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Sat, 21 July, 2012Germany: Team personnel qualifying quotes

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“Once again, Fernando has demonstrated just how talented he is: that was some qualifying from our driver! Here, as at Silverstone, the rain played its part in the qualifying session and it was not easy to manage the evolution of the track conditions. We are very disappointed for Felipe, who did not find an acceptable grip level in what was his only lap, the first in Q2, in which he could have done a time that would have got him through to the next part: it's a shame, because he could definitely have been competitive in Q3, as was the case two weeks ago in England. It's difficult to make any predictions regarding tomorrow, because there's a good deal of uncertainty relating to the behaviour of the tyres over a long run. We will try to make the most of our potential, aware that our opponents are very strong. Reliability as always is the priority, which is something we never forget...”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“Once again, Fernando had a fantastic qualifying, getting the most out of the car or maybe even a bit more than that! Felipe could have been there fighting for the top places, but he did not manage to get the most out of the Intermediates on his first lap with them in Q2 and then the conditions meant it wasn't possible to improve enough to avoid being eliminated. In Q3, we decided to use two sets of Extremes, because we saw yesterday that they overheated very quickly and were only at their best in the opening laps. I can't honestly say if that was the decisive move, because one must also take into account that, when Fernando made his second run, the track conditions were improving and it was easier to go quicker. A word of praise for all our mechanics, who did a great job after FP3 of preparing the cars, especially Felipe's after it picked up a bit of damage in an off-track excursion. Now we must concentrate on preparing for a race that will be long and packed with unknowns, starting with tyre performance over a long run. How many pit stops? Ah, good question...I'd say between one and four!”

Christian Horner, Red Bull-Renault (Team Principal):
“It was very tricky conditions today and second and third is a very positive result, despite the fact that Mark unfortunately has to take a five-place penalty, which will put him eighth on the grid. Nonetheless, for Sebastian to be starting on the front row at his home race and Mark to be eighth on a track where overtaking is possible, will make for a really exciting race.”

Cyril Dumont, Red Bull-Renault (Renault Engineer):
“Today was a bit like Silverstone you could lose a lot, so to finish second and third is a good result. Under these conditions, the later you went out on track, the faster the time, so it's never easy. In terms of the engine, the drivability is quite important in the wet, so we have been working that this weekend and it seems to be a bit better. We will see tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“It was a very eventful qualifying today but the positive thing was that our car was fundamentally fast in both the dry, intermediate and wet parts of the session. Nico was the second fastest prime tyre runner in Q1, but when the rain came, he struggled to generate temperature in his intermediate tyres. In those conditions, once you lose tyre temperature you never get it back, so we certainly missed the window with him. Michael did an excellent job in Q2 and Q3; he was fourth fastest, will start P3, and could potentially have been even further up. But we can be satisfied with a second row start in such tricky conditions.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“The conditions were extremely difficult during the qualifying session today, probably the most challenging of this season so far. Michael coped well and posted a top four qualifying result for the sixth time in ten races. Nico suffered from a lack of grip owing to less-than-ideal tyre temperatures and has to start from a long way back. After the wet qualifying, the weather forecast predicts a dry race tomorrow.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“I think we made the most of the challenging conditions today and we can be pleased to have both our cars inside the top ten. Nico will probably inherit a second row starting position when Webber takes his five-place penalty and that puts us in a strong position to race at the front. Paul also showed his skill in the wet conditions and will be competitive tomorrow. We've demonstrated once again that we have a very consistent car no matter what the conditions and with dry weather forecast for tomorrow I think the scene is set for an exciting race.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“Both drivers had a pretty strong FP3 session this morning but qualifying was dominated by the changeable weather conditions, with the first session run in the dry, the second starting on intermediate tyres and finishing on full wets and the final Q3 session run on the full wets. Pastor was consistent throughout each session, struggling a little more with the car's balance in the full wet conditions, but ultimately finishing strongly in sixth. Bruno easily progressed from Q1 into Q2 but found the car more difficult to handle in the intermediate/full wet conditions, finishing in 16th. The weather forecast predicts a dry race and we will be working hard to get both cars home in the points.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“The bad news is that we weren't quick enough in Q3's wet conditions; but the good news is that the dry pace of our car appears to be very good. It's looking dry for tomorrow, it's going to be a long race and we have two great racing drivers, so we're optimistic of getting a decent result. Jenson and Lewis struggled in the wet, despite being very quick in the dry. Naturally, I'd rather start a few rows further forward, but as has been shown many times this year, you can win from further back. Fortunately, with our car looking more competitive in the dry, I'm confident that both drivers will do a good job tomorrow. From a broader perspective, I'm sure the quickly changing weather conditions between each qualifying session proved a gripping visceral thrill for even the most casual armchair fan. To its great benefit, Formula 1 is an all-weather sport, and all the drivers certainly displayed true gladiatorial mettle out there today. This most certainly isn't a sport for the faint-hearted!”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“A very entertaining qualifying and a great show for everyone watching. In these conditions, it's always going to be very tight and Jean-Eric missed the Q2 window by around 6 hundredths and then we missed the cut into Q3 with Daniel also by 6 hundredths. So it was an afternoon of mixed fortunes, with P11 being a good result for Daniel, while with Jev it's a shame he just missed out on a chance to run in the wet Q2. Tomorrow is reckoned to be dry for the race and it will be interesting to see the fight in the mid-field, as we have one car at the head of this group and the other at the back of it. This weekend is looking like a carbon-copy of Silverstone with a wet Friday and a dry Saturday morning, followed by a wet qualifying, with the race expected to be dry. We will be trying our very best and points have to be our target, at least with Daniel.”

Peter Sauber, Sauber-Ferrari (Team Principal):
“Both our drivers performed very strongly in Q1 in the dry, but then had a more difficult time in the wet. I believe this was influenced by the fact we chose a set-up which is more for dry conditions. The forecast for tomorrow predicts dry weather, so our drivers will be able to attack in the race.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“The result is not exactly what we hoped for, as we expected more today. It was quite hectic at the beginning of Q2 when it started raining and we had to put the cars on intermediate tyres. Both drivers had been very quick in Q1, but then struggled in the wet. We knew qualifying would be run in wet conditions, while for the race conditions should be dry. Therefore we compromised the set-up to a certain extent.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“I am reasonably satisfied with the performance today. I think it is clear that we have more to come from the cars and, in the circumstances today, Heikki got as much out of it as he could. Vitaly had a couple of issues with traffic that cost him some time in Q1 but the over-riding goal is to make sure that both drivers have setups they can use to extract every ounce of performance from the work being done back at the factory and in the wind tunnel.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham-Renault (CEO):
“Today's results are not where we want to be. We have been clear since before Silverstone that we need maximum time in the dry to understand how much the extensive upgrade package can give us and the weather this weekend has not helped that. However, we have the race tomorrow where we can definitely put in a good performance in both cars, and then Hungary which will suit us much more than Germany or Silverstone. We will keep fighting, keep working and not stay still that would be the easy option but we are determined to join the midfield this season and that is keeping everybody motivated through every single lap.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Things haven't gone at all well for Timo so far at his home track and we have spent a lot of time - and will continue to do so - trying to understand the problems he is experiencing with the car. It is frustrating for him, because it is clear that there is more performance in the new package. Despite Charles' track time being impacted significantly during the Free Practice sessions, when he has been in the car he has managed to get it working well for him. Even more encouraging are the signs that there is still a lot more to come. A great job by Charles today and all credit to his car crew, who gave it everything they had to change the engine in enough time to get him out on track for the end of FP3. Those few laps ended up playing a big part in his qualifying performance. We'll have a good look at everything across the two cars this evening and see what we can do to give us the best chance for the race tomorrow. It looks to be a more straightforward forecast, which should bring some much-welcomed equilibrium in itself.”

Toni Cuquerella, HRT-Cosworth (Technical Director):
“The dry track in the morning allowed us to finish our programme and we achieved a good balance on both cars which enabled us to head into qualifying with more confidence, whatever the conditions were. In the end it was dry but the threat of rain meant that we all went out immediately and there was a lot of traffic. Our laps weren't perfect. We have a greater potential and our options are open for tomorrow's race which will surely be dry. The degradation of the tyres isn't very high so we will go for a one-stop or two-stop strategy.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“The teams only got the chance to run on the soft tyre for the first time this morning, so they went into qualifying with a distinct lack of data on this compound in particular. As it was, our wet and intermediate tyres once again took centre stage. With a dry race expected tomorrow, we still have plenty of information to analyse as well, but from the limited data we have we could expect a difference between the soft and the medium tyre of about 0.5 seconds per lap, although the medium compound should last a few laps longer. This opens up many possibilities in terms of strategy, and could lead some teams to conclude that the medium tyre is the one to race on. After a wet qualifying, all the drivers have most of their slick tyre allocation still available to them, which also expands their options. As we have only ever been to Hockenheim before as GP3 supplier two years ago, all the teams should start on a level playing field. So the teams that can understand the tyre characteristics here most quickly, and build a race strategy around that, will be in the strongest position to do well on race day.”

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