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Singapore GP: Post Qualifying press conference

NEWS STORY
25/09/2010

Fernando, a thrilling qualifying battle with the lead changing between you and Sebastian sector by sector on that final run but you did it.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, obviously it was not an easy qualifying. We had very little running in dry conditions as it seemed to remain damp on some parts of the circuit during the weekend, so we arrived to qualifying not completely 100 per cent confident in the car in some of the corners. We build up the confidence in Q1 and Q2 and then in Q3 we tried to push at the limits. Both of my tyres worked really well and both attempts were similar in terms of lap time. Obviously in the car we don't know what others are doing but I was quite happy with my lap. I did not know if it was enough to be on pole, second or fourth but I think we got 100 per cent out of the car today, so that was the main target for us.

There was an engine concern for your team-mate Felipe Massa. You had to re-map your engine. What was the problem?
FA: Well, we tried to understand Felipe's problem. Looking at the telemetry until the car is back probably we will not know, so we made some safe changes in the car just to avoid any risk. We were running with some experimental things here and after Felipe's problem we went back to the standard ones. We had a problem the first time we changed it, so in Q2 we were running with the wrong maps in the car and we were lucky to get into Q3 and then in Q3 with the right maps the car was feeling better.

Sebastian, you had a problem on the first run in the final part of qualifying. But where did it get away from you in the end?
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, it was a pretty messy qualifying for us. I think we had a very smooth practice yesterday and this morning. This afternoon never really got into the rhythm, always a little bit in traffic and I just did not get it into one lap as I did in practice. In the final qualifying session, Q3, the first run I misjudged the gap to the car ahead. You don't want to let your tyres cool down too much and then after four or five corners I was already in the back of Michael (Schumacher). Therefore the first run was lost. Second run I was on a good lap, then in sector two, 11, 12, 13 I was slightly in the wall in the exit and lost too much time there. I could recover from it in the last sector but not enough. In the end I think we had the car to be on pole but unfortunately only second by a little amount of time. But anyway I think we have a very quick car for tomorrow and we should be in a very strong position, so good start. I don't know about the weather. I think no-one knows. Then we see.

Is this a bit of a surprise for you as everybody up and down the pit lane thought Red Bull had a big advantage here?
SV: Well, I think we have an advantage, yes, but as it turned out in qualifying the others were a little bit closer and we did not get it all together. Probably we should have gone quicker but would, should, could. Can't change it now. Obviously I am not the happiest today to go to sleep. Fernando is probably a little bit happier. But it was tight. They did a very good job and as he said they got the maximum out and this is what we and I didn't do today, therefore we are only second.

Lewis, good result for you ahead of your title rival Mark Webber and just a tenth off the Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, not such a bad qualifying session. A bit of an improvement compared to Monza. I think we had perhaps a little bit more in the car but it is tricky out there making sure you found the gap. I cannot really complain. I am on the clean side of the grid and we have had the best starts for quite some time now, so fingers crossed that will continue tomorrow and it puts us in a good position.

You have won here before. How do you see tomorrow's race unfolding?
LH: I am sure tomorrow is going to be an extremely tricky race considering how long it took today for the track to dry. I am sure if it does rain this evening or sometime tomorrow it will never dry out. It takes so long. Fingers crossed it doesn't rain the whole day and it is not a problem but if it is wet, then we have got our work cut out for sure.

Fernando, the momentum is with you and Ferrari. Can you keep it going tomorrow in the race?
FA: Well, obviously it is going to be a tough race. But we are in the best position to start. Pole will help in dry and wet as well in terms of visibility, so let's try to take the opportunity. As Lewis said I think if it rains anytime during the day probably there will be some parts of the track that remain wet for the whole race, so it is a race to survive in a way as well. As I said, starting on pole is the best thing we can do. We are not too worried about wet or dry. We should be okay in both.

Press Conference

Fernando, your second pole position this year. But tell us about the importance of pole position here.
FA: Well, we know that there are some circuits where pole position is important. This is one. If it is wet tomorrow it doesn't count too much as it will be very difficult to see on the track. If it rains at anytime in the day it will be wet, so maybe pole means really less in those conditions as you can lose four or five seconds in one lap in those types of corners where they are damp. But it is the best position to start the race. The points are on Sunday afternoon, so in preparation for this Sunday afternoon you need to make a good Saturday and today we did.

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