Kiesa Surprised by Gap to Verstappen

Nicolas Kiesa was surprised by the small gap that separated him from his Minardi teammate Jos Verstappen at the end of the final qualifying session for the German Grand Prix.

Kiesa Surprised by Gap to Verstappen

Nicolas Kiesa was surprised by the small gap that separated him from his Minardi teammate Jos Verstappen at the end of the final qualifying session for the German Grand Prix.

The Danish driver, making his Grand Prix debut this weekend after replacing Briton Justin Wilson, had failed to set a time on Friday. Kiesa, however, put on a respectable performance today, finishing only around two tenths off a second behind his teammate.

The Minardi driver admitted he was closer than expected.

"The car was definitely better than me today â€" I'm just not experienced enough yet with F1 performance to get to the limit of the car in qualifying," said Kiesa, slowest today. "At the corner just coming into the Mercedes stadium, I was slightly early on the brakes, and that's where I lost most of my time on the qualifying lap.

"On the one hand, I was very conscious that I needed to set a time after yesterday's qualifying problem, and on the other, I wanted to get as near to Jos's time as I could. In the end, I was nearer than I thought I might have been."

Verstappen, meanwhile, set the 19th quickest time after opting for the harder compound of the Bridgestone tyres.

"I chose the harder compound tyre on offer because this morning we tried both compounds and the softer tyre ended up developing blisters," said the Dutchman. "As a result of going with the harder tyre, we suffered a slight penalty in terms of our qualifying lap time, but we still managed to go as fast as on the hard tyres this afternoon as we did on the softer ones this morning.

"The car was reasonably well balanced for the qualifying run, and although the grip was good in the first sector of the lap, we were definitely losing grip over the remaining sectors. If we have heat like this tomorrow, then I think the race will be very interesting, bearing in mind the number of spins and incidents we had today. The main thing will be to bring the cars home."

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