F1 2014

Hamilton: ‘It felt great’ – Plus More Qualifying Reaction

  1. ‘It felt great’ – Hamilton

  2. ‘Pretty pleased’ – Ricciardo

  3. ‘We struggled’ – Vettel

  4. ‘Sheer bad luck’ – Button

AUS GP 4

P1 – Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas:

“It’s been an interesting weekend so far here in Melbourne. Qualifying was a lot harder for everyone with the tricky conditions and it was a real challenge out there today. We were on the edge with the tyres and it was difficult to know which way to go at times. It’s the first time I’ve driven the car on the limit in the wet, but it felt great and I’m so happy with the job the team has done. To be on pole here today is a fantastic result for us. It was great fun and I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. It’s going to be tough, but we’ll do our best and see what happens. I am very proud to have scored pole number 100 for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I have only driven with Mercedes power since my debut in 2007 and the whole Mercedes team has done an incredible job meeting the challenge of these new rules. It’s just as special to equal Nigel’s record of pole positions for a British driver. I owe it to the great people I’ve worked with throughout my career.”

P2 – Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Renault:

“It was exciting out there – the weather definitely added to the mix and the whole session went well. Q1 looked like it was going okay for us and then, when the rain fell, it’s the first time we’ve driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky, but at the same time a lot of fun and it was nice to always be up there. The engineer was always on the radio saying the pace was good and that we were P1, P2 P3 and in the battle for the pole position, so it was definitely a really nice first qualifying session with the team. I’m happy for us to have a front row start – it wasn’t looking like this a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty pleased right now.”

P3 – Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas:

“That was a really tricky qualifying session out there this evening. Starting from third place on the grid is not the optimum but okay for me. I know that I have a good race car and that makes me quite confident. With a good start, I should have a nice chance of scoring a strong result. It will be a very interesting race because fuel consumption and tyre wear will be on the edge. So there might be some surprises tomorrow.”

P11 (10th after Bottas penalty) – Jenson Button, McLaren Mercedes:

“The rain this afternoon was initially good for me – I got the tyres in pretty good shape for my lap, and I was pleased with my first run in Q2. The car felt pretty good, too – I was quickest when I did my lap, and I was in the top 10 until the end. But, unfortunately, I didn’t get my final run on new tyres in because I was caught out by the yellow flags in Turn Three. In the wet conditions, I think we had a very good chance of qualifying closer to the front, because our car isn’t quite so quick in the dry. Not getting into the top 10 was sheer bad luck – but, hopefully, I won’t be so unlucky tomorrow. I love this place, the car is working well, and, but for the yellow flags, we could have qualified much better than we did. Hopefully we’ll be quick in the race – there’s one team that’s clear of the rest, but I think we can fight the others.”

P13 (12th after Bottas penalty) – Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Renault: 

“I think we have made a big step forward with the car, but of course I’m not happy that we didn’t make it to Q3. I think the car is quick, but we struggled this afternoon with drivability which, in these conditions, made it even worse. The car seems good and Daniel did a very good job to be on the front row, so congratulations to him. It’s going to be a long race tomorrow and reliability will be the most important thing to make it to the flag, but I think there will be lots of opportunities for us.”

P4 – Kevin Magnussen, McLaren Mercedes:

“I’m really happy. Those were difficult conditions, especially as I’ve never driven this track in the wet – it was quite tricky to get the lines and the braking points right. It was much trickier than anything I’ve ever done! But I don’t think I could have asked for any more today. I made a mistake and went off on my last lap, so I might have been able to go quicker, but I’m still happy. The car was really good, and the team did a fantastic job of preparing me for this. I’m proud of myself, but also proud of the whole team for doing such a massively good job of preparing me over the winter. I always knew what was going on, and I knew the procedures, so it’s clear that they taught me really well. The race is tomorrow, and so are the points – so we need a good Sunday. I’ll try to enjoy tomorrow and do the best I can – getting onto the podium won’t be easy, especially if it’s dry. But if it’s wet, anything could happen – so I guess a wet grand prix is what I’ll be hoping for.”

P8 – Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso Renault:

“This was a very good session for us and I really didn’t expect to be qualifying 8th at my first Grand Prix 2 months ago! This is definitely a big step forward and I’m very happy for the team, who did a fantastic job also from the strategy side. The conditions were very tricky, but the car felt good and in the end we were able to put everything together. Now our focus is on tomorrow, which should be interesting also because of the weather forecast.”

P17 – Max Chilton, Marussia Ferrari:

“I was really pleased with my lap on the opening run and felt that a few issues from FP3 had really come together. Bar one small mistake it was a clean lap. There was more to come of course but I’m reasonably happy given all the factors that we’ve experienced. It would have been nice to improve as we were close to Q2 but the weather intervened, so this is where we will start the race and that is what we have to focus on now. I think tomorrow is going to be a really exciting day for Formula One and the fans, and I can’t wait to see who will end up where – especially our team!”

P5 – Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari:

“I think fifth is a good result in such a difficult qualifying session, especially as it’s the first time we’ve run in the wet with the new car and because from this position, a podium finish is possible, which is worth a lot of points. We were lucky in Q1, when the rain came just after I’d done my quick lap and in Q2 we were also able to run when the track was at its best. I knew that the results of free practice did not reflect the reality of the situation and that the hierarchy would only become clear today, with Mercedes a step ahead of the rest. It would also give a clearer picture than the one we had from testing, when we couldn’t be sure what the other teams were testing. Now we have seen in which areas we need to improve and the aim is to do so in the next few races. I don’t think the consumption factor will change things too much, because when saving fuel, all the cars lose half a second. On top of that, the weather will come into play tomorrow as the forecast isn’t clear. The priority is to finish the race and to do better than the others in the coming months. I am sure that with practice, we will learn how to get the most out of the car and simplify all the procedures.”

P11 – Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari:

“Qualifying wasn’t straightforward today, especially because of traffic. When I was on a quick lap, I had a car in front of me at every corner. That stopped me getting a clean lap and at the end of Q2, I spun off damaging the front wing. I don’t think I’d have gone quicker anyway, as I had already reduced my speed at this point, because I knew already I wouldn’t make it to Q3. It’s a shame, because compared to yesterday we have made some steps forward. In the wet we were quick and I had more feeling for the car. We know we have a lot of work to do in every area, especially on car set-up, but at the same time, we are sure we are going in the right direction. Tomorrow’s race will be tough, the weather forecast is unclear and on top of that, with the new rules, it’s hard to predict how things will go. But it’s only the first race of the year and we will do our best to get a good result.”

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