29 October 2011
Post-qualifying press conference - Indian GP - Pt.1
We all want to race so the people who are in the front of the field and the people who get lapped, we all want to stay on the racing line and drive our own race so could be tricky. Off-line it is quite dusty and depending on where you have to go off-line or where you are forced to go off-line to maybe lap another car to make a pass could be critical for the next couple of corners. It is not only you lose in that corner where you went off-line but also afterwards just to get the tyres back to the grip level you had before. In this regard it could be interesting, especially at the beginning of the race it will be quite slippery. We have seen that at the beginning of all the sessions. To be honest, once the dust had gone the asphalt is very, very grippy and the cars stick to the ground. All in all they did a great job. It is a new track and first time we have been other places there has always been a little bit here and a little bit there. I think it was not an easy project, but you don't really see much of that apart from a bit of dust on the cars.
Lewis, you aborted your second run that time. It looked as though you lost a little bit of time in the second sector. Was that the reason why>
No, it just wasn't a better lap. My first lap was very, very good. Probably as much as I could have got out of the car. I think I may have been able to get maybe half-a-tenth or a tenth maybe but it was very much on the limit on the second run. I was a tenth down going into turn 15 but I didn't see much point in wasting the tyres for a potential half-a-tenth or something so I came in. But overall very, very happy with my position. I am starting from fifth but this is as good as I could really have hoped for and the track is actually really great as Sebastian just said. I think real congratulations to the people here in India who have put together this circuit as it is not breaking up and it is really fantastic to drive.
You gave the impression yesterday that there was more to come. Was there much changes made overnight?
I don't think I did.
OK, I got the wrong impression. Was there much changes made overnight?
So you were pretty much straight on the set-up that you wanted?
That hasn't evolved with the track?
No, not really. Through the session you put on more front wing but otherwise not really made any changes throughout the weekend. Simulator – track, the correlation seems to be quite good.
Mark, you might have been starting third but you are starting second. I don't know if there is a clean or a dirty side here yet?
It doesn't look like it, but we will find out tomorrow. It was an interesting session. Qualy around here was always going to be pretty interesting given what we saw in P3 and also yesterday with what we saw with the tyres and how they are behaving and how you prepare them and get them ready. We saw some different strategies, people looking to do a few laps, people electing to do one lap. First sector is very tricky when you do one timed so definitely left some change on the table there myself, but after that I was pretty happy with the lap. I haven't seen Seb's second lap as I didn't get to do mine because of the yellow flag so pretty happy with the recovery from P2 when I was in a bit of strife really. Feel much, much happier with the car now and we have certainly done what we can to help it for the race so looking forward to it.
How much did you change as yesterday you said it didn't seem to be so good yesterday?
Yeah, quite a lot. We are also at a point in the season when you can also try and test a few things so we started off very well in P1, both of us obviously, and Seb had a pretty smooth P2. Mine was less smooth just for different reasons because we always try to improve the car and also try to gain some experience for future references so in the end we basically went back to a lot of the stuff. Like Lewis said the simulators are pretty good these days but you just don't quite know how the grip level is going to go on the track, but it is not too bad and it is probably the smoothest track in the world actually. It is very, very smooth and it is pretty quick and exciting. I think the debris off-line will get worse during the race and in the quick chicanes we are going to have a lot of much when people are making some errors here and there so that's going to happen. But, generally, it should be fine.
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