Sat: Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, STR

Saturday 16-November-2013 19:14

There were top ten times in Saturday's qualifying in Austin for Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas...

Fernando Alonso: "I feel reasonably satisfied with the result of today's qualifying, because after the problems we have had almost all weekend long and even in Q1, we had little hope of getting through to the third part. It just goes to show how much things can change with around 10-degrees higher track temperature: here we have suffered a lot in getting the tyres to work, especially in the morning sessions, when the temperatures were lower. But looking at the pace we showed in the afternoon, I think that the sunshine predicted for tomorrow could help us to have a good race. It would be nice to make it to the podium, but my main aim is to help the team to take second place in the constructors' championship. In order to do that, we need to beat the Mercedes, preferably right from the start, which will condition the way the race goes, even if it will not be easy, as the dirty side of the track here in Austin is one of the worst of the year."

Felipe Massa: "That was a very difficult qualifying. From yesterday afternoon onwards, I haven't been able to drive the car properly, something isn't working and we haven't managed to work out why. I don't think I've got a specific problem, but there really is very little grip, both at the front and the rear and I wasn't quick on either compound. It is very strange, because Fernando managed to adapt better to the car/tyre package and I can't understand why I can't do the same, especially as I like this track a lot. I never expected to find myself struggling so much. Now we must find a solution for tomorrow, because even if it will be a difficult race, we have to do our utmost to move up the order and bring home points that will be valuable for the constructors' classification."

Sergio Perez: "Obviously, I'm very pleased, but, when you're so close to the cars in front, you still want to improve. In that respect, I'm slightly disappointed - but if you'd told me I'd be seventh before the start of qualifying, I'd have taken it. For quali, I was just able to relax and focus. At the end of the day, I'm a racing driver - I've been doing this my whole life. When I get in the car, I just forget about everything else and concentrate on my own performance. Tomorrow, I'll be racing in front of my own people - that makes me feel hugely proud. I'll be starting from the clean side of the grid, I'll be hoping for a good start, and I'll be really hoping to put on a great show for all my Mexican fans."

Jenson Button: "I don't know what happened. I couldn't find the balance or the grip. The pace just wasn't there. That's tough, especially when we've looked pretty quick for most of the weekend. But I don't know where our pace has gone in qualifying - it's not the first time it's happened. It wasn't necessarily the weather conditions - other drivers seemed to cope - although I guess it may have contributed. We'll investigate. It was weird though - especially when you saw that Valtteri [Bottas] could go quickest in Q1 but his team-mate couldn't even get through to Q2. My three-place grid penalty means I'll be starting 16th - that won't be ideal, as it means I'll be starting not only from a long way back but also from the dirty side of the grid."

Valtteri Bottas: I really enjoyed today and I am happy with that performance. To be honest I expected a bit more in Q3 because we were competitive in Q1 and Q2. I'm very happy for the team; they've all done a great job and improved the car a lot from practice to qualifying. We are in a good position for tomorrow and we need to try and gain from this and score some points in the race.

Pastor Maldonado: "We have struggled this weekend and today showed that; the car doesn't feel right in terms of the tyres pressures or temperatures so we need to take a closer look at that. We got held up by a bit of traffic, which meant that we weren't able to get into Q2. We will try to do our best in the race tomorrow from the position we're in."

Toro Rosso:
Daniel Ricciardo: "Overall, I am pretty happy with eleventh, which is clearly very close to making the cut to Q3. However in Q1 I was frustrated with the balance of the car and I felt I was quite lucky to get into Q2. I believe the wind conditions were making life tricky for everyone and I don't think I was the only one struggling. I was pretty happy with my Q2 lap even though the car was moving around a lot. Now I'm looking forward to the race: I'm just outside the top ten, I'm on the clean side of the track and I get a free tyre choice."

Jean-Eric Vergne: "I can't explain my performance or lack of it this afternoon. We struggled with the car right from the start of the weekend, but we had made progress overnight and improved it in FP3. Then, this afternoon, on my first run in Q1 I was struggling on my first run on the Hard tyre, but as soon as I fitted the Medium, I gained two seconds and all of sudden, I had a driveable car and set a good time and was much happier. But in Q2, when I had opted to go for just a single timed lap on the new Option, I again found the car very difficult to drive. Maybe it is linked to the warm-up of the tyres, as it is very difficult to get them up to temperature, so we will have to look at that, but generally, I just didn't feel comfortable driving the car. Tomorrow we will see what happens, when hopefully the improvement we made overnight will pay off over the long runs."

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