Press conference:

Q:
Fernando, surprisingly it is only your second pole position this year.

Fernando Alonso:
Yeah, many times on the front row but this time it is a little bit better. Qualifying is always difficult especially with the fuel loads, strategies and so on. So you never know until tomorrow, first stop probably. You need to see how good the qualifying lap was. Sometimes it was good sometimes, not so good.

Q:
Personal best on the first sector, best overall on the second sector but not quite so good on the final sector on that fast lap.

FA:
Yeah, I had a moment in turn twelve. I braked a little bit too late and I missed the corner, so I lost a little bit of time in turn twelve and the first sector was a little bit slower than the previous lap.

Q:
Can we just be absolutely certain about the instructions you were given by the team to wait. Because of course it cost Lewis another lap.

FA:
Yes. First and second stop normally we have someone timing the gaps and we use the pit stops to time our gap onto the track and that's all. The first time they told me to go but I had the blanket in the tyres, so we lost a little bit there. The second time we didn't lose anything.

Q:
Lewis, let's just say you must have been very frustrated.

Lewis Hamilton:
No, not really. I knew I had the pace, so I'm fairly confident.

Q:
Second on the grid, is that a great disadvantage here?

LH:
I don't think so. There is a long haul down to the first corner and you see the starts are quite good for us at the moment, so we should be in a good position.

Q:
How much of a difference was there between the two sets of tyres?

LH:
There was... Well, obviously yesterday we found that the softer compound was graining a lot and we didn't think that it would last a lap, so that is probably why Fernando went for the harder compound. But I thought I was able to keep the tyre working until the end of the lap, so I chose to use that one.

Q:
How is that going to look for the race then?

LH:
It is going to be tough. Out of all the tyres we have used for the circuits it is going to be graining a lot more here. You saw yesterday that a lot of our tyres were virtually bald after ten laps or fifteen laps. So it is going to be interesting, who can manage them best but as I said, I feel fine about it.

Q:
Nick, obviously you were happy with the softer option, yes?

Nick Heidfeld:
No, we had to choose the harder tyres. I found it very difficult, I didn't know which one to choose I thought the softer one would be quicker. And then the first qualifying period I went on the prime. The car felt quite good, the balance wasn't too bad, so I changed plans and stayed on prime.

Q:
Are you still suffering understeer basically with the softer ones as well?

NH:
Not only with the softer ones. Even with the harder tyres you have to manage them quite well and yes, with the option, it is a big problem.

Q:
So the potential is a very tough race tomorrow on either tyre.

NH:
No, I think on the prime it is going to be fine, it is not going to be an issue. But I think you have to try and make the option work. That is going to be the big problem tomorrow.

Q:
And the chances of a podium?

NH:
I think we have a good chance definitely. I mean we are starting third, obviously the Ferraris are normally a bit quicker than us but here I think they are not as strong as they have been in the last couple of races. On top of that Felipe starts quite far back, so we will do everything to get our next podium.

 

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