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Australian GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
15/03/2014

Lewis, a little bit of history on a number of levels today, not least the first pole position with this new formula and equalling Nigel Mansell's 32 career poles.
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah. It's been an interesting weekend. Today, it made it so much harder for everyone with the conditions. I'm really happy for the job the team did. You know these new cars are so much harder to drive in the wet and it was the first time for me driving in the wet, as I'm sure it was for a lot of people. A serious task and challenge today, but for both me and Nico to be up here is a great showing for the team and it's obviously great to see Ricciardo up here for his first grand prix with Red Bull.

Tell us about the conditions, as obviously it rained pretty hard towards the end. There was a split of decision on which way to go on tyres - you went for the wets. Was that the right decision?
LH: Yeah, it was kind of on the limit. It was very difficult to know what the turnover point was. Do you take a risk or not? I decided not to. Ricciardo, Daniel did a really good job on the inters, so obviously it was a very close call between the two. But the conditions made it extremely difficult. There's so much more power, so you're short-shifting all the way down into fifth, sixth, seventh before you can get the full throttle. But great fun otherwise and I hope the weather is better tomorrow, mostly for the fans, but also for us.

Daniel, I think the cheer from the crowd said it all really, an incredible first Red Bull qualifying session for you and a lot of Australian pride?
Daniel Ricciardo: Yeah, it was exciting. Definitely the weather added to the mix and the whole session went well. Not everyone was out with options at the beginning but Q1 looked like it was going OK for us. And then when the rain fell, as Lewis said, it's the first time we've all driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky but at the same time, of course, a lot of fun. It was nice to be always up there. The engineer was on the radio saying 'pace is good, P1, P2, P3' it was always in that battle for the pole position. So definitely a really nice qualifying session with the team.

Well your team-mate is down in 13th, so what was the difference today?
DR: I don't know yet what his issues were. I think it was… I saw it was about two seconds or so off my pace at the time. We'll have to see what went wrong with Seb and his side of the garage. But for now, happy for me to at least be up here and just for the team to have a front-row start, I think it wasn't looking like this a few weeks ago, so pretty pleased right now.

Very well done, and Nico, was it all about timing in that last part of qualifying? Was that what it was about?
Nico Rosberg: I'm not really sure what the others were doing. For sure we didn't get it quite right but you just don't know what's going to happen. So, I don't think we did much wrong. Of course, in hindsight you can always say 'oh we could have done that better or this better' but all in all I think it was a good qualifying session. Third is… I'm pleased with that. Could have been better but third is OK. I know we have a quick race car and from there a good race is possible.

It's been very close between you and Lewis throughout this weekend, so what happens tomorrow?
NR: Of course it's going to be a completely different story than today. Also again depending on weather and things like that, we don't really know what's going to happen, there is a small chance of rain also tomorrow, but I think more likely it's going to be dry. It will be totally different because this year… especially in Melbourne, it's the most difficult track for fuel consumption, so it's going to be difficult to save enough fuel in the race - a big challenge.

You had a reliability scare here Lewis on the first day here, but the pair of you have been very, very quick the rest of the time, so what are you expecting from tomorrow?
LH: Ultimately it's just down to the incredible job the team has done over the winter and through testing and come here… of course we had a small hiccup on Friday morning - it wasn't really a scare, just unfortunate that we missed the session. But it was a quick fix, so no need to take the car apart, and just building on a good foundation and hopefully we can continue to do so.

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