2013 Brazilian GP Qualifying - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the qualifying action at Interlagos
By William Esler. Last Updated: 23/11/13 8:39pm
The 22 drivers have their say on the qualifying action at Interlagos where rain delayed the top ten shootout by 45 minutes.
Sebastian Vettel: "It was a surprise to get that time today. I was happy after Q3, it took a long time for us to get out as there was a lot of rain at the end of Q2. There was too much water on track, which is a shame for the people in the grandstands, but if there's too much risk of aquaplaning, it's better to wait.
"We then got out and I was surprised by how much the water had cleared. I went straight onto intermediates and was able to get a very good lap in straight away. I tried to beat that and got close, but it wasn't enough. I was very happy to hear I got pole, I even mixed up Spanish and Portuguese on the radio! Hopefully we get a good chance tomorrow. We only had little practice in these conditions, but we still got the car where we wanted it, so I'm very happy."
Mark Webber: "We are where we deserved to be I think, as I didn't feel that quick in qualifying. The car felt slow and I was struggling for grip. It was tricky for all of us, but we're on the second row and we can still do something from there. It's tricky to get it all together in those conditions, I wasn't too comfortable in Q1 and Q2 on the intermediate tyres, but that's the way it goes. There's not much more to add really than it was tricky, it's easier to be a lot further back in those conditions and we can still do something from fourth, so let's see tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso: "After the results of the last few Grands Prix, it's really good news to be back in the top three. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a perfect lap, because I went off the track at turn 4. I lost seven or eight tenths there and I think also second place on the time sheet, which I believe was within our grasp today.
"We know our car is more competitive in the wet and it's a shame that this year, it's only rained here, but now we have to look ahead and think about getting on the podium tomorrow, as if we were fighting for the World Championship, because it would be the best way to end the season. Here at Interlagos, you never get consistent conditions and we saw that again today, when we went from an extremely wet track to an almost dry one in ten minutes.
"That's why I expect a very hectic race in which we will have to pay maximum attention to not making any mistakes. It will also be necessary to have a perfect strategy and an ability to react very quickly."
Felipe Massa: "This qualifying session was made particularly complicated by the changing weather, because in the space of a few moments, it went from strong rain to suddenly stopping and everything in between happened!
"I am not happy with my lap, because believe me, I expected something better, but I lost time in the second and third sectors and on some parts of the track, I was aquaplaning and losing grip. I am disappointed to have lost a lot of places because of that, as I was aiming to start from further up the order, but now all we can do is think about having a good race.
"For tomorrow, they are predicting rain, but we must be ready for whatever conditions we get, because here you never know and we haven't done so much as a single lap on a dry track. Without a doubt it will be a very exciting race for us drivers and for the fans too: all the energy they exude will be an extra motivation for me to do well on what is a very important day."
Sergio Perez: "It's hard to know for sure, but I think we made the correct decision to run in qualifying when we did, but the car wasn't responding properly. I think perhaps we got the tyre pressures incorrect because I couldn't find enough grip out there.
"My accident in Q2 looked bigger than it actually was - as soon as I lost the car, I went over the grass and hit the wall - but it was only a slight hit, and the car wasn't too badly damaged.
"It's a pity, but I was giving it my all. I knew it was my last opportunity to set a time; it was getting wetter, and I was pushing right to the limit, because I knew the car wasn't responding well. I was trying my hardest, in other words.
"In similar conditions, I still think we can make up some positions tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the race - I hope we can end the season on a high."
Jenson Button: "We sat out most of FP3 in order to save tyres, which felt like the right thing to do at the time, but in retrospect maybe it wasn't the right call. After all, we hadn't run in wet conditions on the Intermediate tyres before qualifying, so we weren't prepared for the problems we then encountered. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.
"We were running a low-downforce configuration, which probably didn't help either. We felt that set-up was working for us yesterday, when it wasn't as wet, but it probably hurt us in getting pressure into the tyre.
"Still, we were good in Q1 - I ended up in P7 - but, when it rained harder in Q2, I couldn't get enough temperature into the tyres.
"Hopefully, we can mix it up a bit tomorrow - although the weather on Sunday is supposed to be a bit drier. Hopefully, though, we'll have some good racing, and we won't spend too long behind the Safety Car!"
Heikki Kovalainen: "It's disappointing not to make the top ten, but I just didn't have enough pace in the second session; it's as simple as that. The conditions weren't ideal, but it's the same for everybody and there was nothing wrong with the car so I can't have any complaints. It's not the ideal starting position, but the car is performing well and anything can happen in motor racing - especially here at Interlagos - so we'll look at where we can improve for tomorrow and try to do a better job in the race."
Romain Grosjean: "That was quite a difficult afternoon. It was tricky to decide which tyre we should use for the final qualifying session and we wanted to try for pole which is why we used the intermediates, but in the end there was probably just a little bit too much water which certainly made things interesting.
"Ultimately my lap wasn't good enough, but the car has been strong all weekend so we're confident for the race no matter what the weather is. Certainly, my Q2 lap in the wet today was very good and we know we have a strong baseline setup in the dry, so let's see what happens."
Nico Rosberg: "That was a very demanding qualifying session today with really tricky conditions and a long break before the final session. I'm really pleased to have achieved second place on the grid and a big thank you to the team for their work; we did everything right today. My target was to give Sebastian a hard time so I was surprised that the gap was so big in these conditions.
"I lost time in the last sector compared to him which was down to a lack of KERS power when you do two consecutive quick laps. Being on the front row gives us a great opportunity in the race but the most important thing is to stay in front of the Ferraris."
Lewis Hamilton: "Naturally I'm a little disappointed with fifth place as Nico's position shows there was clearly potential for more today. Wet sessions haven't been too good for me this year and, although we made some changes going into qualifying, I'm struggling to get to grips with how the car works in these conditions.
"It's getting better but there is still so much to learn. However we've got everything to play for in the race tomorrow and I hope to have a good fight out there and make some progress forward. Our aim of course is to finish ahead of the Ferraris and hopefully score enough points to secure our second place finish."
Nico Hulkenberg: "Reaching Q3 today was a success. It's been wet the whole weekend, and we've not been as competitive as I would have liked as we had problems with the balance of the car. It was difficult to nail every corner as the track was extremely slippery. At the beginning of the season we were better on wet tyres and not so competitive on slicks, but now it seems to be the opposite. I think it will be an exciting race tomorrow and let's wait and see what the weather will be like."
Esteban Gutierrez: "The track was dry on the first lap. However, I made a mistake in the last corner and was just not able to recover what I gained in sectors one and two. After that it started to rain quite a lot and it was hard to catch up. It's disappointing. The car felt ok, it had a bit of oversteer, but that shouldn't have been too much of a problem. Starting 18th tomorrow will be challenging, but we have to work with what we've got."
Paul Di Resta: "The wet conditions have made for a very difficult weekend so far and I was only able to complete very limited running in the build-up to qualifying. So we've pretty much stuck with the set-up we decided on before coming here, which will hopefully help us tomorrow if the conditions improve and we get a dry track.
"If it is dry there will be a lot of unknowns, especially with the tyres on a green track, and there's the possibility that we can take advantage of that. If it's wet then we are in a good position to race for points because our performance in the wet this weekend has been a step forward compared with earlier in the year. We will keep pushing and hopefully tomorrow we will be smiling after the race."
Adrian Sutil: "A very tricky session and the best conditions were right at the start of Q1. After that the conditions gradually became worse and worse for everyone. So in Q2 there was only one real opportunity to set your time, which was at the start of the session. I stayed out to see if the rain eased off, but when Perez had his accident the yellow flags came out so I pitted.
"The main issue was the lack of grip and I didn't have the confidence to really push. It looks like I will start P16 tomorrow, but we know it's a long race and it's uncertain what the weather will do. The races here in Brazil can be very unusual and unpredictable so we never give up and will keep pushing until the last lap."
Valtteri Bottas: "The weekend has been difficult for us so far in the wet as we have struggled to get the best set-up here. Our car seems to suit the dry better at the moment so I think 13th is a fair reflection of where we are today. It's not a bad position to start the race from, so hopefully we can challenge for the top ten tomorrow and score some more points."
Pastor Maldonado: "It was a tough day today; we have been struggling a lot to get temperature into the rear tyres all weekend. With the conditions as they were today we were unable to get 100% out of the car on the first lap which is when some of the best times were posted in Q1. Tomorrow we are still hopeful that we can be in the points, so we will prepare well tonight and do our best in the race."
Daniel Ricciardo: "It was tricky out there this afternoon, but even since last year, we have often demonstrated that we can be competitive in the wet. It's the best qualifying the team has had in a long time and I am very happy that both cars are in the top eight. I don't think there was much between me and Jev today.
"Tomorrow? The weather will probably decide the story, but anyway, seventh is a great place from which to start. I will be very motivated to convert today's work into points tomorrow on what will be my last race with Toro Rosso after two very happy seasons with them."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I am happy for myself and for the team, because to get both cars into the top eight is a great result. We were not really as quick as I had expected to be, because usually, in other races this year, we have a very good car in the wet, but since Friday I have been struggling a bit more than usual in these changeable conditions.
"However, even if qualifying was not easy, starting from eighth is very encouraging, especially as it was a bit touch and go to get into Q2 at the start of the session, as we didn't time our first run very well. After that I managed a very good lap to get through to the next part of the session. Points definitely have to be my target for tomorrow and anything can happen here in the rain."
Charles Pic: "We made a lot of changes to the car overnight and started FP3 with an installation lap on wets as the track had a lot more water on it than yesterday. About halfway through the session the conditions had improved enough to go out again and we did a seven lap run, again on wets, which gives us more information for tomorrow. With about ten minutes left there was a dry line appearing so we went for the performance run on inters - it was ok but we knew there was more to come for quali.
"The rain was still falling at the start of qualifying, but not enough for wets so we went out early with the whole pack to maximise our running time on the inters. It was very tricky out there but I'm happy with how it finished. We've had a balance issue for the last three races that we've worked a lot on and this weekend it's come good, so I'm pleased with my final time in Q1.
"The main aim was to be in front of our nearest rivals and we've done that, keeping in reserve an extra set of intermediates, so we start what could be a fascinating race tomorrow where we'd aimed for and if it keeps raining like this we could have a chance of reclaiming tenth place in the Championship."
Giedo van der Garde: "FP3 was obviously very wet so we were pretty cautious with the runplan, wanting to make sure we hung on to tyres for Sunday, but overall the car felt pretty good on both full wets and inters. We were trying a few diff settings as well and when we switched to inters for the last run it was definitely getting quicker, but I didn't get a completely clean lap so, even with the time we ended up with in the session, I was still positive about what we could do in qualifying.
"In Q1 we went out immediately on inters but on my fastest lap I made a mistake in sector two which cost me quite a lot of time. The car balance didn't feel great but I think there was still more to come, not enough for Q2 today but now it's all about tomorrow. We've saved a set of inters for tomorrow so we're in good shape with the tyres we have available.
"Our car's good in the wet, I really like this sort of weather and we all know what we have to do. We've been here before, on this track and in these circumstances, so we know what we have to do on Sunday. Honestly, I'm excited about it - it's going to be super tense but that's what this is all about."
Jules Bianchi: "A very difficult qualifying today. We had to do everything we could early on as we knew the rain was coming, but in the end the window of opportunity was really only one lap. For everything after that it was too wet to improve. I'd made a big mistake at the end of my one quick lap as well, so it's disappointing as I was so close to Van der Garde. So now we just have to be positive for the race and do everything possible to achieve the right result for the Team."
Max Chilton: "It was pretty tricky out there today and there were a few hairy moments, that's for sure. We left the pits immediately as the rain was heading in and it was literally a one-lap dash. I was happy with my first and last sectors, even though I had a big moment at turn 3. I struggled a little with the balance but it should be fine tomorrow and that's the day that counts."