Jenson Button (Brawn GP) – 1st: “To put the car on pole at our debut race is a fantastic achievement and I have to give so much credit to Ross, Nick and everyone at the factory in Brackley.
The last four months have been incredibly tough for the team and to go from a situation where you don’t even know if you are going to be racing to achieving pole at the first race of the season is just incredible.
Tomorrow is obviously the most important day of the weekend and there is a lot of work to be achieved to come away with a successful result however we have to remember where we have been and really enjoy this moment.”
Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP) – 2nd: “It has been a great day and I want to congratulate the team for an outstanding job. I was hoping that I could put the car on pole and it was looking good in the first two sessions but in Q3 I developed some understeer in the car which comprised my final runs. However the first row for both cars is a real credit to the team and gives us a great chance in the race tomorrow. We have a really good car which everyone deserves credit for and I am just so happy to be racing at the front again.”
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) – 3rd: “It’s been a difficult two days leading up to qualifying. I only had the pleasure of completing one lap in the first practice, then I made a mistake in the second, which meant we couldn’t run through our programme. Then we had a failure this morning, which cost us some track time, so it’s been anything but ideal! Nevertheless, I think we pulled everything together; we’ve been looking deeply at the data and trying to prepare well for qualifying. I think we succeeded, so thanks to everyone.
Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) – 4th: “I’m quite happy with fourth on the grid. Looking at the first practice sessions of the weekend, this was more than we expected. We made progress with the car, and I was able to put in some really good laps. In particular, my lap in Q2 was very good. Unfortunately on my second run in Q3 Nico Rosberg went wide in front of me in corner 14 and put some dust on the track. As a consequence my tyres lost massive grip in the final corners of that lap. Most probably I could have finished third, but still I’m satisfied with my performance.”
Nico Rosberg (Williams) – 5th: “I think it is a good thing to be a bit disappointed with fifth place! Our qualifying session itself was consistent with everything else I have experienced so far and the car has been nice to drive all weekend. From the work we have done today, we are in a good position to start the race, perhaps better than we would have imagined when we arrived here.
“We are among the fastest cars but it will be interesting to see what fuel load everybody is running. The start tomorrow of course will be important, but thankfully we will don’t have too many cars running KERS close by us and possibly challenging us off the line. The big factor tomorrow will be tyres, but I think we have a good strategy and positive reliability, so we have all the tools to do a good job in the race.”
Timo Glock (Toyota) – 6th: “We struggled a bit in second and third practice to find the right balance but we worked hard to find a solution and we did some set-up work which got the car into the right set-up window. I think with a bit more fine-tuning maybe we could have been further up the grid – we were only a tenth behind the top three so it could have been better but I am quite positive about the result.
“The car feels pretty good now and we are clearly not far away so let’s see how it goes tomorrow in terms of strategy. I am pretty happy and reasonably confident.”
Felipe Massa (Ferrari) – 7th: “We reckoned it would be possible but very difficult to get into the top five and this turned out to be the case: we ended up seventh, which is definitely not very satisfying but it represents the best we could do this afternoon. Now we must concentrate on tomorrow’s race, which will be extremely tough.
“The first round of the season here in Australia is always a step into the unknown, especially as the track is slippery and accidents are a strong possibility. We will try to get to the finish and to pick up as many points as possible.”
Jarno Trulli (Toyota) – 8th: “That was a really hard qualifying for me. I expected a lot more from today so I am disappointed. Of course I will fight as hard as I can in the race but I don’t know what to expect because the car felt different in qualifying compared to final practice.
“I don’t know why but the tyres just would not warm up as expected and I was sliding around quite a bit. On top of that I had some issues with the brakes so it was really difficult for me.”
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) – 9th: “This morning, a hydraulic problem meant I pretty much missed out on the third free practice session: a shame, but better that this should happen on Saturday than Sunday. The car was r from ideal for qualifying but I think we are in pretty good shape for the race.
“A points finish is possible even if we could have been further up the grid. From what we have seen today, clearly we lack a bit of performance compared to the quickest guys, but the race will be very long and we will see what we can manage to do.”
Mark Webber (Red Bull) – 10th: “I’m not rapped with my last lap. My previous flying laps had gone well, so I would have liked a better result, but that’s where we are so we’ll try to make something from the race. The bumps were quite bad in Turn nine on the final run. The team’s done a good job and we’ve worked well through our programme over the winter. It’s a shame I didn’t get the best time in qualifying, but we’ll see how we go from there tomorrow.”
Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) – 11th: “We have been improving the car in every session and in qualifying it was okay. Also my final lap in Q2 was okay until the last sector where I just didn’t get it right, and especially in the last corner I had too much oversteer. Eleventh is certainly not what I was aiming for after the winter tests were quite promising, but at least it is an advantage compared to tenth because I am now free to choose my fuel load. I am hoping for a good race and some points. Using the KERS might be a small advantage just after the start, although here the straight before the first corner isn’t really long.”
Fernando Alonso (Renault) – 12th: “We arrived here to fight for the podium, but this might not be the case tomorrow. We were very close to Q3 times, only two or three tenths of a second off, but I made a mistake as I tried to make up some time in the final corner. I’m disappointed as I thought I could be fifth or sixth on the grid. However, last year I started in 12th and got up to 4th in the race so I’m still confident that tomorrow, if we have an eventful race, I can get a good result.”
Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) – 13th: “The car was good enough to make it into Q3 today, but I made a small mistake and it cost me quite a few places. There is however plenty to consider tomorrow and I think I still have a good opportunity, so it will be important to concentrate and get absolutely everything right. As it the first race I think there will be plenty going on, which will make it exciting, but challenging.”
Nelson Piquet (Renault) – 17th: “I knew it was going to be a bit tough today, after a difficult weekend for us. At the start of qualifying the car seemed okay, but then I started to struggle. This track is not one I enjoy particularly. I was pushing a little too hard and made a mistake in the last sector.”
Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) – 18th: We knew that it would be difficult today, but considering what we have done so far this year, with the limited pre-season testing, being just two tenths slower than the 2008 world champion is a good result. Being so close shows it’s already a very challenging season. I had a good lap and I am happy as I have been struggling a bit with the brakes and locking all weekend and I’m not driving as I want. But all this considered, there is really good potential in this car so we are looking forward to working it through. For tomorrow, first of all we need to get to the end of the race – that’s the main goal and then we’ll see.
Adrian Sutil (Force India) – 19th: For sure we were hoping after yesterday’s performance to be able to make it into Q2 but in the end it was not possible. Things looked better in practice but perhaps the others were not showing all their potential. We know we have plenty to work on, our main problem is that we need a lot more downforce. My main goal now will be to make it to the end of the race tomorrow and then let’s see where we are. It’s even tighter than last year.