“Formula 1 matters little, today, in comparison…”
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Saturday November 14
#14 Fernando Alonso
FP3 14th 1m13.850s (+1.780s) 19 laps
Q1 – (on Options)
“This is a tough period.
“After I didn’t take part in the Mexican Grand Prix, and then missed out entirely on qualifying here in Brazil, well, there’s a degree of frustration, obviously.
“But we understand our situation, and we need to learn from all our mistakes and put everything in place so as not to repeat them next year.
“I think all our weaknesses are being identified, however. The actions we’re taking are logical and sensible, so I’m still optimistic, even though here and even Abu Dhabi are going to be difficult for us.
“Last but far from least, I want to send my sincerest support and deepest sympathy to France and the French people, who experienced such a terrible tragedy in their capital city yesterday. It was a shocking event, but I firmly believe that sport has a role to play in such circumstances, showing that nations can and should be united. So I hope that, together, all of us in Formula 1 can put on a great race tomorrow, so as to demonstrate that.”
#22 Jenson Button
FP3 18th 1m14.445s (+2.375s) 17 laps
Q1 17th overall 1m13.425s (on Options)
“It’s been a tricky weekend, and I’ve struggled with the car.
“Having said that, it began to work much better in qualifying. It was much more enjoyable to drive than it was this morning, when we had less aero balance. Moreover, the car is definitely set up for the race; I still don’t know how competitive we’ll be, because deployment is going to be a big issue here, but we’ll give it a go and we’ll see what we end up with.
“I’m hoping for a wet race. If it rains it will open up more opportunities, and we’ll hopefully capitalise on it. I’m looking forward to it.
“Speaking more generally, it’s been a tough season. But, even so, we’ve had a lot of support, and it’s meant a lot to us – to me personally – and I want to reassure the fans that we’re all in it together and we’ll work through it together too.
“Finally, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the horrific tragedy in Paris. Hopefully, all of France knows that we stand by them. It’s horrific for the whole world, and it affects everyone. Everyone wants peace; it doesn’t matter what country you live in, it affects us all, and it has to stop. We’ve all got to pull together: that’s the only way we’ll get through this.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“On a day when Formula 1 doesn’t really seem to matter very much – because we’re all still shell-shocked by the atrocities that occurred in Paris yesterday evening – we at McLaren-Honda offered little about which to rejoice.
“Fernando’s car stopped in Q1 before he was able even to record a lap-time, and we’re still investigating the power unit anomaly that caused the issue and which we saw reflected in the data.
“Jenson had a less troubled run, and praised the car’s improved balance over yesterday, but there simply wasn’t performance in it available for him to achieve anything better than P17.
“It’s upsetting, but it isn’t dispiriting, and the reason it isn’t dispiriting is that our team’s esprit de corps is so impressive, so robust, so powerful.
“Our guys work prodigiously hard, and it’s a privilege to lead them into battle every fortnight; and, mark my words, we’ll win that battle in the end.
“In the meantime, let me once again offer our sympathy and condolences to my countrymen directly affected by the senseless violence on the streets of what most people refer to as the city of love.
“As I say, Formula 1 matters little, today, in comparison.”
Honda R&D senior managing officer – chief officer of motorsport
“Today has been an extremely sad day for so many people around the world. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to all of those affected by the horrendous events in Paris. We at Honda all stand united in our support.
“Out on track, both Fernando’s and Jenson’s final power unit data settings and adjustments were confirmed for qualifying and the race during FP3.
“The issue with Fernando’s power unit during his Q1 timed lap is still under investigation and the details are as yet unknown. We made a decision to stop the car due to an unexpected water temperature rise in the engine. It’s very disappointing as the power unit showed no prior signs of this anomaly this morning and was performing well.
“Jenson’s feeling for the car improved in qualifying, but unfortunately he missed out on Q2 by a very slight margin.
“Rain has been forecast for tomorrow, so we’ll prepare the throttle character and driveability of the power unit to be adaptable for a sudden change in climate.”