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MALAYSIAN GP- QUALIFYING

DRIVER QUOTES

29 MARCH 2014

INFINITI RED BULL RACING

#1 Sebastian Vettel

“My heartbeat was rising very quickly in Q1 when we realised there was an issue. We came in and restarted the car, which seemed to solve the problem and after that it was fine. It was good to go out

and get another feel for the car in the wet conditions. Q3 was not perfect; I would have loved to have had a second go – on my first attempt I felt there was a little bit of time to gain here and there. It was very close, maybe too close, as if you look at the margin it was possible to go faster, but then if Lewis would have had another chance he would have improved also so, would should, could, at the end of the day it’s good to be on the front row and it should be the good side of the grid for tomorrow – it depends on how our start is, but I’m happy with the result.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo

“When it rains here, it definitely pours and the weather was our biggest challenge today. Finding space on the track can be tough and the visibility is so bad, the spray comes from hundreds of metres away so just getting some clean road is something you really have to try and take care of. I was a bit off in Q3, so I’ve got to try and understand why, but nonetheless I think top five is not too bad, considering the conditions. I think we’ve definitely got a better chance in the wet. Mercedes were really quick this morning in the dry, so it would be good if it’s like this tomorrow. Sebastian had quite a big gap to me, so I’ve got to see where I can improve really as his pace was really good and close to pole.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

#44 Lewis Hamilton

“I’m really happy with our result today. It was a very close session and I’m relieved to come away with pole position as it was pretty tense towards the end. The lap was far from being my optimum: I should have been able to eke out a little more time but thankfully it wasn’t needed. Conditions were incredibly difficult and it would have been so easy to get it wrong today. At times towards the end it was almost impossible to see if anyone was behind me. The team have done a great job once again, we have a great car, and we now have to convert this performance tomorrow.”

#6 Nico Rosberg

“I didn’t feel very comfortable on the extreme wet tyres at the end of Q3, especially on the brakes, but I was still able to improve enough to claim third from Fernando which was the positive for me. We’ve definitely improved the way we manage the sessions since Australia, so I was the last car to cross the line, but unfortunately the track didn’t really improve. It will definitely be a difficult an  eventful race as the weather is predicted to be the same again, but that will give me opportunities to gain some positions. I’m looking forward to the race and I want to get the best out of it, like we did in Melbourne.”

SCUDERIA FERRARI

#14 Fernando Alonso

“I am really pleased with this fourth place, because to get into Q3 with the problem I had with the steering is really a good result. In a season when it takes a lot of time to make any sort of change to the cars, the guys managed to change the suspension in just a few minutes, which is a real record. They also got me back out on track at the right moment, which meant I could get into Q3. The incident with Kvyat was unfortunate for both of us and was inevitable, because by the time I saw the Toro Rosso it was too late. As usual in the rain, visibility is significantly reduced and it becomes a lottery. The team was super again in Q3 when it was a case of working out when to fit the set of new Extreme Wets we had: we did it at the start when the track conditions were better and so we were immediately able to do a quick lap. Starting from fourth and sixth places, I think the podium is possible and, apart from the form shown by Mercedes, the performance among those chasing them is reasonably close. This weekend, we opted to work more on race pace than on our single lap performance and the feeling is positive. But we know it will be tough and the uncertainty over the weather means it’s hard to know what sort of race to expect.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen

“The rain made this qualifying very difficult. I knew that in the wet it would not be easy, but I didn’t expect to have so many problems. I had poor traction and on top of that, with the Extreme Wet, for

some reason I was losing grip after the first lap. Now we have to find out why, as it will be useful for the coming races. Cleary, I’m not happy with sixth place, but given the circumstances, I cannot say I’m surprised and now I only want to think about doing well tomorrow. It will be a tough race with particularly high temperatures, but I am reasonably confident, because we have gone better here than in Melbourne and if we don’t have any problems, we can think in terms of getting a better result. Overall, my feel for the car is improving and even if there is still a way to go, we are working in the right direction.”

LOTUS F1 TEAM

#8 Romain Grosjean

“It was definitely a good surprise to reach Q2 today, and I think we would have had the potential to reach Q3 had it not been for a miscommunication towards the end of the session when I should have come in for new tyres. At the moment we’re just trying to make the best of everything we have and then to put that together. It’s clear there has been some good progression; today we made some strong improvements and didn’t have many problems, so we just need a bit more of that! The car was on the track when we wanted it to be, and we were able to try a few different things – some of which worked, and some of which didn’t – and it was a good Q1. Q2 could have been better, but overall we’ll hope that everything goes well tomorrow and then we’ll take it from there.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado

“I was on a good flying lap when the red flag came out and, for sure, I would have improved my position if I had been able to finish my lap. At the same time, I think we were a bit late with new tyres, so we’ll need to analyse that. In these conditions it’s a bit like a lottery, and this time I was unlucky. The important and positive thing is that the car is running quite well, and there were no problems today, which is very good. We’re very happy and hopefully this is a big step forwards and we can start to develop our performance from here.”

McLAREN MERCEDES

#22 Jenson Button

“The decision to run on Inters in Q3 was my choice. I usually make those kinds of calls – and tend to get them right – but I got it wrong today. “When you’re quick enough to be fastest on Full Wets, then choosing to run on Inters isn’t worth the gamble; but, when you’re fighting at the back of the top 10, it’s worth giving it a go to see what happens. And into that final qualifying session, just as it looked as though the conditions were heading back towards favouring the Inter, it went and rained again. “Funnily enough, though, I’m not too disappointed that I made the wrong call. We might have qualified only a couple of places higher if we’d called it differently, and that’s not what we’re aiming for – so it was worth a gamble. “Besides, if it’s wet tomorrow, it’ll be tough for everyone – the tyres give us no grip in these conditions, since all the cars are obviously running lower downforce than last year. “No-one knows what’ll happen tomorrow – but one thing everyone knows is that, if it rains, it’ll be tricky.

#20 Kevin Magnussen

“The car isn’t too bad in these rainy conditions, but I think we just got the timings a bit wrong. I’m still learning about Inters and Full Wets, so it was hard to make the right calls this afternoon. But I’m discovering more all the time, and overall I’d say today was good experience for me. “Eighth isn’t too bad, but it isn’t too good either. It’s certainly not satisfying, because it’s not where we want to be. “It’s a shame I went off near the end of Q2 – the trip into the gravel caused some damage to the floor – I don’t know how much performance we lost, but I think we could have done a little bit more in Q3 if the car had been in one piece. “Our car feels good, and it definitely has untapped potential. “I think we can do a better job tomorrow. The pace probably isn’t quite there yet for us to be able to fight for outright victory, but we’ll be in the mix. “Let’s see what happens.”

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM

#27 Nico Hulkenberg

“It was pretty challenging with the weather conditions today. There was so much rain, standing water and spray. Visibility was an issue and it was hard to see your braking points. It’s tricky to drive these engines with lots of torque in these conditions and you need to be really smooth with the throttle out of the slow corners, but I enjoyed the challenge. We’re in P7 and in the top ten on the grid for the second time in a row, which is a result we can be satisfied with. I think we have shown all weekend that we have the speed to be top ten material whether it’s wet or dry and I hope to score a good helping of points tomorrow.”

#11 Sergio Perez

“The conditions out there were very difficult and they kept changing with every lap, especially during Q2. I had a better feeling on the intermediate tyres and when I changed to the full wets I struggled to keep the temperature in them, which made it hard to put together a good lap. Tomorrow we will need to try and recover from P14, but we have to see what the weather will do. I also need to solve the rear locking which is affecting me under braking in the wet conditions. I’m still confident we can have a good race and I will keep fighting to score as many points as possible.”

SAUBER F1 TEAM

#99 Adrian Sutil

“Our strategy was to get out onto the track a bit later, as the track normally has the best conditions at this stage. However, more rain started to fall again. We would have improved, but due to the red flag we did not have any more time left. The car was very difficult to drive in these conditions, as the tyres never had enough grip. There is a lot of work ahead of us. At the moment it is difficult to drive a good lap. We need to improve step by step and be patient.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez

“It was a good qualifying. In the morning we were really busy and we tried to put everything together. Everyone did a great job, and we managed to overcome some small issues to have a reliable car. I really want to thank my team and also Ferrari, as they have been working very hard to further improve the power unit. The conditions on the track were quite tough. However, we managed to improve the car during qualifying, trying to adapt the aero balance and also the tyre pressures. It was a good day. P12 is a great starting position considering our overall performance. Tomorrow we are going to do our best.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

#25 Jean-Eric Vergne

“I am happy having finished ninth and in the top ten for the second race in a row. But it was a difficult qualifying and the car was not easy to drive. We’ve never been really fast but in Q2 I could manage to do a very good lap that brought me into Q3. We have to look at all the data now to understand why we were quite slow in the wet. I’m really confident the team and I can do a good job tomorrow and I hope we’ll finish in the points here like we did in Melbourne. We definitely have the car to do so.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat

“It was a shame to be knocked out of Q3 right at the end by my team-mate, but Jev was faster than me today and I was too conservative on my last lap. As for the incident with Alonso, the visibility was very poor for everyone and I think he didn’t see me and in the end, he turned into me. I think it was quite normal that he didn’t see me because there was so much spray. Now, let’s see what happens tomorrow, as it really depends on the conditions out there. Q3 could have been possible today, but all the same P11 is a good starting point.”

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING

#19 Felipe Massa

« In dry conditions we are normally fighting for a top six position and the car feels good, but when it is wet the car lacks grip and can feel unstable with lots of sliding which is something we need to address. It’s a shame as this qualifying result is not really reflective of where we should be. The good thing is that the cars seem to be very close in terms of lap time so that will help us overtake tomorrow, and I’m hoping that we have very different weather conditions as the car feels completely different in the dry. »

#77 Valtteri Bottas

“It was a difficult qualifying session for us today and it was very reminiscent of our qualifying in Melbourne. The more water there was on track the more we struggled with the rear grip of the car. We tried both the intermediates and the wets but we just couldn’t get the grip we needed from either tyre. The wet conditions highlight where our weaknesses are, so we have a clear direction for where we need to improve the car. I still think we have a chance of fighting for some points though if we have a dry race. »

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM

#17 Jules Bianchi

“I think it was a good qualifying session and one where we did not experience any issues with the ERS management, so this is positive. Now we have to work on the difficulties we experienced in the wet for the first time. The conditions were very changeable so timing was always going to be critical today. Now we will keep working for the race tomorrow, as I think we can achieve a good result if circumstances go our way and we make the best of everything.”

#4 Max Chilton

“A slightly frustrating qualifying session after having been on the pace all weekend. In those conditions, you get one chance to pull everything together at the same time and the only time I got a clear lap was the lap where I didn’t get any ERS. I also had traffic on my push lap, so it was a bit of a messy session all round, which is a shame as I felt quite confident with the car. We don’t yet know what tomorrow will bring but I’m prepared for any eventuality weather-wise and I think we have a car to take advantage of any opportunities.”

CATERHAM F1 TEAM

#9 Kamui Kobayashi

“Yet more problems with the car meant I was only able to complete seven laps in FP3. Even with that limited running we were still able to make a bit of progress, and with the data generated from my teammate’s car we were able to set the car up for quali, but obviously this isn’t how we are going to find out what the car is really capable of. b“In quali we went out with the pack on inters and as much as I was pushing I wasn’t able to get any more out of the car, especially as I couldn’t get the inters into their working range so never had them running properly. Bearing in mind the tiny number of laps we did all weekend, and the problems we had on Saturday morning, the fact we were even running in qualifying was down to the hard work the team put in, so to have got out there and put in laps after all the problems we’ve had is a small reward. Now we focus on tomorrow and hope we can have a full race. If it rains like it did today anything could happen – I just want the chance to race properly!”

#10 Marcus Ericsson

“After the first FP3 run it was clear we’d made a good step from last night, both with the overall handling and with the driveability of the power unit. On the first run we were out on the primes and even though it was an improvement from Friday there was still pretty low grip. We then did one run on options with a couple of setup changes and the car immediately felt better, still not really close to an optimum setup but a bit closer. Unfortunately after that second run we found an oil leak which meant we had to end the session just after the performance run, but we went into qualifying with a bit of an idea of where we would be in terms of outright pace in the dry. “The rain started before quali and we went into the delayed session knowing we’d start on a wet track. That was my first ever wet running in F1, in any session, so from the first lap it was all a new experience for me. It didn’t start too well with the car cutting out while I was waiting in the pitlane, but we fired it up again in the garage and I rejoined right in the middle of a pack of cars on their first Q1 quick laps – that was pretty interesting I have to say! “With every lap I was learning more and more and we made a quick stop with a few minutes left to put on another set of inters, but then on the final quick lap I made a mistake in sector one and crashed. I’m really sorry for the team. They’ve worked so hard all weekend on the problems we’ve had, and now they have another huge job ahead of them to prepare the car for tomorrow, but I know they’ll keep pushing and we’ll all come back fighting tomorrow. This has been another big lesson for me – my first wet running in F1, my first Q1 on inters and my first big off – it’s all part of being a rookie in F1 and I will learn from every single thing that happens.”

 

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.