Turkish GP: Qualifying notes - McLaren


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will start Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul second and fourth on the grid respectively. In an exciting qualifying, Lewis set a time of 1min27.373 and missed his fifth Formula 1 pole position by 0.044sec. Fernando, who was the last driver on the track, qualified fourth with 1min27.574.

Lewis Hamilton: That was a good qualifying session for me. We had been fast in practice so we were quite optimistic. In the first two qualifying sessions I struggled a little bit to get the most out of the tyres, but then it all came together on my final lap. The team have done a fantastic job working hard over the summer break to continue to bring developments to the car and it shows in the fact that we have been very competitive here all weekend. I think that we will have a good race tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso: I am happy with my qualifying today. I made the decision to go out on prime Bridgestone Potenza's for my final flying lap, but I do not think this was the wrong decision. That final lap was actually quite stressful as our planned timing was for me to run at the very end of the session with only a couple of seconds left to cross the line. Then I was stuck in traffic, so all these factors probably played a role in me not improving my lap time and coming fourth today. However I think it will be a very exciting race, and I am feeling confident as it is possible to overtake at this circuit. I think we have a good strategy, and the car will be strong in the race.

Ron Dennis: Both drivers did a fantastic job today choosing different tyres for their final runs. We have a good strategy for tomorrow's race and are confident that we will be in a strong position to win.

Norbert Haug: Lewis did a great qualifying lap less than half a tenth of a second behind pole position, and with Fernando's fourth the top four drivers are within two and a half tenths. Fernando was quickest in Qualifying Two when everybody was on low fuel and this shows his and the car's speed. Starting from grid positions two and four is something we know well as we have done this four times before in the first 11 races, winning two of them. Everybody in the team did a great job improving our performance throughout the summer break. Friday's first practice, we were 1.2sec behind and now we are on the same level as the opposition. Tomorrow everything is possible, we have a strong strategy and a good top speed.

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Published: 25/08/2007
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