Sat: Merc, Williams, Ferrari

Nico Rosberg claims back-to-back pole positions at Suzuka while Valtteri Bottas will start ahead of the Ferraris.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg: "It was difficult to set up the car here for the dry conditions, because we had the two wet sessions yesterday. But when we were able to practise some high fuel and qualifying runs, today I got a really good feeling. I nailed my laps and I was already on another good quick lap when Dani hit the wall. Then the team informed me that he is fine so we were all very happy to hear that. I'm confident for tomorrow. Thanks to the team for this car, It seems that we are coming back stronger here than in Singapore."

Lewis Hamilton: "The car feels perfect this weekend. My engineers did a fantastic job and I enjoyed the battle with Nico. He did a great job and it was exciting today. This is a track where you're constantly fighting to gain more and more; the last lap started so well and I was up by turn seven but the red flag came out in the end. It was a big crash but fortunately Daniil walked away. Tomorrow is going to be hard; it depends on the conditions. The start will be crucial as you can't follow closely here and it will be hard to pass but I will give it my best shot."

Williams
Valtteri Bottas: "I’m really happy to be third again in Suzuka. It has been a good day. We made some changes after FP3 and those changes were exactly what we needed, so as a team we have really performed well. I feel comfortable with the car and around here that is very important. I enjoyed the session a lot. We have limited data on tyre wear due to the conditions yesterday, but starting third we need to target the podium tomorrow."

Felipe Massa: "It was a good qualifying where we managed to save a set of tyres for tomorrow. The car was competitive even if I didn’t get to show its full pace due to the red flag in Q3. After such a big accident it’s good to see Daniil jump out of the car. We have a long race tomorrow which we are looking forward to and I believe we can deliver a strong performance."

Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel: "It was a tricky session for myself. I didn’t really get going at the beginning, I couldn’t feel the car so I struggled a bit to find the right balance. On my second run on the medium tyres in Q3, there was a big improvement as compared to the lap I had done in Q2, as if the car had "become alive". In the end we can be reasonably happy, I had a decent lap and I was a lot happier than previously; having scored a lap time which is competitive. Third place on the grid would have been the maximum today, but I missed this by one position. Mercedes are back to their usual level of competitiveness, as we have seen – unfortunately – all year. They will be the ones to beat tomorrow, but for sure we will try everything we can, even if we may expect stronger competition from Red Bull Racing and Williams."

Kimi Raikkonen: "The result of this qualifying is a bit disappointing, as we had a good speed all the way through and the behavior of the car was pretty good. The first two qualifying laps went well, bu my first run in Q3 was average, my tires did not have the right grip. It’s a bit disappointing not having been able to run my second lap: I’m sure we could have improved, but the red flag stopped the session. For the race tomorrow it’s a bit unknown, because nobody had the time to run in dry conditions and do long runs, but I think we should be fine. Hopefully we have done all things correctly so that we can gain some positions. It’s going to be a long race, starting behind other cars, but we’ll try to make a good start and then go from there."

 

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