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Sat: Ferrari, Sauber, Williams, FIndia

Saturday 24-March-2012 09:31

There were top ten grid slots in Malaysia for Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez while Pastor Maldonado narrowly missed out...

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: "It was a good qualifying, because I think we got everything we could out of the car. I had a KERS problem on my only run in Q3, but I don't think it cost me any places, but it would definitely have made the gap to pole look more realistic. If it was to rain, it will take a lot of luck to pinpoint the right moment to change tyres: it only takes a little to drop a dozen seconds or so and we will need total concentration to get everything right. A dry race will require just as much concentration to maximise the performance of the car and tyres which, at this track, degrade a lot. We must try and bring home points that could be significant for the championship. The start and the first corner will be complicated, because so much is at stake then. We know we have a lot of work to do, especially on the aerodynamics of the car. Here, the performance is slightly better than in Australia, which proves we are working in the right direction, but obviously we must move on in leaps and bounds if we want to fight for the front rows. A new car in Barcelona? No, there's no truth in that. Clearly we are pushing a lot on car development, which is as it should be, but in a consistent fashion with no revolutionary changes. At the moment, this car has many problems, but as a result, it also has a big margin for improvement."

Felipe Massa: "Clearly, I can't be happy with twelfth place, but we know that, at the moment, we do not have a very competitive car: getting through to Q3 is very difficult and today I could only get close to this target. Yesterday and today in FP3, I was not satisfied with the balance of the car, but we managed to improve it for qualifying, which leaves me feeling confident for the race and for the future. I think we have begun to get a better understanding of how this F2012 works and that is positive. Tomorrow will be a very hard race, where tyre degradation will make itself felt and there will also be the threat of rain hanging over it. I hope I can get a better result than this twelfth place. Pressure? It comes from own will to always do the maximum and when I don't manage it, I am the first to be unhappy."

Sauber:
Sergio Perez: "I am very happy we made it into Q3. Considering all the balance problems we had yesterday that we could not fully explain, it was a great achievement today for the team. Also I think our car is still better in race conditions than in qualifying form, so we should have good potential for tomorrow's race. For some reason it is difficult to find proper grip with the medium compound tyres, but the changes we made after free practice helped a bit. It will be a tough race tomorrow for the car, the tyres and the drivers. I will fight and bring home as many points as possible."

Kamui Kobayashi: "There was no particular problem on my final lap in Q2 such as traffic or mistakes, but I could not feel the grip with the medium tyre compound. We were struggling a lot with the car's balance yesterday, but in the third free practice this morning it was better. But the changes we then made for qualifying apparently went in the wrong direction. Looking forward to the race, I can say that the circuit itself isn't bad for overtaking but I'm not sure we will have enough straight line speed."

Williams:
Pastor Maldonado: "In Q2 I made a mistake at Turn 11 and ran wide, picking up a bit of damage. We knew it would be difficult to get into Q3 today, but we have good race pace. It will be tough tomorrow, but our car looks consistent on longer runs so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Bruno Senna: "We were pushing hard today but there is definitely still more performance in the car. It was a tough session with such a close grid but we are getting closer. We have a good car, so we will now work out the best strategy to move forward in the race tomorrow."

Force India:
Paul di Resta: "We definitely improved the car between final practice and qualifying, but it was a tough session and it got quite a bit warmer during the two hours between qualifying and practice. My laps in Q2 were good and I got sectors one and two right, but I maybe lost out in the final sector, which I never really maximised. I think P14 is a reasonable place to start and hopefully our race pace and tyre management will pay off tomorrow. The other variable is the weather because there is always a high risk of showers late in the afternoon."

Nico Hulkenberg: "You only have to look at the times to see how close things were today. Half a tenth would have given me two or three places, while finding a tenth would have put me twelfth on the grid. To be honest, though, I don't think there was any more to come because I pretty much got the maximum from the car. Now it's all about racing well and using the strategy to try and come away with a result. Having already missed most of the race last weekend in Melbourne, it almost feels like the first race of my season, so hopefully I can go the distance and have a strong performance. Tyre degradation will be a key factor in the race and the chance of rain could also mix things up."

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