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2013 F1

Qualifying quotes – Red Bull, Sauber, Mercedes

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20385Red Bull Racing

Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Position: Pole Position, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:24.360)
“We didn’t expect to be so strong here, with both cars on the front row. It’s due to hard work from everyone in the team working long hours; we’ve had years where we’ve had a good car, but not a car that’s competitive in low down force trim, so in that regard we did our homework. This circuit has been a bit up and down for us, but this year it’s surely been more up so far! The car feels great, but let’s see what we can do tomorrow; we don’t get any points from today.”

Car 2 Mark Webber, Position: 2nd, (3rd Practice – P3, 1:24.677)
“After yesterday we thought we could challenge for the front row, but you never know and as we saw in Belgium and today, the grid can sometimes get a bit mixed up. But overall we stayed strong and have to focus on ourselves. The guys did a very good job; it’s not an easy track to pull everything together over one lap. The result is the maximum for the team and it was pretty much the maximum for me today; Seb has always been very strong here and he’s a tough nut to crack at this venue. I hope to have a strong race from there tomorrow.”

Christian Horner: “A fantastic team performance to get our 50th and Sebastian’s 40th pole position here in Monza. We’ve had a strong car all weekend, but it’s a track that hasn’t historically been our strongest, so it’s the best possible place to be starting tomorrow’s race from to try and convert today’s result in to a good points haul. The weather could be a factor tomorrow and there’s still a long way to go, but a really satisfying day today.”

Thierry Salvi (Renault): “We’ve looked strong all weekend, but you never take anything for granted here: delivering strong top-end power without compromising stability for the chicanes sees you making decisions on a knife-edge. We’ve worked to consolidate the inherent speed in the car and it seemed to continue to come our way today. Seb and Mark both did a great job to lock out the front row, which we can hopefully convert into the same result tomorrow.”

50d3b61767Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg (3rd, Q3 – 1m 24.065s)

“I am happy. This was a nice surprise for all of us. I didn’t expect that after a very difficult Friday. Yesterday we struggled a lot with the car and the guys have done a fantastic job turning it around to give me such a competitive car today. It is a highlight for the whole team. Such a result will lift our spirits. During qualifying the car just got better and better and the track improved as well. We made the right decision to go for one timed lap in Q3 and then this happened. I hope the long run pace is good tomorrow. A big thank you to the whole team and everyone in Hinwil, who have been working hard and have never given up in this difficult year.”

Esteban Gutierrez (17th – starts 16th after Sutil penalty, Q1 – 1m 25.226s)
“It’s quite disappointing, because we had a good pace and a good rhythm in practice this morning. It was quite surprising to get a result like that in qualifying. The field is very tight and competitive, and it was quite a tricky session. After FP3 this morning I felt in good shape. Everything was working reasonably and now we have to analyse why we are missing more than four tenths to Nico. It’s challenging, but we need to keep pushing.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“A fantastic result after a difficult Friday when we evaluated some new parts getting the most out of the package. The engineers worked very hard throughout all the sessions to improve the cars for qualifying, and, as always, the grid in Monza is very tight. Every lap he did, Nico chipped away finding more and more in himself and the car, and he executed a perfect Q3 lap to clinch P3 on the grid. This is obviously a little bit above our competitiveness from a race performance point of view, but our aim for sure is to improve our points tally. Esteban had been very strong in free practice but was unlucky to miss Q2 by just two tenths of a second. However, I’m sure he will race well tomorrow.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principal
“We are very happy with a result like that. Of course, there are two sides to it. Step by step we could see the development of the car was going in the right direction. On top of that the engineers did a fantastic job, working all night to turn the car around. In addition the driver has to get the most out of the car, deliver a perfect lap. Esteban drove very well over the last few races, so we hope he will be able to get the most out of the car tomorrow as well.”

2404_bigMercedes
Nico Rosberg (6th, Q3 – 1m 24.192s)

“Starting from sixth place is not where we want to be, however considering that I didn’t get any running in the final practice session this morning because of an hydraulics problem, it’s not too bad. I had to take our set-up from yesterday and I just didn’t feel comfortable in the car throughout qualifying, particularly with a lot of understeer. For tomorrow, I hope the set-up will work out better as I had a good long run on Friday. There’s also the chance of rain and we know that our car is very quick in the wet, so we can still hope for a good race.”

Lewis Hamilton (12th, Q2 – 1m 24.803s)
“I just didn’t get a lap together in Q2 today and it’s hugely disappointing, not just for me, but also for the team and I can only apologise to them as we had a quick car today. Qualifying has always been a real strong point for me but it really didn’t come together this afternoon. Q1 was fine but I didn’t do a good enough job in Q2. I came off at Parabolica on my first run which damaged the car and it was a downward spiral from there really. We will see what we can do from here tomorrow. I’ll be pushing like hell to get a decent finish but there are a lot of quick cars ahead.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“Unfortunately, that was our worst qualifying session of the year. With the standards we set ourselves, that makes this result a real disappointment. However, Nico recovered well after losing almost the entire morning practice session with an hydraulic problem. The consequence of that sort of problem is that he missed the opportunity to fine-tune the balance of the car, which was not fully to his liking in qualifying. On Lewis’ side of the garage, we simply couldn’t get a clear timed lap on the two critical runs and that left him outside the top ten, in spite of showing decent pace on the hard tyres in Q1. Looking to tomorrow, it will be a tough race for us if it stays dry. However there is some rain in the forecast. Let’s hope it comes!”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“That was definitely not the qualifying result we had been working for. There’s no positive spin we can put on the afternoon; it simply reminds us of the price you pay when preparations don’t go smoothly. Nico lost the chance to run in final practice this morning, which had a knock-on effect for the qualifying session. With that in mind, it’s to his great credit that he is only a tenth of a second from P3 on the grid. Lewis had quite a frantic second part of qualifying and encountered unhelpful traffic at the key moments, which left him in P12 on the grid.”

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