AUSTRIAN GP – QUALIFYING
Position: 5th, (3rd Practice – P7, 1:10.392)
“It was tough out there. It’s been tough all weekend to be honest and it’s felt like we’ve had to squeeze everything out of the car to get into the top 5, which we just managed to do today. All weekend we’ve been on the back foot and I think respect to the other teams, they managed to get their cars dialled in well for this weekend and we’ve just got to keep pushing. Fifth was the best we could have done in that session today.”
Position: 13th, (3rd Practice – P10, 1:10.562)
“There were no real problems today, other than that we weren’t quick enough. Daniel was quicker in Turn 5 and has been quicker in Turn 2 all weekend. We’ll see how it goes for the race; it should be hotter tomorrow and hopefully we can make a big step and take on some of the other cars.”
“I think P5 was the maximum we were going to get out of today with Daniel, who extracted everything he could from the car, in what was a difficult qualifying session for us. Sebastian struggled to generate the pace over a single lap and it was obviously disappointing not to make it through into Q3. More encouragingly, our race pace looks better and hopefully if temperatures increase, we’ll be pushing to make a lot of headway tomorrow in front of Red Bull’s home crowd.”
“It was a hard exercise today with the lap times again very close at the end of Q2, plus in Q3. As in Montreal every little detail can make the difference. Seb missed out on Q3 for just half a tenth: we will review every setting now to try to understand where we could have extracted the missing power. Daniel was faster today and did a great job to get his car close to the front row. Let’s see tomorrow during the race as a lot can happen.”
DRIVEN TO RACE Despite the hours and the thousands of kilometres of testing and racing everyone in F1 puts in, everyone is still passionate about what they do. Just ahead of our first home race, our very own Spielberg boy and garage tour specialist, Charlie Schuchnig, reveals how his 40-year relationship with the Austrian Grand Prix began…
What’s your role within the team?
I would call myself a tourist guide! I show guests the garage and help them understand what’s going on behind the scenes: what the telemetry is all about, a little bit about driving – because I’ve raced myself for many years – a little bit about the technology and also something about the organisation, because it takes so much to run a team.
What’s the one thing you tell guests that always impresses them during a garage tour?
When I explain about the pressure the drivers are under – the mental and physical strain. The guests are amazed to hear that the drivers’ heart rate is always up above 150bpm, that they regular endure loads of 4Gs or how hard they have to train; that they’re making thousands of decisions every race. People are often unaware.
You’re from this locale, what makes this circuit particularly good for F1?
Every place has its special characteristics, but the outstanding thing here is that it’s a completely different environment. The countryside we have is very special. The track is on a hillside, you have lots of steep sections, with nice, fast and slow corners and the drivers say it is quite a challenging circuit.
You’ve been involved in F1 for a long time, what’s your favourite Austrian Grand Prix memory?
I’ve been around for 44 years, the first grand prix I attended here was in 1970, when I think I was something like chief polisher and chief fly-scratcher at McLaren. The funny thing was that when we arrived here at the circuit it was just dust, there was no tarmac or anything in the paddock. You can imagine the horror of the mechanics when they changing gear ratios or something and a sudden gust of wind blew all this dust in the gearboxes. It’s a fantastic place though. I’ve seen lots of great people racing here. It started with Jackie Stewart and James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda – name them and I’ve seen them racing here.