Vettel On Pole – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 German Grand Prix
Location: Hockenheim, Germany
This morning we had heavy rain at the Hockenheimring during Practice 3 and despite having threats of rain and storms, the weather conditions improved for Qualifying – remaining dry for the hour.
A disappointing afternoon for Lewis Hamilton who had a failure (a hydraulic failure) at Turn 1 during Q1 meaning he didn’t get through to Q3 – leaving fans shocked and knowing that tomorrow will be a long day for the Mercedes driver who recently announced his newly-signed contract – extending his time with the team for another 2 years, with his contract ending in 2020.
For his team-mate however, it was a different story who qualified in P2 for the 2018 German Grand Prix and who also signed a deal with Mercedes recently too (renewing his contract until 2019 with the option for another further year until 2020) and will be starting the race with Kimi Raikkonen behind in P3.
Below, you can see a roundup of team and driver interviews following Qualifying today.
MERCEDES – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 German Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas – P2
Valtteri Bottas: “It felt like a good lap, especially in the last sector but I don’t think pole was up for grabs for us today, Ferrari was just a bit quicker.”
“It’s going to be very close between us and them tomorrow, the race start and the strategy will decide the outcome. We’ve been working on our starts and made good progress but the Ferrari’s have been producing really good starts this season so we’ll find out if we have closed the gap to them or not.”
“It was a shame that Lewis missed the most of Qualifying – he will try and get as far as possible on getting the position back – the race start could be the best option.”
“From my side, I will focus on getting that position back too, for us at Mercedes, Hockenheim is a home race so I will give it my best tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton – No Time
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a tough day, these things happen in sport. This is a part of racing – we had a hydraulic issue failure at Turn 1, then we lost power at the steering and I went wide. When you’re fighting for a championship, that’s as close as this – you can’t afford days like this.”
“You put in so much preparation in and everyone works so hards and then to go out early in Qualifying is a bit of a shock – your heart sinks and sometimes you just can’t believe that things unfold the way that they do but all you can do is suck it up.”
“In that moment I was just thinking, push the car back to the garage, maybe we can fix it – it’s that I will not give up. All I can do is put that aside, the negative energy and see tomorrow as another opportunity to rise. Hockenheim is trickier for overtaking compared to Silverstone but I’ll do everything I can.”
RED BULL RACING – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 German Grand Prix
Max Verstappen – P4
Max Verstappen: “Fourth was the maximum we could so. You have to be realistic going into Qualifying and if you don’t have horsepower you can’t expect to be at the front. I was very happy with my lap, I feel like we extracted the most out of the car so a satisfying day from my point of view.”
“The plan was to start on the Softs but the red flag in Q2 changed that – looking back, I think we would have been OK but we wanted to make sure that we progress to Q3 so we will now start on the Ultrasofts.”
“Our pace should be better tomorrow than Qualifying so with a good start, I’ll see how I can progress – I think I’m starting on the inside which isn’t ideal but being on the second row helps.”
Daniel Ricciardo – P15* (Will start at back of grid due to replacements to power unit elements)
Daniel Ricciardo: “We’re starting last tomorrow so no matter what, by not taking part in Q2 means that we have a choice of which tyre to start the race with. If we had done Q2 then whichever tyre we went on would not have been the one we started the race with – this decision has given us a bit more freedom and we can decide what looks best for tomorrow.”
“It’s one of those races like Silverstone which is between a one or two stop depending on how fast I can come through the pack, this will determine if it’s a one stop – obviously, I’d rather start the race at the front but there will be some excitement for sure.”
“It’ll probably be doubly entertaining with Lewis now also starting towards the back so to both of us coming through the field should make it quite a good race – Lewis isn’t probably as happy as me right not as I knew this penalty was coming and had a chance of pole but tomorrow we’re going to have a good time.”
FERRARI – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 German Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel – P1
Sebastian Vettel: It’s amazing to see so many red flags here, Ferrari flags – just so much support all around the track. Yeah, I felt that inQ1 the car could do it and it just kept getting better and better. I knew that for the fast lap I had a little bit in me and was able to squeeze everything out – still full of adrenaline but very happy.”
“It wasn’t the easiest of days, this morning we woke up and we saw the clouds and quite a lot of rain but I was surprised at how quickly the track was drying and in qualifying the cars were really a pleasure to drive. Some days, you feel already good when you go out and do your first flying lap – sometimes, I get laps together, sometimes I don’t but I keep trying different things and yeah, I’m really happy.”
“For me, this is great – to do it here, just minutes away from where I come from, where I was born, where I grew up – think it means a lot so thank yo to everyone for all the support this weekend – thank you to all the fans, the red hats, the German flags waving all around the track, no matter who – really cool and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Kimi Raikkonen – P3
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today, I think in the end it’s not too bad but there was one moment in Turn 12 in the first try and then obviously after that I knew there was quite a bit of lap time but tend to be a bit safer and not to have mistakes and lose positions more.”
“I was a bit compromised because of that. The car was working well today but for sure, there was more lap time but this is what we managed to get today. Tomorrow is another day, it’s race day and we will push and see what we can do.
MCLAREN – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 German Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso – P11
Fernando Alonso: “I’m happy with P11, this is a small pole position for us for the midfield group. Tomorrow we will try and see the tyres and wish they’ll be new – it’s a great opportunity to score points as we’re starting close to the points zone.”
“It’ll be a close fight but normally on Sunday, we pick up a little bit of pace so we can try and do our best and ave a good race. We also ave the benefit of Lewis and Daniel not running, this is clear but we still completed a good qualifying.”
“The car is getting better and better, the new parts are definitely improving the performance of our car and we are making small steps along the way and hopefully we will be able to bring bigger and better upgrades to the next race.”
Stoffel Vandoorne – P20
Stoffel Vandoorne: “The situation today was the same at Silverstone – since we hit the ground there, we were the last car by some margin and it’s turned out the same today – all weekend so far.”
“It’s frustrating as we have managed to change a lot of parts on the car to try and fix the problem but we haven’t managed to find a solution yet.”
“I definitely haven’t forgotten how to drive, between me and Fernando – out cars are in a similar spec but we can see some issues on the date on my side – the team has already put a lot of effort into looking at various options and we are moving at a certain pace to see what else we can do – the priority is to find a solution for the problem that we have.”
Lots more coming tomorrow!