Seb praises teamwork for overnight progress. Kimi: “We’ve got a chance”
Marina Bay, September 16th – At the end of an incredibly tense qualifying session, in which as many as 13 drivers improved over last year’s pole position time, Sebastian took the top slot on the grid for Scuderia Ferrari. Today’s result takes the team’s total number of pole positions to 212, its third at the Marina Bay circuit and the fourth for Seb with Scuderia Ferrari, three of which have been achieved with the SF70H car. Kimi Raikkonen paid a heavy price for a small mistake in his very last run and had to settle for P4, nevertheless showing consistent improvement since the beginning of the weekend.
“Yesterday I wasn’t smiling, today I am” said Seb. “When you belong to a team, you need to believe in each other and this is the perfect proof. Our Friday was messy, but our team has worked all night long and I am grateful for that. Here the guys worked all night and got to sleep around breakfast time, I believe. Meanwhile, back at the factory, Charles Leclerc worked at the simulator and other people analysed the data. Yesterday it seemed that we were not competitive enough and a lot of answers were missing. At the beginning of qualifying I was just thinking about doing my job. Then in Q3 I attacked, and I am very happy it worked”.
He then continued: “For us it’s important to turn up the day. If it’s a bad day, we want to change it making it a good one because we always try to have good days. I think yesterday was very important for us because we learnt from it. It was a hard lesson but we improved our understanding of the car and the track evolution came to us. Now we probably have a better idea what the car needs. There are always lessons that need to be learnt and I am quite happy that we had a bad day yesterday. We are happy we got the pole today because it always helps. But the race is tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens”.
Kimi had this to say about his weekend so far: “It has been difficult since yesterday and even today it was not easy. The whole track felt very tricky to drive, it was hard to be quick and put the car where we wanted; in some sectors we were more competitive than in others. In qualifying it was a bit better compared to yesterday and this afternoon’s P3 practice, but I was still far from feeling comfortable to push. I was still fighting trying to do a good lap and it was easy to make mistakes and lose lap time. To finish fourth is not ideal but I’ll take it considering all the struggles that we have had so far ; it could easily have been worse. At least we gave ourselves a chance for tomorrow and hopefully with a bit of luck we can gain some positions. We’ll tackle it as a new day. Lately our starts have been quite decent, so we’ll try to make good progress and see where we end up”.