Hungarian GP Post Qualifying Driver Reactions

Reaction from the Hungaroring after qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, round 11 out of 20 in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Sebastian Vettel (1st) – “Today has been a great day. The car and the whole session was fantastic! I am really happy. We brought some new parts here and we tested them yesterday. Then obviously, we talked about it a lot and I think we got the car in better shape this morning. We are working very hard to get everything right. The guys have worked so hard and they love what they do. So, it is good to get back into the car and do our job. We love racing and this weekend has been very good so far. We know we have a strong car, no matter where we go, and that’s the great thing about this year. Now we have to move forward and focus. Qualifying is done, so we now concentrate on the race. There’s a lot of hard work to do and we need to take it one step at a time. Now, we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Thank you all!”

Kimi Raikkonen (2nd) – “First and second position is a very good result for team. We kind of expected that this circuit would fit us better for certain reasons, but of course you cannot ever take it for granted. Today I really felt I had the speed, but I made a rather stupid mistake at the chicane, I put the left wheels on the kerb under braking, got sideways and lost time. I’m a bit disappointed with what I did, because I had the chance to be one place up, but I’m happy because I still managed to take second place. It’s been quite close between three teams so far, so tomorrow it all will depend on what happens in the first ten laps; it’s not going to be an easy race for anyone. There’s no way to plan things for the first two corners. The one who makes the best start has the better chances. Tomorrow we’ll have a long way to go to replicate today’s result!”

Valtteri Bottas (3rd) – “I had to give it everything today. In my first run, the lap was already quite good. Then on the second run in Q3, I was fast in sector one and two but then the tyres overheated and I lost time in sector three. Overall I don’t think there was much more in it for us today. I was surprised by the pace of Ferrari. Yesterday we were hoping that it going to be a really tight fight for the pole. It was but they had the advantage. Now we need to focus on tomorrow. It will be really close on race pace between the top three teams. Starting from third is not too bad. I need a good start and hopefully we can nail the strategy tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton (4th) – “This hasn’t been the easiest weekend for us. The car didn’t feel completely underneath me during practice but we made some changes into qualifying and the feeling started to improve. We knew Ferrari would be quick after seeing their pace this morning, so considering that fact I think we did pretty well to lock out row two. My laps in qualifying were generally good but I made a mistake in Turn 4 on the first run in Q3, so after that it was all about getting in a banker lap to make sure I set a time. Looking to the race, maybe strategy or the tyres will come into play in a bigger way. Ferrari seems to have the upper hand this weekend and this race is usually a procession on a circuit where it is hard to follow, so there aren’t many opportunities to gain positions. But we will be giving it everything we can.”

Max Verstappen (5th) – “For me it was actually a very positive Qualifying. The whole weekend I have been struggling a lot with the car and I just couldn’t really get the balance right but we managed to turn it around and the car was feeling good in Qualifying when it matters. Q1 and Q2 were actually very good but in Q3 it’s always harder for us to step up by four or five tenths like Ferrari and Mercedes as we don’t have that extra engine mode. I think fourth was definitely possible but I changed the front wing on my final run and it seems that I got too much oversteer from that, but we can still be pleased. We have made a good step forward and we are heading in the right direction for sure. It is difficult to say how tomorrow will go and it’s always hard to overtake here but with a good start and maybe an undercut there are many possibilities. It will be an interesting race and I’m actually quite confident for tomorrow.”

Daniel Ricciardo (6th) – “When you miss out on track time in any session it has a knock-on effect and the time we lost this morning in FP3 definitely cost us in Qualifying. We had to guess what the track would be like this afternoon and make set-up changes based on that. In Q1we had quite a different car to yesterday but even so we thought higher than sixth was possible. We are in the top three teams so to qualify sixth is basically last for us. My quick lap wasn’t as clean as I would have liked so it’s partially the car and partially me but come tomorrow I think we can still get stuck in and challenge the other guys. A podium is possible in my mind. I am surprised by the pace of the Ferraris, we knew they would be stronger today but we also thought we would be closer. With the updates we have had here I’m looking forward to tomorrow, the car is in good shape to race so I think it will be fun and we can move forward.”

Fernando Alonso (7th) – “It’s been a positive weekend so far for us as a team. We knew the top three teams would effectively be out of reach, so fighting for seventh and eighth was the maximum target we could aim for today. And, indeed, that’s where we’ll start tomorrow. There are no points to gain on Saturday, so hopefully we can convert those positions in the race and score some good points. They’re very much needed by the team at the moment. In terms of race pace we should be okay. This is a circuit where it’s difficult to overtake; the tyres are very stable and have low degradation so I think that, if we have a good start, we should have a good chance to maintain our positions – that’s the target for tomorrow.”

Stoffel Vandoorne (8th) – “We pretty much got everything out of the car today. We’d been looking strong all weekend, so it was good to get both cars in Q3 and to carry our pace through into qualifying. My car felt quite strong – it felt pretty good in the corners. I think we maximised the package we had today. But the race tomorrow is the most important thing: I hope we can get both cars into the points. Our pace has been inside the top 10 all the time so we’re looking strong.”

Carlos Sainz (9th) – “We can be extremely happy with today’s result. It’s been a very tough weekend up until now, especially after this morning’s FP3, where we saw that we were lacking a bit of pace compared to our direct competitors. So qualifying was looking like a difficult session for us, but I got into a good rhythm, managed to put a very good lap together and got into Q3 – something I wasn’t expecting this morning! We can be proud about it; it wasn’t easy at all! Hopefully tomorrow we can do a good job, hold on to this position and fight for points!”

Jolyon Palmer  (10th) – “The car’s been working well. I’m a bit disappointed not to be in Q3, but I will start from P10 on the grid tomorrow, which is a decent position to score some points from. I was in the top ten yesterday in FP1 and today in Q1, so we’ve seen there’s good potential from the car. We’ve got some new tyres available, so we have options; all we need is a good rhythm in the race.”

Esteban Ocon (11th) – “We were hoping to be higher up today, but it’s not our strongest track and we were just missing the pace to make the top ten. I still have a good feeling in the car and our race pace will be more competitive. It looks as though I will gain a place because of the grid penalty for Nico [Hulkenberg] and I still believe a strong points finish is achievable tomorrow.”

Nico Hulkenberg (Qualified 7th but with Grid penalty drops to 12th) – “I’m very happy about the performance of the car today, in fact it’s been really good all weekend long. We’ve found a very good harmony and balance and it was a pleasure to exploit this in qualifying. Of course, the gearbox penalty is far from ideal, but it happens sometimes; there was no option other than changing it. The long runs looked quite promising yesterday so there’s good potential for the race, we have a strong car so we should recover well.”

Sergio Perez (13th) – “It was my most difficult qualifying session of the year. I haven’t yet managed to feel comfortable with the front end of the car: we made a lot of changes from yesterday, even between third practice and qualifying, but we couldn’t solve the issues. In Q2, my first lap was pretty poor and that threw my reference points for the second attempt. In the end, I couldn’t put together a good enough lap and we didn’t’ maximise our potential. We are starting 14th and it’s not ideal on a track where overtaking is really tough, but I hope tomorrow we can be strong. The strategy options are quite limited, but if we can make a good start, we can fight for points.”

Romain Grosjean (14th) – “I guess it’s the best we could do. We both had to overdrive the car in Q1 and I managed to get through to Q2 where I tried really, really hard on the last lap. I couldn’t quite get better than 15th. When we lose all of Friday with one car – actually we can say we lost all of Friday with my car as well – we just had too many problems. Things were going up and down and we couldn’t really get anything, so it’s very, very difficult. We need to improve as a team and get the car better from the first lap in FP1. If we’re getting decent lap times there we can move forward. Here, we’ve just been struggling. I crashed on the first lap in FP1, so we’ve been in a very difficult position. I thought this would be the same as Austria and we’d be generating temperature in the tyres. It’s all related to tyres and we’re just not working them properly. What is the key? I don’t know, but it’s something that’s not quite working.”

Kevin Magnussen (15th) – “We haven’t been competitive this weekend, for some reason. We were expecting to be okay here. We knew it wasn’t going to be the best because of the slow corners, but at least it’s a short, twisty track without big straights. We shouldn’t be too bad in theory, but we haven’t had the pace. On top of that, it’s been a difficult weekend not doing Friday. Well, I did four laps on Friday and a few more this morning. It’s not good preparation to go into qualifying. I made the most of it. I was only one hundredth of a second from Romain and I had the same lap time as Perez who was P15, so Q2 was right there. So with that little running, I’m quite happy with that.”

Daniil Kvyat (Qualified 13th but with grid penalty drops to 16th) – “Unfortunately, I’ve been penalised with a three position grid penalty for tomorrow’s race, so I will now be starting from P16. There was a bit of a miss-communication, so I didn’t know that anyone was coming behind and we’ve now got a penalty for blocking another car… It’s a shame, because today had been quite a good day: our overall performance and my feeling with the car was okay, even if the balance changed a bit throughout the qualifying session. I just missed out on Q3 by a couple of tenths but we ended up more or less where we expected to be. My feeling with the car is quite good and now all I can hope for is a different type of race, an eventful one, otherwise it will be difficult to overtake here. We will obviously try and do our best, make our tyres last and see where we end up.”

Lance Stroll (17th) – “It was not the best qualifying in terms of position, but we knew it would be difficult for us, and in the end we just have to be more competitive. We were only a tenth or so off Q2, and it is frustrating as I think there were a couple of things on my lap where I could have made up a tenth, but you can always say that afterwards. It is just simply tough for us this weekend, we are not as quick as we want to be and, although there are a couple of other things, it is pretty much down to sheer lack of downforce. We need to keep pushing to see what happens for tomorrow’s race.”

Pascal Wehrlein (18th) – “I am satisfied with today’s result because I was able to get back into the car in good shape after yesterday’s crash. The mechanics did a great job overnight fixing the car, and I am grateful for the hard work they put in.”

Paul Di Resta (19th) – “It’s been a busy 18 hours, getting prepared to drive in case it did happen but unsure if it was going to. I was nervous and anxious. You’re unsure of how your ability is going to be when you get out there. I was ironing my shirt at 11 o’clock this morning preparing to be presenting on TV. But honestly, I quickly felt quite comfortable in the car. There was nothing that took me by surprise, it’s just the more laps you can do, the better it is. Getting thrown straight into qualifying is the deepest of the deep ends. To do it in four laps is a big ask, but honestly I didn’t expect to be so close straight away. I’ve carried on everything Felipe has done up until this session like the brake settings, the set-up and the steering wheel switches are all his, so of course it could be more optimised. But there is more ability to progress in me, gaining the speed and confidence in the car. These cars are the most special thing you’ll ever drive. It’s a tough ask to go straight into qualifying, but that’s what it’s about and you take these opportunities. Thank you to Williams for the opportunity, thank you to Claire and Sir Frank. To get the opportunity to get in the car and do it, with the team having the faith in my ability, I will hopefully be able to repay that. The team have been great. I’ve been here a year and a half waiting for this, so it’s a good job I’ve been attending all the meetings and paying attention! Today has been very special. I felt back at home in a Formula One car, and the team prepared me as best they could. We go into tomorrow with a long and difficult day ahead, but at the same time one that I’m very much looking forward to challenge and to see how it goes.”

Marcus Ericsson (20th) – “First of all, I want to thank my car crew for changing the power unit in between FP3 and qualifying. They did a great job to send me out on time. Then, qualifying was a bit unfortunate, as I got yellow flags on my final lap in Q1. Of course, a disappointing ending of Q1 as I think there was a bit more to be had by the end.”

Missed the Qualifying session. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Here’s the full session report. 


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