QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

2018-spanish-grand-prix-qualifying

QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Location: Spain, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Race Weekend: 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

It was the first front-row lockout of 2018 for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team with Lewis Hamilton claiming pole for the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix. His team-mate Valtteri Bottas also looked strong in P2 followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in P3 following a not-so strong Qualifying session with small mistakes from both drivers here and there.

Below, you can see what drivers (and team-members) had to say following the Qualifying session and don’t forget, you can also read the Post-Qualifying Press Conference  featuring the Top 3 drivers – Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel.

MERCEDES – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton – P1

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Lewis Hamilton: “The team has been working so hard in the last few weeks to improve our performance so I must say a big thank you to everybody back here and back at the factory. They have kept their heads down and been really open-minded to find new ways to try and improve.”

“It’s been great to be a part of this and this is what it takes to be a winning team. It was a very close qualifying session today and it took everything we’ve got to take pole.”

“Ferrari were sandbagging until this afternoon and Valtteri has been driving exceptionally well – it’s fantastic for the team to get the front row ad I know that everyone will be very happy. Qualifying has always been a strength for me but I’ve had some tricky sessions since Melbourne so I’m pleased to be back with a good position.”

“It has been a constant learning process with the tyres, getting them working in a very narrow window – today, we had them working and even though there’s still lots of work to do, this is a good way to start the weekend.”

Valtteri Bottas – P2

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Valtteri Bottas: “Qualifying was good for me but not quite perfect – it ended up very close on the final times. For us, as a team this is the perfect result with two cars on the front row.”

“I had a mistake on the first run in Q3, which meant that I only had one proper shot at it – that was a good run and of course, if you do the laps again then you ca always find something more.”

“It was good to work the SuperSoft tyre a bit better today and it felt like a better tyre for us so we have made some good progress in that area. I am feeling really good in the car at the moment and looking forward to tomorrow.”

“I think we should be strong on the race pace – I have some catching up to do in terms of the points so I’ll be aiming to do as well as I can.”

Toto Wolff

“That was a fantastic qualifying session from both drivers and from the team as a whole – a well-deserved front row. The aerodynamic upgrades which we brought to this race are working really well and the competition between Lewis and Valtteri is incredibly close. We can feel that driving us forward through each race weekend.”

“Although the gaps in practice looked to be in our favour, we knew that things would close up in qualifying and that proved to be the case – the guys stayed calm, made the right calls and delivered when it mattered.”

“Now, we need to turn our attention to the race and the challenges it brings us – on the long runs yesterday, Ferrari were very competitive and Red Bull were particularly strong so we know that it will be a hard-fought Grand Prix.”

“First, we need to win the start and maintain our positions – then we maximise our opportunities tomorrow as they come.”

MCLAREN – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso – P8

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Fernando Alonso: “Making it into Q3 for the first time this season feels fantastic, and if you combine that with the fact we are at our home grand prix, it’s a double benefit. I’m happy – we were P13 in the last few qualifying sessions, so P8 today is definitely a step forward.”

“The top guys are still too high up so we need to close that gap, but I’m pleased that all the updates we brought here seem to be delivering as we expected. We just need new parts as soon as possible and to keep going in this direction.”

“Every Spanish Grand Prix is special, and there are always a lot of emotions when you go out there and feel all the support. The fans are not giving you extra performance because they can’t push the car but they can motivate a little bit more so we seem to always perform a little bit better here.”

“Hopefully tomorrow we’ll put on a good show for all the fans. Maybe there’ll be some rain around – that could be very interesting!”

“Over the winter we’ve learned that a wet track is very slippery here, so we could have a chaotic race and maybe out of any chaos we can benefit.”

Stoffel Vandoorne – P11

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Stoffel Vandoorne: “We’ve had the best qualifying session so far this season here, and it was a very close one, again. The tyre selection was not an easy one to decide. The feeling was positive in the car, and we ended up very close to Q3 – Fernando just made it – which shows the parts we’ve brought here are working well.”

“It’s a step in the right direction and we need to keep improving like this in the next races. I think points are possible tomorrow.”

“So far, we’ve done pretty well on a Sunday, as we have a good understanding of the strategy and how to use the tyres. We’ve had good race pace and we need to fight to get ourselves in a good position in order to benefit from other people’s mistakes.”

“The conditions out there have been tricky all weekend with a lot of cars going off, so tomorrow we need to be sharp. We must make sure we don’t make any mistakes and then I think we can be in a position to benefit and get some points.”

RED BULL RACING – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo – P6

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Daniel Ricciardo: “I really think we got the most out of the car this afternoon. I tried both the soft and supersoft tyre in Q3 but we have been more comfortable on the soft all weekend.”

“At the start of Q3 I did a pretty good time on the supersoft, but for me I didn’t think we could go quicker on that tyre, so I wanted to try the soft again. I went a bit quicker on the soft but not enough to make up any positions.”

“It was strange, I think the colours are different, but the tyres are pretty much the same – I’m glad I tried both compounds, because if I did both runs on the super I probably would have wondered what the soft could have done, so I think we did everything we could.”

“With the laps we put in I thought we would be more like a couple of tenths from pole, not six or seven, as our car didn’t feel too bad which is a little frustrating.”

“We are always a bit more comfortable on the long runs, so I would hope that our race pace tomorrow is better and we can challenge the four cars in front.”

Max Verstappen – P5

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Max Verstappen: “We all know in Qualifying the others turn up their engines so we just have to try and keep as close as we can. You have to consider that from turn one to turn four is flat out now, also turn seven to turn ten. It is like having two more straights out there so relies even more on the engine power.”

“We still have a good chance in the race as long runs look good, it is just a shame to be this far off on Saturdays. The updates have made a difference which is a positive and shows we are heading in the right direction. I had a moment in turn one on my last run which meant I couldn’t finish it, I lost the rear and therefore ruined the lap.”

“I think that lap could have been our best time but we still wouldn’t have made the top three, perhaps fourth was achievable but fifth is not too bad.”

“The conditions were very tricky out there, the track was unpredictable and it was unclear which tyre to go with. The supersoft and the soft are really close to each other in terms of performance so it’s hard to choose a direction in Qualifying.”

“Soft looks like the quicker tyre ahead of tomorrow over distance. This isn’t usually a strong track for overtaking so maybe it will come down to the pit stops, or a bit of rain could mix it up – we will try our best!”

FERRARI – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel – P3

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Sebastian Vettel: “Overall, I think it was a smooth session – the car was fine and we didn’t have much to do. We were quite ok this morning, trying to find the right direction.”

“It was straightforward in qualifying and then in Q3 during my first run I locked up a little bit in Turn 1, so my first sector was already slow. I tried to recover and fight for pole, but it was not enough.”

“I didn’t have a great feeling on the tyres, which have been different the whole weekend. Even if they look the same, they are harder however, it’s the same for everyone.”

“Obviously, I am not entirely happy, but we expected Mercedes to be very strong here. P3 is not a bad place to start from – tomorrow we’ll focus on the start first, and then we’ll see. It will be a long race and the tyres will be challenging too.”

“Even if the start doesn’t go in our favor, I think we always have a strong car to keep fighting, I think tomorrow it will be an interesting race and we’ll be close – the same as happened in the last couple of races.”

“I’m looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix and hope the people will enjoy it.”

Kimi Raikkonen – P4

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Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a tricky qualifying, not the ideal one – in Q3, on my first attempt with the Supersofts, I made a mistake in turn 1 and went wide, obviously this affected my lap.”

“At that point, I was in a position where I had nothing to lose, so we decided to try something else. The Soft tyres felt pretty good in Q2 so we decided to use them in my last run.”

“In the end we managed to do a decent job, but obviously we are not satisfied with the result. It’s difficult to predict what will happen in the race and it’s a bit of an unknown for me, considering I couldn’t do the long runs yesterday.”

“We’ll try to make a good start and see how the race pans out”

Photos From Qualifying – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

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