Sat: Caterham, STR, HRT, Marussia

Date published: June 23 2012

Heikki Kovalainen made it into Q2 for the European GP qualifying while an unwell Timo Glock sat out the session…

Heikki Kovalainen made it into Q2 for the European GP qualifying while an unwell Timo Glock sat out the session…

Caterham:
Heikki Kovalainen: “Today’s performance was the result of a great effort by the whole team. This morning we weren’t sure if we could do it or not but both runs in Q1 were really good. As the temperatures went up and the track kept evolving my car just felt better and better and I really got the most out of it on that final lap on the softs. In Q2 we opted to wait until the end of the session and see if we could improve on the Q1 time and while that wasn’t quite possible we achieved the target of beating both Toro Rosso cars and that obviously is a great feeling. I think tomorrow could now be really interesting for us – it looks like we have the chance to race them and that’s a significant step forward for our team. We’ve been getting closer to them in the last couple of races, but this track, the conditions here and the upgrades we’ve brought give us the chance to make good on our goal of joining the midfield, so now we need to translate today’s result into more good news tomorrow and keep moving forwards.”

Vitaly Petrov: “This has been a good day for the team with the upgrades we’ve brought here helping us take another step forwards. For me I had a good first run on the medium tyres and then was going well on the softs but made a small mistake which cost me a couple of tenths and around this track you only need to lose a small amount of time to drop a few places back. Now it’s time to focus on the race and anything could happen here. I think the key to a good race will be managing tyre degradation and so far this weekend we’ve been reasonably pleased with how our car’s been performing here on the long runs. We obviously won’t know until tomorrow how our nearest competitors will be able to look after their tyres, so we’ll just make sure we put in as good a performance as we can, get the car home and see where we end up.”

Toro Rosso:
Daniel Ricciardo: “It was a fairly tough afternoon. After being off the pace yesterday, we made some pretty big changes to the car overnight. We managed to close the gap a little bit, but not enough to be in contention to fight with our usual competitors. So we decided not to do the second run in Q2, thus saving us some new tyres for tomorrow. We have picked up some positive information from the work we did last night and we have to keep working down that route to try and find more speed. Kovalainen getting ahead of me at the end of Q2? Given my position, it’s not so important and in fact it puts me on the clean side of the track, which could actually be better.”

Jean-Eric Vergne: “Up until now this has been a difficult weekend in which we are suffering from a general lack of performance. I am struggling to put together a good lap, especially as I could not get a good feeling from the brakes, which meant that sometimes I was locking all four wheels. All these factors affected my qualifying and I just did not have the speed to get into Q2. For the moment, things are not going the way we want, but we will simply keep on working and not getting downhearted. Often our race pace is better than in qualifying, but I am not sure if that will be the case tomorrow.”

HRT:
Pedro de la Rosa: “Today’s qualifying was very good. After yesterday’s incident it took me no time to be quick again, so I applaud my team for their effort last night to fix the car. I’m also happy to have finished ahead of our direct rivals as I wasn’t expecting it. As for tomorrow’s race, we don’t really know what will happen. All the new brake ducts which we brought to this race got damaged in yesterday’s crash and now we won’t be able to use them so we will be going to the limit but, as always, and even more so racing at home, we will give everything so that our fans can be proud.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “We made some specific set-up changes for qualifying which definitely helped as we completed our best qualifying session of the season so far. We’re ahead of the Marussias, which is very important, and clocking similar times to Pedro so I’m very happy with the result. I hope to carry the momentum over into tomorrow’s race where we’ll have to keep a close eye on the heat. But we’re in better conditions than in Canada and should be able to put in a good performance. I’m heading into the race full of confidence after today and hope to achieve a good result.”

Marussia:
Charles Pic: “I can’t be happy with my position at the end of qualifying today, but I feel that I did everything I could with the car we had today. We have not approached the weekend in the usual way, but in these situations you can only make the best of things and that is what we have done today. We obviously don’t know what tomorrow holds just yet but for my side I will be working with the engineers across both sides of the garage tonight to see if we can find a way for the team to make a small step in the race. I wish Timo a speedy recover.”

Timo Glock: Did not take part

Related Links
Seb Storms To Euro Pole Ahead Of Lewis
Saturday’s Pics From Valencia