SPANISH GP – QUALIFYING
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 5th, 1:19.706 (Practice 3 – P5 1:21.025)
“That was a very good qualifying, it went very smoothly and we had no issues and I think the lap was spot on. The car was definitely the best I have had all season and I was very pleased with the balance today. To be just under six tenths back from pole position is a good achievement and we should be very happy with that compared to one and a half seconds back in Sochi. The team has worked really hard to get the updates ready for the car so a massive thank you to them. We have been studying the upgrades all week to understand the package and how they would work, once we got the setup sorted and I was able to get comfortable it resulted in a good combination and successful Qualifying. It is a good step forward and has given us a solid platform to build on for the rest of the season. As always we will keep pushing and try to close the gap even more. It is always nice to come back to Barcelona, I have driven a lot of laps here and it has been kind to me. Like we saw last year, you never know what can happen on race day here, our long run pace looks ok so let’s wait and see.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 6th, 1:20.175 (Practice 3 – P6 1:21.249)
“Even with the upgrades we didn’t expect to come here and get pole today and I’m still about a second off the leaders in qualifying, but Max was a bit closer which is good for the team. Personally I was struggling in the last sector, especially at the last two corners. I just wasn’t able to carry enough speed through the chicane which is where I lost most of the time. For the rest of the lap I felt we did all we could and now we have a pretty good balance in the high speed corners. There is more potential in the car which we need to unlock but we have definitely found something this weekend and the gap to the leaders looks to be closing a bit. In the race it would be nice to get on terms with Ferrari and Mercedes but I think the main battle will be between Max and myself. Maybe we will even look at trying something different and splitting the strategy across both cars to put a bit of pressure on the top two teams. It should be an interesting race.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Our drivers did well to extract the maximum out of the cars in qualifying today. Fifth and sixth is the optimum we could have realistically hoped for but it’s pleasing to see that we’re closing the gap to the cars ahead. Hopefully we can make good use of the third row for the start of the Spanish Grand Prix tomorrow and build on the progress we’ve made so far this weekend.”
Luck of the Draw
Everyone likes to say there’s no such thing as luck in F1 and that outcomes are the result of deep research, intense analysis and careful strategising. As our new quiz reveals that’s a complete load of old rubbish. We present our team personnel with a set of 50 questions, the order of which shifts with each race, they choose 10 and have to answer them, no matter what. Tough, easy, personal and just plain weird, what they get is down to the luck of the draw. This race’s lucky dipper is Trackside Infrastructure Engineer and all-round IT guru Olaf Janssen.
- Who was the last person to call you on your phone?
It was somebody from marketing at the team here. A work request – come and fix my computer. You get those calls a few times each day, usually it’s just problems in getting on the network we set up at the track.
- If you were to sing in the shower, what song what it be?
I don’t normally sing in the shower, but if I did, it would be…. ‘It’s Raining Again’ by Supertramp. That might be appropriate. It’s not something I do normally, but you do catch yourself singing sometimes.
- What was your most difficult race weekend?
I can’t recall a specific one, but difficult races are normally ones where the environment makes it quite hard, usually down to heat. This year in Bahrain because we had temperatures up to 40˚C in the garage. All the server equipment runs pretty hot and it’s tricky to keep it cool.
- Are you a good or bad loser?
That’s a difficult one. I probably say I’m a bit of a bad loser. I try hard not to be. There are no tantrums or anything, more just a general level of frustration. I try not to show it though.
- What’s the best meal in the world?
I like my steak so I’d probably say filet steak. The best I’ve had? When I do them at home. I come from South Africa and we do good steaks there. Filet steak, medium rare, blue cheese sauce.
- What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
If you can’t change the outcome, it’s probably not worth worrying about. Easier said than done, but I guess once you get a bit older you realise that in general things will work out alright.
- Do you collect anything?
I enjoy travelling, so I’ve got a bank note from every country I’ve been too and also a little memento from ever place I’ve been to. Weirdly, the ones I like the most are still the South African ones, which have a lot of wildlife on them.
- What’s the thing you love most about Formula One?
I guess it’s the competitive nature of it. I just really enjoy that. I enjoy the challenge of what we do, getting everything set and working at every different location. Just the job really.
- What are the last three things you’ve bought?
I can’t remember the last three! The last significant thing I bought was a mountain bike. It’s a Scott. When I go back home there are woods quite close to where I live in Milton Keynes so that’s a good thing to do. It’s a recent development but I’m enjoying it.
- What three things could you not live without over a race weekend?
Mobile phone, notebook and laptop.