Sat: FIndia, STR, Lotus, McLaren

Date published: April 19 2014 - Editor

There were top ten times in qualifying for the Chinese GP for Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean, his first of the year…

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg: “A top ten result is always what we are aiming for in qualifying, so from that perspective I am happy to be eighth. It was very wet out there and I was struggling a bit with the car balance under braking, but all in all I think we’re in a good starting position for the race. Tomorrow’s weather should improve and we ran in the dry yesterday so we know what to expect and will adapt to any conditions. It will be interesting to see the tyre development through the race because graining is a classic feature of this track, but I’m confident we can work around it and make the tyres last.”

Sergio Perez: “It was not an easy session and the truth is that I’ve been struggling with the car balance all weekend. I think the wet weather today exaggerated those issues and it leaves me P16 and feeling a bit disappointed. I found it hard to generate enough temperature in my tyres and I was sliding around in each corner and especially under braking. The weather is expected to be better tomorrow so I am sure we can recover some ground and move up into the fight for points.”

Toro Rosso:
Jean-Eric Vergne: “I’m really pleased with my qualifying, it’s been a great lap. I’m happy with myself as all my qualifying laps this year so far have been good laps, without mistakes. This car is pretty difficult to drive in the wet condition, so to make it into Q3 even today is a big satisfaction for me and the team. You really have to make your perfect lap and I think I did. As for tomorrow, the weather forecast says it’s going to be dry, which is a much more suitable condition for our car, so we can expect a good race. In the long runs our pace looks competitive, so I will do my best to make a good start and from the ninth position on the grid, if everything comes together, we can definitely aim for some more points.”

Daniil Kvyat: “This was a very tricky qualifying session today and even though I gave it my all, I was not able to go any faster than this. It seems that I have lost a lot of grip between this morning’s FP3 and Qualifying, so I’m eager to have a look at the data later on. Overall I’m disappointed with how things went today, but I’m confident we can still have a good race tomorrow, especially if it is going to be dry.”

Lotus F1:
Romain Grosjean: “It is good to be in Q3. We have made good progress this weekend. Things went better this morning than in qualifying this afternoon and so we had maybe even higher hopes. I’m not sure why we didn’t feel as much performance this afternoon than in FP3. I also suffered with the tyres and the conditions change a little from this morning too but it has been a while since we’ve been in Q3! We are hoping for a good race for tomorrow and hopefully we can stay in the top ten.”

Pastor Maldonado: “For sure we are not happy to have missed qualifying. Tomorrow will be another day and the race is very long. I remain optimistic and I’ll do my best as always but it’s not a very good situation to be dealing with, but we are working very hard to keep improving. We saw Romain qualify in the top ten today and I was sixth fastest in the morning so we are making improvements.”

Jenson Button: “It’s always tough in these conditions – it was difficult for us to get heat into the tyres, especially with the low ambient temperatures we experienced today. I had tyre-shuddering during Q2: shuddering is what happens when you can’t get enough temperature into the tyre. The surface of the tyre is affected when you apply steering lock; the tyre doesn’t grip and it just jumps across the circuit. It’ll be difficult in the race tomorrow – we’ll be racing on a green track with no grip because of all today’s rain. So it’ll be about succeeding with the hand you’re dealt. So I really hope it’ll be dry tomorrow because in the dry I think we can have a fun race. We’re further back than we’d like, but there have been some pretty good results from this far back already this season. We’ll get out there and see what we can do tomorrow afternoon.”

Kevin Magnussen: “I’m pretty disappointed to have qualified 15th – it’s not great. I don’t really know what happened, we had issues with overall grip – I’m not sure if it was the tyres not being in the correct working temperature range. We’ll go back and look at things – I believe we’re better than 15th, so we clearly didn’t get everything right today. Still, we’re not fast enough and we need to find more speed. The team is doing a good job of improving things, but it just takes time. These things aren’t fixed overnight, but I have faith in the team. We’ll get there. We’ll see what we can do in the race tomorrow.”

Related Links
Hamilton Storms To Third Pole Of The Year
Saturday’s Gallery From Shanghai