Ferrari: It’s difficult to give a clear explanation of how the weekend has gone
17 November, 2013
Team and drivers report from qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, at Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas.
Fernando Alonso: “I feel reasonably satisfied with the result of today’s qualifying, because after the problems we have had almost all weekend long and even in Q1, we had little hope of getting through to the third part. It just goes to show how much things can change with around ten degrees higher track temperature: here we have suffered a lot in getting the tyres to work, especially in the morning sessions, when the temperatures were lower. But looking at the pace we showed in the afternoon, I think that the sunshine predicted for tomorrow could help us to have a good race. It would be nice to make it to the podium, but my main aim is to help the team to take second place in the Constructors’ Championship. In order to do that, we need to beat … Mercedes, preferably right from the start, which will condition the way the race goes, even if it will not be easy, as the dirty side of the track here in Austin is one of the worst of the year”.
Felipe Massa: “That was a very difficult Qualifying [session]. From yesterday afternoon onwards, I haven’t been able to drive the car properly, something isn’t working and we haven’t managed to work out why. I don’t think I’ve got a specific problem, but there really is very little grip, both at the front and the rear and I wasn’t quick on either compound. It is very strange, because Fernando managed to adapt better to the car-tyre package and I can’t understand why I can’t do the same, especially as I like this track a lot. I never expected to find myself struggling so much. Now we must find a solution for tomorrow, because even if it will be a difficult race, we have to do our utmost to move up the order and bring home points that will be valuable for the Constructors’ classification”.
Pat Fry: “Leaving aside the outcome of this Qualifying [session], it’s hard to give a clear explanation of how the weekend has gone. The performances seen up to today have been affected by a series of variables and, if one leaves out the Red Bulls, I think that for the rest of the field, it’s been more demanding than usual to understand the behaviour of the cars. The changing weather and the varying levels of grip have added an extra challenge when it comes to establishing the set up and understanding the behaviour of the compounds chosen for this race. I am sorry for Felipe who didn’t manage to get to Q3. Even though he gave it his all, he struggled a lot to find the right feeling, mainly because of the lack of grip. Fernando was better able to adapt and the result he got today during a very difficult weekend, is down to his great talent. Certainly our aims are higher than a sixth place, but the reduced gap to third place is a great boost for all [in] the team to do their very best in this final part of the season”.
Subbed by AJN.