Daniel Ricciardo said he was reasonably pleased with his first qualifying session as an F1 driver today at Silverstone, although his best lap being half a second down on the rest of the field.
“My first qualifying session was alright but it was a bit frustrating with the weather, we couldn't do two runs so we were just limited to one but it was ok,” said the Australian rookie. “I would like to be a little bit closer to the rest of the field but I can't try to expect too much for now, it's a big learning curve. I'm half a second off Tonio which isn't much but for a racing car driver it is quite a lot, I want more but I shouldn't really expect too much at this stage, if I can keep closing the gap then it's ok.
“The F111 is actually quite good, with the option tyres the level of grip has surprised me, that's one part that will come from experience; knowing how far I can push it. In high speed corners I can still race at my speed. I think there's definitely potential and if I'm able to keep an open mind and am willing to learn; I think we will definitely move forward.
“I met the team on Wednesday and it's been a pretty deep introduction and I think it's gone quite smoothly, everyone seems really nice. With the engineers, it's hard to come into Formula 1 and start a fresh relationship in the middle of a season but I think we're doing quite well and I'm sure it gets easier from here.
“I expect to finish the race and be competitive, if I can maybe close the gap in the race and be within a few tenths of Tonio, I think that would be a positive start and some progress. If we can get ahead of a few other cars then that would be a good result”.
Vitantonio Liuzzi is not expecting a great race for his Hispania team tomorrow, and was not particularly pleased with his car during qualifying today.
“It was a difficult qualifying session because of the weather but also because we've had an issue with the car since yesterday; the handling hasn't been good since the beginning and the weather hasn't helped us to understand the new bits we've brought on the car,” said the Italian. “It hasn't been easy, we didn't have the best balance for qualifying but, overall, it was the best run we've had all week because it was a bit better overall.
“The race will be quite difficult because our rivals seem to be running faster than last year. We knew that this circuit wouldn't be great for our car but we have to keep on pushing and see how it goes tomorrow”.
Hispania team principal Colin Kolles says that the aim for tomorrow getting the cars to the chequered flag. He is hoping for a nice wet race:
“Tomorrow we have to finish the race and we will see what will be the end,” he said. “Today I would have expected more; we knew that it would be difficult because we had traction problems and have a lack of downforce. We had some new parts on the car but, unfortunately, it was difficult to get the right timing and to react in the right way under these circumstances”.
“If tomorrow we have what we had today then I will be happy. In free practice it's better to have dry conditions; in qualifying it's better to have consistent conditions, either rain or dry, and all this didn't happen. For us, starting at the end of the grid, the best would be to have heavy rain like in Canada for the race”.