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Driver Talk

  • Brazilian GP Qualifying Driver Quotes

    Brawn GP

    Rubens Barrichello - 1st 1:19.576

    "I'm so happy to have qualified on pole for my home Grand Prix today particularly after such an unusual qualifying session. It's the first time in seventeen years that I've got out of the car twice during qualifying!

    I'm very proud of what we achieved today. We were lucky to make it through Q2 when we should have gone for intermediates but it was a great drive in Q3.

    It's a good situation to be starting from the front and have your own race pace rather than be in the pack. However the job is only half done and I'm keeping my feet firmly on the ground and just focusing on having a good race tomorrow.

    It's great for all the fans at Interlagos who sat through all the rain delays and kept supporting me to have a Brazilian starting from the front tomorrow."

    Jenson Button - 14th 1:22.504

    "It was a crazy qualifying session today and it's obviously very disappointing to have only qualified in 14th position.

    The first session went well and our pace was reasonably good in the wet which was encouraging. The track had dried out a little for Q2 so we made some small set-up changes but the balance of the car just felt transformed. I had massive understeer for the first few laps and tried everything that I could to set a time but the pace just wasn't there. By the third lap, the rear tyres started to go away, leaving me with no rear grip, and I just couldn't improve my time. It's going to make the race very tough tomorrow as I will be right in the middle of the pack but I'll make the most of it and any opportunities to make progress."

    Red Bull

    Mark Webber - 2nd 1:19.668

    "That was a very tricky session - especially in Q1 when the conditions were really bad. The car was difficult to drive then, but we scraped through.

    After qualifying restarted, the track came back to us a bit and I was able to be more competitive. It wasn’t too comfortable at first out on track, but then the grip came and the times were quite good. In Q3 I kept switching between the top three, from pole to third to pole to third; I would have liked to have had another crack at being on pole, but I made a mistake.

    I think it wasn’t easy to knit six perfect laps together in those conditions, but I’m very happy with how I drove and the guys in the garage did a great job.

    Congratulations to Rubens for his pole here at home; we’ll give him a race tomorrow."

    Sebastian Vettel - 16th 1:25.009

    "I’m not happy, it’s very disappointing. It should have been better, but it was difficult in the conditions.

    There was a window when the circuit was at its fastest, but we couldn’t use it as we were in traffic. Afterwards, when we were in clear air towards the end of the session, it was raining hard and there was too much water, so it was impossible to improve the time.

    It’s not the best position to start from - we were targeting much higher, but that’s life and we have to accept it. There wasn’t really anything missing from our side today, it wasn’t about our pace, it was just a case of timing."

    Force India

    Adrian Sutil - 3rd 1:19.912

    "Being in the top three is always a great feeling, particularly after such a difficult session.

    On the Friday it didn't look so good in the dry so I was really hoping for rain and in the end we got too much! We had to wait so long during the session and keep focussed. Q1 was definitely extreme wets as there was so much water that you had to be careful not to spin. Then there was so much waiting until Q2. I did my fastest time in that session on the extremes but you could really only get one good lap out of them so it was a clear sign we needed to go onto the intermediates in Q3. We left it a bit until we went out and I crossed the line with just seconds to spare to start my fastest lap, which was good enough for third.

    I'm really happy, it's feels good to be back here at the front. I like this circuit although it hasn't been the greatest for us for results in previous years. I'm hoping for a good race tomorrow - I'm just going to give it my best."

    Vitantonio Liuzzi - 15th 1:24.645

    "I am really disappointed and frustrated that the qualifying ended in the way it did as I was pretty convinced I could have got into Q3 and done well - as Adrian has shown today we were very much on it.

    The car reacted well in the wet conditions and we showed a good performance in Q1, even if we were in traffic and couldn't do the best lap time. At the start of Q2 it was very difficult conditions and it was risky to go out but once there is a green light you have to try and go out and do your best.

    I am sorry for the team as we could have achieved more but I was a passenger at that stage and couldn't do anything when the car caught that puddle. All the same I think we are in good shape tomorrow and if the conditions stay like this we have a well balanced car so I am optimistic for the race."


    Jarno Trulli - 4th 1:20.097

    "It was a very intense qualifying session. In first qualifying the only target was to keep the car on the track and try to do a reasonable lap time because the conditions were horrible, with a lot of aquaplaning. It was extremely hard and the important thing was to stay focused; we managed to get through which was the important thing.

    In second and third qualifying it was much better and the car was running well so I was able to push harder. I enjoyed it because we were putting in some quick lap times on the right tyres and it's good to be on the second row. It would be nice to repeat the Japanese Grand Prix podium and I will be fighting hard."

    Kamui Kobayashi - 11th 1:21.960

    "That was a very difficult session for my first qualifying experience in Formula One. The conditions were really hard because from lap to lap the situation changed and there was a lot of aquaplaning. I have never driven this track in those conditions before so it was certainly not easy but the car felt good. I made a small mistake on my last lap in second qualifying so I missed out on the top 10 which I am a bit frustrated about.

    But overall, to qualify in 11th for my Grand Prix debut in conditions like that is a good result which is more than I expected so I am happy with it. We'll see how it goes in the race tomorrow; it would be great to score points and I will be doing my best to achieve that."


    Kimi Raikkonen - 5th 1:20.168

    "Overall, I'm pleased with this result. On the extreme wet tyres, we were very competitive and I actually think that if the conditions had stayed bad enough for these tyres, I could have done better than fifth place. However, on the intermediate tyres the car was no longer as easy to drive, because it is harder to get them working at their best.

    If it rains tomorrow, it will be very tough, because here, you see almost nothing if you are behind another car and the conditions become really difficult.

    I think that today, it was the right decision to delay qualifying: at least it meant we were able to drive in acceptable conditions, rather than just trying to stay on the track.

    The F60 worked well: we know we lack grip, but this is the problem we have carried with us since the start of the season."

    Giancarlo Fisichella - 20th 1:40.703

    "When qualifying started the conditions were almost impossible. I ended up spinning even though I wasn't going that quickly, but I was at a point where the track was flooded. As I turned the wheel, I hit the engine cut-out switch and that was my qualifying over with. A shame, because the car goes well in the wet, as could be seen from Kimi's performance. I hope he manages to bring home a good number of points, but for me that will be tough as I'm starting from the back row.

    At the moment, everything seems to be going wrong: I am very unhappy, because I so much want to show my worth in a major team like Ferrari. I hope that, starting tomorrow, some luck comes my way, as it has not done so far."

    Toro Rosso

    Sebastien Buemi - 6th 1:20.250

    "Of course I am happy, as sixth is my best ever qualifying result.

    It was a difficult session and I just stayed in the car, trying to remain focused.

    Our goal for tomorrow is to score some points. But with this kind of weather anything can happen. I would prefer it to be dry tomorrow, but so far this weekend, we have been quick whatever the track conditions, so I will be fighting my hardest if it’s wet or dry."

    Jaime Alguersuari - 12th 1:22.231

    "That was not bad and I’m happy with the result. There was a lot of water and it was easy to crash, so my priority was to stay on the track, making no mistakes. Visibility was very bad in these conditions, so I hope we have better conditions for the race.

    I think I did the best I could today. To make it through to Q3 would have required using the Intermediate tyre, but we gambled on sticking on the Extreme and the final result is pretty good anyway."


    Nico Rosberg - 7th 1:20.326

    "It was good to see that we were fastest on the wets throughout qualifying. Unfortunately, however, I think we just weren’t quick enough on the intermediates. We weren’t able to warm up the front tyres enough so they didn’t work properly which ultimately hurt our pace. Still, seventh is a position from which we can hope for a strong race tomorrow."

    Kazuki Nakajima - 9th 1:20.674

    "It was a difficult qualifying session with a long time between red flags and each round. It would probably have been better if it had continued raining because the car was very competitive in the wet, but we still managed to get a good position. It’s the first time I’ve been in the top ten since Hungary so I’m looking forward to a good race tomorrow."

    BMW Sauber

    Robert Kubica - 8th 1:20.631

    "The conditions in this qualifying were really difficult. At one point there was so much water on the track that the car was almost undriveable. Fortunately, after the break, the conditions were a little better.

    We are running relatively low downforce, which was obviously delicate in these conditions. To my surprise, the car was quite competitive when it was very wet, and it was somewhat more difficult to drive with less water. I had too much understeer. The car is set up for a dry track, so we have to see what the weather will be like tomorrow."

    Nick Heidfeld - 19th 1:25.515

    "Of course it is very annoying to be out in Q1, but I simply had no chance.

    We certainly knew it would rain in qualifying and we put our ride height up, but it wasn't enough given the amount of water on the track.

    In a Formula One car you don't only get aquaplaning problems from the tyres, but also with the plank. That's not driving anymore, that is swimming.

    At the end of Q1 when I had changed to fresh tyres the conditions turned from bad to worse, which didn't help either."


    Fernando Alonso - 10th 1:21.422

    "I think this was the longest qualifying session that I have ever taken part in! The weather conditions made it interesting, but the car did not have the pace to qualify higher up the grid today.

    If we get changeable weather tomorrow, it will impact on the race and if we can react to the conditions at the right times then we can make up some places. We will certainly try our best to do that."

    Romain Grosjean - 13th - 1:22.477

    "The rain was very heavy for the first part of qualifying, but I was very happy with the car. It was the same for all the drivers and I did well in these conditions.

    Unfortunately in Q2 the track was drying, but we didn't have time to fit the intermediate tyres and so I did the whole session with the same wet tyres.

    I also want to say thanks to my mechanics for the super job they did to repair the car after my accident this morning."


    Heikki Kovalainen - 17th 1:25.052

    "These were some of the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced in a race weekend. I like driving in wet conditions, but today there was so much aquaplaning that it was extremely difficult to keep the car on the track. Plus, there was very bad visibility when you were travelling in the spray of another car.

    This result shows that we still lack some downforce, so there was nothing we could do to go any faster. I hope the set-up will better suit us in different conditions tomorrow."

    Lewis Hamilton - 18th 1:25.192

    "Today was one of the worst qualifying sessions I can remember.

    Our car didn’t feel good at all: for both Heikki and me, we couldn’t even go flat-out along the straights - that’s how little grip we had. It was a disappointing performance, but we did the best we could - I even had a small ‘off’ trying to push at the end and the car just let loose on me.

    We were running with a dry set-up, so it’s a lot stiffer than you’d probably want in the wet - and our shortfall in downforce, compared to some of the other cars, really shows in these conditions.

    I’m hoping the sun comes out for tomorrow so we’ll have a fighting chance of getting into the points, but starting 18th means your weekend is really on the back foot."

Tagged with...
  • Brazilian GP 2009
  • Rubens Barrichello
  • Jenson Button
  • Brawn
  • Mark Webber
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Red Bull
  • Adrian Sutil
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi
  • Force India
  • Jarno Trulli
  • Kamui Kobayashi
  • Toyota
  • Kimi Raikkonen
  • Giancarlo Fisichella
  • Ferrari
  • Sebastien Buemi
  • Jaime Alguersuari
  • Toro Rosso
  • Nico Rosberg
  • Kazuki Nakajima
  • Williams
  • Robert Kubica
  • Nick Heidfeld
  • BMW Sauber
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Romain Grosjean
  • Renault
  • Heikki Kovalainen
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • McLaren
  • Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos)
  • Brazil
  • 2009 Season
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Webber practicing in the wet for the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix - © RedBull/Getty

Webber pushed it to the limits in practice © RedBull/Getty

Position Driver Team Time
1 R Barrichello Brawn 1:19.576
2 M Webber Red Bull 1:19.668
3 A Sutil Force India 1:19.912
4 J Trulli Toyota 1:20.097
5 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.168
6 S Buemi Toro Rosso 1:20.250
7 N Rosberg Williams 1:20.326
8 R Kubica BMW Sauber 1:20.631
9 K Nakajima Williams 1:20.674
10 F Alonso Renault 1:21.422
11 K Kobayashi Toyota 1:21.960
12 J Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:22.231
13 R Grosjean Renault 1:22.477
14 J Button Brawn 1:22.504
15 V Liuzzi Force India No Time
16 S Vettel Red Bull 1:25.009
17 H Kovalainen McLaren 1:25.052
18 L Hamilton McLaren 1:25.192
19 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:25.515
20 G Fisichella Ferrari 1:40.703