Saturday, September 30, 2006
Wet qualifying for Chinese GP
Fernando Alonso, Pole position
"It is fantastic to be back on pole for the first time since Canada. It was a difficult qualifying session, very busy and very complicated for all the drivers, but the Michelin tyres were fantastic and gave us exactly what we needed to do the job. Looking for tomorrow, nothing is certain with the weather, but I am confident we can be competitive in both conditions. We haven’t done much dry running yet this weekend, but from what we have seen, the car seems to be very competitive. If it is wet, we know we are quick – but also that many more things can happen. Obviously, this is a great team result when the championship is so tight, but we haven’t done the job yet. I will stay focused, concentrate on doing a good race – and race for the win."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 2nd position
"The car has been quick all weekend, and I am really pleased to be on the front row with Fernando. This is a great result for me because I am in a good position to catch up Massa in the championship, and for the team it is the perfect starting point. The conditions were very tricky during the session, and I spun in the second session – so the pressure was on to get my lap done. After that, it was a question of repeating the performance in the third part, and making the most of the opportunity to qualifying at the front. I think we have a strong strategy, and good performance in all conditions. I am looking forward to a very competitive race."
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, 3rd position
“I’m thrilled to be back in the top three qualifiers again, especially after such a difficult session. This is a great result for the team with Jenson and I in 3rd and 4th and setting exactly the same lap time. It was pretty treacherous out there and at times it was just impossible to push. When I did I spun off and thankfully the gravel slowed me just enough for me to land on the grass. I was able to keep the engine running so I could keep going. Aside from that moment we’re looking pretty competitive in the wet and in the past the race has come my way many times in similar conditions. If that’s the way the weather plays out I’ll be happy but we have a car that works well either way.”
JENSON BUTTON, 4th position
“I’m very happy with today’s result, especially with Rubens and I posting exactly the same time. It’s been a very interesting day in which the Michelins are clearly very strong in the tricky conditions. It’s pretty slippery out there which made it tough going, but we’re looking good I think and I have a good strategy so we should be able to look forward to a great race, especially for the fans.”
All images and news used with permission of the Renault and Honda F1 teams.