tomorrow looks reasonably straightforward, but

it’s the first time we will have raced here, so we need to stay on our toes and be flexible if needed.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

“I came here this weekend to push almost beyond the limit – and that approach seemed to work in

qualifying. I gave it everything. I did two consecutive quick-laps – and, on my second lap, having put in

a ‘banker’, I didn’t really have anything to lose, so I went almost over the limit, really on the edge, but

the car still seemed to handle it well. On the final corner, I gained a little time on the entry but lost it on

the exit. I got every corner perfect, I reckon, except for that last one. Looking ahead to tomorrow, Turn

One is very wide and there’ll be lots of opportunities for drivers to make or lose positions. My side of the

grid will be a bit dirty, because it’s off-line, so I hope the authorities will cleaning the circuit on that side

of the track so that the drivers on the inside will have a chance to at least keep their positions at the


Jenson Button

“It was such a pity to be put out of the running so early into the qualifying session. We had a

throttle pedal problem – the engineers don’t yet know exactly what caused it – but I suffered a

loss of drive out on the circuit. Fortunately, I got one decently quick lap in during Q2, which was

good enough for P12, otherwise I’d have been starting much farther back. This circuit is such a

fun place to drive around, but it’s not going to be too easy to overtake. Going into Turn One at

the start is also going to be tricky, particularly as I’ll be starting so far back. Still, I really hope we

can put on a great show for all the American fans – it’s great to see so many people embracing

the sport.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso

“We never managed to put together the best lap, which on these tyres and with these track conditions

is always the last one you do. We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were

too slow and we will start from too far back. Having said that, the accounts are always done at the end

of the race: also in Abu Dhabi we were slower than our main rivals and then we got back three points in

the classification. Our aim remains unchanged and it’s still possible: on Sunday all sorts of things can

happen. Reliability, strategy – it will be important to work out when is the best time to pit because here,

the cold tyres can be slower by several seconds – and team work will be as usual important. The

updates? We tried to find the best possible combination between all the parts we had available, as it’s

not always the case that the latest part is the best choice, especially when you are at a brand new

track. We will push to the limit, as we have done since the start of the year at every race weekend.”

Felipe Massa

“This qualifying was pretty much a lottery: the lucky number is always the last one! With this type of

tyre on this asphalt one struggles to get the tyres up to temperature and one has to lap continuously

before being able to set a good time. IN Q2, we managed it, but in Q3 things did not go as well: it’s

never easy to do the perfect lap with so little grip. It will definitely not be an easy race for us, given

the grid positions of our main rivals, but we must stay focused because all the same, tomorrow will

be hard for everyone. We will have to do our utmost and then we will see how it goes. Starting from

the dirty side of the track is definitely not helpful: it’s the first time we’re not happy about gaining a

grid position!”

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Michael Schumacher

“Qualifying was better than we expected, especially as we have struggled over the weekend and

have worked hard to make progress and achieve such a solid job today. Qualifying in sixth place is a

good and important position for us as a team. I had a good lap in Q3 and everything felt right with the

car so we were able to maximise the potential. It will make a big difference here whether you start

from the clean or dirty side of the grid, so gaining an extra place due to Grosjean’s penalty was a

nice surprise. The car looks reasonably consistent for the race and I would like to achieve the

maximum result possible tomorrow.”

Nico Rosberg

“I ran our old exhaust system in qualifying today as part of our evaluation programme for next year.

We had already used it yesterday and made the decision to continue for the rest of the weekend to

help with the learning process. The car felt good this morning in the cool temperatures but the

difference to Michael’s car surprised me this afternoon. So I hope that the race pace is better

tomorrow and the switch will be worth it. I will definitely push to score points.”

Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen

“I was actually expecting a more difficult qualifying session today, but the car was the best it’s felt all

weekend so it turned out to be quite good. The set-up is still not exactly how I want it but it’s much

closer. The warmer conditions make the car work much better and that certainly makes a difference.

Starting on the dirty side of the grid maybe isn’t the best; we’ll have to hope that the circuit picks up a

little more grip for the race tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean

“I will start P9, but this is racing. The guys did an awesome job to change the gearbox between FP3

and Qualifying – which was a really tight turnaround – but we’re still in the top ten even with the penalty

so that’s a good result. Apart from the gearbox problem, it’s all gone very well today. We’ve understood

a difficult and evolving circuit and found a good set-up. I’m happy to be where I am and at least I will be

on the good side of the track for the start tomorrow.”

Williams F1

Pastor Maldonado

“The performance wasn’t there yesterday so today was much better for us. Unfortunately in Q3 the

grip wasn’t there, as it was difficult to get the tyres working correctly. It’s important we are in the top

ten for tomorrow though. We have a good car so we are looking to get more points tomorrow in what

looks set to be a good race. All around the track are Venezuelan flags and there is a lot of support

here for me as it’s so close to my home, so hopefully that will help give me an extra boost tomorrow!”

Bruno Senna

“Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my best lap in Q2, running a bit wide on Turn 19 and then

having dirty tyres which cost me about half a second and a place in Q3 for sure. It’s frustrating but

we are able to score good points from where we are. We have a good car and we looked competitive

in our race simulation in practice yesterday, so I’m really looking forward to the race. It’s a track we

are all attacking and it’s important to keep pushing.”

Sahara Force India

Nico Hulkenberg

“I’m happy to get another top ten result and it’s been a good effort by the whole team, especially given

where we were yesterday evening. My lap in Q3 was not too bad, but I was a little compromised by a

Williams in the last couple of corners, so maybe there was a little bit more to come. Generally I’m quite

happy and confident we can race strongly because our long-run pace looked competitive yesterday.

There are lots of unknowns about tomorrow because there is no data from the past to help us, but

we’re in good shape and I’m really enjoying driving at this new track.”

Paul Di Resta

“It has been a difficult weekend so far and I’m still struggling to get the tyres working. I have quite a

smooth driving style so maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to switch them on as well as Nico, who

has a more aggressive approach. The good news is that P13 is on the cleaner side of the grid so that

should help me maximise the start. It’s a long race but I’m not really sure what to expect tomorrow. The

car is not quite where I want it to be so I just need to make the best of it and hope we can use the

strategy to help us move forward.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez

“We have lost a lot of performance compared to this morning’s practice session and at the moment we

don’t really know why. The track temperature increased a lot, but for me the tyre warm up still wasn’t

any better. My car tended to oversteer quite a lot in qualifying. Perhaps we did not follow the way the

track conditions developed in the right direction. I want to thank all the people in the grandstands and

especially all the Mexicans, who sacrificed time and money to travel to Austin and bought tickets. In my

country you always go with your entire family and I know this is not easy to do because it is an

expensive trip. I wish I could have done better today, but I will do my very best to give all these people a

good race tomorrow. For sure I will fight for points however difficult this might be.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“Without doubt the result is disappointing for us because after free practice we were expecting a better

qualifying. I found the warm up of the tyres easier this afternoon, but still I could not find the peak

performance for the tyres. I just don’t know yet why this was. Tomorrow in the race it should be less of

a problem to get the tyres to work, but obviously our grid positions will make it difficult to put in a good


Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jean-Éric Vergne

“I think the team has worked well so far this weekend to produce a car that seems a bit more

competitive than in the past few races. It doesn’t mean much that I beat my team-mate today, because

he had some difficulties in the first session. Maybe I could have got a bit more out of the car this

afternoon, perhaps found a couple of tenths. After going over the kerbs and damaging the suspension

this morning, I obviously lost some track time and without that, I might have had a better understanding

of the tyres. However, as I said before, the car feels good, there are plenty of overtaking opportunities

here so my plan tomorrow is to go hunting for some more points.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“That was a difficult and frustrating session for me. We knew it would take a long time for the tyres to

come in, especially as the asphalt is still so slippery. We never really got them to work properly as I got

stuck in traffic in the early part and then came the yellow flags when I was about to try for my last two

laps. It meant I never got a clean run. This is one of my worst qualifying performances of the season,

the first time I haven’t made it to Q2 for seven races, so I just want to put it behind me now and aim to

have a better Sunday, which should be entirely within our capabilities.”

Caterham F1 Team

Heikki Kovalainen

“We underperformed today, it’s really that simple. We went with a plan that didn’t work and

unfortunately both Vitaly and I weren’t able to get enough heat into the tyres to get the best out of

them, or manage the traffic well enough to get a clean lap in. Tomorrow’s another day so now we

need to regroup and have a better performance in the race than we did today.”

Vitaly Petrov

“Quali obviously didn’t go how we wanted it to. I had traffic issues on every lap and wasn’t able to put

a clean lap together, but even without that we’ve struggled with the tyres here all weekend and that

showed today. It was bad timing for us that the HRT stopped on track just when Heikki and I were on

our quickest laps and having been stuck behind them, but you can’t plan for that so we need to put

today behind us and hopefully we’ll be better tomorrow.”

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Pedro de la Rosa

“It was not easy and still not perfect but I knew that it would be a lot better than yesterday and this

morning on my out lap. I could already feel the tyres switching on. We struggled with bringing them

up to temperature all weekend and finally in qualifying we managed. Both because the temperature

of the asphalt picked up and we improved the the balance of the car, but grip level is still pretty low. It

felt good and hopefully it will be like this tomorrow for the race but at this track we are still far from

our direct competitors. In any case, we will do our best tomorrow and fight until the end”.

Narain Karthikeyan

“Driving was quite challenging in the morning because it was difficult to bring the tyres up to

temperature. But things improved a lot in the afternoon with a much warmer track. The tyres and the

car performed much better and we managed to put in a few good laps. I think we could still have

improved on the last laps but the car suddenly stopped. We had a problem with the fuel pick up that

we are now looking into it but we don’t expect it to be a problem for tomorrow’s race”.

Marussia F1 Team

Timo Glock

“Another good day today. I think we concentrated on the right things, although it was a challenge

through FP3 to get to that point as it is hard to put a good single lap together here. In qualifying I

thought I had a strong lap and the tyres were really coming in, but towards the end I had a bit of wheel

lift and the rear felt a bit strange. I think we could have gone quicker because the tyres were improving

so much lap by lap, but because of the yellow flags there was no chance for more improvement.

However, we are almost 0.8s ahead of the Caterhams and we have to be very pleased with that. This is

great development from the team and although it seems like we remind everyone every race just now,

we’ve managed all that without the advantage of KERS and that is a significant point. I’m very excited

for the race and I hope we can continue the good work.”

Charles Pic

“It was a good qualifying session and the most important thing is that we got both our cars ahead of

both Caterhams. Looking at the detail though, I missed some important track time this morning

because of the incident with Perez and we were not able to get a good feel for the car by the end of

FP3. There was more to come for qualifying for sure and then towards the end of Q1 we hit some

traffic. Overall, despite not having fully optimized our package, I am pleased with where we ended up. It

is a fantastic result for the team and to keep moving forward like this with each new race is very

positive. Now we will focus on the race and take time tonight to consider the best way to play things to

bring us a good result. My thanks to the whole team for such a great job.”

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