First qualifying session Jean Todt: "We expected qualifying to turn out like this, so we are not really surprised. However, the negative surprise was Rubens' engine failure, which meant we had to change it, thus losing the driver ten places on...
First qualifying session
"We expected qualifying to turn out like this, so we are not really surprised. However, the negative surprise was Rubens' engine failure, which meant we had to change it, thus losing the driver ten places on the starting grid. We know what are our strong and our weak points and it is clear that in tomorrow's qualifying, we will not be able to do much to move up the order."
"But if Michael can stay pretty much where he is at the moment, then we have a fighting chance, given that reliability and consistency of performance of the various car-engine-tyre packages will play a key role. So far this season, our performance levels in the races have come from both ends of the spectrum, so it is hard to make predictions about what might happen in the race."
"It was a reasonable performance in this qualifying session. I was looking strong in the first sector, but then lost about four tenths in the last two. If we look at my pace this morning, it is obvious we have made up some ground this afternoon, closing the gap to the others."
"Whatever happens in final qualifying, this is not the ideal position on the grid. So we will have to rely on our race performance. I am much happier with that and I think we are much more competitive in race trim. It is fair to say, we are still struggling with our single lap performance."
"Obviously, I'm a bit disappointed that we had to change the engine on my car before this qualifying session. The car seemed to be difficult to drive over the one quick lap even though the balance of the car was quite good. The situation was not helped by the fact I made my run in the early part of the session."
"I think the car is good in race trim, although of course I will be losing ten places on the grid, which will make life difficult. It is a similar situation to Imola in some ways, in that we seem to struggle in qualifying, but on old tyres in the race, I am sure we will be much stronger."
"Neither of our cars seemed to be perfectly balanced in qualifying, which I think is down to changing track conditions since this morning. Michael was very strong on the first half of his lap and then got too much understeer in the second half and it was a similar situation for Rubens."
"So, it was rather a disappointing session, but in terms of time we are not too far off the front runners and I think we will have a very good race pace. As for the problem which led us to change the engine in Rubens' car, it is not one we have seen before, so we will be investigating further to discover the cause."