That was one of the best qualifying sessions we did this year. The team did an incredible job to give me a brilliant car. It was so enjoyable to drive this wonderful track with that Silver Arrow. The balance was perfect, so I was able to push a lot and go to the limits in the corners. It’s always a great battle against Lewis; we push each other very much through the sessions. Sometime he finds a tenth there, then I find a tenth here. That’s why I enjoy the situation so much. For tomorrow I think we are well prepared. Even in the wet our car is very quick as we have seen in Spa this year. So I definitely look forward to the race here in Japan. Again I need to thank the incredible fans here. They wait for hours to see us drivers and give us little gifts. That gives us a very special feeling.
It wasn’t the best of sessions today but it was a decent recovery considering the crash in FP3. I just overcooked it this morning and the team did a fantastic job to put the car back together. Our mechanics are the best, they work so hard to get everything perfect. I feel good but I just wasn’t quick enough today. Nico did a great job, he looked very quick, particularly in Turn Eight, but I don’t feel like I’ve quite had the pace all weekend. I’m still second and we’ve seen races where we’ve come back from further than that, so I’m excited for tomorrow. I’ve heard there’s some rain coming, it’s going to make it very hard but it makes it more of a lottery.
That was a fantastic battle between two drivers competing at the very highest level. Every day, somebody asks us whether the momentum is shifting one way or the other, but the reality is that they are both working so hard to find every little advantage, and trying to get the maximum out of every session. They were watching video replays of their laps during qualifying, analysing telemetry overlays as well, and it’s just fantastic to see this level of pure, intense competition between them. Nico did a perfect job today and improved with every single run, finishing it off with a very strong pole position. Lewis was compromised by his accident this morning and something like this will always be sitting at the back of your mind. But he still will start from the front row, so it was a good recovery from him. Looking to tomorrow, we are expecting rain coming in and that will give a very different picture to today. I guess we can expect one of those typical Japan races with lots of Safety Cars and exciting moment. We’d rather keep it quiet like today – but we don’t get to choose!
A fantastic result to score a fourth consecutive front-row lockout and our 14th pole of this 2014 season. After Lewis’ accident in practice this morning, it was a great recovery by the team to put his car back together and get both drivers out on time at the start of Q1. We ran the exact programme we had planned, progressing through the first two sessions with a single run and then two option runs in the final part. We saw a great fight between our two drivers for the front row, and it was great to see the strong pace of the car at this circuit which is very demanding for both the engine and the aerodynamics. Congratulations in particular to Nico on his pole position; he delivered a flawless session and very impressive pole laps.