Driver quotes from a wet, wet ,wet Suzuka

9 October, 2010

Formula 1 fans barved it out on a day of plenty rain but no track action at Suzuka

Formula 1 fans braved it out on a day of plenty rain but no track action at Suzuka

Oct.9 (Grand Prix 247) There was not much in the way of track action on Japanese Grand Prix qualifying day at Suzuka as rain poured down incessantly to prevent play. Drivers and crews killed time as Charlie Whiting went about reaching the decision to postpone proceedings.  In fact Thus qualifying will take place (weather permitting!) on Sunday morning Qualifying will now take place on Sunday morning, 10:00am local time, ahead of the race at 15:00pm. Meanwhile here is a compilation of driver quotes from a wet, wet, wet Suzuka.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 9 October 2010.

Jenson Button killing time with his crew

Jenson Button: “I spent the qualifying session talking to the mechanics and playing yo-yo – jumping in and out of the car, just in case the track conditions improved enough for us to run. Moving qualifying to Sunday won’t really change my preparations: it just means it will be a bit closer to the race itself, and that we’ll be at the track earlier on Sunday morning. But it won’t be a problem to focus on both quali and the race in a single day. It’s far tougher for the mechanics: they worked tirelessly overnight and they’ll have to work really hard to prep the car between quali and the race. For the drivers, it’s less of a problem – it’s actually quite fun to have something a bit different to do. The circuit is likely to be drier tomorrow. It’s not supposed to be raining, just wet from overnight showers. So I feel pretty sure we’ll be able to run, and that we’ll have qualifying. This is a big shame for the fans – they’ve not seen us drive today, which is very disappointing for them. But there’s nothing we can do in conditions like these: you’re not actually driving the car, you’re floating!”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren waves to the crowd. Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 9 October 2010.

Lewis Hamilton waves to the crowd in the grandstand overlooking the pitlane

Lewis Hamilton: “I like going out in the wet, but in order to keep the tyre temperatures up, you need to be going at a sufficient speed to be able to work the brakes properly. I was aquaplaning all the time – I couldn’t get to full throttle. I couldn’t even use half-throttle! They’re some of the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced in Formula 1 – rivers flowing from one side of the track to the other. And with so much torque, even in fourth gear, the rear would light up, so you were trying to push gently to avoid losing heat in the tyres. It was a good call by the stewards to defer qualifying today. The more driving I do, the happier I am. I’ve done hardly any driving all weekend, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow! I don’t have any expectations: bearing in mind the limited time I’ve had on the track, I want to get through qualifying safely, get a good grid position and score as many points as I can. It’s unfortunate for all the fans – but I think tomorrow will be an exceptional day.”

Kamui Kobayashi obliges an autograph hunter

Kamui Kobayashi obliges an autograph hunter

Kamui Kobayashi: ”I feel so sorry for the spectators in the grandstands. All the Formula One supporters were very much looking forward to the weekend, and now they have hardly seen a car today and got terribly wet. But safety comes first, that is clear. We cannot drive in these conditions. We have to wait for better weather.”

Nick Heidfeld: “Aquaplaning with a Formula One car is basically the same as with any other car – you become a passenger. We could go with a higher ride height in order to avoid aquaplaning, which happens because of the car’s floor, but when you have a certain amount of water on the track the tyres are floating as they can’t push the water aside. Another big safety issue is the visibility in the spray. If you have 24 cars on the track in Q1 and one spins no driver would have the chance to see it and avoid crashing into it.”

(L to R): Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver talks with Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing. Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 9 October 2010.

Timo Glock talks to Safety Car driver Bernd Maylander

Timo Glock: “Free Practice 3 was very difficult this morning because there was so much standing water and rivers of rain running across the track. Jaime Alguersuari and I were the only drivers to record timed laps, so we had a little more track time but there wasn’t much to learn in those conditions. Tomorrow could be very exciting, so we’ll do everything we can to make the most of every opportunity the situation might present.”

Lucas di Grassi: “This Saturday was very unusual and I managed only the installation lap in Free Practice 3. We should have a dry Sunday, so we’re going to continue the work from yesterday’s Free Practice 2 and I am confident that with the new upgrades and a good set-up we can achieve a good result on Sunday.”

Sakon Yamamoto (JPN) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) waits for qualifying to commence. Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday 9 October 2010.

Sakon Yamamoto waiting in vain for the rain to stop

Sakon Yamamoto: “I want to thank the spectators who were patient and stayed until the final decision had been made. They were waiting in the rain for the cars to drive, which was not possible unfortunately. We are looking forward to tomorrow and it is going to be exciting with qualifying and race within only some hours.”

Bruno Senna: “As expected, it was raining a lot and the rain even got heavier during the day. Tomorrow we will have a busy day, with the qualifying session and race under what it looks like dry conditions. The spectators showed a great support as they stayed until the end even when it was raining a lot.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “Nothing to say.”

Jarno Trulli: “Nothing to report.”


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