There were top ten times in Saturday's qualifying in Bahrain for Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso...
Kimi Raikkonen: "I am reasonably pleased with my qualifying, because up until this morning, I did not feel completely comfortable in the car, but the faith I put in what we had at our disposal was paid back with this result. We are improving in all areas, on the engine, data acquisition, electronics and the new parts fitted to the car have given me a better feeling from the front end. Sure, we are not yet where we want to be, but I think we are on the right path and we have the right people to give us every possibility to continue to move forward. It's hard to say how tomorrow's race will go, because in the simulation done yesterday, I was struggling on the Medium tyre, while the balance was better on the Soft. We know we can't fight with Mercedes, but today's result gives me more confidence than at the previous races and I will do my best to bring home a good result."
Fernando Alonso: "We tried our best as usual today and now we need to wait for the car to come back from parc ferme to work out why there was a drop in power in Q3. In winter testing here we had already seen that this circuit is particularly suited to the Mercedes powered cars, because the long straights allow them to use their top end performance. But given how free practice and the first two parts of qualifying had gone, maybe we could have hoped to be a bit higher up the order. Now, we must think only of doing well tomorrow, especially at the start, given we are on the clean side because of Ricciardo's penalty. Then we must work out the best strategy, choosing between two or three stops. A lot will depend on how the tyres perform: I think that, in lower temperatures than we have seen so far, the Medium could throw up some surprises."
Jenson Button: "Although we haven't qualified where we'd ideally like to have done, as a team I reckon we've done a more or less perfect job so far this weekend. It was very tight out there, we did all we could, and we ended up very close to P4; all you can do is get the best out of the car, and that's what we did here today. The four fly-away races are all about picking up points as and when you can. We've done that pretty well the first two races, and we've got to continue doing that. We're not the quickest, so we've got to make the best of what we have and what we are. A podium finish tomorrow would be great, but it'll be very difficult because the first two places are already fully booked as long as the two Mercedes cars are reliable. But let's be positive: we've got a fighting chance of making up places tomorrow, and third place is only three spots better than where we'll be starting from [sixth]."
Kevin Magnussen: "I'm not entirely happy with my qualifying position today, to be honest. We'd hoped that the cool temperatures would confer more of an advantage to us, and help us a little bit more, but it didn't work out that way. Having said that, Jenson did a very good job, and got a bit more out of the car than I did, and I think that's probably the most anyone could have got out of it today. Our race pace might be better than our qualifying pace was, and we should hopefully be a bit more competitive tomorrow as a result of that. We should be in the thick of the fight for points. But, first of all, I need to make a clean start tomorrow. I don't want any damage to the front wing at the first corner."
Daniil Kvyat: "I am a little bit disappointed and also surprised with only making it to Q2, because we were fast enough to get into Q3 looking at how the rest of the weekend went so far. But unfortunately the others were faster and we didn't manage to improve enough so it wasn't a very satisfying Qualifying session. We will have a look at this tonight and hopefully we can have another strong race tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "Today the team did again a very good job to give me a car that was more suitable for me and I had a good feeling in Q2. We made a good step forward compared to yesterday, even though I felt down in power and we will have to investigate the reasons for this. Anyway, we have to stay positive, also because starting 14th on the grid is not too bad and everything is possible. We just have to keep our head down and stay focussed."
Esteban Gutierrez: "I am satisfied with the result of qualifying today. We managed to put together some fast laps. I want to thank my team; they did a good job in finding the right balance from my feedback. We need to look forward and still work hard, because we are missing quite a lot of pace to be where we want to be. I have a great team and we are all working hard. Today it was the optimum I could get out of the car on my last really good lap. With the lower temperatures the tyres are behaving in a different way. I feel positive for the race tomorrow, but with our pace we cannot be in the top ten at the moment. However, I am sure if we work consistently we can get some points in the future."
Adrian Sutil: "Today there was not much to achieve. However, making it into Q2 could have been possible. Unfortunately, we are still too slow on the straights, and I am personally struggling with the fact the car is overweight. I only had one lap, as I had traffic on my second run. This resulted in aborting my final lap. We have to concentrate on tomorrow, and we need to be better in the race. However, it will be difficult to finish in the points. We are working on the car, and I think when we get to Europe we will be able to move further up the grid. I am looking forward to that and I will put all my efforts into it."
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