Tenth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the third with Rubens Barrichello. It is the Scuderia's 176th in total. Rubens starts from the number one slot for the twelfth time of his career. Jean Todt: "Qualifying produced...
Tenth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the third with Rubens Barrichello. It is the Scuderia's 176th in total. Rubens starts from the number one slot for the twelfth time of his career.
"Qualifying produced very different fortunes for out two drivers. At one end, we have Rubens in pole position thanks to a very nice performance and at the other, Michael is forced to start from the back row after spinning off the track. At the moment we have not found out what happened at the first corner on his qualifying lap. Obviously, we would have preferred to have an all-red front row for this inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, but getting pole is still a good result."
"Tomorrow, we can expect a difficult race given that we have one driver at the back of the grid, which will present us with a bigger challenge than usual. Our car, engine, Bridgestone tyre package is very competitive and we will do our utmost to put on a good show for the Chinese enthusiasts and also as a thank you to the organisers of this Grand Prix for doing such a fantastic job."
"I thought pole was possible, but I did not know what Michael would do and expected it to be close. Then he spun and I was really shocked, because he does not do that very often. This is a phenomenal circuit with different lines through the corners which means it is easy to make mistakes. As for my lap, the balance of my car was good and worked well on new tyres. I was especially strong in the second section, as I have been all weekend and the first section was also good."
"As for the race, it will be a new experience for everyone. The track is getting more rubber down all the time and I think we will see an interesting race with some overtaking. We have a very powerful tyre that gives us a little bit of understeer and, when the track was green, also some graining on the fronts. But the graining time is getting shorter all the time so it will not be a problem tomorrow."
"I am not really sure what happened when I spun. We usually have to fight some understeer in that corner and we had not changed much on the car since the morning session. At the moment, the data does not provide an answer, so we will look into it. I don't know if it was my fault or not, but if we don't find something on the car then maybe it is down to what is between the fuel tank and the steering wheel!"
"It is hard to say what I can do tomorrow, from this position. One thing is certain, it will be a big challenge. I had to come through the field in Monza and honestly, I was hoping it was the last time this season that I would have to do that. Now, I will just have to try again. I am not angry, just disappointed.'
"It was a fantastic performance by Rubens, who did a great job. He worked hard on the car all weekend and I think we have a good set-up for the race. I think his strategy will also prove very strong. We are not yet sure what happened with Michael, who we think was also a strong contender for pole position. Now, as far as his race is concerned, we must regroup and recover and we have an interesting challenge ahead. But as we showed in Monza, we never give up. It should be a fun race tomorrow."
1st, 1:34.012, 3 laps
19th, 2 laps