2013 British Grand Prix Qualifying - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on Saturday's qualifying session
By William Esler
Last Updated: 29/06/13 5:41pm
Sebastian Vettel: "We will see what happens tomorrow. It's a long race, but I'm happy with today. Either Lewis found a short cut or he has something special round here, it was a phenomenal lap and he wasn't in reach today. I was very happy with the lap I did at the end, it was very close with Mark also. We did what we could for the team and it's always nice to position well in qualifying, especially around here - qualifying is good fun and I'm enjoying the high speed corners. We'll see how we get on with the tyres tomorrow and with looking after them. I'm happy for the team today, our factory is very close to this track, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "We were up against it to get on the front row against the Mercs, they're on another level as they have been for the last few events. It was disappointing to get pipped by Seb there at the end by a hundredth, it was very close. I was happy with the first part of my lap, but I could have done better in the last sector. We have a good balance for qualifying and race pace in terms of where we prioritised things. It should be an interesting race, we can get a good result from there."
Fernando Alonso: "This weekend has been complicated for us by problems that we haven't managed to get on top of, concerning various aspects such as the balance of the car, its driveability and performance. We can consider this the worst Saturday of the season so far, having never finished so far down, but now we must react immediately to try and return to the form we showed at the start of the year.
"We definitely expected a lot more here, because this is a track that suits our car's characteristics better than others. In Q3, we hesitated a bit over tyre choice: we went out on the Hards because they had worked well in free practice this morning and in Q1. Then we switched to Medium with the idea of just coming back to the pits if it did not go well but then we decided to finish the lap and nevertheless our rivals were quicker.
"Now, we must try to do the same, starting from tomorrow: even if the race will be an uphill struggle we are well aware how things can change during a race. We hope we can stage a good climb up the order and bring home as many points as possible".
Felipe Massa: "It was an extremely difficult day as we did not have the car we were expecting and we had no grip whatsoever with new tyres. Compared to other cars, we struggled to put together a good lap. The time lost when I went off the track yesterday and the interruption this morning to change the engine definitely cost me valuable kilometres and in qualifying I lacked the few tenths necessary to make it through to Q3.
"Now we must think about tomorrow, as the race is an altogether different matter and I hope that, with a full fuel load and higher temperatures, things can change in our favour. If the car is more competitive, I'm sure I can pull off a few passing moves and fight for a good result".
Jenson Button: "I'm higher on the grid than I expected after practice. Yesterday, I didn't think we'd qualify ahead of one Ferrari and just behind the two Lotuses. But I was much happier in qualifying than I'd been all weekend - we should be positive that we've improved the car
"I think 11th was the best we could have realistically achieved today. Even if we'd got into Q3, we'd probably have been 10th; so starting 11th means I'll have a new set of tyres and will start from the clean side of the grid.
"After Q2 I walked down the pitlane to the FIA scales, waving to the crowd. There were so many Union Jacks and rocket-red caps out there, and the fans have been unbelievably supportive all weekend. You always want to do a good job in front of your home crowd, so I want to say a big 'thank-you' to them for their support.
"You never know what will happen tomorrow: starting 11th isn't great, but we can race well from there. I will drive my heart out for a good result."
Sergio Perez: "It's been a difficult day. The puncture in FP3 wasn't the best preparation for qualifying - and it made it more difficult, because we had to change the damaged floor for the older-spec version.
"This afternoon, I struggled a little with the warm-up of my tyres during Q2; I lost temperature when I was stopped and weighed at the FIA scales. We've been a bit unlucky all day.
"Still, we were a lot closer today than we were yesterday. Even if it's not apparent, we've definitely made some improvements, and I think we might have had the potential to slip into Q3 if we'd been a little bit luckier.
"Our race pace should be better than our qualifying pace. Tomorrow is still going to be difficult, but I'm positive we can go forwards from here."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a close qualifying session between both of the team's cars so I think we both got pretty much all there was from the car today. It's not ideal as we'd like to be nearer the front of the grid, but it is what it is. We'll go into the race wanting to get a better result than we did in qualifying. Usually this is what happens for us and and hopefully that is the case again tomorrow."
Romain Grosjean: "Whilst were very quick on the hard tyres at the beginning of qualifying, we weren't as competitive on the mediums, I don't know if it's the weather or something else, but we weren't as good on them as in free practice this morning meaning we didn't have enough to qualify further up the grid. We are working hard and in the right direction, but the tyres are still playing a key part. I'm quite satisfied with my performance today."
Lewis Hamilton: "It feels incredible to be on pole, just like it did back in 2007. We have the greatest Formula One fans in the world here in Britain and there was a great turnout today, which makes the atmosphere so special. My lap in Q3 was a lap for the fans out there around the circuit. I haven't been feeling comfortable in the car all weekend, so I was really happy to find a good lap and this feels fantastic.
"The team has done a phenomenal job and it's a great reward for the guys here at the track but also back at base, especially as our two factories are so close to the track. But we know that tomorrow is another day and our Sunday performance isn't quite as strong right now. Our long run pace looked ok yesterday and we were able to manage the tyres quite well. It's going to be tough to keep Seb behind but we will give it everything we've got."
Nico Rosberg: "A fantastic team result today and it's great to see how much progress we have made together since last year. The feeling of confidence that our car will be quick in qualifying is fantastic and I love going to a race knowing that we have a shot of a strong grid position.
"The team are doing a great job and we are keeping up the development so a big thank you to everyone at the factories, many of whom are here today watching. My lap was good and starting from the front row is great but Lewis did a fantastic job today. I hope we have improved our race pace; it will be all about tyre management tomorrow and keeping the others behind us. I'm confident that we can get a good result."
Nico Hulkenberg: "Unfortunately P15 is reality. It was more or less the best we could do today. The car was difficult to drive, especially at high speed with a little bit of wind the car is very sensitive. We are simply not quick enough. Of course, a lot can happen during the race tomorrow, and maybe a bit of English rain would help us. But I think points will be difficult, then again you should never say never."
Esteban Gutierrez: "Compared to the practice sessions yesterday, I think we made a step forward, but it's tricky because we find ourselves in a position where everything is on the limit. Whatever we do there is always a compromise to it, which is challenging.
"It seems I am losing a lot of time at the exit of the corners, and this is tricky, because that is usually when I try to push and get things right. I believe I did my best with overall good and consistent laps. But it is just not quick enough. This is something we have to evaluate and see what we can do to be better in order to progress."
Paul Di Resta: "I'm over the moon with the qualifying result and I think the whole team can feel very satisfied with fifth on the grid. The morning practice session was quite difficult so it feels great to come through and end up just behind two Mercedes and two Red Bulls. This track takes a lot of commitment and you need to build up your speed, but I think we saved our best till last - and that's when it mattered.
"For tomorrow our tyre wear looks healthy and we've given ourselves a good opportunity to get in some clean air during the race. I will sleep well tonight and hope that we can have a straightforward race, and come away with lots of points."
Adrian Sutil: "Seventh place is a great result today. The car was not easy to drive this morning, but we made some improvements before qualifying and found more speed with each session. If we can do our homework tonight then we have the potential to have a great race. There are still some unknowns with the tyres over long runs because I haven't really done more than ten laps on a set of tyres, but I feel comfortable on both compounds.
"So we can be happy with the result, but we need to concentrate on tomorrow because that's what counts. In terms of strategy we need to keep an open mind and have several options going into the race so that we can react as the race develops."
Pastor Maldonado: "We were expecting to be a bit closer to the top ten today, but we were struggling to put everything together in the car for one lap. Hopefully tomorrow we can work on our race pace and fight with the teams around us to move up a few positions. We need to keep improving as a team because we're not where we want to be still, but race by race we are aiming to close the gap."
Valtteri Bottas: "We were unlucky to miss out on Q2 today as I was very close to my teammate and we could have both made it through. There are always things you can do better during a lap but we didn't have the pace to be in the top ten today so we need to do everything we can to get closer. We will look at our strategy going into tomorrow and try to maximise our potential for the race."
Daniel Ricciardo: "Coming off the back of a bad couple of races, I expected to be strong here and I was more motivated than ever. However, if I'd been told I could be sixth this afternoon, I would have been surprised. We were very close to Di Resta in fifth, but we can be happy with this position. We showed good pace all weekend, including this morning when I was sixth, so it was nice to confirm that this afternoon.
"Now I am looking forward to the race when I hope I can come away with a good handful of points. I'd like to think I could finish at least in the same place I am starting from. It would be nice to do even better and I will be pushing hard to achieve that. I believe it will be a few degrees warmer tomorrow, which could make the track conditions change quite a lot. This is a very demanding circuit with lots of high speed corners, so the tyres don't get much of a rest, therefore tyre wear will be an important factor tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I made a mistake on my quick lap in Q2 and that's the plain fact and I'm very upset about it, as it lost me the chance to get into Q3 which was definitely possible. As to what happened when I got it wrong, I am not exactly sure what was the reason: maybe I was too close to Vettel in front of me, but I felt I lost downforce and then just went straight on. Anyway, I am not looking for excuses.
"The car was working well, as it has done all weekend, so now I must make up for it in the race tomorrow. Looking at Daniel's performance this afternoon, it's a good sign as it shows the car is quick and we will have something to work with tomorrow afternoon. I think it's still feasible to have a good race tomorrow and to bring home points."
Charles Pic: "The final lap in quali is one of my best laps of the year so far so I'm very pleased with how today's gone. We made some good progress in P3 with the balance and that carried over to qualifying, and breaking into the 1.33s and finishing ahead of the Marussias was about as much as we aimed for today, so it's gone to plan.
"It changes from race to race but it does look like we have a small advantage over our nearest rivals this weekend, but having seen good race pace all year I'd like to think we'll be fighting with a couple of cars ahead as well in the race tomorrow. We've been close to the Williams cars this year in a few races so with a good start, decent deg levels and no reliability issues tomorrow could be a good day."
Giedo van der Garde: "It's been an interesting day as we ran a different plan to the normal P3 and then did just the one run in quali. It's finally dry so we used some of P3 for aero evaluation and then switched to race prep, bearing in mind the penalty from the last race which meant we knew pretty much where we'd end up in quali. We worked a lot on managing the tyre degradation, not really looking at quali at all but we still ended up beating one of the Marussia cars in quali which was a bonus, but really today's all been about getting ready for Sunday.
"I think we're in pretty good shape now and after the work we did today the degradation levels look manageable, even with the warmer track conditions we had today and which it looks like we'll have tomorrow, and we have a good setup for the race so let's see what happens."
Jules Bianchi: "It's good to have one Caterham behind us but less good to have one ahead. In the short space of time that we have had to work on our dry set-up, I don't think we are quite there yet, so we'll be spending the time we have now to see what we can do to give us the best chance for tomorrow."
Max Chilton: "Today was a challenging day. We had some work to do this morning trying to get the balance right and it felt like we had made a good step forward, but so did everyone else. We still have quite a bit of work to do but our race pace yesterday looked more promising, so that's what we'll focus on now. We'll do what we can to have a better race tomorrow."