Bahrain GP: Saturday Driver Quotes

Jarno Trulli (Toyota)- 1st: “I m thrilled to be back on pole again. This weekend has gone well and it s great to be starting at the front tomorrow. In fact this afternoon didn t go quite as smoothly as yesterday because I had a bit of a problem with my brakes during the session. That s a bit of a worry for the race so we ll have to look into it overnight. Still, I m confident for tomorrow because our race pace has been good this weekend and we ve been looking after the tyres well.

“The first three races haven t really worked out for me but I hope we can now change that. We tested here over the winter and this track has gone well for our cars in the past. To have both cars in the top two shows we did a very good job. I d like to dedicate this pole both to my team, who have worked so hard, and to the people of my home region Abruzzo, who suffered a disastrous earthquake this month.”

Timo Glock (Toyota)- 2nd: “It s brilliant that we ve been able to take the top two places today. We had a problem on my car yesterday and we were struggling but the team did a good job to change things for today. We were quickest in the session this morning, though I lost a bit of running with an electronics glitch.

“But qualifying went extremely smoothly. The wind changed a bit and it was a struggle to get used to the prime tyres in Q1. After that I felt more comfortable in Q2 but in Q3 I made a small error after turn 8 so I couldn t catch Jarno. A big thank you to all the engineers and mechanics because it s been a hard start to the season for everyone and this is a great result for us.”

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)- 3rd: “That was a good session, we could see in Q1 it was very tough and it wasn t enough to do one run on the prime tyres, so everyone had to put on the option. But it was a smooth qualifying session and we had no problems. The car was very quick, we only needed one run in Q2 and we remained at the top, even though the circuit was improving, which was very good. In Q3 the two Toyotas were a bit too quick – I m looking forward to tomorrow, I reckon they might pull in a little earlier than us! But, it s a long race, so let s see.”

Jenson Button (Brawn GP)- 4th: “We were aiming for pole position today but unfortunately it wasn t our best qualifying session of the season and the pace just wasn t there. I didn t have a great lap on my final run in Q3 and we were struggling for grip on the corner exits and locking tyres throughout the session. We were surprised by our lack of pace and the quicker pace of our competitors today who have obviously made advances and caught up quickly. It s going to be a tough race tomorrow however our long-run pace with heavy fuel was really competitive on Friday so that will stand us in good stead if we can get a clean start.”

Lewis Hamilton (Mclaren)- 5th: “We have been pushing incredibly hard over the last couple of months and this is a result of all our hard work. I m very proud of what we ve achieved: firstly, it was good to get into the top 10, then it was even better to battle inside the top 10! We ve got a similar pace to some of the guys in the top five; as long as everything goes smoothly we should be able to get a top five finish tomorrow. I can almost see pole position now – and I m really looking forward to getting there soon!”

Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP)- 6th: “Unfortunately qualifying didn t go as well as we planned today. I suffered from traffic on my final run in Q3 when I was in the middle of a group were taking it slowly on their out laps. That was different to my approach and meant that I couldn t get enough temperature into the tyres which compromised my quick lap. Our competitors are improving and it will be interesting to see how that affects the race. It s going to be tough but I am confident that good points are possible tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso (Renault)- 7th: “Once again we saw a very close qualifying session. It s difficult and stressful inside the cockpit, but I guess it s very interesting for the viewers. We haven t made many changes to the car since China, but the team has been working late into the night once again to give me a competitive car. Qualifying went more or less as we had expected and starting 7th is about what we imagined was possible. Tomorrow we need to do everything we can to finish in the points, aiming for the top six and maybe even higher.”

Felipe Massa (Ferrari)- 8th: “It seems we have made a small step forward, but we know we still have a long way to go. Personally, I m happy to be back in the top ten in qualifying and I hope I can have a good race and make it into the top eight. This morning, the car was handling very well, but in the afternoon it lost a little bit of performance because of oversteer, probably down to the track conditions. Tomorrow it will be very hot and that will have a considerable effect on reliability and tyre performance. We must try and make it to the finish and bring home some points, maybe making the most of the KERS, especially at the start.”

Nico Rosberg (Williams)- 9th: “That was not a good qualifying from me as I really didn t feel comfortable in the car today. We were just lucky we made it through to the third round because it was very close. In the end, P9 is ok because we have a lot of fuel onboard so, strategy-wise, I think we are looking pretty competitive. My hope for tomorrow is definitely to finish in the points and I think that s achievable. Our race car is pretty good, so we should have a consistent pace and everything is possible from ninth.”

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)- 10th: “It would have been difficult to do better than tenth. In the first two parts of qualifying, the car handled better than we had expected, but in Q3 I no longer had any new soft tyres, having already used all four sets. The car s performance has improved with KERS. Tomorrow, the race will be very tough because of the high temperatures. Let s see what we manage to do. The aim is to finish in the points.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Mclaren)- 11th: “I didn t have any major problems today but, obviously I wasn t as fast as I would have liked. We have to analyse what went wrong. Nevertheless our competiveness has improved compared to the previous grands prix. We are lacking pace especially in the middle sector. However, the fact that I was less than one tenth of a second behind 10th position in Q2 shows that we have made some more progress. I am now looking forward to the race, where my target is to achieve a solid points result.”

Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)- 12th: It s difficult to say where I lost my time. I didn t make any mistakes and the car was performing pretty well. If I think about the gap separating Nico and me, I m pleased with my afternoon. Overall, though, I have mixed feelings as I should have made it into Q3.”

Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber)- 13th: “We already knew before qualifying it would be difficult today. We lack overall performance. In qualifying 2 I struggled with the grip of the new option tyres. Additionally, our radio didn t work today so, as a result, it was quite hard to fine-tune tyre pressures and stuff like that. On top of that, we also had two small fires during refuelling in the pits. Although this didn t influence the performance, it didn t help. However, we now have to go on working in a concentrated and calm way.”

Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber)- 14th: “This was quite a difficult qualifying for us. A lack of pace is obvious and, as we are waiting for our aerodynamic update for Barcelona, it is clear we lose lap time in comparison to competitors who already have new parts. At least we knew this before qualifying. Also today the car s balance between the runs was very inconsistent. On my second run in Q2 I was quicker than on my first of that session, but not as quick as in Q1. I was really fighting hard and missed the apex in turn nine. It seems unlikely we can collect points tomorrow, but certainly we will not give up and will try everything.”

Nelson Piquet (Renault)- 15th: “I pushed a bit too much to try to get into Q3. I had four cars around me and I really couldn t do much so I had to take some risks and pushed hard, but it wasn t good enough to go through to Q3. Hopefully we will have a strong start to the race and can adopt a good strategy so that I can challenge for the points, which is what we need right now.”

Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso)- 16th: “It should have been much better and I ought to have comfortably got through to Q2, but I made a mistake in the third sector. I’m disappointed with my performance as the car performed better than expected and with the sector times I was doing, maybe I should have been more cautious, just to make sure of getting into Q2. Track conditions were similar to this morning.

“Tomorrow, I still think we can have a good race, because this afternoon’s performance does not show what the car is capable of, so I am hopeful I can make up some places. How many is difficult to say. As for the tyres, it’s clear that the softer ones are those we will want to run the most in the race.”

Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India)- 17th: “We made a good step forward today and were very close to getting into Q2. I wasn’t totally happy about the car balance in the session. It was better on the hard tyres but as soon as I went on the soft tyres the car was much more unpredictable. We made some changes to make it slightly better for qualifying but we still had some inconsistencies. I think that’s the reason we couldn’t improve the time but anyway we definitely made progress and it was a very good effort from the whole team. Tomorrow we need a good strategy to get to the end of the race but we know our pace is better over a race distance.”

Mark Webber (Red Bull)- 18th: “Traffic. I had traffic on the last corner and therefore wasn t quick enough to go through. I don t usually get caught out with that problem and that was the worst place to get nailed, as it wrecked both my flying laps. I had nowhere to go in the last corner of my first lap and then Sutil slip-streamed past me for the start of my second, so it was a disaster. Q1 is the worst session to have had that problem, as now we re at the back for tomorrow my race is screwed.”

Adrian Sutil (Force India)- 19th*: “It was quite a good qualifying but conditions were very difficult out there. The grip was much lower than in free practice in the morning so the balance was not perfect and it was quite hard to go on the limit. I managed a good lap in the end and I think P16 is a good effort so we should be quite happy. There was a little problem with Mark Webber in the last corner: I was just trying to make a gap to Alonso to start my lap and Mark came in on a flying lap, but I didn’t know that. I just tried to stay in my position to get a clear start to the lap. It was a misunderstanding and I apologised to Mark after the end of the session.”

Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso)- 20th: “Losing track time this morning did not help. This afternoon, my first run was quite good, better than I thought and I was optimistic. But on my second run, we picked up a lot of understeer, which I corrected with the front wing for the final run.

“But suddenly the car went the other way, with massive oversteer. The car is extremely sensitive to the changes we make and we suffered with a lack of downforce and therefore grip. It is disappointing to finish so far down.”

*Sutil qualified 16th, but was penalised three places by the Race Stewards for impeding Mark Webber

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