Sat: Sauber, Lotus, HRT, Virgin

Date published: October 29 2011

It was not a great Saturday for Sauber, who joined Lotus, HRT and Virgin at the back of the Indian GP grid…

It was not a great Saturday for Sauber, who joined Lotus, HRT and Virgin at the back of the Indian GP grid…

Sauber:
Sergio Perez: “This was obviously a very bad qualifying for me. After our performance in the third free practice this morning we were clearly expecting to do better in qualifying. The key problem was that we couldn’t switch on the tyres to get them really to work. Knowing this, and given the fact that I had the grid penalty from yesterday, we decided to put only the used tyres on again in Q2, as it was better to save the fresh ones for the race.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “The pace of the car was certainly good enough for Q2, I was convinced about it and I also think our race performance should be alright. However, in qualifying it took me a lot of time to warm up the tyres, and then in the end I was unlucky. I had just started my final flying lap when Felipe (Massa) came out of the pit lane in front of me. Although there wasn’t enough time left in the session for him to do another run he didn’t give room. I am disappointed with today, but I will keep myself together and have a positive approach to the race. At least I have some fresh tyres left and this circuit offers opportunities for overtaking.”

Team Lotus:
Heikki Kovalainen: “I think I got as much out of the car as I could in quali and it’s good to put in a lap like that right towards the end of the run. Honestly, I’ve been struggling all weekend to find a balance and put heat into the tyres, so to come out on Saturday and hook up a lap within 0.7 of Kamui feels pretty good. As the weekend’s continuing the track’s getting better and better and I have to say I’m really enjoying myself out there, so tomorrow will be fun, particularly as we’ve shown recently that we can fight with the cars in front throughout the race.”

Jarno Trulli: “I was a bit unlucky with traffic on my quick laps and I think there were a couple of tenths to find but we were pretty close to pushing as hard as we could today in quali. We’ve taken a step forward since yesterday as the times show, but we know our qualifying pace doesn’t reflect what we can do in the race so I want to make sure I can get back to the great race starts I’d been making a couple of races back and see where we end up tomorrow afternoon.”

HRT:
Daniel Ricciardo: “The position I achieved today was quite good, it’s one of our best finishes in qualifying this year ahead of our rivals. I was a fair way ahead of D’Ambrosio which is nice. In FP3 we had some issues and couldn’t do any preparations for qualifying, so we have to be very happy with the result. There are still a few things that we need to be on top of but we are always looking better for the race, I didn’t think qualifying would be our strong point so I’m looking forward to tomorrow where I hope to end up ahead of the cars I beat in qualifying today.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “We got the potential out of the car and beat both of the Virgins and I am proud of it. I was up on my teammate but made a small mistake. Nevertheless, I’m very happy with the way I drove and the position I achieved. I think this was the maximum that we could get and the team did a fantastic job to get us ahead of Virgin. It’s a fantastic sensation racing in front of my home crowd and for tomorrow I am aiming to finish in the best position possible.”

Virgin:
Jerome D’Ambrosio: “It wasn’t a great qualifying for me and it has been a difficult weekend to be honest. It feels like the car has been changing from one session to the next, which makes life pretty difficult because it’s still a new track and there is the track evolution to manage as well. It was disappointing to find ourselves in a position behind HRT and as we’ve struggled they’ve been with us all weekend. It’s a great track and I think it should produce some fantastic racing, so I hope we can improve our situation tomorrow. We saved an extra set of the Soft tyre, so that should help.”

Timo Glock: “A very disappointing qualifying for the team. We had a very good Friday yesterday, but today we have been very unlucky as fifth gear broke in qualifying and I could only do one flying lap. The first flying lap was already quite positive – the car felt okay and I didn’t have any problems. We won’t be starting where we wanted to be but I think we are quick enough to beat the HRTs and we kept a set of the Soft tyre back, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow. Obviously, it’s a real shame for me and my car crew, but that’s racing.”

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