HRT team principal Colin Kolles said that today’s qualifying result in Germany – Vitantonio Liuzzi P23, Daniel Ricciardo P24 – fell below his expectations for the team, both both drivers were reasonably happy with their performance at the NÃ¼rburgring.
“Clearly, we'd intended to qualify better for our 28th grand prix, so inevitably today's qualifying session was a disappointing one,” he said. “The race is what counts though. The team did a great job changing the engine yesterday after our problem and they are all solved now. The cold temperature is affecting the warming up of the tyres.
“I really hope we can achieve a good result tomorrow. The risk of rain that has been forecast all weekend could change our strategy even if it is a worry not to have worked with wet tyres all weekend on this track”.
Liuzzi will actually start behind Ricciardo tomorrow, thanks to a five-place grid penalty for having his gearbox changed. The Italian said that the changing track conditions prevented them from beating those around them in qualifying today.
“I was optimistic about finishing ahead of our main rivals in qualifying,” said Liuzzi. “However, the track conditions changed from the morning to the afternoon and the car wasn't feeling the same. Also, with the gearbox change, we got penalized and will have to start off the back tomorrow. Still, I'm confident that tomorrow we can regain yesterday's feel on race distance. Tomorrow will be a difficult but exciting race”.
Ricciardo was only 0.025 seconds slower than his team-mate in what was only his second Formula 1 qualifying session. He could draw plenty of positives from today.
“I'm quite happy with the qualifying session,” said the Australian rookie. “I'm not delighted but I have to be realistic and I think it's a good step forward from Silverstone. Also, this morning, I wasn't so quick and we learned from that. We made some changes with the engineer and it seems to be positive because my lap times improved considerably. So I think it's a very a good step forward. We need to take another one tomorrow during the race”.