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Saturday Press Meeting: Red Bull, McLaren, Merc, Renault

Mark Webber claimed his third successive pole position in Turkey, beating Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull

Mark Webber: “Today went well. We had a problem during practice this morning so I went out late for the first prime run. It meant I was therefore a little on the back foot going into qualifying, which wasn’t ideal preparation, but we refocused and got ready. Some new parts were bolted on to the rear of my car about four minutes before I went out for Q1, which was a great effort by the guys to get them on in time. It’s a great position to start tomorrow’s race, but each event is unique and has it own challenges. We know the tyres get a hard time round here, so it should be an interesting race – I’m looking forward to it.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Q1 and Q2 were very smooth; I was happy with the car and there were no problems. In Q3, the first lap was brilliant up to Turn 12, then under braking I slightly locked the front which was no issue, but it was very weird as the inside front just kept locking and never came back. Going into Turn 13 I was turning to the right and the wheels started turning again and then the same thing going into Turn 14. I locked the inside wheel very easily, the car didn’t seem to stop, so I lost time. On the second run I got confirmation in the first turn there was a problem, as I hit the brakes and went straight – I lost the ability to stop the car and the inside wheel didn’t do what it was supposed to. In Q1 and Q2 we were on top of the game, but in Q3 we were not, so it’s quite frustrating. All weekend I have felt very good, particularly today. Third is still a good position; I’m on the clean side of the grid tomorrow and it’s a long race. It’s difficult to make up places now with the new regulations, but we’ll see what we can do.”

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton: “In terms of finding a good balance and getting a clear lap, today was one of the best qualifying sessions I’ve had all year. My lap was as close to perfect as I could possibly get it. But we’re still nearly four tenths down in the middle sector. Compared with Barcelona, I don’t think we’ve made a huge step, but we’re making small steps forward to close the gap to the front. Tomorrow, I’m going to do everything I can to get a sensible start, get round the first corner and then challenge Mark [Webber], if I can. But I’m on the dirtier side of the track, so that may make it a bit harder for me. And the Red Bulls still have a performance advantage over us, even if it doesn’t show from today’s times. But we’re going to catch them – and then, hopefully, you’ll see Jenson and me up there, with the Red Bulls trying to split us. We’ve got to keep pushing; the guys back at the factory are doing an incredible job, even though they’re under immense pressure. We all want to win, we’re taking nothing for granted, and we’re edging closer all the time. I really do believe we’re the best team out there, and, once we make that next step, I’m sure we can move ahead of everyone. But until then all we can do is be as close as we can and apply maximum pressure. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing tomorrow.”

Jenson Button: “Fourth is not too bad, but the final run was a bit frustrating: being the last car on the circuit can be a good thing, because it means you have the cleanest track, but there’s obviously more chance of somebody going off, and that’s what happened with Michael [

Schumacher, who was ahead of me on my final lap. And when there’s a yellow flag, you’ve obviously got to back out of it. So I just came straight back to the pits, because my final run clearly wasn’t going to be any quicker because of that. The lap wasn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good to be fourth. We’re on the dirty side of the track, but we’ll see what we can do from there. The only performance issue I’ve really had all weekend is through Turn Eight – I was losing three tenths to Lewis there because we were running the car too low. That was my fault – I wanted to run the car low for the rest of the circuit – but it’s just a little bit too low through Turn Eight. Obviously, the car will be heavier at the start of the race tomorrow, but we’ll be going slower, so it won’t be pushed onto the track as much. We’ve got to hope that will help. Nevertheless, we seem to be closer to the Red Bulls than I expected this weekend, so that’s a positive, and I reckon we can challenge them in the race.”

Mercedes GP:

Michael Schumacher: “I am quite happy with my qualifying today and I really think that we have made a step forward. If you consider that this is a track which is aerodynamically demanding, you can clearly say the hard work of our guys paid off and I would really say thank you to them. What happened in turn eight was that it was my last go, the fast lap before was a good one, so obviously you try to push even more, especially as on this lap you can win time. I went out a bit wide and off it went. In my view, the side I am starting from tomorrow is an advantage as it is much cleaner. I have tried practice starts from both sides and felt my side was the better one. As for tomorrow’s race, I will certainly try to have a good start and try to achieve the best result possible.”

Nico Rosberg: “It was a decent performance today and sixth place gives us a good opportunity for the race and we will aim to move up the field from there. I would have liked to have been a little further ahead of course. The car is feeling reasonable this weekend and although there is a very narrow set-up window, we have pretty much got there. It’s clear that we have made some progress with our aero upgrades and everyone at the factory has done a good job, so thanks for all their hard work. I am on the dirty side of the grid for the race tomorrow but it should have cleaned up now and it’s only a short run to the first corner. If I can have a good start and first lap, then we have the potential for a strong race.”

Renault

Robert Kubica: “I’m pretty happy with my qualifying session because seventh position is about what we were expecting after free practice. The only issue I had was with the soft tyres because I didn’t feel totally comfortable on them today and so I couldn’t find those final few tenths that I needed to be higher up the grid. However, my lap in Q3 was good and we can’t be too disappointed with this result. It’s also nice to see Vitaly up there with me in ninth and I think we will have strong race pace tomorrow, which means we should be able to score some good points.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It feels really good to have made it into Q3 and to be starting the race from ninth. So far it has been a really smooth weekend for me with no problems and my engineers and mechanics have done an excellent job to give me a car that I feel really happy with. The car is easy to drive and we have managed to improve the

Source:orange.planetf1.com

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