Sat: Williams, McLaren, Lotus, STR


There were top ten places in Saturday’s German qualifying for Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen…

There were top ten places in Saturday’s German qualifying for Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen…

Pastor Maldonado: “The weather conditions today were really challenging with the grip levels changing so much between sessions. We had a good balance in Q1 and Q2 but when the rain hit I lost a lot of grip which made it difficult to challenge for a place on the front two rows. On the whole though I’m pretty pleased with where I have qualified and the weather is looking a bit more favourable tomorrow which should suit our car.”

Bruno Senna: “We had a good pace in dry conditions so it’s disappointing to find ourselves in 16th place. When the weather is like it was today it’s always a bit of a lottery because being on track at the right time is crucial and unfortunately I was a bit unlucky in that respect. It will be difficult to get up into the top 10 from where we are because overtaking is not that easy on this track, but our long run pace has been good all year so I have a chance of scoring some points.”

Jenson Button: “We struggled to get the tyres to work today – when you can’t get temperature into the tyre; you don’t know its limit because it’s too cold, and you can’t hit the brakes either because you’ll lock up. It’s an issue we’ve had for a few races and an area where we need to improve. In dry running, however, the pace is very good: we just struggle in wet conditions to get the tyres working. We’ve got to sort out these issues with the tyre temperatures because it’s hurting us both – and that makes it a very difficult day in the office for us. However, the positives that we can take away are that our car looks quick in the dry and that this weekend’s upgrade package is a good step forward. Everyone should be proud of their efforts to not only get it working, but to also have delivered it ahead of schedule this weekend. Today was tough, but I hope we have a good race tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton: “We’ve got to be a little disappointed with the final qualifying result; we were looking good in both Q1 and Q2, so I don’t understand how the others went quicker as the track dried slightly towards the end of Q3. Still, we’re in a better position for tomorrow: although we’re not starting from the best positions, our car certainly looks better in the dry and, with dry weather predicted tomorrow, I definitely think we can have a good race. On Sunday, I plan to hunt everyone down from behind. The great thing at Hockenheim is the great big DRS zone along the back straight – so hopefully Jenson and I will be doing lots of overtaking there tomorrow!”

Lotus F1:
Kimi Raikkonen: “We weren’t fast in the wet today for some reason and we need to look at why that was. I wasn’t able to get any grip from the tyres, even when we tried a fresh set of wets half way through the final qualifying session. In the dry the car is very good and in the races our car usually has strong pace. Let’s hope for some dry weather tomorrow and see what happens.”

Romain Grosjean: “The rain seemed to come at the wrong time for me ; it always was at its heaviest when I was trying to go for a quick lap. It was certainly difficult out there to find enough grip and not to get held up by other cars. It’s difficult to understand why I was so far behind Kimi in qualifying when I’ve been very close to him during the rest of the weekend. I’ve got it all to do tomorrow and I’ll be working hard with my engineers to ensure we’ve got the quickest car and the best strategy to go for some points.”

Toro Rosso:
Daniel Ricciardo: “I am satisfied with that performance. Eleventh is quite good for us, on the edge of Q3. Of course, I’m a little bit disappointed that I missed out on the top ten, but in general this result puts us in a good position for tomorrow and hopefully we can get our nose into the points, even if the race is dry as predicted. As for my quick lap, I actually improved during the run, because even though I was on Intermediates, I seemed to find more grip when there was more water on the track. For that reason, my best lap came right at the end and it was a case of changing lines through some corners from lap to lap as you tried to work out which lines worked best in the conditions. It was a challenging session and I had fun out there this afternoon.”

Jean-Eric Vergne: “Only two tenths between me and P13 in Q1 which is very close and in fact I think I lost two tenths in the final corner, although apart from that, I feel my lap was quite good. I am disappointed that the rain arrived just a bit too late for me. We went out immediately on the Option as we expected rain to fall in Q1 itself. I am still hopeful of having a good race tomorrow as we seem a bit more competitive in the dry than we were two weeks ago. With the rain affecting several sessions, we have not done as much running on the dry tyres as usual and seeing how they behave will be an interesting factor tomorrow.”

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