Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the British GP, beating Seb Vettel and Jenson Button in a chaotic qualifying…
Nico Rosberg: ” Wow, what a qualifying. It was so tricky out there this afternoon with the rain and the conditions changing so quickly. It’s very satisfying to get everything right in these conditions and be able to come out on top. Thanks to the team today for guiding me through the hour so well. My last flying lap was difficult because we were very tight for time and I was stuck right up behind Lewis. Luckily he didn’t finish his lap but I remembered that we were losing three or four seconds in the last corners when it was very wet so there was an opportunity to make a real improvement and that I should keep going. It’s a great opportunity to start the race from pole and I’ll give it everything to take the win tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going. It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part. It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying. I’m so sorry to have disappointed the fans here today as their support has been fantastic and I’ll do what I can to have a great race for them tomorrow. I need to have a start like I had in Austria two weeks ago and then do my best to get back to the front; you never know what might happen. It’s difficult when you’re just out of the car to express your emotions and see the positive but I’ll go back to the team and my family now and we’ll build up for tomorrow from there.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was very tight in Q1 and Q2, we were quite late going out due to the weather and then in Q3 we were quite early for the final run, but it didn’t matter as in the end the time was okay. It’s hard to know how much you can push when the conditions are like that as you’re driving into the unknown. The warm up lap shows you that it’s damp and you know it will improve, but by how much is obviously determined by how much risk you take. It seems in the end I took the right amount today, so I’m happy.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I didn’t expect it to go quicker at the end of the session there, as the rain kept coming. We really thought the track wouldn’t get quicker, Vettel only went out as he didn’t have a time at that point. We have to learn from it I guess – I’m gobsmacked how much faster the circuit got, it must dry a lot quicker here than I thought. We’ll move forwards from there tomorrow.”
Jenson Button: “At the start of the session, I was really looking forward to getting out there. And, as soon as we did, we found the grip of the circuit, and I felt confident. I even did a lap in Q1 that was quickest overall, but I ran wide at the final corner in traffic, and that time was disallowed – nonetheless, I think it showed that, in difficult circumstances, we often tend make the best of things.
“On my final lap in Q3, I thought it was all over in the first sector: I made a mistake coming out of Turn Five and had a massive snap of oversteer onto the straight, but I still managed to make up the time over the rest of the lap.
“I would love there to be changeable conditions in the race tomorrow, but, realistically, if it’s dry, we’re not going to be quite as competitive as we were today. We’ll do our best to be as close to the front as possible, of course we will, but we’ll need to have a perfect race to get a decent result.
“Even so, I’m really happy to be third – in front of the my family, my friends and the British crowd – their support has been so uplifting throughout this whole event.”
Kevin Magnussen: “It was a very tricky qualifying session. Jenson starting third is fantastic for both him and the team, but I’m satisfied with fifth. It was really hard to know how the track would be from lap to lap, so I was playing it relatively conservatively. Right now, I regret not pushing more – but it’s always so tricky to know how much more you can do. I was quite surprised by how dry it was at the end of Q3. I didn’t even think we’d need to go out at the end because it wasn’t anywhere near dry enough – but the conditions were drier than we thought. It’s hard to say just what we can do on Sunday. We’re in a good position for the start of the race, but, realistically, we’re out of position. Still, I’ll be giving it everything tomorrow.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “That worked out really well for us and I’m very happy to come away with fourth place on the grid. On days like this you just need to be in the right place, with good timing and a little bit of luck. The track conditions were changing so much and at the end of Q3 I’ve never seen a track dry so quickly. There were a few spots of rain in the middle of the session, but on my final lap it was completely dry. Fourth place sets us up nicely for tomorrow, but it’s hard to know exactly where we stand in terms of race pace. We definitely made some progress with the car balance overnight with some tweaks and it was a lot less windy today, which worked in our favour. There is an interesting grid, which will hopefully make for an exciting race for the fans.”
Sergio Perez: “Today leaves us with mixed feelings. It was very good to get both cars in Q3 and ahead of some of our most direct competitors. Had they offered us this result before the session, we would have been satisfied; however, it is also disappointing as we know we could have had an even better result. We were in P3 up to the last lap, but when the track improved and I went out for a last run I ran a bit wide in turn 12 and lost all the temperature from my tyres. I also had to let some cars through and that made it a big problem for me. Otherwise I am confident we would have improved enough to stay in the front two rows. It’s a shame because we were making the tyres work really well until that moment and we were making the most of the conditions. Still, it is a very positive result and we should have a good opportunity to convert it into a good race and a lot of points. Silverstone is a very difficult place to overtake and track position is very important, so I am confident in that respect.”