SINGAPORE GP – QUALIFYING
Red Bull Racing gamble on SuperSoft tyres for the start of the Singapore GP as they take an alternate strategy into the fight with Mercedes on Sunday, while Daniel Ricciardo splits the Silver Arrows in qualifying. While Max Verstappen is disappointed with his qualifying he still lines up in 4th, alongside Lewis Hamilton. This could get tasty.
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 2nd, 1:43.115 (Practice 3 – P4 1:44.903)
“I’m pleased with the front row. We set ourselves up well and the lap was clean, but obviously Nico created a big gap and I would have loved for him to not be that far ahead. Even with a perfect lap I don’t think we could have caught that up. So I did what I had to do and the last sector was good. I kept the tyres in good condition and that was important. That was a bit of a weakness earlier in the weekend so I was happy to get on top of that. The supersoft is what we’re going to start the race on and we seem to be the only team in the top ten doing that so hopefully it works for us. We did that in Monaco but then we didn’t get to see if it worked because of the rain on Sunday. If we can get the start we want I think we can control the situation tomorrow, but it’s not a predictable race. There are normally incidents and safety cars so it won’t be straightforward, but I feel good and ready to go. I’m excited.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 4th, 1:43.328 (Practice 3 – P2 1:44.411)
“Qualifying wasn’t fantastic and I am disappointed with my starting position. The car felt good throughout the weekend during the practice sessions and I was very comfortable in the car but it didn’t come together for qualifying. I was struggling throughout the whole session to warm up the front tyres and the balance wasn’t quite right, there was a lot of front wheel locking so the lap just didn’t come together, which is a shame. We have good race pace and we also have a different strategy to Mercedes as we start on the supersofts, so we’ll see how it’s going to work out during the race, hopefully we can improve on P4.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A fantastic performance by both of our drivers today to be starting from the first and second row of the grid tomorrow. Tremendous from Daniel, leaving it right to the last minute to put an excellent lap together and split the Mercedes; and Max also producing a last minute improvement to get ahead of Kimi’s Ferrari. We have a different strategy compared to the other cars around us, starting on the supersoft tyre, so it should be an interesting grand prix.”
Road and Track
We ask some of the people who make our team tick to pick out their favourite moments and machines in motor sport and on the road. This time it’s our Chief Engineer, Performance Engineering, Pierre Waché.
1. What was the first race you ever attended?
It was a Formula One race. It was in 2000 and it was Spa. I was working with Michelin and I had never been racing before. Of course I had been watching on TV but I had never been to a race, so it was fantastic. Even more so because I was involved in the competition. It’s different when you’re working it’s much more interesting.
2. What’s the most beautiful road car ever made?
I love the Jaguar E-Type. It’s not that it’s the most beautiful, but that it was so different in shape to everything else at the time. It was a fantastic step forward.
3. What’s the most beautiful race car ever made?
I like Le Mans cars, particularly those Mercedes from the late ’80s and early ’90s, when they were winning [in the World Sportscar Championship] with Sauber, they were beautiful.
4. What was the first road car you owned and was it any good?
My first car was a Citroën Ami 8, a very old car, with a 2CV engine. It was very loud, not very quick, no grip, but when you are young it’s prefect, it’s an indestructible car. I was 18 years old and I had it for three years.
5. What car do you own now and why did you buy it?
I have a BMW M3. Why? Because I like the possibility to have a normal car on the road, you can go shopping, take the family in it, but it’s also a sports car. It switches just by pressing the throttle and it’s great fun. With the same tool you have a good combination.
6. When you were first getting into motorsport who were you a fan of?
Clearly, Alain Prost – when you are French you have no choice. When I was young French teams weren’t very good, it was Ligier and Larousse, and maybe Matra when I was very young. So it was very easy to support Alain Prost when I was young. He was fantastic.
7. What’s your favourite circuit, in F1 or outside the sport?
Spa. I love this track. From an engineering point of view it’s a fantastic track, a great challenge. You have everything there: it’s a very good combination of every aspect of the car to create performance. There’s the engine aspect because there are good straights, medium and low speed corners and some great high-speed corners like Blanchimont. It’s also challenging for the driver. Put it all together and it creates a great combination. I love Monaco, Singapore, because the experience is fantastic but they stress maybe only part of the car or driver. Spa is a complete track.
8. What’s the thing in motorsport that you’d most like to achieve but haven’t?
To be world champion again in Formula One would be fantastic, but in other areas of motorsport? I don’t know. I think to work in this sport and with this team is already an achievement. Le Mans would be nice. Maybe a few more titles in F1 and then off to Le Mans?
9. What’s the one that got away throughout your career?
It was a disappointment when BMW pulled out. I didn’t expect that. It was very difficult for everybody. The team was ramping up. OK at the start of the 2009 season it wasn’t fantastic but we were picking up performance. We were reacting well. It was very tough with the reduction in the number of people. The workforce was reduced by 30% in one day. It was very tough.
10. What would be your race number and why?
It would be the year of my birth I guess – 74.
11. If you had an Aston Martin for a day where would you take it and who would you be with?
I would go with my wife and I would drive around the San Bernardino Pass between Switzerland and Italy. It’s a good road but low radius corners. It would be a nice way to drive this type of car.