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2013 F1

Qualifying quotes – Toro Rosso, McLaren, Force India

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166987861GI00100_F1_Grand_PToro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo (7th, Q1 – 1m 24.209s)

“It’s nice to be back in Q3. Maybe at the end, a top five finish might have been on the cards. However, we missed a little something in Q3, doing a two lap run, and with hindsight, maybe a one lap run with a lighter fuel load would have been better, but I am still happy with seventh. I dropped a wheel in the gravel at the second chicane which might have cost me some time. To have both cars in the top ten on merit on a dry track is a very good result. A wet or dry race? I am not too fussed, because I’m sure that if it does rain we will look pretty handy, and we are not too bad in the dry either. But for the fans, let’s hope for a dry race. It’s great driving here, because the crowd is so passionate about motor racing, even if most of them cheer for the red cars! The atmosphere is fantastic and, as an Italian team, I hope we can come away with some good points tomorrow.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (10th, Q1 – 1m 28.050s)
“I have to thank the team for doing a great job to give me such a competitive car for this afternoon. We were not looking so good yesterday and all their efforts last night have paid off today in FP3 and qualifying. I pushed to the limit on my final run in Q3 and just got out of shape, going off into the gravel at the Parabolica corner. It’s a shame, but I am pleased with P10. There is a big risk of rain tomorrow which could make life interesting, but clearly starting tenth, a significant number of points must be our target and it’s a realistic one.”

James Key, Toro Rosso technical director
“Friday morning showed we could make the car work well at what is a special circuit, requiring a unique set-up. In FP2, we went slightly the wrong way, but we worked hard overnight to recover, so as to capitalise on the positive aspects while also looking to adapt to the hotter conditions for qualifying. FP3 also went well and we got the balance we wanted, especially on Jean-Eric’s car. After that, we were reasonably sure our car would perform at its best and then came a fantastic job in qualifying. Some of it came from the team of course, but much of the credit goes to the drivers and their disciplined approach to getting the best out of the tyres. The result was that we got both cars into Q3 on merit and it’s great to start P7 with Daniel. It was a shame for Jean-Eric who just ran slightly wide at the final Parabolica corner, otherwise he could have been in a similar position to his team mate. It’s good to be running competitively again. Why the ‘in’ and the ‘out’ lap on both cars at the start of Q3? Simply to do a balance check on the old tyres before doing the final run on a new set, having made some changes after Q2.”

_89P9363_1McLaren
Sergio Perez (8th, Q3 – 1m 24.502s)

“We had a positive practice session this morning, so we hoped we’d have a good qualifying session, too. It’s pleasing for the whole team that we got both cars into Q3. However, we were around three-tenths slower than the guys just in front of us – and I’m not really sure where they found those extra tenths because I think we did the best possible job with what we had today. Now, though, we’re only thinking about tomorrow. I’m confident we can recover some of the ground we lost to the guys in front of us today, but that’ll require us to pull together a good strategy for the race. Our engineers are a great bunch of guys, though, so I’m confident we can do just that.”

Jenson Button (9th, Q3 – 1m 24.515s)
“I didn’t really expect more from the car this afternoon, to be honest, and we showed just what it could do, Checo and I setting very similar times to each other. It’s a little bit of a pity, though, because, if we hadn’t run at all in Q3, our options would have been a little more open for tomorrow’s race. However, sitting out the final session isn’t really what any of us are here to do. Anyway, it is what it is, and we’ll do our best tomorrow. I don’t know exactly where we stand in terms of race pace – it’ll be interesting to find out – but the good thing is that I’m on the clean side of the grid, which might be an advantage as it’s usually a bit chaotic down into the first corner here. All in all, I reckon we can certainly do something from ninth on the grid. Everyone is going to be on pretty similar strategies tomorrow, I’d say, so we’ll have to see if we can make our race work for us in another way. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks a bit changeable, too, and things could get very interesting if it rains during the race.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Today we saw very solid performances by both Checo and Jenson, the result being slots on the fourth and fifth rows of tomorrow’s starting grid respectively. As we suggested yesterday, however, qualifying may not be as crucial here as it is on most other circuits, especially bearing in mind that we gather that rain is a distinct possibility tomorrow. Moreover, in the recent past our drivers have both proven themselves to be competitive and combative racers who are well able to make good progress from suboptimal grid positions. You may be well sure, therefore, that they’ll be doing their utmost to forge their way through the field tomorrow, in what may well be a very tricky race, especially as Monza is a circuit on which overtaking is less difficult than on the more tortuous and less flowing circuits that make up the bulk of the modern Formula 1 calendar.”

Force India
Adrian Sutil (14th – starts 17th after penalty, Q2 – 1m 24.932s)

“A tough qualifying today. We made some changes overnight, but they didn’t really show much improvement during final practice, which was strange. So there was not much we could do ahead of qualifying apart from change a few more things to try and help the balance. The car felt a bit better for qualifying, but we are still too far away from where we should be. My lap in Q2 was not too bad and P14 was the maximum today. Scoring points tomorrow is our aim and although it’s a difficult task, we will do our best.”

Paul di Resta (16th – starts 15th after Sutil penalty, Q2 – 1m 25.077s)
“It’s been a mixed day with the brake disc failure this morning, which cost us some track time and meant we headed into qualifying with a car set-up that was far from optimised. The guys did a fantastic job to get the car ready in time, but ultimately we didn’t have the performance to do any better than P16. It’s fair to say that we have struggled more with our one-lap pace here, so hopefully we can be more competitive in race conditions. There’s also talk of changeable weather so maybe we can do something with the strategy to move forward in the race.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal and managing director
“Monza has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Sahara Force India, but we’ve not been on the pace this weekend. Yesterday we saw both drivers unable to find a good balance and struggling with the car under braking, and despite our best efforts we’ve not totally solved those issues. I think that showed in today’s qualifying session where both cars were missing grip. Starting from P14 and P16 means we’ve got a bit of a fight on our hands tomorrow, but we never give up and will try our best to come away with some points.”

Qualifying quotes – Toro Rosso, McLaren, Force India – 2013 Italian GP

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