2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying – (Driver and Team Interview)

2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying – Driver and Team Interviews

It was a wonderful qualifying session at the Marina Bay Circuit ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix and after practices earlier in the day – the Red Bull Racing drivers were the ones to beat.

As the track conditions started to develop, Red Bull were still at the top however Ferrari, Mercedes and even McLaren were in the mix – all battling for position.

Towards the end of the Q3 – Ferrari kicked things up a notch and pushed their car, it was close between Red Bull and Ferrari however Vettel managed to put together an incredible lap taking pole for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Here’s what the drivers and teams had to say following Qualifying.

Ferrari – 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Driver and Team Interviews

Sebastian Vettel 


Sebastian Vettel – 1st

Time – 1:39.491

“Yesterday, I wasn’t smiling – today, I am!”

“When you belong to a team, you need to believe in each other and this is the perfect proof. Our Friday was messy but the team has worked all night long and I am grateful for that.”

“Here, the guys worked all night and got to sleep around breakfast time I believe, meanwhile – back at the factory, Charles Leclerc worked at the simulated and other people then analysed the data.”

“Yesterday, it seemed that we were not competitive enough and a lot of answers were missing. At the beginning of qualifying, I was just thinking about doing my job and then in Q3 – I attacked and I’m very happy that it worked.”

“For us, it’s important to turn up the day, if it’s a bad day then we want to change it and make it a good one because we always try to have good days.”

“I think yesterday it was very important for us because we learnt from it and it was a hard lesson but we have improved in understanding our car and now we have a better idea with what the car needs.”

“There are always lessons that need to be learned and I am quite happy that we had a bad day yesterday, we are happy to get pole today and because it always helps.”

“The race is tomorrow so we will see what happens.”

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen – 4th

Time – 1:40.069

“It has been difficult since yesterday and even today, it was not easy. The whole track felt very tricky to drive and it was hard to be quick and put the car where we wanted.”

“In some sectors, we were more competitive than in others and in qualifying it was a bit better compared to yesterday (practice) but I was still far from being comfortable to push.”

“To finish fourth, it is not ideal but I’ll take it considering all the struggles that we have had so far. It could have easily been worse and at least we have given ourselves a chance for tomorrow – hopefully with a little bit of luck we can gain some positions.”

“We’ll be tackling it as a new day. Lately our starts have been decent so we will try to make good progress and see where we end up.”

Red Bull – 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Driver and Team Interviews

Max Verstappen


Max Verstappen – 2nd 

Time – 1:39.814

“All weekend has been a good build up, getting faster and faster and finding a smooth rhythm so to come away with second is a really good result.”

“I took a little bit of risk to put down a good lap as we had predicted the others would improve from yesterday and this morning’s sessions.”

“Perhaps there was a bit of time in the last sector to find but in general, I am very pleased with how the car and I performed. That was the best balance in terms of my set-up I have had with the car in qualifying all year so that’s a really big positive.”

“My quickest time was more or less the maximum I could do, Sebastian just had an even better lap.”

“The race pace is good so we have a chance tomorrow but it looks like Ferrari have found quite a lot – the start will be important and maybe if there are a couple of safety cars, that could impact the result too.”

Daniel Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo – 3rd

Time – 1:39.840

“I really thought that I could get on pole position today so I’m a little bit disappointed to be honest.”

“Seb’s last lap was really strong and we couldn’t run with that. The pace was goofed for us in Q3 and it seems like he did most of his time in the first sector. I didn’t really know what else we could do.”

“If we get the start right tomorrow, then we can definitely put some pressure on him through our strategy and I still believe that we have a good chance to win this race.”

“I do enjoy a street circuit and the challenges that come with it, brushing up against the walls – and all of that. I feel like I can do this lap after lap for two hours tomorrow and still hold my concentration.”

“I really want this one so hopefully that hunger prevails tomorrow.”

Christian Horner – Team Principal Red Bull Racing

“A very strong qualifying performance from both of our drivers. Max and Daniel have been showing great speed around the streets of Singapore all weekend and indeed – we’ve topped every session apart from the final one that counts in Q3.”

“That’s where Sebastian put in a great lap. Starting second and third on the grid gives us strategic options for tomorrow in what will be one of the hardest grand prix of the year.”

“It’s great to have both cars right up there and we are looking forward to a hot and humid race tomorrow night.”

Mercedes – 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Driver and Team Interviews

Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton – 5th 

Time – 1:40.126

“Every year has been reactively difficult for us in Singapore so we knew that we would come here and it would be tricky.”

“I thought Red Bull would be as quick as they were but I didn’t anticipate for Ferrari to be that strong. I gave it everything today but I could not get any more out of the car, I squeezed until it was dry.”

“There are no points for today so we will focus on doing the best job we can tomorrow and remain hopeful.”

“This is a horrible track for overtaking, it will be a long race and I will have to try and see if I can get a good start to pick off at least one car.”

“Sebastian has Verstappen next to him – so, anything can happen at the start!”

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas – 6th 

Time – 1:40.810

“So far, it’s been a difficult weekend for us. We’re clearly the third quickest around here and that’s just not enough.”

“We’ve been chasing the setup of the car and making big changes yesterday and today but we still haven’t found the optimal setup.”

“You can see it is in the lap times that I can’t really drive the car with the setup that we have got. We were surprised by how big the gaps to Red Bull and Ferrari are – two weeks ago, we had a great weekend in Monza and now we are really struggling.”

“The result today highlights that we have issues producing enough downforce and mechanical grip on a track like this – it’s an area we clearly need to work on.”

“We know our pace alone isn’t enough to score a podium so we need a clean race, a good strategy and also a bit of luck as well.”

Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport


Toto Wolff – “Days like this are tough ones. We know that our car is not at it’s best on these tight circuits and Lewis extracted the maximum from the package we had.”

‘It looked close at a certain stage of the session and we kept hoping for a little bit more but it’s never nice to see a gap like that – in black and white on the timing sheets.”

“The end result, with three cars between Sebastian and Lewis obviously makes the situation even more difficult.”

“Likewise, for Valtteri this has been difficult – he has been some way off Lewis this weekend and has not felt confident with the car and we need to dig down why that is.”

“The challenge now is simple, we need to extract the maximum possible from tomorrow’s race, grabbing every opportunity that comes our way – it will be a long, tough race for everybody.”





McLaren – 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Driver and Team Interviews

Fernando Alonso


Fernando Alonso – 8th

Time – 1:41.179

“The first target of having both cars in Q3 has been achieved so 50% of the job is done.”

“Now, our second target is to get both cars in the points tomorrow – which I think is possible from these starting positions.”

“Race pace here is always a bit of a question mark, it’s difficult to read and yesterday’s long runs were not enough plus the added difficult of overtaking on this track. Positions will be more or less set after the first lap.”

“This means that we need to concentrate on making a good start and having a clean first corner – after that, I’ll keep focused to not make any mistakes.”

“It’s very demanding but hopefully we can bring home some points.”

“The first 6 cars are too far away in terms of race pace and so our aim will be to defend our positions and possibly climb up to seventh.”

“I hope we can complete the job tomorrow.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

Stoffel Vandoorne – 9th 

Time – 1:41.398

“We came into this weekend more or less expecting to get both cars into Q3 and we have achieved that today.”

“We were always on the pace throughout Q1 and Q2 but perhaps we lacked that little bit extra in Q3 compared to our rivals but nonetheless, it’s been a smooth and solid effort from the whole team.”

“While today is a good starting point, tomorrow is where it really matters and I might be hoping for quite a few safety cars in the race but I still think that we can conclude the weekend on a high.”

Eric Boullier – McLaren Honda Racing Director

“This is a track that we knew would play to the strengths of our package so it was pleasing to see our drivers pushing the limits right up at the sharp end of the field.”

“Getting two cars into the top 10 today sets us up well for what is always a difficult, demanding and unpredictable race.”

“We hope to come away from it tomorrow with more valuable world championship points.”

“Fernando and Stoffel have both driven outstandingly well all weekend and it was a joy to watch them attacking this extremely difficult and uncompromising street circuit. Likewise – the whole team has performed at an extremely high level through this busy Singapore GP week – whether it’s been sweltering in the pit garage, the hospitality suite or back at the factory.”

“When these things all come together, it’s worth emphasising that, as a race team, we operate as a singular unit and it’s days like today that remind us of what we can achieve together when we have the merest sniff of a competitive package.”

Sauber – 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Driver and Team Interviews

Marcus Ericsson 

Marcus Ericsson – 20th

Time – 1:45.570

“It was a difficult qualifying for me. I had to abort my first stint and return to the garage early-on to pick up a fresh set of tyres.”

“That made for a tricky start to Q1 and in the end I only managed to complete one decent flying lap, it was a disappointing  qualifying.”

“Lets see what is possible in tomorrow’s race.”

Pascal Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein – 19th

Time – 1:45.059

“I did the best job I could during today’s qualifying. My lap time was quite alright considering that I lost some time by slightly touching the wall.”

“As a team, we are all working hard to make progress.”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂


Photos – Kym Illman F1








1 Comment

  1. 17th September 2017 / 10:06 pm

    what a qualifying that was

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