Sat team by team: Part 2

Sauber has had a tough time generally in qualifying this year, thanks to its Bridgestone's lack of out-and-out pace over a single lap, but new tyres from the Japanese manufacturer made all the difference in China. Felipe Massa took fourth for the best grid slot of his career, while Giancarlo Fisichella was not much further back in seventh. It was the team's best qualifying result of the season.

GIANCARLO FISICHELLA: "Unfortunately for me the track conditions changed slightly since this morning, so right from the beginning of the lap my tyres grained and the car began understeering quite strongly. I tried to be easy on it in the second sector, but the understeer was still there in the final corners. Nevertheless, seventh place is a good starting position and I am feeling confident of challenging for points tomorrow afternoon."

FELIPE MASSA: "P4 is really good! For me it was almost a perfect qualifying session. The new Bridgestones worked so well straight away, and I was able to drive a lap without any graining. If it was this good for me in qualifying, I know that it can be stronger still when the track is in even better condition tomorrow, so I'm looking ahead to a competitive race.

The team must have been left wondering about what might have been, when Mark Webber lost valuable time with a wild moment through Turn 7 when he put his front wheels across the kerbs. It costs him a few tenths and, although he ended up 12th fastest (he starts 11th following Takuma Sato's penalty), he could have been well inside the top 10. Christian Klien was not as happy with his car as he ended up 16th fastest and 15th on the grid. Both drivers used a new aero package that had been tried out by Bjorn Wirdheim in Friday practice.

MARK WEBBER: "I am relatively pleased with my lap this afternoon although I lost the rear slightly in corner seven and just managed to grab it back for corner eight. It perhaps lost me two and a half tenths but despite this I am content with my grid position for tomorrow's race. Looking ahead to the race we will be looking for a competitive day as we have a good strategy in place and a reliable package."

CHRISTIAN KLIEN: "The R5 was well balanced going into qualifying and I was hoping to qualify slightly higher than my 15th position. I was struggling to make the most of the car and so was disappointed not to come away with a better lap. The track is still dusty and the corners, particularly the first, are demanding on both driver and car. However, we are still looking good for tomorrow as the car is good over long runs and has been all weekend."

Olivier Panis shows no signs of easing off as his F1 career approaches its end, as he equalled his best qualifying result of the season to take eighth place on the grid. Ricardo Zonta was not so lucky as a mistake under braking for Turn 10 cost him a couple of tenths and leaves him starting 13th.

OLIVIER PANIS: "I am quite happy to be eighth on the grid for tomorrow's race. With all three cars around the top ten in yesterday's free practice, we started the race weekend in a competitive way. The car has been looking consistent, although I had some trouble this morning with corner entry oversteer. We were unable to fix the problem immediately, but after the session I sat down with my engineers and checked the data. The changes we made to the car worked well for qualifying and I would like to say well done to everyone. Considering where we were this morning and where we are now, we have improved a lot. I am confident we can push hard in the race tomorrow."

RICARDO ZONTA: "I do not think that final result does justice to our performance so far this weekend. The grip level was much lower in qualifying compared to this morning's practice sessions. I made a small mistake at the hairpin when I locked the front wheels, but I lost a lot of time in the final sector. I am not starting as high up the grid as I expected, but we have been quite competitive in the practice sessions, running regularly inside of the top ten, so I hope our race preparations will pay off."

Jordan's EJ14 appears well suited to the Shanghai circuit and, although it may not have achieved the feat on pace, the team will be starting ahead of a Ferrari, a BAR and a Jaguar. Nick Heidfeld had been a sensational sixth fastest in Saturday morning's free practice session and, although he could not repeat that form in qualifying, he was happy with his 14th slot on the grid. Timo Glock will start 16th.

NICK HEIDFELD: "The car is going quite well at this circuit, it seems to suit the track. I learned the circuit pretty well and the engineers did a good job yesterday setting up the car. It felt good this morning and I'm quite happy with my lap - I didn't make any mistakes and the whole team did a good job."

TIMO GLOCK: "The pre-qualifying lap was not perfect and I made a big mistake in turns 9 and 10. The car was nervous, oversteering in slow corners and with understeer at the end of the lap. In qualifying we had changed the car a little bit and it was a lot better. But again I lost half a second in corner 10. I feel bad because the first two sectors were really good and it's a shame that I lost so much time in the last sector. I think we are better prepared for the race."

Another difficult day for the Minardi team with Zsolt Baumgartner having to have an engine changed prior to qualifying and Gianmaria Bruni doing a 'Michael Schumacher' and spinning at the first corner.

ZSOLT BAUMGARTNER: "We were struggling with some oversteer this morning, but gradually made progress with the chassis balance on longer runs, which will be relevant for our race performance tomorrow. The guys worked very hard today, as they had to make a lot of changes between the third and fourth practice sessions, as well as carry out an engine change. I'm happy that I made both my qualifying runs without any mistakes."

GIANMARIA BRUNI: "I did a good lap in pre-qualifying, and I was pushing very hard on my qualifying run when the car spun. These things can happen - it happened to Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari today, and it happened to me in a Minardi. That aside, though, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Saturday's Selected Quotes - Chinese GP
Previous article

Saturday's Selected Quotes - Chinese GP

Next article

Fisher on Road to Recovery after Crash

Fisher on Road to Recovery after Crash
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023