Qualy quotes: Force India, Ferrari, McLaren

Date published: September 2 2017

Force India's Esteban Ocon starts from the lofty heights of P3 at Monza, with both Ferraris way off the pace in wet conditions on home soil.

Force India

Esteban Ocon: “A great qualifying session. I’m really happy for everybody in the team. We knew there was an opportunity for us this afternoon and I’m so pleased we could take it. I always enjoy driving in the wet and the conditions today were really challenging. The car felt great; there was a really nice balance and I have to say a big thank you to the team for all their hard work. We will need to fight hard tomorrow because there are quick cars all around us, but I believe we can score some really big points and I’ll be aiming for the podium.”

Sergio Perez: “It’s been a very long afternoon and I am happy the fans got a good show in the end after waiting in the rain for so long. The conditions on track were difficult; there was a lot of standing water and the cars were aquaplaning a lot, so I think Charlie [Whiting] did the right thing by postponing the session. The conditions were changing all the time and it was very important to be on the right tyres at the right moment. In Q2, we took the decision to change from wets to inters and I only had two laps to try and make it happen. In the end, I missed out by two thousandths: it’s not ideal, but it was the best we could do today. It was not a perfect lap – I went a bit too wide at Ascari and I got very close to Ricciardo ahead of me, and that compromised me a little. These small margins were enough to miss out on the top ten. We’ll be moving up on the grid with a few penalties and I hope to make up some more positions tomorrow.”

Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen: “Today in wet conditions it felt quite tricky all the time. We struggled to get the tires working, in most places we had no grip and it was very slippery. It was difficult to go through the corners and be able to push and go fast. The starting position is not ideal but we’ll start in a bit better position thanks to penalties for the other cars. Now we have to wait and see how the weather will turn out. I’m sure that in the dry conditions it will be a lot different, our car should be working quite well”.

Sebastian Vettel: “This isn’t where we wanted to be. Obviously, we didn’t have enough speed, but tomorrow I think it should be fun. It will be a long race on a track where you can overtake, so anything can happen. I don’t know what caused today’s result, but it was not ideal and we didn’t have the grip. Now we’ll try to understand what happened and then we’ll focus on the race. I don’t think anybody was expecting so much rain. Obviously, we are all disappointed, but there’s no point in complaining now. I know that we have a strong car, we have a new chance and anything can happen. We could have done better today and we tried to do it but it didn’t work. I am confident tomorrow will be better”.

McLaren:

Stoffel Vandoorne: “The car was great today in wet conditions, especially compared to the dry. We were much more competitive and we made it into Q2. Obviously, we didn’t want to push too much in qualifying because there was no point – we’ll start last anyway, due to the penalty – so we just saved the tyres and used the engine in a lower power mode, but we still did a decent qualifying. We needed to keep an eye on Stoffel’s position too, as we didn’t want to be in Q3 with the wrong car! We missed the opportunity to use the tow today because with wet conditions you don’t want anyone in front, as the visibility is so poor. We’ll save it for some future races. I think we were potentially top five or top six today, so we hope for these conditions tomorrow. It’s apparently going to be sunny though, but we’ll see what we can do from there.”“For us to be in Q3 on a circuit like Monza means it’s been a pretty good afternoon, especially as it wasn’t so easy out there and there were pretty difficult conditions. I’m happy with my performance today. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have a proper go in Q3 – we had a loss of engine power so I had to abandon my quicker lap, and we don’t know what the problem is at the moment. It’s a shame because I really think we could have pushed our way further up. We could have taken more time to find the limit and taken a few more risks, but we didn’t get that chance. With penalties we’ll probably start P8, which is inside the top 10, and we’ve been running strong in the dry. I think tomorrow should be dry, so we’ll need a good start and to keep in touch with the group in front. There’s some quick cars in front and some quick cars behind, but once we’re in position hopefully we can stay there. Tomorrow is when the points are distributed, and I’m optimistic in the race we can have a good go.”

Fernando Alonso: “The car was great today in wet conditions, especially compared to the dry. We were much more competitive and we made it into Q2. Obviously, we didn’t want to push too much in qualifying because there was no point – we’ll start last anyway, due to the penalty – so we just saved the tyres and used the engine in a lower power mode, but we still did a decent qualifying. We needed to keep an eye on Stoffel’s position too, as we didn’t want to be in Q3 with the wrong car! We missed the opportunity to use the tow today because with wet conditions you don’t want anyone in front, as the visibility is so poor. We’ll save it for some future races. I think we were potentially top five or top six today, so we hope for these conditions tomorrow. It’s apparently going to be sunny though, but we’ll see what we can do from there.”