Sat: McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Lotus

Saturday 12th May 2012

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Sat: McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Lotus

Sat: McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Lotus

Lewis Hamilton will start the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position, having comfortably beaten Pastor Maldonado and Fernando Alonso...

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton: "Whatever position I start a Grand Prix from, I'll always race my heart out."

Jenson Button: "I expected quite a bit from qualifying today, so I don't really understand what went wrong. The speed is in the car though, as Lewis showed. We were quickest on the soft tyre yesterday, and I thought we'd be reasonably competitive today too - but that wasn't the case, and we don't really know why. I just struggled with a very different balance from yesterday. I had oversteer all through qualifying, then, on my final run - when we actually added more front wing - I had understeer! It's not a perfect day when you qualify in P11 [P10 after Lewis's penalty] but I hope we can work out this evening what's happening with the balance for the race tomorrow. I guess you'd just have to describe today as a difficult day at the office."

Williams:
Pastor Maldonado: "We have been working so hard all year to understand these tyres and with the updates we have brought to this race we have made a very good step forward. The car is very consistent and its race pace is good so I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. There has been a really positive atmosphere in the team all season and this is a great result for them and Venezuela."

Bruno Senna: "It was a disappointing qualifying for me and I had back luck with traffic when on the soft tyre. I have a lot of work to do tomorrow if I want to score any points but I have had good races from the back before and our car is looking competitive this weekend."

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: "This third place is not what we had expected. We were counting on making a step forward that would allow us to get into Q3 with less difficulty than in the first races of the season and we managed it. But we certainly did not think we could be so high up the grid. I don't know if this position is a true reflection of our car's performance - it's definitely not normal for a Red Bull and a McLaren to be eliminated in Q2 and that the other Red Bull gets into Q3 with no sets of new Soft tyre available - but what is certain is that the new parts we have brought here have resulted in us taking a step in the right direction: sure, it's not yet enough to fight for the very top places. It's a good basis to start from for this weekend, but the points come tomorrow. We will try and get a good start, especially as some of my main opponents in the title fight start behind us and we must try and make the most of that. Tyre performance will be a critical factor: we will have to be careful, because the forecast is for different temperatures to today and that could throw up some surprises. Racing in front of this amazing crowd always gives me some extra motivation!"

Felipe Massa: "When qualifying is as close as this, it is vital to manage to have everything fall into place on a clean lap and I never got that chance. On my second run in Q2, I came across at least seven or eight cars that were preparing their tyres for their timed lap and the time I lost definitely cost me dear. It's a real shame to start seventeenth in a race in which our car has shown it has made a step forward in terms of performance, as could be seen from Fernando's result. The new aerodynamic parts which we introduced on the F2012 seem to have worked well - we have a bit more aerodynamic downforce and a bit less drag - but we are well aware that there is still a lot to do. Tomorrow, on a track as hard as this one on the tyres, strategy will be crucial: let's hope I can make it into the points."

Lotus F1:
Romain Grosjean: "It was a good performance from the team, especially as I didn't run in FP3 because of a fuel pressure problem. For the set-up we went from what we'd found out yesterday and it worked pretty well. Everyone did a good job to get the car ready for qualifying after the problems of the morning. We can be happy with what we have achieved - of course you always want more but this is the result for today. I think that I could have been a little bit quicker, not too much more. Tomorrow is going to be long; our race pace did not look too bad but, of course, we'll have to manage tyre degradation."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I think we had a chance to be in the top three but we've been fighting with the set-up quite a bit today. We changed the car for qualifying and actually it was the correct call in the end; it was just a few small mistakes which cost me some time on my Q3 lap. We'll see how it goes tomorrow in the race; the car has usually been better on Sunday than it has been on Saturday, so if that's the case tomorrow we'll be pretty happy. A lot of small details will decide the race and the tyres are one aspect of course. Our long runs were promising yesterday, so we're not looking too bad. Hopefully we get a reasonable start and we can be up at the right end and go for it. I think we've got a good car and that's the main thing."

Related Links
Qualy: Hamilton claims first Spanish pole
Saturday's shots from Spain

Turn Up The Lights, It's Race Day

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