Both Hispania drivers managed their best qualifying positions of the season so far today in qualifying for the German Grand Prix.
However, some might not consider this achievement quite as impressive as it first sounds when you consider the details. Sakon Yamamoto qualified in last place in his only previous outing of 2010 at Silverstone a fortnight ago. Today, he qualified second from last, by virtue of Virgin driver Lucas di Grassi suffering reliability problems and failing to set a flying lap.
Bruno Senna benefited from di Grassi’s problems, a teammate (Yamamoto) who was over a second off his pace, and an accident from Tonio Liuzzi to take 20th place on the Hockenheim grid. To be fair to the Brazilian however, he was not far off the pace of 19th-place man Timo Glock.
Regardless of these minor details, Hispania boss Colin Kolles was happy with the achievement, and hope to challenge Virgin and Lotus in the race. “Today we are happy with the result both drivers achieved in both sessions,” he said.
“Bruno Senna showed his best qualifying performance this season. Sakon Yamamoto learnt a lot from yesterday's practices and could improve his performance. Unfortunately, he had a shifting problem which is going to be investigated. We could catch up with the other new teams and we are confident to race the other teams tomorrow.”
Yamamoto blamed this shifting problem for the poor performance relative to his teammate and is simply aiming to get to the checkered flag tomorrow. “It was my second qualifying in a row after Silverstone and here we could improve a lot compared to the last weekend,” said the Japanese driver, who will take part in his sixteenth grand prix here in Germany.
“Today it was a bit disappointing as we had a shifting problem on my fastest lap, which needs to be investigated for tomorrow. During the race, the weather conditions will be different and I'm going to do my best and I hope to finish the race again.”
Senna was just two seconds behind the Virgin of Timo Glock, and was pleased with the flying lap he managed to pull out of the bag today. “It feels like a really good qualifying for us and we have been closer to our competitors than expected,” he said. “My lap was almost perfect as I could put all the sectors together. I think it was one of my best laps in qualifying this year, so I'm fairly happy. It was a good effort from the team and we will see how it goes tomorrow.”