Post-Qualifying Press Conference – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Race Weekend: 2018 Spanish Grand Prix
Following the Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying session, we heard from the Top 3 drivers, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Sebastian Vettel in the post-qualifying press conference.
TRACK INTERVIEWS – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying
Q: Lewis Hamilton, what a wonderful lap. How was your drive? Look at the atmosphere. Something incredible today.
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s always a great atmosphere here in Barcelona; we always get a great crowd. There are a lot of British fans here, a lot of Spanish fans here, even, supporting a Brit, so I appreciate everyone.”
“Yeah, very close in qualifying, but very happy. I needed this pole – I’ve not had a pole for a while.”
Q: And your middle sector? Record in there, record for the circuit?
Lewis Hamilton: “I was trying to go for every sector’s record but anyway; I’ll take the middle one!” (Laughs)
Q: Valtteri, first row for you, congratulations. How was it in there? It was tough this qualifying? For almost nothing you were on pole.
Valtteri Bottas: “Yeah, it was so close today, like it’s been all weekend. It was good fun. I ruined my first run in Quali 3, so I had really one chance in the last run. I got a decent lap.”
“It’s a shame it’s only four hundredths but the race is tomorrow and for us as a team, perfect result today.”
Q: You’re right. The race is tomorrow and maybe you can have a better chance?
Valterri Bottas: “Yeah, of course. We will race hard and we’ll try to get the one-two we deserved in Baku.”
Q: Sebastian, congratulations, how was your quali? It was tough just at the end. You had such a big improvement on the last lap but maybe you missed just something?
Sebastian Vettel: “No maybe. I was happy with the lap. The first run in Q3 was not so good. I locked a little bit into the first corner. The last lap I was happy. It was feeling good until the end.”
“Then I looked. You know you have the tower there, and I looked up and I saw my name didn’t go to the top, so not entirely happy, but we expected Mercedes to be very strong, so I think tomorrow should be an interesting race.”
POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying
Q: Lewis, those were scintillating laps from you at the end of Q3 there. Talk us through it. You seem happier with the car here and of recent?
Lewis Hamilton: “Yeah, definitely. The team have been working so hard, so a huge thank you to everyone back at the factory and here for continuing to try to understand and to be open-minded.”
“It’s easy for us adults to get stuck in our ways and they have definitely let loose and (stayed) open-minded to think of new ways to try to improve which is great. That’s what it takes to be a winning team. It was a very close qualifying and you could see all weekend that it was close.”
“The Ferrari’s were clearly sandbagging just because they could. They’ve always had a quick car. But it took everything from us to get a result and to get a 1-2 in qualifying is fantastic for the team.”
“I know everyone will be very, very happy. It was very, very close. Valtteri’s been driving exceptionally well. I was just saying they should call him the ‘Flying Finn‘ – he’s definitely taken that role I think.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow; it’s going to be a tough race, but it’s definitively a good way to start the weekend.”
Q: Well done, Lewis, good luck tomorrow Valtteri, coming to you, so close, as Lewis said, in the end there but how much did that mistake on your first run in Q3 cost you, do you think?
Valtteri Bottas: “It’s difficult to say. I think the last run in Q3 was fine. There were no mistakes or such, but of course if you can always do the lap together you will find a few hundredths.”
“Extremely close all weekend. Lewis had a good qualifying and for us, like he said it’s the perfect result for tomorrow so hopefully we can continue like this tomorrow.”
Q: Well done. Sebastian, three consecutive pole positions coming into this race, but not this weekend. Just talk us through your session. Interesting to see you on the soft tyre
Sebastian Vettel: “Yeah, overall I think it was a smooth session. Q1 was pretty good. The car was fine. We didn’t have to do that much. Obviously we were quite OK this morning and we were trying to find the right direction. But it was straightforward in quali and in Q3 in the first run I locked up a little bit into Turn 1, so the first sector was already slow.”
“I tried to get it back and recover but to really fight for pole I knew it was not enough. I didn’t get a great feeling on that tyre, on that set. I asked to go back and I think it was the right call – we were very quick.”
“I think the tyres this weekend are different because obviously we had the change – it’s for everyone but I think they are a bit harder.”
“For me it was pretty straightforward as I said, because I was happier with the car with that tyre. If it’s within one tenth, a tenth and a half you always think that maybe, but to be honest I was very happy with the lap until the end.”
“So I think we expected Mercedes to be very strong and so they were. So hat’s off to them and tomorrow I think it will be a close race.”
“Anything can happen really, just like the last couple of races.”