Sat: McLaren, Ferrari, FIndia, Merc

Saturday 8th September 2012

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Sat: McLaren, Ferrari, FIndia, Merc

Sat: McLaren, Ferrari, FIndia, Merc

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at Monza ahead of Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher...

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton: "This is a fabulous day for the whole team - they've done a fantastic job to get our car into this position, so I want to say a huge thanks to them. The whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team deserves this result. It's going to be a fast, tough race tomorrow. Jenson and the Ferraris are very quick, but we've got a good car and a good set-up, and we're in the best possible position to score maximum points tomorrow. This is a beautiful track; it's so fast that you really need to respect it. Monza has such great history too, and, at some stage, I'd love to become part of that history. For the moment, though, I'm just looking for a strong, consistent race tomorrow, because I need to score some good points. Finally, I just want to pass on my best wishes and congratulations to my friend Alex Zanardi. Alex is not only one of the most courageous men I know, but he's also one of the nicest, and his gold medal successes at the Paralympics over the past few days have been incredibly inspiring."

Jenson Button: "It's been a really good day for us. Congratulations to Lewis and the whole team - they've done a fabulous job to get us in this position and we've got to build on that tomorrow. Happily, we're in the best position possible: the past few races have really shown the strength of our car. We didn't consider trying to tow each other around as some of the others did - it's a difficult thing to get right and if you get it wrong you end up being compromised elsewhere around the lap. I don't think tomorrow's race will be all about the start - you want to get a good run into Turn One, admittedly, but if you try to plan something too ambitious, it often doesn't work. There haven't been any first-corner incidents at the front of the grid for the last couple of years here, so Lewis and I will just be focusing on getting our two cars out of the first corner in front of all the others."

Ferrari:
Felipe Massa: "I am very happy with this qualifying, the best in a long time for me. This is a very important race for Ferrari and I will do my best to get a good result. I feel sorry for Fernando, as he had been very strong all weekend: we both have a good car and I'm sure that tomorrow we will be able to bring home a good points haul for the championship. We have a chance of beating McLaren, even if they are very strong. For me, getting back on the podium, here in front of our fans, would be wonderful! It's my second home race and racing here is always a fantastic feeling. We tried to make as much use as possible of the slipstream, which requires a lot of concentration, but it's true that in the end, I got my best time when I had no one in front of me."

Fernando Alonso: "I think I could have got pole today, but instead I find myself tenth. A real shame, because the car was very strong, but these things happen. It's maybe fifteen years that something like this has happened, but it has and there's no point in crying over it. The problem will be fixed for tomorrow, but of course this result changes everything as far as the race is concerned: we had the chance to increase our lead over our closest rivals, but now, it's likely that at least some of them will make up ground on me. I don't think the failures we've had over the past couple of days can be linked to a speeding up of the development on the car, because they have not involved components on which we are pushing to extremes. Tomorrow, we will try and pick up as many points as possible, maybe getting ahead of some of my direct competitors. We have to accept that problems like these can occur even if, when it does happen, the first reaction is disappointment. Having said that, it's a case of better Saturday than Sunday, because then, you have no chance of remedying the situation! Risks starting in the middle of the pack? Given how the points table looks, it's more a case of the others having to worry about coming away with another no score..."

Force India:
Paul di Resta: "The car has been working well all weekend so I knew we were in good shape going into qualifying. We were in the top five of free practice and the car has got better and better with each run as the track evolved. I'm very happy with my Q3 lap, which was my quickest lap so far - so we maximised it when it mattered. I think the entire team has done an excellent job to get us in this position - we've trusted our instincts and just worked away at dialling the car into the track. I knew I was going to have a grid penalty for the gearbox change, which is frustrating, but at least I will start inside the top ten. The challenge now is to make sure we have the race pace and use the strategy to come away with points."

Nico Hulkenberg: "A very short and disappointing session for me. I was about to start my first timed lap in Q1 when I suddenly lost drive. I pulled over at the first chicane and the team told me to switch off the car. It's a shame this happened on a day when the car looks so competitive, but that's racing. Starting so far back tomorrow will be tough, but I will try and push through so that we can hopefully come away with something from the race."

Mercedes:
Michael Schumacher: "I think we can be satisfied with our qualifying performance as we have performed consistently all weekend. Our car clearly suits this circuit more than at the last races, but we've had a couple of hiccups along the way in practice. Our guys back at the factory and here at the track did a good job to sort out the problems and compliments to them. Solid points should be a realistic target for tomorrow. The fact that I will start from fourth is another small positive point, because here the even numbers on the grid are probably the better start positions."

Nico Rosberg: "Starting from sixth place here in Monza is a decent result from a tricky qualifying session today. I wasn't happy with the balance of my car by Q3 and, although it started well, I then lost the right balance so I couldn't improve my time. I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow and I hope we can gain some positions."

Related Links
Hamilton Takes Pole In McLaren 1-2
Saturday's Pics From Monza

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