Ferrari and McLaren decided to preserve their tyres during qualifying, instead focusing on Sunday's German GP.
Fernando Alonso: "The strategy we used today was dictated by looking at our average qualifying performance, given that pole is not yet within our grasp and the two scenarios were either starting fifth or sixth on the Soft tyres or start sixth or seventh on the Mediums. We won't know the true worth of our choice until tomorrow. Maybe here it's not too important to start from the front because the Soft tyre shows very high degradation and so, from lap 8 onwards the run of pit stops will begin and traffic will build up. At that point we will have to push like if they were all qualifying laps. All weekend we have been off the pace by an average of six tenths, but compared to Silverstone we can say we are back to normal, capable of fighting in the lead group. Of course, we still need to improve a lot, but in the race we think we can be in the hunt, without forgetting that, regardless of the tyres and the starting positions, it's the fastest who wins."
Felipe Massa:"In terms of performance, it was a good qualifying, even if we opted for a completely different strategy to the teams who are ahead of us on the grid. The car worked very well and with the Soft tyres, we were very competitive, more so than at Silverstone, where we suffered on both compounds, but even so, we could not have ended up any higher than fourth or fifth. When I saw I was first at the end of Q1 and Q2, I felt like I wanted to fight all the way to the finish, but based on the simulation we carried out during free practice, we felt our choice was the right direction to go in. It's hard to think we will be able to make up places immediately starting on the Medium tyres, but yesterday we saw that the Softs degrade after just a few laps and this could work out to our advantage. If the car handles well and we manage to have a good race, we could get a really fantastic result."
Jenson Button: "My lap in Q2 was about as good as it's going to get for us at the moment - in fact, it was one of the best laps I've done in a very long time. I don't think I left anything out there, so I'm very happy about that. Strategically, it was a difficult decision for Q3: do we run the Option, the Prime, or do we not run at all? My heart said we should go out and set a time, whereas my head said we probably shouldn't! Our pace suggested that qualifying sixth would have made it worthwhile [to go out and set a time on the Option], and we probably could have done that - but we chose not to complete a lap, playing a cat-and-mouse game with Nico [Hulkenberg]. Nevertheless, starting ninth is not too bad - I'll be on the clean side of the grid, and I have the freedom to choose my tyre compound, because I didn't set a laptime this afternoon. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the Option tyre early on in the race, but I think we've put ourselves in the best possible position for tomorrow."
Sergio Perez: "It hasn't been the best day for us, and starting 13th wasn't what I was hoping for. Jenson did a great lap, but I've struggled all weekend to match him - especially today, when I think we went a little bit in the wrong direction. This morning, we encountered some problems with the car; perhaps we over-compensated for that, going back on the set-up, getting understeer, and finding it quite difficult to get the tyres warmed up. This was a tough afternoon for me, but we can do better tomorrow. I didn't get everything out of the car today, but it's going to be very interesting to see how the tyres perform in the race."
Nico Hulkenberg: "To reach Q3 today has been a success for us. I am confident we can achieve a good result tomorrow. Compared to yesterday afternoon, we were able to improve the set-up for free practice this morning. I think we have a package now that allows us to fight for points. The long runs yesterday looked promising and, combined with the strategy which I can choose for the start of the race tomorrow, I am confident we can achieve a good result. I didn't set a time in Q3, so I am free to choose my tryes for the start of the race tomorrow. I am convinced that will be an advantage. The team told me that P6 was possible today, but today it's Saturday and the race is what counts, as you only get points tomorrow. The soft tyres are quite challenging to handle here, especially with a full tank. We will start in the top ten tomorrow and our goal is to stay in the points."
Esteban Gutierrez: "Today is a step forward for us. We worked with a lot of different set-ups yesterday and were able to make the right conclusions from the data we gathered. I was able to attack and get a lot out of the car in qualifying. However, I still have to improve. Nico did a fantastic lap and it's challenging, but I will keep working to improve my performance level, especially in qualifying. P14 is, along with Malaysia, the highest place I have achieved so far. For tomorrow we have to put a good strategy together in order to improve from there."
Paul di Resta: "It's been quite a difficult couple of days trying to get the car in the right operating window and I've never felt totally comfortable. All the changes we've made have been a compromise and I've really struggled with the balance. Ahead of qualifying we completely changed the set-up to try to improve things and it certainly helped. For tomorrow we just have to hope that we can repeat the race pace we've shown earlier in the season because that has been one of our strengths.":
Adrian Sutil:"P15 for my home race is a bit disappointing. I had a technical issue with my DRS during Q2 and it was not working, which cost me about half a second per lap. That's why P15 was all that was possible today. Otherwise I think I would have been very close to making Q3. We can fix the issue for tomorrow so we will be ready for the race. Apart from that our absolute pace has not been at our usual level and we've struggled to deliver the performance we showed at Silverstone. Tomorrow is a new day; we will push on and I believe points are still possible."
Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.