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What The Drivers Said….Qualifying

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WEC - 2016 6 Hours of Shanghai

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

No1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid  - Pole Position LMP1
Brendon Hartley: “It all started pretty well. I went P1 on the first lap, but ran wide in the last corner, which resulted in the lap time being deleted. Mark did a mega lap to put us back into contention, and the pressure was back on for my final attempt. Awesome team effort to get the pole. Over the whole weekend we worked pretty hard on the car for the long runs. We feel pretty good for tomorrow, it will be a tight battle again.”

Mark Webber: “It was a really tight fight for pole position today and it is great we made it. Brendon did a really good job and our average time in the end is very strong. It seems the Toyota had a little bit of traffic on the last lap, so perhaps we have been a bit fortunate. However, we took a point away from the competition and this helps the sister car in its fight for the drivers’ title.”


No 5 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 2nd LMP1

Sébastien Buemi: “It is great to be so competitive today, especially as qualifying is not normally our strong point. It’s a little bit a pity that I got caught behind an LMP2 car at the last corner; maybe without that we could have been on pole. But overall today’s performance is really good for the team. Now we look forward to the race and I am feeling optimistic; we hope to fight for the victory.”


Kazuki Nakajima: “We had quite a difficult time in free practice but, working together with the sister car, we improved the set-up and I was happy with the car in qualifying. Race balance is of course different to qualifying so we will work hard to extract the best performance on Sunday. I am quite hopeful for the race as we are on a similar pace to the others. The key will be consistency.”


No8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 3rd LMP1

Oliver Jarvis: “Position one would have been possible today if Loïc had caught a clear lap. That I got into the car again at the end and set a better time than at the beginning, was the right decision because every tenth matters here.”


Loïc Duval: “Obviously, it was a shame that I was slowed by a car in front of me, but we know that our car is good and that quite a bit should be possible in the race.”


No 6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 4th LMP1

Stéphane Sarrazin: “Our position could have been better; I think our car performance deserved more than fourth place. Mike had some traffic and could have gone quicker in his last lap. But the most important thing is that we are quick because when we are fast in qualifying we are usually really competitive in the race. That is the target because we want to challenge for the win here.”


Mike Conway: “It looked like the track was getting quicker during the session so I went out at the end to try to improve. But I had some traffic in turns one and two which really messed things up so I’m a bit disappointed not to get more out of it. The great lap from the sister car at the end shows that we could have a strong race tomorrow. It looks like it will be another exciting day.”


No7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 5th LMP1

Benoît Tréluyer: “Basically, the balance of our car is good and my lap was quite okay. The gaps are very close. I’m sure the race will be thrilling.”


Marcel Fässler: “We tried to save tires for the race on Sunday. So, as far as that’s concerned, our qualifying wasn’t exactly perfect. It was simply a tactical choice that will hopefully pay off on Sunday.” 

No2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 6th Place LMP1
Neel Jani: “Preparation for qualifying was not that easy for us, but I had the feeling the car had a proper grip level for the first time here and felt good. Of course it is a shame that we went down from provisional P1 to P6 on the grid, but we will make the best out of it in tomorrow’s race.”

Marc Lieb: “My first lap was cancelled, but it wasn’t good anyway. After Neel did his run I jumped back into the car and on my second lap unfortunately made two mistakes. Given how tight the competition is here, you cannot afford to do that. This is obviously disappointing, as the car had the potential to be right up the front.”


No67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT – Pole Position LMGTE Pro

Andy Priaulx: “We’ve worked really hard over the last couple of days, all working together closely to get the car to a point where we can stick it on the front row,” he said. “Days like these mean a lot to me as we were off the pace in practice but we’ve worked so hard to turn it around and we’ve got the job done. It’s great to have pole position, now let’s see if we can finish the job off tomorrow.”


Harry Tincknell: “Back in the summer I was starting to wonder what I had to do to get back on the podium and had almost forgotten how to open a bottle of Champagne but now I’m riding the crest of a wave!  We were struggling a bit yesterday, almost a second and half off the pace. It was our first time at this track but we knew there was more to it than that so every has worked hard overnight. Andy and me have been studying the video and the data and the boys have been over the car with a fine toothcomb and the engineers have made set up adjustments. We went into qualifying hoping for the best but not expecting pole and I have to say the unexpected ones feel great. It’s going to be an interesting race tomorrow. It’s all well and good doing a quick lap in qualifying but it’s all going to be won and lost in the second half of the race stints when the tyres start to go off but we’re definitely starting from the best place.”


No66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT – 2nd Place LMGTE Pro

Olivier Pla:  “It was a very close session with not even a tenth of a second between myself and Harry. I made a little mistake on my fastest lap, under braking for turn six. This is a great result for the team though. We had pole at Fuji and the other car won the race so maybe this time with them on pole it could be our turn for the win!”


Stefan Mücke: “The car was a lot better than it was in free practice. I caught a bit of traffic on my second flying lap, which would have been a little bit quicker so that maybe cost us pole position. Nevertheless it’s great to have both Fords on the front row. We had pole at Fuji and the #67 car took the win so maybe this time it will be the other way around.”


No13 Rebellion Racing R-One-AER – Pole Position LMP1 Privateer

Alexander Imperatori:  “We have been struggling with our balance a little throughout the weekend but we made some changes to the car which has helped a lot and the grip improved.  Overall I had clean laps and then Dodo (Kraihamer) went in the car and did a great lap which was enough to put us on pole and we will see tomorrow how it goes in the race.”


No44 Manor Oreca05-Nissan – Pole Position LMP2

Matt Rao: “It is our first season in the WEC and we have had some ups and some downs. We haven’t always had the fastest race car on a Saturday but we have usually up there on the Sunday. It is great to get our first pole in our first season and I think we will have a really close race again tomorrow.”


No98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8

Paul Dalla Lana: “We have a big deficit to make up on the (No.83) Ferrari and I made it a little harder for myself with the penalty (for track limits) but we came back and got the job done. Pedro was great as ever and the team are performing to their usual standard so I think we can look forward to a good race this weekend.”