Belgian GP: Saturday’s quotes

Sat, 22 August 2015, 10:30

MERCEDES

Lewis Hamilton
I’m really happy with the performance of the team and the car this weekend. It felt good right from the start and I’m so grateful for the big push the team has made in continuing to improve the car. It can be tough to find the ideal setup and then get a good rhythm at this track – but I’ve felt comfortable throughout. Saying that, Nico has been quick all the way through and it’s generally been very close between us. Fortunately for me I pulled my two best laps out at the end. Of course, it’s great to have pole, but I’m well aware that it’s only one step. There’s a long run down to turn five so anything can happen there and especially at the start. The team has done a lot of analysis on that front and we’ve been working on it in the simulator and here at the track. I feel we’re as ready as we can be so we’ll see how it goes. For now, though, I’m happy with today and looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

Nico Rosberg
Qualifying went well until the end. But in Q3, Lewis just found so much time which unfortunately I didn’t manage to do. So, a disappointing day, but there is still so much to play for in the race. I need a good start and then after Eau Rouge there should be a good chance to overtake at the end of the long straight, so I will push hard to make it happen. We have a new starting procedure which we all need to get right and it will be interesting to see how that works tomorrow. But, overall, I’m still very positive that a win is possible here in Spa.

WILLIAMS

Valtteri Bottas: I am very pleased with the result and it’s good to be back in the top three. The team did everything right, it was up to me to put it all together. Behind me it was very tight so to be on top of that pack is great. P3 is a good place to start tomorrow, the race pace looks on par with quite a few of the teams around us, so it will be a fight, but one I am really looking forward to.

Felipe Massa: I lost a bit of time in the final sector and looking at the result it cost me a few positions, it was that close. It is frustrating but it is a long race and the circuit can hold so many surprises, one being the weather! We need to make sure we have a good start and gain as many positions as possible and then continue to build from there.

RED BULL

Daniel Ricciardo: It’s pretty cool that everyone is so close and I am pretty happy with the lap. I don’t think I left anything on the table and it’s good to be in the mix. Grosjean has got a penalty so that will push me up to fifth and that’s where I started from last year – not that I’m superstitious or anything, but you can always hope! Sector two is fun for us and we can push really hard there. We bleed some time in sectors one and three but the chassis feels good which is really positive for the team. Fingers crossed we have some good battles on our hands for the race tomorrow, the honey badger will try and find some honey in the forest here and go after it!

Daniil Kvyat: I did my best but I missed out on Q3 by one tenth and a half which is disappointing. We will make the most of our strategy, and the tyres we have available, for the race tomorrow. This track allows for overtaking and we will try to make up some places during the race. We’ll do our best to make it work.

FORCE INDIA

Sergio Perez: It’s been a really good day and I am very satisfied with my lap in Q3. We were able to improve the car balance from yesterday and this gave me a whole lot of confidence – probably the most I have had this season. The car was much more predictable and this allowed me to push more in every corner. I showed very good pace in each of the three qualifying sessions and I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I see no reason why we cannot fight for the podium. The performance today also gives me a lot of optimism for the remainder of the season. The team is doing an amazing job and I am happy I was able to back it up with a good performance behind the wheel. I have been working hard with my engineers to get on top of the updated car and I expect to do this weekend after weekend.

Nico Hulkenberg: I’m not that happy today because we had the potential to be well inside the top ten. On my final lap in Q2 I made a small mistake going into turn one – I just locked the tyres and missed the apex. On top of that we had a small issue with the turbo, which cost us some speed and time down the straights. So I just missed out on making Q3. However, the weekend is not lost and I’m sure we can have a strong race from P11. The car has been performing very well this weekend; we’ve looked competitive and I will be attacking in the race to try and move forward.

SAUBER

Marcus Ericsson: First of all I want to thank the team for its great effort in putting the car together over night. The result from qualifying is a bit disappointing. On the other hand, it is positive we made some progress this weekend in comparison to the last couple of rounds. FP3 was not as satisfying as we expected after the strong Friday. We made some changes for qualifying and went in the right direction, but in the end it was not enough to put us where we wanted to be. Starting from P13, we still have a good chance to score points.

Felipe Nasr: A disappointing qualifying for me. I am surprised I was not able to make it into Q2, which was possible today. The first run in qualifying felt good, but then on the second I didn’t have enough grip. We need to analyse and understand what happened. We are in Spa so anything can happen tomorrow, as this track also offers good spots to overtake. I am confident I can move up some positions tomorrow.

TORO ROSSO

Carlos Sainz: I’m enjoying this track so much! I’ve been waiting all weekend for the qualifying session, because in free practice you always carry more fuel and the car doesn’t feel as fast… But I knew that once we got to qualifying I’d really feel the speed and that’s just what happened out there today. I’m really pleased with getting through to Q3. Even though my last run could have been a little bit better, it was a good result for us today. It was a surprise because on paper it looked something very difficult to achieve. It’s not the track that suits us the most so tomorrow’s race will be difficult, but we are going to push as hard as we can, make the most out of any mistakes the others do and hopefully finish within the top ten. I must say I think this is one of the best qualifying sessions I’ve had this year, even though now it’s time to forget this and look ahead to tomorrow’s race, as that’s when the points are given.

Max Verstappen: It wasn’t the best of starts to my qualifying session, as I had a power issue in Q1 which didn’t let me focus on my lap, even though I managed to get through to Q2. But, to say the truth, we planned a qualifying session like this, stopping in Q2, as there was no point in trying to fight for Q3 because of my 10-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race. By doing this we’ve also saved some tyres and hopefully we can fight for points… I know it’s not going to be easy, but to be racing in front of my home crowd will surely give me that extra boost I need. I’m confident and looking forward to the race. In this morning’s final practice session I could see that our long-run pace was quite good, so I’m hoping tomorrow will be the same. It’s not being the easiest of race weekends, but the car feels good so I’m happy about that and at this track anything is possible. There will definitely be some hard fights, but we will aim to finish in the points, that would be a really good result for us here in Spa.

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