Saturday, 28 July 2012 14:53
Page 1 of 14Formula One driver comments following the Saturday qualifying session at the Budapest circuit.
FIA post qualifying press conference - 2012 Hungary - Top three drivers.
1 - Lewis HAMILTON (McLaren)
2 - Romain GROSJEAN (Lotus F1)
3 - Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull Racing)
Select 'Play' below to listen to audio|
Lewis you looked like that was fully under control at all times, apart maybe from that first run in Q3?
Lewis HAMILTON: Yeah, it’s been a really positive weekend so far. The guys have done an incredible job this weekend as always, preparing the car. To finally see the upgrades working this weekend, I’ve been able to put the car in places that I previously wasn’t able to do. So, generally every lap has been quite good throughout practice and qualifying, apart from the first run in Q3.
Romain, obviously this is what you and the team needed, a strong qualifying performance, because you’ve shown in recent races that you’ve got a very good race car under you?
Romain GROSJEAN: Yeah, we normally have a good race pace, it's good to be back at the front. We had a difficult German Grand Prix and a difficult start here in Hungary. But the guys did a fantastic job trying to help me set up the car, trying to find out what was wrong and [we’re] back to the top and it’s good. I think the race tomorrow will be interesting.
Sebastian, you only did the one run in Q3 because you used up tyres before that. Tell us how difficult it was to get the tyres working today?
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I think for us it more a difficulty of getting everything to work properly. I think the speed is there but yeah it seems extremely difficult once you lose the balance a little bit. So I think we were struggling a little bit with that in qualifying. Throughout qualifying I think it got better. We shot through all the tyres, more or less. I knew I only had one set in Q3. I’m not entirely happy with the lap I had. I think Grosjean, sorry, Romain, was in reach. I think Lewis was probably a bit too far away today. But I think with the progress we made this morning and through qualifying we should be in a good position tomorrow for the race.
Lewis if you look at the points you’ve scored in the past few races and the points scored by Fernando Alonso, the championship leader, there’s obviously a massive difference. How important is a win tomorrow for you and for your championship hope?
LH: Well, thanks for reminding me! This is motor racing, you know. We’re not saying we’re relaxed about it but we know that we’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re trying to make sure that we start that work from this weekend
Lewis, you seem to have hit the ground running from the road here almost, you were fastest in both sessions yesterday, fastest in all the qualifying sessions as well and you love the circuit, you must be so pleased with pole position now as well?
LH: I am, absolutely. I’m really happy with the work the guys have done. Obviously Jenson showed the pace of the car in the last race but to be able to put that to work through qualifying feels fantastic. This is a good boost to the team. Still we have a very long race tomorrow. Lots can happen and we just need to keep our cool. The weather’s fantastic here, the city’s beautiful and the fans, well what a great turn out for a Saturday.
Well, you’ve been on pole here before and you’ve won here twice as well, so you know how to win here. Is there a secret to tomorrow?
LH: There’s no real secret, no. It’s the same as everyone when they win races. You just have to keep your head cool and look after your tyres. Tyre strategy will be important tomorrow. Degradation will be interesting. I just hope for once we have a good start. That’s what I hope for the beginning.
How were the long runs this morning. Obviously you weren’t able to do long runs yesterday and everybody crammed in their long runs this morning.
LH: I didn’t do any long runs this morning. I did mine yesterday. It was pretty good.
So you were happy with that?
LH: Yeah, I mean, the track was a little bit greener yesterday so it’s difficult to compare it to today, but for us it was not such a problem. I think we know the Lotus is very, very strong on long runs and so is the Red Bull, so we just need to focus on us and really hope we can improve this weekend with those upgrade. Jenson showed in the last race that it is an improvement so hopefully I can show the same thing tomorrow.
Romain, on the front row for the first time, how much satisfaction does that give you?
RG: Pretty high, I have to say. We started the weekend coming back from the German Grand Prix which was a bit of a disaster for ourselves, and it didn’t start in the best way. But then we worked hard, tried to analyse what was wrong on the car and why I couldn’t get the feeling that I had at the start of the year. P3 was getting better and then the start of qualifying was very difficult, with the first one getting a nightmare.
But then we found back the speed, improved the car, tried to understand what was wrong with it, and being here on the front row is something special, especially here at the Hungarian Grand Prix where we know overtaking is very difficult. We need to start from the front, we said that since a long time, so first job done. Hopefully tomorrow we keep our race pace from usually, we able to save our tyres as much as we want and be able to get some good battles with the guy at the front.
The performance of the car you’ve improved, do you think that’s going to be OK for the race itself on full fuel tanks etcetera?
RG: Normally it’s better on high fuel than on low fuel, so it’s pretty good to be on the front row. We have been maybe working a bit more this week on qualifying because we know it’s a big key for the race. So, hopefully tomorrow the car will feel pretty well with the tank fuelled and the set-up we normally run for the race. Hopefully that’s the case. Hopefully we manage to save our tyres as much as we want, as much as we can, and then we have good pace.
We’ve seen quite a few people going off the circuit at many, many corners, to turn this into a podium tomorrow, how are you going to do that?
RG: Well, the key is to stay on track, that’s for sure. Let’s have a good start, let’s see where we are at the beginning of the race and how the car feels. Hopefully it’s going to feel alright, as it did in Bahrain or Canada, and if we have this, then I think we have everything in our pocket to fight for a good result.
Sebastian, we’ve seen the performance, or seem to have seen the performance up and down the whole weekend, not just from you but from your team-mate as well.
SV: Yeah, a bit difficult for us this weekend to really get the balance right. I think the car is quick, and sometimes really quick, but it’s a bit difficult to get it out of the car all the time. So, I think yesterday afternoon we were quite happy, this morning we weren’t that happy and in qualifying it seemed to get better again. So, we’ll see. I think it should be a good race tomorrow. I think the pace with fuel in the car is probably a little bit better than without fuel, so we’ll see what we can do.
You said ‘room for improvement’ after yesterday, but that didn’t come this morning then?
SV: No, not really. I think it wasn’t that bad yesterday but this morning initially it wasn’t as good as it was yesterday, so we seem to have lost that little bit. But, I think just before qualifying we managed to come back and I think in qualifying I think we were able to improve session by session. Obviously we had to use a couple of sets that, or one more set than as per plan, which was not great. That’s why we had only one run in Q3. But in the end we used as many tyres as everyone else. We’ll see what we can do in the race. I think Lewis was out of reach today, they always seemed to be very quick. It’s probably not too bad to start third here, it’s on the clean side and it’s a long way to Turn One.