Formula 1 News

Driver's Australian GP Qualifying Quotes Round-Up

Let's have a look at what the drivers had to say after the session.
Saturday, March 26, 2011


Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel
“It was a funny winter; the cars changed a lot and testing was really busy. We all tried to
work our way around the Pirelli tyres and coming here we’re all impressed by how they’re
working on one lap and also when there’s more fuel in the car. It’s promising for Sunday, so
we’ll see how we get on. We have made the first step and starting the season this way with a
pole position is a good sign for the team. We’ve been working very hard to get the RB7 to
where it is now it’s thanks to all those in the factory and those here, down under, for
preparing the car. If you look at the points we still have zero like everyone else, so we need
to see what happens tomorrow.”

Mark Webber
“I was disappointed with my performance today. Sebastian put in a very good lap. I’m a little
bit mystified by the gap to be honest, I tried my best. I’ll have to go through it and have a
look at where I can improve and go from there. It’s frustrating, but credit to the team; the
guys have done an incredible job. Obviously it wasn’t the best day for me, but the bar is high.
I would like to have done better, but reflecting on the performance of the team and what
they’ve done over the winter it’s incredible.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button
“I think we should be happy with this result. Q3 was a bit disappointing, however: I got stuck
behind Nico [Rosberg], and Felipe [Massa] had a spin in front of me. It was all quite messy
the lap that I didn’t complete in Q2 would have been quicker! So we didn’t get the most out
of our package in Q3, but it’s nonetheless a massive step forward from what we had in
testing, so we should all be very happy with what we’ve done so far. And there’s still a lot we
can build on: the car is still in its early stages because we haven’t done much testing. To be
reliable and reasonably quick gives us huge motivation: everyone back at the factory should
be really proud they put in an awful lot of hard work to get us here today. I’m really looking
forward to tomorrow: I had a good race from fourth last year, and I think I can have a good
race from fourth this year, too. We ought to be positive and think we can challenge for the
win tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton
“I was really happy with my lap today. The car felt fantastic, and I owe it all to the guys back
at the factory, in the design office and those building components. They need to give
themselves a huge pat on the back. It was a brave decision to make such a dramatic change
to the car, and a superb effort to deliver that change. An amazing turnaround! However,
although I was pleased with my performance today, my KERS Hybrid stopped working
halfway round my final lap I had 40 per cent left that I couldn’t deploy but that would have
been worth only an extra couple of tenths. Still, it’s good to know, because this car platform
is now definitely something we can build upon. Tomorrow is a long race and it won’t be won
at the first corner. We need to take home some good points from this weekend because we
know our car will only get better. We still have some work to do, but I think the race is
winnable from here and I’ll be giving Sebastian [Vettel] the race of his life tomorrow!”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso
“Clearly, we cannot be happy with this result, but we must not immediately make a drama
out of it. We definitely did not get the most out of the car and we have to understand the
reasons for that. Compared to what we saw at the tests, here we ended up much closer to
cars that had been a long way off in Spain. We went well yesterday and we had a good
feeling for the car, while right from this morning the situation changed, obviously for the
worse. Now let’s see how the race turns out. In testing and in yesterday’s free practice, our
performance over a long run was good and we were definitely closer to those who today
seem to be a long way off. Fifth place on the grid is not too bad and it means I am in a
position to fight for a podium finish in a race which is still wide open, if Felipe Massa you
only think what happened last year, with Kubica starting from sixth or seventh and finishing
second. McLaren seems to have made a good step forward, but you should not dismiss
Mercedes either, who were impressive at the last Barcelona test.”

Felipe Massa
“We were less competitive than we could rightly have expected and there’s no doubt about
that. Sure, I did not think I would be fighting for pole, especially when you look at the very
quick time that Vettel did, but I had hoped to be higher up the order. We had problems with
grip on both the hard and the soft tyres on a surface where the tyres wear a lot less than we
have seen in winter testing and they provide less grip on the first lap, or at least they do with
our car. Now we have to prepare as well as possible for tomorrow’s race, when pure speed
will not be the only thing that counts, with reliability and team work being especially
important. My spin in Q3? When I came out of pit lane, I accelerated and the tyres were
evidently still too cold: the set was not damaged for the race, but it was definitely not a help
on my only flying lap.”

Mercedes GP Petronas

Michael Schumacher
"Clearly that was not an ideal start to the season, and I cannot deny that I am disappointed. It's not
about that KERS only worked intermittently or that I could probably have made it to Q3, but it is
because our performance did not turn out as we expected. From our testing experience, we were
around the pace of Ferrari, however this did not translate today. We faced more problems here than
at the test with several issues throughout the whole weekend. We now have to look deeply into it to
understand why it turned out to be like this, because for the moment we are not where we wanted to

Nico Rosberg
"I'm disappointed as when I went to bed last night, I was hopeful of a good qualifying
performance. In the morning, a few things didn't work on my car, but the team did a good job
and almost all of the systems were working for Qualifying, so we need to find out what
happened. I did make a small mistake in Q3 which possibly cost me a place but it hasn't
quite come together for us this weekend. One good thing is that I will start on the clean side
of the grid, and we will do our best to score some good points tomorrow."

Lotus Renault GP

Nick Heidfeld
“I’m disappointed to be starting the season from so far back. It wasn’t an easy session and I
had a problem with the KERS, which meant I had to change some settings, and that cost me
one of my timed laps. Then, there was so much traffic and I tried to find some free space,
but it didn’t work out for me. It’s bad luck, but I must try and put that behind me now. As we
have seen with Vitaly, the car seems to have good pace and the race is wide open, so
hopefully I can move forward and fight for points.”

Vitaly Petrov
"After all the hard work during a very tough winter for the whole team, it feels great to come
here and qualify on the third row. There was a lot of pressure in Q3 because I only had one
run, right at the end of the session. So there were no second chances and I'm glad I was able
to deliver the lap. The car has felt good right from the start of practice and we've improved it
constantly during each session. I think we are in a great position for the race and that we can
fight for some points tomorrow. I'm not too worried about the tyres because they have been
working well for us so far and we have not seen the drop off that we saw during winter

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello
"Today was unfortunate. I made a mistake, went wide and spun. We have to wait and see
what our pace is, but it was quicker than we thought it would be. On another positive note,
we’ve saved our tyres for tomorrow which could be important."

Pastor Maldonado
"I made it through Q1 fine and everything was going well. On the first set of tyres in Q2, I had
two yellow flags; with the second set, I had a big flat spot and had to abort the run. The
session was exciting though! We need to improve a bit, but overall the car is good and I feel
optimistic. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I really think points are possible."

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil
"During qualifying itself our speed was ok and better than expected. On my flying lap in Q2 I
was only a few hundred metres from the finish line when I ran wide on the kerb, lost the rear
and had a spin. It is a shame because I was on for a 1:26.1 so I could have been in the region
of P12. It's looking quite good for the race tomorrow; for sure we have opportunities to pass
people with the rear wing and KERS, so lets see how it goes."

Paul Di Resta
"I think if you'd have said that we would be starting the race from P14 going in to qualifying,
we'd have been pretty happy. So for my first qualifying session I think we have to be happy
with our result today and it gives me a place to build on for the future. I'd like to thank
everyone in the team for their efforts and I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow.

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez
“My first qualifying started quite well with P6 in Q1, and this was mainly because in the third
free practice I couldn’t run on soft tyres and low fuel as we lost a lot of time due to a
hydraulic problem. In Q2 we were a bit tight on time after the yellow flag, and then on my last
flying lap I had traffic in the final sector and could not get the most out of the tyres. Today a
better result was possible, and this is a shame. But generally I feel very comfortable and
hope for a good race tomorrow with some points at the end.”

Kamui Kobayashi
“Overall performance wise we are not too bad and now we see what we have done in the
winter was okay. Of course there are still things to improve, but this is only the first Grand
Prix and making it into Q3 is good. I want to thank the team. I only wish I had a set of new
tyres left for Q3, instead of the used set of soft tyres, as then I think P6 would have been
possible. However, I believe today is positive news and I’m very happy to give that to Japan.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari
“I am quite happy, although I have to congratulate my team-mate on doing a better job than
me. This is a good result for the team and promising for tomorrow, when my main target will
be to score points. The team did a great job during the winter to produce a fast car and this is
the first result of that, which I hope we can continue to improve on in the next few races.”

Sebastien Buemi
“I am very happy to be back in Q3, as we had not been there since 2009. In the end, I had no
more new tyres, but all the same, I have to say thanks to the team for doing such a good job
and it shows we are on the right road. Let’s hope we can continue to do well in the race
tomorrow and from what we have seen of our pace in free practice, I think that should be
possible. I could not have hoped for a better start to the season, being among the ten fastest
cars on the grid. My quick lap was good and I don’t think I could have done any better.

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen
"Unfortunately the rear wing was stuck in the high downforce configuration for the second
run which definitely masked the real pace there is in the car. We've also struggled with
getting the most out of the tyres all weekend but I think the increased temperatures
tomorrow will suit the car much more and we'll be in good shape to show what we can really
do in the race."

Jarno Trulli
"I've had a few issues with the power steering in practice but the team worked well to resolve
that for qualifying and the car definitely felt better than it had this morning and yesterday.
We'll clearly be much quicker when we can get the tyres up to full temperature so it'll be an
exciting race for us tomorrow and I think we'll be in good shape to push the guys ahead who
we were much closer to in the warmer conditions in pre-season testing."

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock
“The first weekend of the new season has been a tough test for us and today we got the
chance to see where we stand and how we need to move forward. I had a new engineer and
a new performance engineer over the winter and together with my car crew they have done
a fantastic job in testing and this weekend. At the end of the day though, fighting for a time
within 107% of the leaders is not what we’re here for and we can see now where we are and
what we need to do to progress. We are a really strong team and now we have to bring the
car up to where we need it to be. As for tomorrow, the opening race of the season, we will be
focusing on staying reliable and bringing both cars to the finish as the reward for everyone’s
hard work.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio
“I'm very happy with the progress made this weekend and this has ensured we can look
forward to the race tomorrow. On a personal level this was my first qualifying session and I
was able to see exactly what was required and where I have to improve. I will use all the
information good and bad to see what I need to work on so I can keep improving. But for
now I am happy that things went our wa today and I hope I can have a positive experience 
in my first Formula One race tomorrow. 

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5 Sauber 21
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