2016 German Grand Prix – qualifying
“Points are a real possibility tomorrow”
Hockenheimring, Saturday July 30
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will line up 12th and 14th respectively for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix.
After being forced out of yesterday’s FP2 midway through the session in order to attend to an eye complaint, Jenson’s programme was also cut short this morning. He had a left-rear brake assembly issue midway through FP3 which meant he was unable to run the Option tyre and find an ideal balance before qualifying. Nonetheless, he recovered well in both Q1 and Q2, setting 10th- and 12th-fastest times respectively.
Fernando enjoyed a smoother day’s running, setting 14th-fastest time in Q1 – a position he maintained in Q2.
FERNANDO ALONSO, MP4-31-02
|FP3||9th||1m16.916s (+1.178s)||11 laps|
|Q1||9th||1m16.338s (on Options)|
|Q2||14th overall*||1m16.041s (on Options)||*will start 13th following a three-place grid penalty for Sainz|
“It’s a bit disappointing not to be in Q3 today: 14th position isn’t great, but we’re not as competitive at this track as we were in Budapest.
“This afternoon, I didn’t put a lap together as I had some traffic, which is why I didn’t finish a little bit higher up the order. Additionally, Hockenheim’s long back straight and big acceleration zones don’t really suit our car.
“On the positive side, we have plenty of new tyres remaining, which will give us an advantage at the start and allow us to be a little more creative with strategy.
“It’s going to be tough tomorrow, but hopefully we can recover some positions because points are a real possibility.”
JENSON BUTTON, MP4-31-03
|FP3||19th||1m22.009s (+1.748s)||6 laps|
|Q1||10th||1m16.172s (on Options)|
|Q2||12th||1m15.909s (on Options)|
“This weekend has been pretty tricky for me. I’ve missed having time with the car, which doesn’t make for the easiest preparation, and this is a tough circuit if you haven’t had any mileage.
“I had a few issues yesterday – I stepped out of the car early because of my eye – then, this morning, we had a couple of problems, so I didn’t run the Supersoft in FP3 at all. It was all a bit of an unknown going into qualifying.
“Still, 12th position is reasonable, and it’s always nice to be in front of your team-mate, but we’re still not quite there yet with the balance of the car. Even if we’d got everything together and beaten Williams today, getting into the top 10 was always going to be tricky.
“There’s a possibility that we’ll get into the points tomorrow. The race should be pretty interesting; the start and the strategy will be important, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
ERIC BOULLIER - Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“It’s a sign of the progress we’ve been making recently that we’re disappointed that neither driver was able to make it into Q3 this afternoon. However, looking beyond the timesheets, it’s apparent that we’ve not had the smoothest of runs into qualifying – Jenson took a trip to the local hospital yesterday afternoon, and had his morning’s progress put back by a brake component assembly issue in FP3.
“Nonetheless, we’re well placed for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix, and will start with the added benefit of a free choice of tyre strategy for both cars. There’s plenty left to play for, and we’ll be looking to push both drivers into the top 10 and score some valuable world championship points ahead of the summer break.”
YUSUKE HASEGAWA - Honda R&D head of F1 project & executive chief engineer
"It was quite a difficult Saturday here at the Hockenheimring, where neither driver could find the perfect balance of the car and struggled to find the best power unit modes throughout FP3. We were able to improve our performance for qualifying, but we were unable to continue our run as the fourth quickest team, losing both cars to Q2.
"Both Jenson in P12 and Fernando in P14 will be able to start on fresh rubber, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage and gain some ground with good race management tomorrow."