Hungarian GP driver reaction - qualifying
The 22 drivers have their say on the action in Budapest
By William Esler
Last Updated: 26/07/14 6:24pm
The 22 drivers have their say on the action in Budapest where Nico Rosberg took pole and Lewis Hamilton made a firey early exit.
Sebastian Vettel: “After Q2 I thought if we got everything right then we might have been closer to the Mercedes at the end than we were. Nico’s lap was very strong and it’s difficult to match them. But let’s see tomorrow, a lot of things can change if it rains and it may do tomorrow.
“We just have to focus on ourselves and, if we get a chance, try to make a pass, but the Mercedes is quite a bit quicker than us on the straights. The nature of the circuit here suits us more than it did in Germany, but we’re still quite far off the pace of the Mercedes.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “The car feels pretty good this weekend. In Q1 and Q2 we were looking good, but when the rain came in Q3 we couldn’t get the temperature back in the tyres quick enough for one timed lap so I’m a bit disappointed not to be further up the grid.
“It would be good to be on the front row, but fourth isn’t a disaster. It’s hard to overtake around this circuit, so we need to aim to make as few stops tomorrow as possible.”
Nico Rosberg: “That was a very tough Qualifying session today - especially with the rain at the beginning of Q3. It's difficult to judge which braking point is best in changing conditions so I was a bit over the limit at times - especially into Turn One. I was lucky there, but in the end I nailed the last lap so I'm quite happy to be starting from pole.
“On the other side, it's a real shame for Lewis and the team. I know how much it hurts to have technical failure where there is nothing you can do as a driver. We need to sort out the reliability issues but I know that tonight there will be great team effort to fix his car - just like in Hockenheim where the whole garage pitched in to help rebuild it.
“It takes away a bit of the excitement when there is no gloves-off battle because that's what we are here for. But tomorrow is a long race and I'm sure that Lewis can get another good result.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I can't really believe it today, there was just nothing I could do. There was an issue with the car as I was coming out of the second to last corner and then the engine just cut out. I thought we could get it back to the garage but then I looked in my mirrors and saw the whole rear end was on fire and that was it.
“Now we need to see what damage has been done to the car tonight and see whether the gearbox or engine needs to be changed. It's getting to the point where it's beyond bad luck now - as a team, we need to do better. Tonight, I need to somehow find the way to turn this into a positive for tomorrow, then build on that going into the race.
“It will be a very difficult afternoon as it's one of the hardest circuits to overtake on. But these things are sent to try us and how I come out of it is going to be the most important thing.”
Fernando Alonso: “After a chaotic qualifying like today’s, you always think you could have done better. But if you then analyse everything that happened, finishing fifth is a good result, because we made the most of every opportunity that came our way.
“Getting to start on the clean side of the track is very important as it gives you a chance to make up places at the start and to race with the leaders. The rain expected for tomorrow definitely has an effect on strategy: so far, in the hot and dry conditions, there was talk of two or three stops, but tomorrow everything changes. Both Kimi and I need to score points for the team, because we want to get back the third place in the Constructors’ championship that we lost last weekend. Even starting far back, a good strategy could help us reach that goal.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with the outcome of qualifying, especially because this weekend I was going well and had a good feeling from the car. After the first run on the Medium tyres the team told me that my time should be good enough to get me through to the next part and so we decided to take a risk and not go out for a second run on the softer compound.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off and I couldn’t get past Q1. It’s going to be difficult, because there’s not much chance of overtaking here at the Hungaroring. We definitely made a mistake, but now I only want to look ahead. Tomorrow, even if it will be tough, we will do our best to try and move up the order.”
Romain Grosjean: “We had a good third free practice session this morning and thought that we could reach Q3 this afternoon, but it wasn’t to be. The car didn’t feel as good in qualifying as it had done earlier in the day which we have to understand. If we can get the car feeling as it did in the morning, there will be more potential from tomorrow’s race.
“We have learnt a lot this weekend even if we haven’t been able to translate that into a good qualifying position. For tomorrow we’ll do the best we can, especially as there could be rain which might assist us to get into the points.”
Pastor Maldonado: “Everything on the car was working well until the second from last corner. Obviously it’s very disappointing, especially as we thought that we could reach Q3 today. We were in a good position to attack and be in the top ten today so it’s frustrating.
“Tomorrow will be a tough challenge, but as always we will work hard to solve today’s issue and look to maximize the potential in the race. We have plenty of new tyres at our disposal and anything can happen here at the Hungaroring, we will keep pushing.”
Jenson Button: “Until qualifying, it felt like it had been raining on me all weekend! Then, this afternoon, the car felt a lot better than it had in all the other sessions. That was a major positive.
“I think it’s the ‘never give up’ attitude of the guys in the garage: we’d been playing with the set-up all weekend – it’s better now, but there’s still more work needed.
“Into Q2, we had reasonable pace and I think we did well to take seventh, just a few hundredths behind sixth. Seventh is basically where we are.
“We don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow. In the dry, our long-run pace looks okay, but all the guys ahead of me are very quick, so we’ll see what we can do.
“I’m on the clean side of the grid, so I’ll be hoping for a good start.”
Kevin Magnussen: “I just hit the wall. The track was much wetter at the first corner than it was at the last corner. As I came out of the final turn, there was full grip, so I braked for Turn One at the normal braking point, but it was much wetter.
“Physically, I’m fine but I’m sad that I didn’t get more out of it.
“I’m most disappointed for the team, I think we could’ve got another decent qualifying result. Now, we just need to get on with it – starting from the pitlane will make life more difficult, but I’m determined to have a strong race.
“I’m just very disappointed to have made that mistake.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “Considering our performance this morning in final practice, I think it’s a good effort by the whole team to make it through to Q3 this afternoon. The wind was affecting us quite badly, but fortunately the direction changed before qualifying and that seemed to help us. Then it was just a case of keeping calm, being nice and tidy with the laps and pushing the car as much as we could.
“For the race I’m feeling optimistic because our long-run performance looked reasonable yesterday and I certainly feel we can be in the battle for points. In order to make things work in our favour and beat our competitors, we need to be flexible with the strategy tomorrow as it’s usually difficult to overtake here.”
Sergio Perez: “It was a difficult session with the main issue being the hydraulic leak that affected my car in Q2. It meant that I was only able to do one run before I had to park in the garage. Without this I think we had the potential to reach Q3, especially because we made a good step with the balance this morning.
“It’s a shame not to maximise our potential here on this track because it’s so difficult to overtake. It means we will have to try and make up the ground tomorrow with the strategy. I’m still feeling positive about the race because our speed on Friday during the long runs looked quite strong.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “Overall it was a positive day for us. I think the whole team did a very good job during the weekend. We explored the set-up quite a lot on Friday and we managed to put everything together for today.
“We need to keep going in this direction, as we found some tenths and we have come closer to the teams in front of us. Adrian did a very good lap at the end. On my last flying lap I got the yellow flags, so I had to interrupt my run and came into the pits immediately. Tomorrow could be interesting due to the weather conditions. It can be a tricky race.”
Adrian Sutil: “It was an exciting qualifying. Twelfth is my best result so far this season. We were quite competitive today and so driving is much more fun. Although it was difficult to adapt my driving, as we had another set-up in the morning.
“It was not easy to put a perfect lap together. Finally, it was important to keep cool. My engineer and myself worked perfectly together. This result is very important considering our current situation. I am happy about the great team effort today. ”
Jean-Eric Vergne: "It was a good qualifying session. The team has done a great job overnight to give me a car today that I felt much better with than yesterday, so well done to everybody and thanks for the great effort. It's really encouraging for tomorrow, we just have to keep our head down and stay focussed. I will give it my hundred percent and aim to finish the race as high as possible and score some good points."
Daniil Kvyat: “It could have been an easy Q3 for me today, but unfortunately I locked the rear and I spun. I’m frustrated with myself for this mistake, but I’m confident I will learn from this. I will put this behind me now and focus on tomorrow. It’s not easy to overtake on this track, but we will do our best from P11, which is not such a bad position to start from.”
Valtteri Bottas: “We are maybe a little surprised. We knew Red Bull were going to be really quick here, also Ferrari, and Mercedes like always. The nature of the track, in theory, for us is not the best but we have worked well as a team and brought updates that have worked well. We're still missing some grip compared to some others cars but today was a good day for us. Third and sixth on the grid gives us a chance to get some good points tomorrow.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a very tough qualifying, especially with the weather. The biggest problem I had was traffic in Q3, I had to overtake maybe five cars on that lap so I couldn't put a time together. It was a shame, but we'll try to do the best we can tomorrow in the race.”
Jules Bianchi: “I’m really, really happy to be starting the race from 16th position, after making it to Q2 once more, and in the dry, without any tricky conditions. We did not have the best start to the weekend but we have made up for that today. My first run was not so good, as I made a mistake, but on the second run we had a perfect qualifying. So we are in Q2 for the second time this year and that is great for me and the Team. Tomorrow will not be an easy race but I hope it can be a good one.”
Max Chilton: “Obviously I’m pretty disappointed with today’s result. It’s been a bit of a struggle so far this weekend, but we had managed to improve the car for qualifying, so it’s a real shame that we weren’t able to see what we could do with those improvements.
“The first run was good but on the second run I had an electrical problem which meant I had no power and so I wasn’t able to do my quick lap. I think based on how the car was feeling on the first run, we could have had Kobayashi today and been much closer to Jules. It’s always a tough race here and difficult to overtake, so tomorrow won’t be easy, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “FP3 started with similar conditions to yesterday. We’d made quite a few changes overnight but the car still felt a little snappy, particularly at the rear, but throughout the session we improved the balance, both with setup and as the grip levels evolved. There was still a bit too much switching between understeer and oversteer but when we went onto the options it was better so we went into quali feeling quite positive.
“In Q1 we went for two runs on the options and my quickest lap on the first put us into 16th and with the problems for the Mercedes and the Lotus it looked like we had a chance to fight for Q2. We waited until the last possible moment to go out again at the end of the session and my first lap was good, but on the second flying lap the tyres were gone and I couldn’t get any more out of them. The car has improved quite a bit over the weekend but I still don’t think I could have got any more out of it today.”
Marcus Ericsson: “For me the car was better in FP3 than it was yesterday, altogether more stable, but the balance was still inconsistent, going from a bit of understeer to oversteer in different corners. We tried a couple of changes to try and sort that out and although we did make a small improvement it was still not where I wanted it at the end of FP3.
“Unfortunately it was the same in qualifying. I just couldn’t find the laptime as the car’s balance kept changing in nearly every corner and I couldn’t push anywhere. It’s pretty frustrating as we know there’s a lot more time in there, but with the way it was handling there wasn’t any more I could do. However, on the long runs yesterday it was much better on high fuel and, as we’ve seen today, quite a few teams are having issues here, so we need to make sure we keep up the same strong reliability tomorrow that we’ve had all weekend and be there if any opportunities come our way in the race.”