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Sat, 7 July, 2012Britain: Team personnel qualifying quotes

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“The points are only given out on Sunday and we always keep that in mind... Obviously, we are happy today because it's been a long time, too long, that we have not had one of our drivers on pole position, but we must not get carried away now, quite the contrary. We must concentrate even more on our work because, once again, this afternoon, we saw how things can change literally from one minute to the next. Fernando was extraordinary and Felipe also did a great job: it's our best qualifying of the year and we must try and make the most of it in tomorrow's race. The weather forecast is rather uncertain, so we will have to be on high alert, ready to react to the slightest change. So many times this year, we have seen that grid positions have not proved decisive when it comes to the final result: let's hope that, tomorrow at least, it will play an important role.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“It was a long and tense session. The final outcome is really great because we have not been on pole for a long time, but there was a long period, after the red flag, during which we feared the worse. It goes to show how, especially in such an evenly matched season as this one, in Formula 1 things can change very quickly. Both our drivers did a great job in very difficult driving conditions. It's pointless discussing if we managed things as well as we could: we will calmly analyse the evolution of the three sessions to see where we need to improve. However, now we must only think about tomorrow's race, which looks like being very unpredictable from every point of view, starting with the weather. This morning, in the dry, we saw that the F2012 is reasonably competitive, but also that the opposition is very strong. We will try and do our best, as usual. Clearly, when defining the strategies and how they will evolve during the race, the weather will play a key role.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull-Renault (Team Principal):
“Incredible conditions today. First of all, hats of to all the public who sat out for pretty much three hours in horrendous conditions. It was the right thing to stop qualifying in Q2, irrelevant of where we were placed, as it was just too dangerous with aquaplaning for these cars. Having navigated our cars into Q3, ultimately to qualify second and fourth is a really strong team result. Mark was so close to getting the pole, the rain just started to increase as he was completing his lap and he dropped a couple of tenths due to the rain, but nonetheless it was a great lap from him right at the end of Q3. Sebastian is right up there as well in P4. Hopefully it won't be so wet tomorrow for the race.”

Cyril Dumont, Red Bull-Renault (Renault Engineer):
“A difficult session. I think in these conditions you always have more to lose than to gain and it's always difficult to put a lap together. Mark did a pretty good job and almost got pole. Seb starts fourth and I think, with everything today, to start second and fourth is a good result. Tomorrow will be a long race also if the forecast rain returns. Engine wise we have looked at engine usage following the alternator issue at the last race, so hopefully we won't have any issues tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“It was a challenging afternoon for everybody, with the long break and some very changeable conditions throughout. Michael delivered a very good performance, especially in Q3 when he put in a time good enough for third place with his first lap on the intermediate tyres. Nico didn't achieve his full potential today in the tricky six minutes when Q2 restarted. This was the kind of session where you could tumble from fastest to slowest in a couple of laps, as we saw with some other drivers, and he unfortunately wasn't able to put a full lap together. Overall, the car seems to be performing reasonably well in the wet conditions and the balance seemed driveable; I am sure that tomorrow's race, in changeable conditions, will be full of opportunities. On a personal note, thank you to all of the fans for sticking with us today, and this was certainly the first time I've performed a Mexican wave in the middle of Q2. I've already had a few text messages from friends about my technique!”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“It's fair to say that Michael had a chance of setting pole today, as his second and third sector times on his last flying lap proved. However in the closing stages he only had one lap on inters and, although he was seven-tenths slower in the first sector compared to the best split time, he was less than three-tenths down at the end of the lap. Starting from third is a good base for Michael and our team tomorrow. This is his second top-three qualifying result in four races, after finishing on the podium in third place under completely different conditions in Valencia. It was a pity for Nico that he missed Q3 by about two-tenths. He qualified 13th after a less-than-perfect Saturday; hopefully '13' can be his lucky number tomorrow. Qualifying lasted two-and-a-half hours and two minutes today - hats off to the fans at the track because they made the very best out of it, enjoyed their time as much as possible and got a thrilling finale to the session as their reward.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“Today was dominated once more by the weather. Based on yesterday's feedback we adapted the set-up of the car to protect against the wet conditions. The drivers' feedback was good today and both drivers did well. Bruno had to back off on his last run in Q2 under a yellow flag due to Grosjean's spin which resulted in him not proceeding into Q3, qualifying in 15th. Pastor pushed hard in Q3 ultimately qualifying in 7th. We now need to concentrate hard to get both cars home in the points.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Clearly, eighth and 18th isn't where we'd hoped to qualify for our home grand prix, and to do so is therefore very disappointing. Q1 was a bit of a lottery it was principally a question of trying to switch on your tyres at the right time without encountering traffic and those variables never quite aligned for Jenson. But he's looked quick at various points so far this weekend and, bearing in mind that we expect the wet weather to continue tomorrow, he'll be looking to make progress through the field towards a points-scoring position by race's end. He's one of the ablest wet-weather racers out there, as we've seen him prove many times before. Lewis was very quick in full-wet conditions, as he demonstrated emphatically by being fastest of all in Q2 but, when it came to the restart, and Q3, to our disappointment we discovered that our car was somewhat less competitive on the intermediate tyre. So, since our car is demonstrably very competitive in the full-dry or the full-wet, but less so when intermediate conditions prevail, axiomatically it follows that we'd prefer it to be full-wet or full-dry tomorrow. I guess it's unlikely to be full-dry, so let's hope it's full-wet! Speaking of which, in conclusion, I want to pay tribute to the spectators here today, who have come in large numbers to watch the sport they love, despite knowing that they'd get drenched to the skin in the process. I've said it before and I'll say it again: British Formula 1 fans really are the best in the world, hugely knowledgeable and massively enthusiastic in equal measure. So, whatever the weather, for their sakes, here's hoping that tomorrow's Santander British Grand Prix offers them the spectacle and excitement that they've been waiting all year to enjoy.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Another very wet day at our local race and I want to pay tribute to the fans who put up with yet more rain showers and delayed track action. Our car looked competitive today, but in such tricky conditions qualifying is always a lottery and so we can't be too disappointed to have just one car in Q3. Paul just missed the cut, but we have a good race car and we know he will fight hard tomorrow. In Q3 Nico didn't manage to maximise his final quick lap and he also has to drop five places on the grid due to the gearbox change. I'm looking forward to the race and whatever the weather I'm confident we can be up there fighting for points and challenging the teams ahead of us.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“In the end clearly we made the wrong call. It was a good session up to then. As we had stopped for so long we were expecting the track to be in a better condition. We made a call for intermediates, which we thought would be okay, but it was the wrong call. We definitely had the car to be at the front today and the drivers were also doing a very good job.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“This morning we compressed our programme to include the usual FP2 work of doing runs in race trim on both types of tyre - one car on Option the other on Prime. This afternoon turned into a full wet qualifying. We had hoped for a bit better than what we eventually achieved, as I believe Daniel would have made the cut into Q3, if it had not been for the yellow flag on his final lap. Our performance was looking quite good up until the red flag in Q2, as both our cars were in the top ten at that point. At the restart, it was a tight call between Intermediates and Extremes and in the end, we elected to wait a short while after the restart to see what the other cars looked like and that decided us to go with the Extremes. Unfortunately, Jean-Eric missed the opportunity to start a second timed lap in this run by just a few seconds, which made his life difficult. Our performance has definitely looked better in the wet, therefore a wet race would suit us tomorrow. For Jean-Eric who has a ten place penalty, it will be more difficult, but we know that in the rain, anything can happen and grid positions can prove irrelevant.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“Qualifying sessions like that are always a lottery and I think we were unlucky not to be able to take advantage of the weather conditions. Despite that, both drivers performed well and made sure they did not make any mistakes which could have cost us tomorrow. I think it is also a shame we have not had the chance to really show what the upgrades have brought to the car. The weather in qualifying affected everyone's performance and when you see a Mclaren going out in Q1 you see just how unpredictable the rain can make the final positions. In FP3 we were also running the cars in their new guise for the first time on dry tyres and we spent most of that session working on baseline setups to optimise performance on both the prime and the option tyres. Once we have found a balance the drivers are happy with we know there is more to come from the new package so that is very encouraging, and with the direction we have take on setup for tomorrow I think we are in a good position to put in another strong performance on race day.”

Tony Fernandes, Caterham-Renault (Team Principal):
“Even though we have not yet been able to show how much of a step forward we have taken this weekend with the car's performance I think it is clear how much progress we have already made this season. Once we have had the chance to put all the new parts through the test processes we need to on track to unlock their full potential I think our development will be even more clear. In the practice sessions last year we were around four seconds off the outright pace and this year we were two seconds away, with a car that we know has more pace in it so I am delighted to see where we are approaching the mid-point of the season and even more pleased to see how positive the whole team is about our continued growth.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“All in all, a very frustrating day for us and it seemed to all turn on the knife-edge that the weather produces here. After a tough morning we seemed to get our rhythm back for qualifying and both Timo and Charles were looking strong in their final runs. Timo in particular seemed to be enjoying a well-balanced car with the benefit of our new upgrades and was going great guns in the early part of his final lap. We could see the weather closing into the last sector and in the end it just got the better of both drivers, with Timo unfortunately spinning, but thankfully collecting it well to avoid any damage. Charles hit the same wall of rain and lost out on the chance to improve also. Disappointment aside, we do at least have some positives signs from our upgrade today, so we hope for better things tomorrow and all the fantastic support of our home crowd.”

Toni Cuquerella, HRT-Cosworth (Technical Director):
“Today has been a very productive but hectic day because the sessions have taken place in different conditions to yesterday, dry in the morning and intermediate in the afternoon. In the practice session we had to work on a dry set-up and compare the tyres in only an hour but we gathered enough data in case qualifying or the race was to take place in those conditions. But this wasn't the case so we had to adapt to the drizzly conditions. The first five minutes were the most important and we doubted whether to go for a risky strategy, with dry tyres, or go for intermediates like the rest. In the end we went for the latter and it was the right decision because the rain got stronger. The times in these conditions aren't realistic because many mistakes occur, there's traffic, you have to find the right moment on track...But despite all of this the drivers did a good job. To morrow will be a very open race where you can either win or lose a lot.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“A bit like the Canadian Grand Prix last year, we had a lengthy stoppage in qualifying at Silverstone followed by a very exciting finale that was well worth the wait. Although our full wet tyres disperse 60 litres of water per second, the quantity of standing water as well as the spray coming from the cars, made conditions simply too dangerous to continue in Q2. Mixed conditions throw up so many variables in terms of grip, so tomorrow's race will come down to which teams and drivers are able to read and forecast the conditions most accurately, despite the limited data they have accumulated so far. Establishing where the crossover point is was key to qualifying, with the intermediates proving to be fastest in the final session, and this is likely to be crucial again tomorrow.”

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