After a challenging P3 session, LRGP improved throughout Qualifying allowing Vitaly and Nick to finish in P7 and P9 respectively.
• P7 and P9 grid positions are on the clean side of the track, which could allow for a strong start tomorrow.
• Vitaly Q1: new hard, new soft, Q2: scrubbed hard, new soft, Q3: new soft, new soft.
• Nick Q1: new hard, new soft, Q2: new soft, new soft, Q3: new soft
Vitaly Petrov, P7, R31-03, 1:26.296
“I’m not fully satisfied with where I qualified today because we’re capable of finishing even higher than seventh on the grid. However, for both of us to secure top 10 positions should be seen as a positive thing and it is good that we don’t have any mechanical problems. We can still continue to work and push hard to make sure we can be fighting closer to the front of the grid tomorrow.”
Nick Heidfeld, P9, R31-04, 1:26.659
“It’s not too bad to be in P9 – I struggled earlier in the day and in Q2 I found the balance and grip from the tyres that I was looking for. It could have been even better as I had some understeer problems with the front tyres but it was ok. I feel more confident going into tomorrow, we know that with the DRS we can overtake better, we’ve seen that already so we can finish higher than our grid position. Usually the car is better on race pace, and we know we can get good starts so gain some strong positions.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “I think both drivers did a good job in bullying their cars as far up the grid as possible today”
James, P7 and P9 – how pleased are you with the performance of the cars today?
I’m pleased; it’s a starting point that should allow us to have a good race tomorrow.
Given the speed off the mark we’ve seen from both cars in a couple of races this season, how can we expect tomorrow’s race to go?
Tomorrow’s going to be a very busy race. We’ve seen some races with two stops, other which are borderline three. I think tomorrow will be busier than that – you only have to look at the attempts made by all the teams to conserve race tyres during qualifying to see this. Both drivers start on the clean side of the grid and with a good getaway we hope we can take the race to some of the cars ahead of us.
What challenges have the engineers faced over the last couple of days?_ Yesterday the challenge was to squeeze our race preparation into a single session as a result of rain in the first session. Today the challenge has been to negotiate our way into an increasingly competitive Q3 session before bullying our way as far up the grid as possible while keeping the tyres in good shape for the race. I think both drivers and car crews did a good job in achieving that today.
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