The grid for tomorrow’s seventh running of the Turkish Grand Prix will see one Ferrari on the third row and the other on the fifth. Fernando Alonso set the fifth fastest time in Q3 while Felipe Massa is credited with tenth, having aborted his only run in the final session in order to find himself with a bit more grip from saving a set of tyres for the start, after it was clear he was not about to set a particularly quick time.
“It seems that Fernando has bought himself a subscription to fifth place on the starting grid, given that once again this season that’s where he starts from. The Spaniard drove a very positive qualifying and put up a spirited fight against very strong opponents. Felipe managed to get through to the final part of the session, but he did not look like setting a competitive time so he chose to pit immediately so as to spare the tyres for the start. Clearly this is not the sort of result we were looking for, but it is equally evident that all the work undertaken in these last few weeks is beginning to deliver some signs of progress.
It’s not yet enough, we are well aware of that, but we are moving in the right direction. Now we must concentrate on tomorrow’s race, which will be very long and tough, both for the cars and for the tyres. The number one priority, as always in fact, will be reliability. As for the strategy, we have seen in this early part of the season that there is a great degree of unpredictability about it, so we will have to keep our eyes wide open and a cool head, ready to pounce on any and every opportunity.”
“Fifth place is not the sort of result one can be pleased about, but today I am happy because I felt the car was more competitive than it has been in the first three qualifying sessions of the season. Getting into Q2 without using the soft tyres is significant. We have made a small step forward in terms of performance: it’s not yet enough and we quickly need to make a bigger one, but it’s definitely a confidence boost for the whole team, who are working in the right direction. I would say that this the first sign of light at the end of the tunnel in this early part of the season.
Fifth place also means I avoid the dirty side of the track, which is usually a big handicap here. It’s hard to say what will be the best strategy for tomorrow, because we don’t know how the tyres will behave: we will have to be ready for any eventuality and be very flexible. Finally, I want to take the opportunity to express my great sadness at the death of a great personality in Spanish sport, Severiano Ballesteros, who put Spain on the golfing map: I offer all my sympathies to those close to him at this painful time.”
“It was not a good qualifying for me: I did not manage to get a clean lap in Q3 after I made a significant mistake at Turn 9, when I ended up going off line: we therefore decided it was better to pit and save that set of tyres for the start. In Q1, with the hards, I did not get a great lap and so as not to take any risks, we decided to also use the softs, so I only had one new set available for the final part of qualifying. Now we will see what we can do in the race tomorrow: usually our pace is better than in qualifying, but it will not be easy to do well, given that I’m starting from tenth.
We will see what the tyre degradation will be like, maybe it will be a bit higher than what we saw in China. A shame, as I could have been on the third row, along with my team-mate. This morning, in FP3, the engineers saw an engine parameter that they were not sure about and so it was decided to change it at the end of the session. So I went back to the engine I had already used in Malaysia and China, which according to the schedule is still meant to do three races.”
Pat Fry: ""Tomorrow, we will see a lot of stops to change tyres during the race|Pat Fry|right"
“First and foremost,, I want to congratulate the whole team who have worked so well between the end of this morning’s free practice and the start of qualifying: in less than two hours, they changed the engine on one car and fixed a problem on the other one which also involved splitting the rear end of the car from the chassis. It’s hard to regard the outcome of qualifying as positive however when we are eight tenths off pole position, but at least we can say we have made progress since the last race.
We must push to the maximum on the car development front, because we are in a hurry to make up the performance deficit so that we can fight for the top places in qualifying. Tomorrow, we will see a lot of stops to change tyres during the race: just how many will depend on what’s referred to as the drop-off in tyre behaviour. The pit stop boys will definitely have their work cut out!”
|Q1||Felipe Massa||1rd||1.27.013||8||Fernando Alonso||5th||1.27.349||8|
|Q2||Fernando Alonso||6th||1.26.152||3||Felipe Massa||7th||1.26.395||6|
|Q3||Fernando Alonso||5th||1.25.851||5||Felipe Massa||10th||-||2|
Weather: air 31/30 °C, track 44/41 °C; cloudy. Chassis: Alonso 288, Massa 289.