2010 Italian Grand Prix, Saturday
FREE PRACTICE 3
Robert Kubica, R30-02, P9, 1:23.209, 20 laps
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04, P16, 1:23.967, 19 laps
Robert Kubica, R30-02, P9, 1:23.039
Robert: We knew that the best we could hope for today in a normal qualifying session was P7 on the grid, but the battle was very tight with Mercedes and Williams. I managed to set a good time in Q2 and get through with just one run, so I saved a set of option tyres for the final session. On my first run, I was two tenths up on my best when I took the decision to pit, so that I would have time to do two timed laps on my final run and hopefully improve even more. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to repeat my time - and I ended up two hundredths away from seventh. It’s not ideal, because the cars around us are very competitive on top speeds, but we know that it will be a long afternoon for everybody, so I hope we can make the most of any opportunities that come our way.
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04, P15 (will start P20 after qualifying penalty), 1:23.819
Vitaly: It was a tough qualifying session this afternoon with very small gaps between the cars around the top ten. Our car is not as competitive as at the last race, and I have been learning how to find the right rhythm, and get the most from the tyres, with this low level of downforce. As for the incident with Timo, I can only apologise to him if I held him up. I didn’t see him coming up behind me and didn’t see any blue flags as I came out of the pits. My grid penalty will make things even harder in the race but, as we saw in Spa, tomorrow is another day and a lot can still happen.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
Following on from a strong weekend in Spa, it’s clearly a bit of a disappointment to find ourselves ninth and 20th on the grid in Monza. We knew this circuit wouldn’t suit us as well as the last one, but we also clearly had the potential to do better in Q3 with Robert. Unfortunately, there is a big gap between our two cars, and both are behind each Mercedes, so it’s clearly not the most promising of positions to start from. But we are still looking forward to a good race, with strong, aggressive first laps and the right strategy, to at least finish in front of Mercedes.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
It was another solid qualifying performance from Robert to once again make it into Q3 – something he has achieved at every race this season. If he had managed to repeat his time from Q2, he would have started seventh, but we know how tricky and inconsistent the cars can be to drive here. I am confident he can still have a strong race. As for Vitaly, he lost running time both yesterday and this morning with brake problems, which also recurred in a different form during qualifying. This has made it even more difficult for him to get to grips with the car in low downforce trim. He obviously has a difficult afternoon ahead of him tomorrow, compounded by his five-place grid penalty, and we will try and get him as close to the points as possible.