copyright: HOCH ZWEI
Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying – Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Not perfect, but a good place to start tomorrow”
Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Saturday November 26
2nd 1m12.547s (+0.087s) 19 laps
Q1 1st 1m13.281s (on Primes)
Q2 5th 1m12.820s (on Options)
Q3 3rd overall 1m12.283s (on Options)
“All in all, Q2 was a bit nerve-wracking for me – but enjoyable in the end because I haven’t managed to get past Q2 here in Brazil since 2005!
“So, as I say, it was satisfying to get into the top 10. In Q3, the car was working well too: balance-wise, I think the car was as good as we were going to get it.
“My quick lap was pretty ragged. I was pretty aggressive on the throttle, which you have to be to be fast around here. That’s not normally my style, but it was definitely quick and in fact I crossed the line thinking I’d be farther up the grid than I eventually was. But that was because the two guys in front of me did a great job too.
“If it rains here tomorrow, as we’re told it may well do, then it’ll almost certainly pour down – and that’s bound to make things very tricky. Still, this place lends itself to good overtaking – over the years there have been some great moves into Turns One and Four for example – so I think everything is well set for Formula 1 to put on a fantastic show tomorrow.”
4th 1m12.622s (+0.162s) 15 laps
Q1 2nd 1m13.361s (on Primes)
Q2 4th 1m12.811s (on Options)
Q3 4th overall 1m12.480s (on Options)
“Jenson was massively quick today. I ended up a couple of tenths away from him, so clearly I could have gone a bit faster, but the fact is that although I didn’t make any mistakes on my best lap I just wasn’t quite quick enough on the day. While that’s inevitably a little disappointing for me personally, Jenson’s pace is very encouraging for the team. We have reason to be optimistic about tomorrow too: we’re both on the second row, and we can definitely mount a strong challenge from there.
“I don’t think we’re quite there in terms of race pace in the dry, but hopefully we’ll be there if it’s wet. Whatever happens though, it’s going to be a tough, long race; and if the weather is wet or changeable, as predicted, then it’s going to be very interesting indeed.
“Interlagos is a place that makes you feel inspired as a racing driver: it’s Ayrton Senna’s homeground, and the Brazilian fans are unbelievably passionate. I’ve started fourth here a few times before