Qualifying - 2019 Hungarian GP team quotes

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By Olivier Ferret

3 August 2019 - 18:09
Qualifying - 2019 Hungarian GP team (...)

Racing Point

SERGIO PEREZ

“It’s been a difficult day. I think we could have got through to Q2 to be honest. It would have needed a good lap, but we didn’t get it. My final run was badly compromised when all the cars were trying to find space in the final corner. That’s where [Daniel] Ricciardo tried to do something crazy, overtaking me in the last corner. He screwed up his lap and my lap too because I ended up too close to Norris and Daniel was close behind me. We all know traffic is tricky in Q1. We spoke about it in the Drivers’ Briefing and the importance of being respectful of each other. For me, it was quite disrespectful. He’s an experienced driver and I didn’t expect that from him. We know this track isn’t the best for us anyway, but now we’re really in a tough place for tomorrow. It’s been a bad day for us, so let’s hope it gets better in the race.”

LANCE STROLL

“It’s been a frustrating day. We know this circuit is not the best suited to our car and that’s shown in the end result. We really struggled in practice this morning and that put us on the back foot for qualifying. I was blocked on one of my laps and there were also some mistakes from my side which proved costly because I think it could have been much better. It was not our day, but as we saw last weekend, anything can happen in the race and we will be pushing hard tomorrow.”

OTMAR SZAFNAUER, CEO & TEAM PRINCIPAL

“A disappointing qualifying session where we didn’t maximise our performance. Both drivers got caught out by the traffic in Q1 and that cost us the chance to progress. We’ve got to take this one on the chin because today’s result doesn’t reflect the progress we’ve made with the car recently. It’s a shame not to be further up the grid because we know how tough it is to overtake around here. There are a few question marks about tyres and race pace because of the disrupted Friday sessions, so maybe that will create some variation in the strategies tomorrow and generate some opportunities for us.”

Williams

- George Russell qualified 16th and Robert Kubica 20th for the Hungarian Grand Prix
- George set his best time, a 1:17.031 on his final effort to finish P16
- Robert posted a 1:18.324 on his last lap of the session

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer

We enjoyed a productive morning making full use of the additional set of dry tyres available in FP3 to catch-up on some of yesterday’s lost time. We completed some homework on the hard and medium Pirelli tyres ahead of tomorrow, before turning our attention to qualifying preparation on the soft tyres.

In qualifying we were able to complete three runs with each driver and both made steady improvements as the session progressed. A yellow flag hindered one of George’s runs, requiring him to lift in the last corner. Otherwise, he was very happy with his progression especially in the important Sector 2. Robert struggled a little more this afternoon and we will need to look at the reasons for that.

Tomorrow looks to be a dry and warm day and as overtaking is difficult here, the race will be hard for anyone not starting right at the front. However, it is a long run to T1 and we will try to build on our qualifying position at the start of the race and then fight with the midfield.

George Russell

I am ecstatic with qualifying. We have really turned the page this weekend with our update and understanding the tyres. It was a shame to miss out on Q2 but considering everything, we are over the moon. I felt comfortable inside the car, probably the happiest that I have been all year. It was a joy to drive and I’m really pleased with the lap. Regardless of tomorrow, we will enter the summer break on a positive note, knowing that we achieved this result on merit.

Robert Kubica

We were lucky with the weather and support today, but unfortunately the pace is what it is. I felt happy with the car and with the balance, but in general I lacked grip. We were lacking half a second, we tried something desperate and as you can see it did not work.

McLaren

Lando Norris

“A good qualifying. Compared to Hockenheim last week, it was a good improvement and it’s nice to be back in Q3 again. It wasn’t easy; it was still close together in the midfield, but I’ve felt comfortable in the car all weekend and I was always reasonably happy.

“We also made a couple of improvements throughout qualifying that helped at the end of the day. We have P7 and P8, behind the top three teams, which is a good achievement for us both. Massive thanks to the team at the track and everyone back at the factory. Now we just need to convert our quali form in the race.”

Carlos Sainz

“I think it’s a positive day for the team. Coming into the weekend we weren’t so sure about the performance on this track, but we managed to make the right decisions with the set-up going into Saturday, and we put both cars in Q3.

“I started off Q1 with some balance issues, but we managed to sort them out through the session, improving every time I went out and finally doing a good lap on my last attempt in Q3. Seventh and eighth is great news for the team on this track and we can race from there tomorrow.”

Andreas Seidl - Team Principal

“Well done to the whole team for another well-executed qualifying session. It’s only the second time this year we’ve managed to get both cars into the top-eight. Carlos and Lando did an excellent job, improving progressively through the sessions, but this was a real team effort, both here at the track and back at MTC. Collectively, the team is working incredibly hard to identify the limitations of the car and devise solutions. It’s getting better all the time with updates from the aero department adding performance constantly.

“We were clearly the fourth-fastest team today on a track which, on paper, didn’t look like being particularly strong for us. Of course, nobody scores points on Saturday, so we’ve got to get our heads down now and work hard on race preparation. We have a really good platform from which to deliver a strong result tomorrow.”

Toro Rosso

Alexander Albon

“I’m pretty satisfied with P12 after a tough FP2 after the crash. The car had the potential to reach Q3, but we were always just missing something which was a bit frustrating. Overall, I’m happy because after FP3 I was struggling as the car didn’t really feel connected. We made a few changes after FP3 and in Qualifying the car felt more hooked up, so I got the rhythm back. Reaching Q3 would have been nice, but we were two tenths from getting through, the balance was good in some corners and in other places it wasn’t. Track position is key around here as there isn’t many places to overtake, so we’ll need to think of a good strategy for tomorrow. We’re near the front of the free tyre allocation and I think the degradation will be quite high here, so hopefully we’ll be able to overtake some cars.”

Daniil Kvyat

“Apart from a little misunderstanding with the team on the last run, when we went out with the wrong setting on the car, it was an OK Qualifying session. There wasn’t that much left in the car today, maybe a tenth, so this is generally where we are at the moment. We will be able to fight from P13 tomorrow, but it’s difficult to overtake here and usually the races become a bit like a train. However, the race is long so maybe there will be different strategy calls we can make which will help us. The start will be quite important, so we’ll see where we are and we will try and do as good a race as possible.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)

“The mechanics did a very good job last night to repair Alex’s car – lucky for us the damage was less than it first looked! The weather forecast made for a potentially mixed Saturday, but in the end both sessions were dry. There was a delay to the start of FP3 because of a large oil leak on the track after the F2 race which required cleaning and left a lot of dust in Turn 4 and 5, giving very low grip conditions and even low visibility. Because of the delay we had to compress what was missing from yesterday’s FP2 and normal FP3 running into 50 minutes, so it was quite a busy session. Both cars completed two short runs on Option tyre for Qualifying preparation and then several laps on higher fuel to learn about the car in race conditions, since we didn’t have the opportunity in FP2. The track conditions were cooler than Friday, which suited us, and we came out of the session reasonably happy with where the car was. This performance carried into Q1 and the first runs in Q2, but as a team we couldn’t quite achieve the best from the cars for the second runs of each driver. The wind had increased and so too had the track temperature, reaching 48 degrees Celsius, and this put the balance on a knife edge, making it very difficult to extract the peak performance. In fact, we couldn’t improve on our first runs, even though the track was quicker, missing out on Q3 by just over a tenth and a half. Looking ahead to the race, our car typically has a better balance on Sunday and the weather is looking dry, so we will work on optimising the strategy overnight, given that we have a free tyre choice for the race start.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director)

“Max Verstappen produced yet another exceptional performance to secure his first ever pole position in F1. Congratulations to him for that achievement, which was down to a team effort from Honda and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Now we will focus on carrying this performance through to tomorrow’s race on a circuit where overtaking is very difficult. As for our other three cars, in 6th with Gasly and 12th and 13th places for Scuderia Toro Rosso, I believe we have a good chance of scoring points with all of them. That’s our target.”

Mercedes

- Valtteri secures a spot on the front row of the grid in P2, just ahead of Lewis in P3
- It was a closely-fought Q3 session at the Hungaroring. Valtteri missed out on pole position by just 0.018 seconds, qualifying P2 to claim his 25th front row start in Formula One
- Lewis was close behind his team-mate and will start the race in P3
- Both drivers set their Q2 best times on the Medium tyre and will start tomorrow’s race on that compound – like the other drivers in the top six.

Valtteri Bottas

“I’ve been chasing a little bit this weekend, after missing out on Practice One and only doing limited laps in Practice Two. I only really started getting into my rhythm this morning and it was just getting better and better through Qualifying.

“So, I’m pleased with the lap in the end. It was very close with Max but he just managed to sneak ahead. They’ve been quick all weekend but tomorrow is what counts. We’re here to fight for the win and there’s a lot of support for me from the Finnish fans, so we’ll be giving it everything and it’s going to be a good battle.”

Lewis Hamilton

“Naturally, we’re always targeting first place. But Max did a great job, congratulations to him, and so did Valtteri. It got away from me a little bit during Qualifying. It was a difficult session, the car didn’t feel quite the same as in FP3 and I struggled a bit.

“But we’re still in the fight and in a good position for tomorrow. There’s a long run down to Turn 1, so it’s going to be very interesting. It’s not the easiest place to overtake, but strategy will come into it. So, we’ll be pushing hard tomorrow.

Toto Wolff

“That was a very close session and exciting to watch but we didn’t come out on the right end of it. I don’t think our car was the quickest today: Valtteri had an almost perfect lap but it wasn’t quite enough for pole, probably when we look back at it we will see some places where we could have gained a fraction of time.

“Lewis wasn’t feeling as comfortable and the car didn’t let him make the steps forward we normally see in qualifying. Our feeling is that we haven’t progressed with the car as we would have hoped, so we need to dig through the data and find out why.

“Tomorrow’s race will be hard-fought: this is a tough circuit for overtaking, so the start will be important, then it will come down to strategy and making the most of our opportunities. There is still everything to play for.

Andrew Shovlin

“It’s always frustrating to miss out on pole by such a small margin but Valtteri did a great job considering he effectively missed the first practice session. When it’s that close there are so many places and ways that you could have made up the difference, but the bottom line is that we weren’t quick enough.

“The balance wasn’t perfect, we picked up a bit of rear grip during Qualifying and ended up struggling to turn the car in some of the slow corners which cost a bit. It’s a difficult track to overtake on but we’ve got two cars near the front and hopefully that will give us a bit of opportunity to put Red Bull under pressure.

“We’re not sure where our competitors will be on pace tomorrow as the running was so limited on Friday. We did manage to do a long run on the Medium with Lewis and it seemed to be working well on our car but it’s hotter tomorrow so we’ll need to wait until the opening stint to see where we are.

Red Bull

MAX VERSTAPPEN

“It has been a great day and the car was hooked up straight away in Qualifying. To come out on top is incredible and my first pole position will always be a special one. It’s also nice to get pole on a great track like this as a qualifying lap on low fuel is so enjoyable. You can really feel the grip of the car with the full downforce and it’s a lot of fun out there. We are closing in on the front-runners all the time and Honda keep pushing hard to optimise everything. Today was another great day for everyone within the Team, but that Team also includes Honda, so a big thank you as the car has been flying. The hard work is paying off and it’s great to see. I haven’t done a long run this weekend but lately our car has been even better in the race, so I don’t feel too worried. We just need to try and get a clean start and get the job done. I also didn’t realise there were so many Dutch people in Hungary at the moment and it was amazing to see them all in the grandstands. We are all very close so tomorrow should be another exciting race.”

PIERRE GASLY

“I’m disappointed as I didn’t put a clean lap together and I made a few mistakes otherwise I think I could have taken the fight to Ferrari for P4 or P5. In the end we’ve qualified in P6 which is still a decent position but for sure we wanted a better lap time. Tomorrow we start on the medium tyre, we’ll keep pushing flat out and hopefully we can do something with the strategy and recover some positions. Also, a big congratulations to Max on pole position. It’s really deserved and great for the whole Team. On a tricky track like this where it’s difficult to overtake, it’s a good advantage and we have a strong car as he proved today, so there is everything to play for. In Free Practice, no one managed to do any long runs so we don’t know what the tyres are going to do over 70 laps which could also make things interesting.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal

“That was a fantastic performance by Max. I’m really pleased to see him get his first pole position and become the first Dutchman to do so. It was absolutely nip and tuck throughout and his first run in Q3 was a brilliant lap. To then better it would have been tough but he managed to chip away and it all came down to the last two corners. I think Valtteri had a little bit of oversteer in Turn 13 whilst Max absolutely nailed the final two corners and two hundredths of a second was the margin at the line. Max brings Honda its first pole since 2006 and the Hungaroring is an important track to have grid position so hopefully we can convert it for a good haul of points tomorrow. I think we’re really starting to get performance on the car, the teams in Milton Keynes and Sakura are doing a great job and we’ve definitely made progress in the first half of the year. On Pierre’s side, he made it through Q2 on the harder tyre which was our aim, but then unfortunately in Q3 he made a mistake on his fast lap. In P6, he’s right next to the Ferraris but everything is still to play for.”

Haas F1

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualified ninth and 15th, respectively, for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the 12th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship at Hungaroring in Budapest. Magnussen will start the race from 14th after 14th-place qualifier Antonio Giovinazzi of Alfa Romeo was penalized three grid positions for impeding during Q1.

The Haas F1 Team duo, utilizing dual aero specs on their respective Haas VF-19 racecars for the third consecutive race weekend, both successfully advanced to Q2 as part of the top-15 for the second weekend in a row. Both did it during the closing laps of the session, Magnussen’s lap of 1:16.122 around the 4.381-kilometer (2.722-mile), 14-turn circuit the fourth-best of the session and Grosjean’s 1:16.978 good for 15th spot on the timesheet.

In Q2, Grosjean picked up time significantly and grabbed the eighth-fastest lap of 1:16.317 to advance to Q3. Magnussen struggled to find grip during the session after his solid Q1 lap. He clocked the 15th-fastest lap of 1:17.081, .563 of a second back of the 10th and final position to advance to Q3.

Grosjean laid down his best lap of the weekend and the ninth-best lap of Q3 with a 1:16.013. It gives him his best grid position at Hungaroring since he started third and second in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Both Haas F1 drivers utilized the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires throughout qualifying.

Taking the pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix was Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing, whose fast Q3 lap of 1:14.572 was .018 of a second better than No. 2 qualifier Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes. It was a first career pole for Verstappen, who became the 100th pole-winning driver in Formula One history.

Romain Grosjean

“The old girl made it into Q3, she was limping a little at the beginning, but eventually she got there. It’s been a tough weekend to be fair on her. We’re running the same downforce we had in Hockenheim, just because that’s the maximum we’ve got. Here, obviously, it’s not enough – it’s tricky. Q1 was very difficult, Q2 things got a bit better, then Q3 we really extracted the maximum we had. I’m worried for the race, we’re missing a lot of downforce to get the tire to stay alive for a long time. It’s a track where it’s difficult to overtake, so I’ll get my elbows out and see where we can finish tomorrow.”

Kevin Magnussen

“We were P4 in Q1, then P15 in Q2. I don’t know what it is, but this car is swinging so much, up and down. The window is so small, even in qualifying – we saw that in Austria. I was struggling to get out of Q1, I got through just about, same thing again in Q2. Then in Q3 I was fifth. The car can go in and out of its window even in one session. It’s very difficult at the moment. It worked perfectly for Q1, then for Q2 there was no grip. There was some traffic on my out lap, but that shouldn’t be such a big deal to affect our tire window. We’re really just trying to learn and analyze from these sessions, but it’s tough. So, I start 15th tomorrow on a track that’s very difficult to overtake.”

Günther Steiner

“Not a bad qualifying. I think we showed again we can get good laps in. Unfortunately for Kevin (Magnussen), his fastest laps in Q2 were compromised with some tail winds, so he didn’t make it into Q3. Romain (Grosjean) qualified solidly in ninth. For how we’re struggling, we actually did pretty good.”

Renault F1

Renault F1 Team experienced a disappointing qualifying for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Nico Hülkenberg eleventh and Daniel Ricciardo eighteenth at the Hungaroring.

Nico eased through the first phase of qualifying after two decent runs, but Daniel fell narrowly short after hitting traffic at a critical time on his out lap on his second run.

Nico, on his first Q2 effort, placed eighth and looked to be in contention of reaching Q3 for the third race in a row. But he could not find further improvement on his second run and missed out on the top ten by just 0.047secs.

Both drivers can take a free choice of tyre for tomorrow’s 70-lap race.

Nico Hülkenberg

“Starting eleventh tomorrow certainly isn’t a bad thing. We have some flexibility on strategy with the free tyre choice. The last lap in Q2 was tricky, and the difference in qualifying is so small in the midfield. It’s not a bad day for us and I think we can have a strong day tomorrow.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“The car actually felt OK. We got caught in traffic and when I got to the last corner there were other cars that were backed up. At that stage you have a choice of trying to pass and keep your tyre temperature up or hang back and start the lap with cold tyres. I tried to go, but it was too late and then the lap was compromised. It’s going to be a tough race but tomorrow is another day so let’s see what happens.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director

“It was a tough qualifying. Nico got what he could from the car and there are certainly advantages from this starting position. Daniel’s P18 in qualifying is however a hard one to take. The track evolution is significant over a session, but waiting until the end leaves the door open for traffic. Daniel had time to back off, but was perhaps not aware of the extent of the situation. Given we are towards the back we will use the opportunity to change his PU and take penalties to avoid taking them at a race where there is perhaps more potential to make up ground. Nevertheless we will approach the race tomorrow looking for every opportunity to move up and leave with some points on the board.”

Alfa Romeo

Formula One is a team sport, this is a concept worth reminding. Within a team, even though the two sides of the garage live autonomous lives, pushing the car and driver combo on their weekend journey, the sense of unity is strong. It would be wrong to see the two sides as disconnected, or purely focussed on their own success. A team is, first and foremost, a team: as such, we win and lose together, we rejoice and commiserate for each of our cars’ results and we push each other to be better every day. And when one side of the garage has a good result and the other struggles, we come together to work a way out of it.

Today was one of those 50/50 days, a car sailing through to Q3, the other suffering a penalty that will leave it towards the back of the grid. Mixed feelings is what we’re left with as we reflect on our Saturday. But already, in our engineering truck, in our garage, in our offices, the team is coming together: to give Kimi and Antonio the best chances to score. To push both cars higher as the race unfolds. This is our team spirit.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing

“At the risk of sounding repetitive, today was another day in which very little separated the teams in the midfield. Kimi did a very good job to claim a place in the top ten, leaving behind most of our direct competitors. He has a good opportunity to score points tomorrow, but we will need to execute a perfect race for him to maximise his chances. Antonio wasn’t too far off and starting in P14 would have given him a fair shot in the race. Unfortunately, a three-place penalty means he will have his work cut out: it’s a long race, however, and we will try our best to get him back into contention. Due to the limited running yesterday, race pace is a big unknown but we fancy our chances for tomorrow.”

Kimi Räikkönen

“A bit disappointed that it’s just P10, on the other hand I did my fastest lap of the weekend when it mattered so I can’t really complain. The car felt pretty good although we’re lacking a bit of pace compared to the McLarens, which were our targets. Tomorrow is another story, after the lack of running on Friday there will be a few question marks about race pace but that’s the same for everyone, isn’t it?”

Antonio Giovinazzi

“It was a tough qualifying session today. I went wide in turn 11 in Q1 and the car didn’t feel right afterwards, so we will need to check if something happened. The midfield is very tight, details can make all the difference and today we fell a bit short. We are not where we’d like to be on the grid, especially with the grid penalty we received, but we have plenty of data to look into ahead of the race. It’s hard to tell where we stand when it comes to race pace, but I hope we can be competitive tomorrow.”

*Antonio is expected to start in P17 due to a three-place grid penalty for impeding Lance Stroll.

Ferrari

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers will start the 34th Hungarian Grand Prix from the second and third rows of the grid, when the race gets underway at 15.10 CET tomorrow. Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest in 1’15”043 and Sebastian was fifth with a lap that was just 28 thousandths of a second slower than his team-mate’s.

Q1. In the first part of qualifying, the Monegasque and the German easily made the cut to Q2 with time of 1’16”337 and 1’16”452 respectively. But on his second run, Charles made a mistake, crashing into the barriers on the outside of the final corner. The driver of the number 16 car managed to get back to the garage where the mechanics rushed to change the rear wing, and made repairs to other parts that had also sustained minor damage.

Q2. Charles was therefore able to carry on as normal in the second part and both he and Sebastian fitted medium tyres. Leclerc’s first run produced a 1’15”807, which he then dropped by 15 thousandths to 1’15”792. Sebastian made it through to the top ten shoot-out with a 1’15”885 set on his first attempt. It means that both drivers start the race on the Medium compound.

Q3. For the final part, both drivers went out on Softs aiming for maximum performance. Leclerc’s first attempt was a 1’15”437, while Vettel beat it with a 1’15”346. Pitting for fresh rubber, they set out again, Charles improving by almost four tenths to 1’15”043, which was 28 thousandths quicker than Sebastian’s 1’15”071.

Charles Leclerc

“On the one hand, I am happy with my lap in Q3. On the other, the mistake I made in Q1 was unnecessary and I will make sure that it doesn’t happen again. The team did a great job to get the car back in shape for us to go out in Q2. I believe that we got the best result we could today.

So far this weekend, we have been lacking grip. Our competitors are strong, especially in the corners, and it will be a difficult race for us tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel

“Today went pretty much as we expected and reflects what we have seen in the last few races. Our car is very quick down the straights but it’s not the best through the corners and that means we struggle to keep the tyres alive right to the end of the lap when we are trying for a quick time. You can see that from the fact we are quickest in sector 1 and then we suffer over the rest of the lap.

In fact, it will be a very difficult race in terms of tyre management and given the characteristics of our car, it would suit us to see high temperatures tomorrow, because we would then be able to put our competitors under pressure. If that’s not the case, then it will be a one stop race and it’s less likely that we can be in with a chance. Overtaking is difficult here, but not impossible, so let’s wait and see how things go tomorrow.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal

“It’s not surprising that we were fourth and fifth fastest today. We knew we weren’t favourites here, given the level of aero downforce generated by our car at the moment.

Here in Hungary, we were keen to confirm our progress and see where we stood compared to those ahead of us. The gap is closer than we might have expected and to a certain extent, that’s encouraging. We therefore had further proof today that we are on the right path in terms of our development of the SF90.

Seb’s qualifying was straightforward, but Charles’ was slightly compromised by the accident in Q1. We changed the rear wing, but there were still some damaged parts left on the car and maybe he also lost a bit of confidence in that final corner.”

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