MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS
I’m very happy with pole position. Coming into the weekend, the target was to master this track and get the car exactly how I wanted it here. I’ve been working hard to improve on every level and have tried to take a nice calm approach to each weekend. The car has felt how I wanted it to all weekend, so thank you to the team for achieving that; I’m so grateful to have this Mercedes beast underneath me. The laps felt great and I could really put the car right where I needed it through the corners. It’s great to have pole but Ferrari are very quick this weekend and they will be really hard to beat in the race. We’re in a good position with these grid slots but we’ll need to work hard to make the tyres perform in the right way tomorrow. I’m looking forward to an exciting race.
Today I thought too much about the race and that was a mistake, as I didn’t get into my rhythm for a perfect Qualifying. So I cannot be happy with the outcome today. Starting behind Sebastian also is really not good. I underestimated him and now I need to make the best of this situation, so I will be pushing a lot in the race. I need to have a good start, hope I can catch Seb there and then I need to manage my tyres better than the others.
In the end it is a great success for us to be able to split the Mercedes. Again, we seem to be a bit closer; but then everybody seemed to be a bit closer this weekend. So, hopefully, we can be another step closer tomorrow. In the beginning of qualifying i was not entirely happy, but then it got better and better. The last lap was very important and we were able to get it right. Now I can’t tell whether I will be able to win the race tomorrow. Let’s not forget that this is only the fourth race of the season; we are very happy with where we are, how competitive we are. We’ll go step by step, we’ll try our best possible race tomorrow, and if this means we can put pressure on the Mercedes, then we’ll do it. But the target is still to look after ourselves; if there is a chance to fight one or two of them, for sure we’ll go for it.
It was a positive day even if it’s a bit disappointing to finish fourth, because our aim is to be at the front. My last lap was quite good, I made a small mistake and ran wide a little bit in one corner, but it was nearly nothing, it did not cost me a lot of time. It was very close with everybody. On the track there was more grip than I expected and probably I could have pushed a little bit more, but I was not sure I could. My car was working well today, the position on the grid is not ideal but it’s a good starting point for the race. Tomorrow we’ll try to make a good start, and move on from there with a good first lap. To get ahead of Rosberg would help a lot, and then we’ll see what we can do. We’ll do our maximum.
INFINITI RED BULL RACING
It was pretty good today, I think seventh is respectable for where we are, so we’re looking alright for tomorrow. I was really happy with my first sector, it felt strong, I lost a little in the second sector, but in general I’m happy with how quali went. The start is going to be important and I believe we can have a good one. It’s important to stay with the Williams and within DRS and striking range.
I’m not sure what was going on, it was a strange session for me. The team will investigate why I am so far down the order so we can understand. Everything can turn around very quickly. I’ll stay motivated and try my best.
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
I’m not unhappy to get P5 as it is representative of our pace. The race is long and will be tougher than today, the start will be especially important considering Turn One can produce problems. As a team we did a good job, we got the best out of the tyres and it is refreshing to finally get a clean qualifying session.
I did a great lap in Q2, so was upset not to replicate this in Q3 after a few mistakes. The best position I could have achieved today was P5 and Valtteri has that, so the cars are where they should be. Overtaking is possible here so we can have a good race, but tyre management and strategy will be important. I am not unhappy, we are not out of position and there is a long race ahead tomorrow.
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
I feel very happy! Probably it was the less expected Q3 of the year, I even thought this was going to be the toughest and most difficult to achieve after what we had seen in FP3… But we did a mega turnaround and we went for it. Everything worked out and I’m very satisfied with the result. For tomorrow’s race, our race pace should be the same or even better than our qualifying pace, so it gives me quite a good feeling for tomorrow. We have a balanced car that’s good through the high-speed corners and gentle on the tyres, but if we get into battles it can become a bit tricky. We will have to find a compromise, but I’m really looking forward to my fourth race in Formula 1.
It wasn’t the best qualifying. I suffered from a bit too much understeer on the car and that’s never great for a qualifying lap on new tyres, but hopefully this will help to save the rear tyres more in the race tomorrow. We’ll do our best to do a good start and make the most of the fact that we have one more set of Soft tyres available!
SAHARA FORCE INDIA
P8 – I’m happy with that. I think we extracted the most we could from the car today. Overnight we made some good tweaks to the set-up and that helped, especially in these slightly cooler temperatures. It was quite windy, but it didn’t impact on us too badly and all of my laps were pretty good. Points will be the goal tomorrow, but it won’t be easy because there are a lot of quick cars behind us and they will put pressure on us. We need to make the best of the car we have and hopefully come away with a good result. Bahrain always produces good racing with the DRS zones and tyre degradation will be an important factor in the ace. Whatever happens, we are ready for the fight.
Even though I’m frustrated at missing out on Q3 by just a few hundredths of a second, I think we can be satisfied about the big step forward today. It would have been an amazing result to have both cars in the top ten, but eleventh on the grid is something we can be happy about and it’s the result of a massive effort by everyone in the team. Today both our car and the track characteristics played into our hands, possibly more than we were anticipating. This result is also a matter of learning the best way to set up this car. The sixth row is a good place to start and I’m optimistic about getting some good points tomorrow. We have shown to be pretty good around here: we had strong pace during our longer runs yesterday and this should give us a chance of a strong result.
I’m really proud of the team and what they achieved between FP3 and qualifying today. From our runs so far this weekend, I was expecting to go out earlier so to achieve Q3 for the fourth time in a row feels very good. I’m actually slightly disappointed, I think we could have placed higher but we were lacking a little bit of grip. Tomorrow is all about the rear tyres – as opposed to China, where it was all about the fronts. We’ll be careful, prepare a car that’s well balanced and then we’ll see what it brings.
We had a problem unfortunately and weren’t able to get the maximum pace from the car, meaning that it felt like we were lacking in power. It’s not the end of the world as we should be able to fix the problem so we can focus on recovering positions through the race. We have enough tyres to do a different strategy and have showed good potential on both long and short runs throughout the weekend. The pace is there and points are definitely possible so let’s do our best as always.
SAUBER F1 TEAM
First of all, FP3 was a difficult session. I struggled a lot to get a good feeling in the car and it was quite windy on track. Towards the end of the session we managed to sort things out and drivingwise it felt better. In Qualifying we knew beforehand it would be a close competition. Certainly, we would have liked to be in Q3 again, but overall we did a decent job. We are in good shape for tomorrow’s race.
It was a shame to just miss out on Q3 because of less than a tenth, but I think we extracted the maximum out of the car. It was difficult in Q1 as some of our competitors seem to be very strong. Twelfth is a good starting position for tomorrow. Considering our good pace during the long-runs, I am confident about fighting for points.
This weekend has been a nice surprise so far – and the car felt better again today. We’ve made a step forward, performance-wise; everything appears to be going in the right direction. Of course, we’ll never be happy that our qualifying effort ran out in Q2, but it’s a step forward, and the whole team will and should enjoy this result because they’ve been working so hard to achieve it. Tomorrow will be about finishing the race and getting both cars to the flag. We’ve had some problems with reliability this weekend, with Jenson’s car, so we need to keep improving in that area. We’ll need a bit of luck if we’re to score points tomorrow.
Well, FP3 was pretty good, especially after yesterday’s limited running. And then, in quali, I don’t really know what happened; it felt a bit similar to what occurred on Friday morning when everything shut down on the car. There was a loud bang, so I pulled over and got out. We’ve had quite a few issues this weekend, but the important thing is that we’re improving. Fernando got through to Q2, which is a good step for the team, and it’s just a pity I couldn’t be there as well. We knew it was going to be a hard start to the year, and it has been, but, even so, there are more positives than we thought there would be. Looking ahead to tomorrow, our race pace is likely to be not too bad. So hopefully we can sort out our reliability glitches ahead of tomorrow and have a decent race.