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WEC - What The Drivers Said After Qualifying

2016 WEC 24 Heures du Mans - Post Qualifying

No1 Porsche team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 2nd on grid

Timo Bernhard : “This is a superb result for Porsche. Congratulations to the sister car for pole position and thanks to the team for the great preparation. Today it was extremely difficult to drive. There was lots of water and very poor visibility. In the second qualifying session we tried a couple of things and this was positive. But should we have such changeable weather conditions in the race, it makes it a lot more difficult. Then everybody here really needs to be wide awake.”

Brendon Hartley: “It’s great to qualify with both cars on the front row again, but a shame we didn’t get any more running. Neel and Timo had some compromised laps yesterday because of traffic and Audi didn’t put in a true qualifying effort. I feel sorry for the fans on the full grand stands and camping grounds, as they got wet but didn’t get to see a real shoot-out.”

Mark Webber: “It’s nice to have that qualifying result, but we know this is not even one per cent of the race. All teams and drivers now can’t wait for the 24-Hours to start.”

No2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – Pole Position

Romain Dumas: “The target in Le Mans, obviously, is the race and not getting pole position. But, of course, it is always better to start in the front and it also gives us another point for the championship. We did some laps in the wet and our car is good in all conditions.“

Neel Jani: “Last year the pole lap was a real banger, this year it was different circumstances. It was so difficult in traffic yesterday, but obviously I was the one who lost the least. It was all about working around people. Today’s conditions were very poor with all the water and dirt on the track. However, I’ll be the start driver and I’m very much looking forward to it. Last year I started from pole as well, but then we were the unluckiest of the Porsches. The team did everything in every detail to prepare for 2016 and I hope for some more luck this year.“

Marc Lieb :  “Even under these conditions practice and qualifying went very smoothly for us. We have managed to improve the car, learnt a lot for the race and put in good lap times for the grid position. In any regard, we fell well prepared.“

No5 Toyota Team Gazoo Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 4th on grid

Anthony Davidson: “It was good that I got to drive in the wet because that was the one piece of the puzzle missing from my preparations. I am happy that the car felt okay in the rain and we were competitive also; I think we have all bases covered now. You always want more time to perfect the car but we have done a pretty comprehensive job considering how the weather has been.”

Sébastien Buemi: “Qualifying is over now and we are happy; third and fourth are decent positions to start from. We have completed good work in wet and dry conditions so we are ready now. The race is long and the key is finishing and making no mistakes. Now we will go through the data and take the final steps; it is the biggest and most important preparation of the season.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “It was a very tricky day as the conditions changed a lot, and it was especially tough when I drove the car. There was a lot of rain and a lot of water on the track so the conditions were very difficult and the visibility was bad. But it was helpful to experience that already and it is nice to know we that are ready for any condition. I think we can have a good race.”

No6 Toyota Team Gazoo Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 3rd on grid

Stéphane Sarrazin: “Thanks to the fans for their support even in such bad weather. Today was complicated for us due to the rain but we tested the car in difficult conditions and we found a good balance. We are all happy and we are ready for the race. I feel we have a strong car and we can push; we are in the game. In the race at Spa we were fast so I expect we can fight at the front here.” 

Mike Conway: “It was really bad out there. It’s helpful to get some wet running as this tells us where the water builds up, where to place the car and what tyres to choose. It could rain during the race so we need to be prepared for every situation. All the drivers are happy with the car balance and we can do something from the second row.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “That was actually my first time to drive the TS050 HYBRID in fully wet conditions, so it was a useful experience for me. We learned a lot about the car in the wet so I am pretty happy. The team has prepared really well so we are looking forward to the race. We are starting from third; we want to make a good start and then fight for 24 hours.”

No7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 6th on grid

Marcel Fässler: “Due to the constantly changing weather, it wasn’t easy to get into a rhythm and build the resulting confidence. To find a perfect set-up we’re still lacking some kilometers on a dry track – but everyone has to cope with that. On the test day, we saw that our car fits this track well. The competition will be fierce and the spectators can look forward to a thrilling race. We’re going to try our best.”

André Lotterer: “That surely wasn’t the easiest Le Mans preparation but the conditions were similarly difficult for everyone, although some may have caught a better time in the cockpit than others. I had little luck on both days but was still able to set the best time with our car. But that’s not what we focused on. For us it was important to try out as much with the car as possible in order to be well prepared. We managed to do that.”

Benoît Tréluyer: “Our car was fast from the beginning but the conditions were difficult. We changed the set-up a little but that made us somewhat slower. That’s why we set up our Audi forThursday once more. It felt very good on a wet track and when it began to dry off, handling remained stable. That’s why we’re starting the race with confidence. The lap times don’t show where we really stand yet.”

No8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 5th on grid

Lucas di Grassi:  “Our week has been anything but easy so far: rarely constant conditions, rain again and again, and the few laps in normal conditions aren’t very conclusive. Still, we have a car that’s basically well prepared for the 24 hours of racing. We have a strong team backing us, the car has developed well during the course of our tests and we’re in contention. Now we still need the necessary racing fortune.”

Loïc Duval: “The conditions were really tricky. Maybe that wasn’t so bad for preparing for the race when we may be confronted with similar weather changes. On Wednesday, I wasn’t so happy yet with our rain set-up. That was better on Thursday. On a dry track we were competitive anyway. We could see once more that the fans can look forward to a really close battle between Porsche, Toyota and Audi.”

Oliver Jarvis: “Due to the weather conditions and the red flags it was a pretty difficult qualifying session. But the conditions were the same for all the teams. We’d like to start further towards the front but obviously we know that the position you finish in is a lot more important. We’re optimistic for the race. It might become one of the craziest races here I’ve ever participated in. The reliability of the cars will play an important role. I’m excited about the race starting shortly.”