German Grand Prix 2010: Drivers’ qualifying reaction

By Gareth Llewellyn
mark webber(Photo: PH-Stop)

mark webber

Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position for Red Bull at the German Grand Prix, just 30 miles from his home town of Heppenheim, narrowly edging out Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso round the Hockenheim circuit.

There were some interesting comments about qualifying as drivers did their media rounds. Vettel has said that his final run “was not 100 percent perfect” and speculated on just how much of a difference 0.002 seconds was, but was “extremely happy” to be on pole for the third consecutive race.

Alonso said: “We’ve now finally had a perfect Saturday; obviously we missed pole by a small margin but the points come tomorrow, not Saturday, so we need to stay focused for tomorrow.

“We are surprised to be so close and finally fighting for a pole position after ten races; it took a bit longer than expected but we’re now very close.”

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was less overjoyed as he qualified sixth behind his team-mate Jenson Button. “I never expect to be sixth, for sure, but I’ve been saying for a long time that, generally, we are the third fastest team and the two teams in front did a better job today,” he said.

“My lap wasn’t fantastic, either, but that’s the way it is; my qualifying pace was quite poor, to be honest…I don’t think it was great but I did the best job I could do.”

Renault’s Robert Kubica was another driver satisfied with his position. “I am reasonably happy to be seventh on the grid and I think that, for now, we have to realise that we could not have qualified any higher than this.”

Mercedes’ duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg reflected on a disappointing qualifying at Mercedes’ home race. Schumacher said: “There isn’t much more to say about qualifying other than the result was what was achievable for us today.”

Rosberg added: “It’s really disappointing and it seems that we are just not making our developments work as well as we hoped this weekend, which we need to look into.”

Veteran Rubens Barrichello told the media “it was a good day” and the team are “happy with two cars in the top ten and it gives us confidence for good points tomorrow.”

Sauber’s drivers were left lamenting what could have been as both failed to qualify for Q3. Kamui Kobayashi said: “The car was good and the performance in qualifying confirmed that, but on my second run in Q2 I had traffic and needed to slow down a bit.”

Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersauri pulled out a surprise qualifying performance. “To be honest, I did not expect to be quicker than my team-mate today, as it has been a difficult weekend with not so much practice on a dry track.”

Lotus’ Jarno Trulli, who qualified best of the rookie teams in 18th, told reporters: “I’m happy, I’m happy with the car and everything but we don’t want to catch up this year, we want to work towards next year. I’m happy because this weekend we’ve done a very good job.”

Hispania’s Bruno Senna was philosophical after the team’s best qualifying of the season, despite a gearshift problem on his fastest lap. “It feels like a really good qualifying for us and we have been closer to our competitors than expected.”

Virgin Racing were on course to split the Lotus cars, but a disappointing qualifying leaves them playing catch up on Sunday. Lucas di Grassi said: “It has been a very frustrating day for me and the team because we were looking so good in free practice and I think we could have done a really good job in qualifying.”

Force India had a disastrous weekend as Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed out, while Adrian Sutil had a poor run as he could only manage 14th quickest, but will take a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

Speaking about his accident, Liuzzi said: “I hit a little of the grass, lost the rear and had a spin. I think there is quite a bit of damage on front-left.”

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