There were top ten times in qualifying in Texas for Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Pastor Maldonado...
Felipe Massa: "This qualifying was pretty much a lottery: the lucky number is always the last one! With this type of tyre on Massa this asphalt one struggles to get the tyres up to temperature and one has to lap continuously before being able to set a good time. IN Q2, we managed it, but in Q3 things did not go as well: it's never easy to do the perfect lap with so little grip. It will definitely not be an easy race for us, given the grid positions of our main rivals, but we must stay focused because all the same, tomorrow will be hard for everyone. We will have to do our utmost and then we will see how it goes. Starting from the dirty side of the track is definitely not helpful: it's the first time we're not happy about gaining a grid position!"
Fernando Alonso: "We never managed to put together the best lap, which on these tyres and with these track conditions is always the last one you do. We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back. Having said that, the accounts are always done at the end of the race: also in Abu Dhabi we were slower than our main rivals and then we got back three points in the classification. Our aim remains unchanged and it's still possible: on Sunday all sorts of things can happen. Reliability, strategy - it will be important to work out when is the best time to pit because here, the cold tyres can be slower by several seconds - and team work will be as usual important. The updates? We tried to find the best possible combination between all the parts we had available, as it's not always the case that the latest part is the best choice, especially when you are at a brand new track. We will push to the limit, as we have done since the start of the year at every race weekend."
Nico Hulkenberg: "I'm happy to get another top ten result and it's been a good effort by the whole team, especially given where we were yesterday evening. My lap in Q3 was not too bad, but I was a little compromised by a Williams in the last couple of corners, so maybe there was a little bit more to come. Generally I'm quite happy and confident we can race strongly because our long-run pace looked competitive yesterday. There are lots of unknowns about tomorrow because there is no data from the past to help us, but we're in good shape and I'm really enjoying driving at this new track."
Paul di Resta: "It has been a difficult weekend so far and I'm still struggling to get the tyres working. I have quite a smooth driving style so maybe that's why I haven't been able to switch them on as well as Nico, who has a more aggressive approach. The good news is that P13 is on the cleaner side of the grid so that should help me maximise the start. It's a long race but I'm not really sure what to expect tomorrow. The car is not quite where I want it to be so I just need to make the best of it and hope we can use the strategy to help us move forward."
Pastor Maldonado: "The performance wasn't there yesterday so today was much better for us. Unfortunately in Q3 the grip wasn't there, as it was difficult to get the tyres working correctly. It's important we are in the top ten for tomorrow though. We have a good car so we are looking to get more points tomorrow in what looks set to be a good race. All around the track are Venezuelan flags and there is a lot of support here for me as it's so close to my home, so hopefully that will help give me an extra boost tomorrow!"
Bruno Senna: "Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my best lap in Q2, running a bit wide on Turn 19 and then having dirty tyres which cost me about half a second and a place in Q3 for sure. It's frustrating but we are able to score good points from where we are. We have a good car and we looked competitive in our race simulation in practice yesterday, so I'm really looking forward to the race. It's a track we are all attacking and it's important to keep pushing. "
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I think the team has worked well so far this weekend to produce a car that seems a bit more competitive than in the past few races. It doesn't mean much that I beat my team-mate today, because he had some difficulties in the first session. Maybe I could have got a bit more out of the car this afternoon, perhaps found a couple of tenths. After going over the kerbs and damaging the suspension this morning, I obviously lost some track time and without that, I might have had a better understanding of the tyres. However, as I said before, the car feels good, there are plenty of overtaking opportunities here so my plan tomorrow is to go hunting for some more points."
Daniel Ricciardo: "That was a difficult and frustrating session for me. We knew it would take a long time for the tyres to come in, especially as the asphalt is still so slippery. We never really got them to work properly as I got stuck in traffic in the early part and then came the yellow flags when I was about to try for my last two laps. It meant I never got a clean run. This is one of my worst qualifying performances of the season, the first time I haven't made it to Q2 for seven races, so I just want to put it behind me now and aim to have a better Sunday, which should be entirely within our capabilities."
Vettel Pips Hamilton To First CoTA Pole
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