QUALIFYING: TEAM TALK – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

chinese-grand-prix-qualifying

QUALIFYING: TEAM TALK – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

Race Weekend: Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix 2019

Location: China

Session: Qualifying

Already, the 2019 Formula 1 season looks set to be a good one – especially after the Bahrain Grand Prix which saw plenty of battles, racing and surprising events too!

I think this weekend, we’re all wondering what Ferrari will be able to do in terms of their race and strategy. This weekend, Sebastian Vettel seems to have the slight upper hand in terms of Qualifying but Charles Leclerc is more determined following his race in Bahrain.

Will Ferrari allow their drivers to race each other? According to some reports, priority has been given to Vettel for the race weekend in terms of the Championship but we’ll have to wait and see until tomorrow!

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what drivers and team members had to say following Qualifying today in China – we’re set for a good race tomorrow…. 🙂

MERECEDES – Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

valtteri-bottas-qualifying

Valtteri Bottas: “It feels so good to be on pole. I think it’s going to be a very close race tomorrow so it’s a good thing to start from the front. It’s been a strong weekend for us so far and it was nice to continue that way in the first session that counted.”

“In the end, when you go into Qualifying, it doesn’t matter if you had a good weekend up until that point – the only thing which counts is if you can deliver a good lap. I’m happy that I was able to do that today and even though I think we are still a bit behind on the straights compared to Ferrari – we are stronger in the corners and ultimately gained more than we lost to them on the straights…”

“It will be a tight race tomorrow but we will need a strong race pace and the right strategy to win – I’ll also need a good start in order to keep ahead and in the lead as I’m sure both Lewis and the Ferrari’s will be pushing. We’ve been strong all weekend long so we need to continue to perform at this level to get the job done tomorrow.”

lewis-hamilton-new-photo

Lewis Hamilton: “Fantastic job for the team. I’m really happy for us to lock out the front row – Valtteri did a great job and he was a bit quicker but I was happy to get a decent couple of laps. I didn’t know where we would be but in the end, we’ve shown a strong performance.”

“I’ve struggled a lot this weekend up until Qualifying and I was battling with the balance so I’m really happy with the direction it went for Qualifying – it was a bit late but better late than never!”

“I’ll try and pull a good start out tomorrow – tyre management and strategy will also be important. This is not a bad track to overtake so it should be an interesting race and I’m sure that there will be a few opportunities tomorrow so I will try and put myself in the best position to be able to fight.”

Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“It’s great to see both our cars on the front row for the 1000th Grand Prix. The Ferrari’s squeezed it all out and were very fast again on the straights but we were quicker in the corners and that was ultimately how we stayed ahead today. Our car looks really good in terms of downforce level.”

“We need to improve our straight-line speed but it’s always a combination of power and drag so we need to leave no stone unturned on the chassis and the power unit to recover a little bit.”

“Valtteri was strong all weekend long and put in some good laps in Qualifying. Lewis was struggling with the grip before the session and was a few tenths behind this morning but he did a very good job recovering in the session that mattered. We’re seeing massive swings from the weekend to weekend – even within one team and it makes this season really interesting.”

“For Lewis, it was the other way around – he had some issues in Australia but was really strong in Bahrain. If you look at Leclerc and Vettel, it’s very similar. This makes racing unpredictable and I’m sure that we will see an exciting race tomorrow as well – our long run looked decent yesterday but we expect a close battle between Ferrari, Red Bull and ourselves so we need to keep pushing.”

FERRARI – Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

sebastian-vettel-chinese-grand-prix-2019

Sebastian Vettel: “We could have done a little bit better today but probably not enough to really beat our rivals for pole. It could have been worse but I’m not entirely happy. We started off really well but then our competitors had more pace over the single lap in terms of pure performance.”

“We should have a good car tomorrow thought and hopefully we can show it throughout the whole 56 laps. It’s a long race and I expect it to be a very tight one too – making the right strategy choices will be important, we must make the right call at the right time and see where that takes us.”

“I am not sure that everyone understand how many variable have to be taken into account – the top drivers are all starting on Medium tyres and we will see if that turns out to be the right choice. I believe anything can happen.”

charles-leclerc

Charles Leclerc: “I am annoyed with myself today. I made a mistake on the last lap and I really shouldn’t have done that – overall, I think there are some positives because in all three practice sessions, I was struggling a lot with the setup, the confidence in the car and also the driving…”

“Before Qualifying, we introduced some changes which meant that I could drive better and set the lap times which we were expecting. It was good but it was also disappointing not to extract all the potential from the car today. We knew that our rivals would be competitive as they have been since the first session.”

“The first race tomorrow is going to be a bit more complicated than expected as I haven’t done any long runs yesterday neither this morning because of the red flag so, I will be a bit in the dark. It will be tough but I’ll push as much as possible and we can expect that our components will be very strong.”

Mattia Binotto -Team Principal

“Qualifying wasn’t perfect for us today and in a championship as closely contested as this, that can make the difference. However, I have to say that at his high level of performance, one should not be surprised to find that one can be in front in one race and then behind in the next one.”

“But we have learned to our cost in Bahrain that races are not won on Saturday and I think tomorrow’s Grand Prix will be very closely contested and we expect to be in the fight right to the very end.”

RED BULL RACING – Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

max-verstappen

Max Verstappen: “On the final run in Q3 I followed the Ferrari in front of me as we were all in a queue. I was actually trying to be nice and not overtake, as that’s not what you do in qualifying when you’re all trying to prepare for the last run. This time it caught me out when I was overtaken at the end of the lap.”

“I am of course not happy with that, or to be fifth, but we didn’t get the opportunity to do a final lap. I’m sure this will swing around and happen to other people at another time but it’s annoying as we were fighting for third.”

“Of course, when you can’t do the last lap in Q3 you know the guys who are doing the lap have a chance of overtaking you and that’s what happened. It is how it is, and it will make tomorrow more interesting.”

“We have good race pace, I’m not sure if we have the pace for a victory, but for sure we will fight for a podium.”

pierre-gasly

Pierre Gasly: “Driving F1 cars is probably the best job in the world, so I cannot really complain about anything (laughs). I think today was pretty good, it was still difficult to drive the car and I’m still not 100 percent happy with my driving, but P6 was probably the best we could expect today.”

“I have some areas to improve but I had a better feeling with the car than last weekend. We now know what we need to improve on and I know what I can do on my side. I had a different strategy than the top five with the soft tyres today, so let’s see how that works tomorrow.”

“For sure we know the degradation on the softs can be a bit tricky, but anything can happen at this track. We saw it last year with Daniel and again in qualifying today when it was hectic on the last run.”

“Max was fast all weekend so now we both need to focus on the race. We will push flat out and I really hope we can get some good points. I think we’re in a good place to start the race and I’m excited for tomorrow.”

MCLAREN – Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Chinese Grand Prix

carlos-sainz-bahrain-grand-prix

Carlos Sainz: “Quite disappointed today with P14, but already in FP3 we saw that it was going to be very difficult to get into Q3.”

“We knew coming into Shanghai that it was going to be a tough circuit for us and it was going to expose more our limitations. However, I think we managed to put together a decent qualifying.”

“Maybe I missed a tenth or tenth and a half on my last run, but overall I think I extracted pretty much all our potential from the car. We’ll analyse and work on our weaknesses and we’ll prepare ourselves for the race as best as possible.”

lando-norris

Lando Norris: “Today was obviously not as good as the past two weekends but, on the whole, I don’t think it was horrendous. There’s still some work to do with the car.”

“Overall, there wasn’t a lot more to gain today: Carlos was quicker than me – but he wasn’t ahead of anyone else. I think he did a really good job of getting the most out of the car.”

“This track just doesn’t suit our car, compared to the previous two. It’s just an area we have to work on.”

There’s more on the way so make sure you keep checking back for all the latest!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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