F1 – 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX – POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
F1 – 2023 SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX – POST-QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
1 – Sergio PÉREZ (Crimson Bull Racing)
2 – Charles LECLERC (Ferrari)
3 – Fernando ALONSO (Aston Martin)
(Performed by Khalil Beschir)
Q: Checo, pole place once more in Jeddah! How do you do that solely right here?
Sergio PÉREZ: It was difficult. It was difficult that Q3, particularly [after] not getting that second lap. That [first lap] was fairly good, you already know, it was fairly clear, actually clear. Nailing that lap, you already know, you actually really feel the Components 1 automobiles coming alive on this place and yeah simply maximising that lap was essential, you already know, as a result of with the difficulty we had into the ultimate run it was actually essential because the observe was bettering.
Q: You have to be glad to listen to it was solely driveshaft on Max’s automotive, nothing else. It was a scare wasn’t it in the midst of the session? It was a scare for you whenever you noticed Max’s drawback. You have been glad it was solely a driveshaft?
SP: Yeah, yeah, I imply, it is a disgrace, you already know. Max has been actually sturdy the entire weekend. So hopefully tomorrow we are able to have each automobiles up there, as you by no means know, with these automobiles, you already know, reliability points can hit you at any time.
Q: Effectively, Checo, incredible. Hopefully tomorrow you can be the one with the win. as a result of factors rely tomorrow. Congratulations. Charles Leclerc, P2, you have to be proud of that. I do know the penalty is there for tomorrow, sadly. However you have to be proud of the qualifying?
Charles LECLERC: Ah, glad? Sure and no. On one hand, I believe it has been a really troublesome weekend by way of tempo for us. However I am very glad about my lap, I believe I put all the things in it. It was actually, actually on the restrict. Then again, Crimson Bull are on one other planet. And we’re struggling a little bit bit. So we have to hold pushing. However that is what we’re doing as a crew. Tomorrow just isn’t going to be simple. I’ve a 10-place grid penalty. So we’ll be beginning a little bit bit additional again. However we’ll deal with the race and hopefully come again within the entrance as rapidly as potential.
Q: We will’t separate you an excessive amount of from Max, as a result of Max can be ranging from the again. However race tempo is significantly better. Yesterday, the lengthy runs, the automotive seemed good on Mushy, additionally on Medium. You have to be trying ahead for enchancment from Bahrain, on race tempo I imply.
CL: Sure, the race tempo seemed fairly good. However it’s very troublesome to match as a result of in FP2 everyone has a really completely different programme. So we’ll see, however it appeared a little bit bit higher. However it’s not going to be simple as a result of I really feel like everyone may be very shut within the race tempo.
Q: Effectively, we want you all one of the best of luck. Tomorrow goes to be a protracted race, however I am fairly positive you are going to benefit from the quickest velocity circuit on the planet. Fernando Alonso everybody! I do know you’re one of many favorite drivers for the gang right here. P3 within the race in Bahrain and now a incredible qualifying. You have to be glad beginning third and in addition to be in entrance of Mercedes as effectively?
Fernando ALONSO: Yeah, for positive. I imply, it has been an excellent weekend for us. Qualifying was our weak point, or a weak level in Bahrain however at the moment the automotive appeared to carry out very effectively on one lap. And yeah, let’s examine tomorrow what we are able to do from right here. Clearly, Charles has a penalty, so we’ll begin on the primary row the grid, so that is simply wonderful.
Q: I believe the primary few laps are going to be wonderful for you, between you and Checo. However inform us, the race tempo was good as effectively. Clearly in Bahrain, you had top-of-the-line automobiles round the entire race, however how was it yesterday? Had been you proud of the… There was a little bit of a drop at some stage after lap 13, are you assured for a superb race tomorrow?
FA: Yeah, we’re assured. I believe that the hole or as an example the long term yesterday was affected a little bit bit by visitors however the automotive felt very sturdy. Nonetheless, I believe the strongest level on the automotive is the long term tempo and the way we deal with the tyres, so I’m trying ahead to it.
Q: Checo, many congratulations, back-to-back poles right here in Saudi Arabia. Simply how candy was this one?
SP: I imply Jeddah, I get pleasure from it quite a bit. , I believe all of us… When you’ve got a superb automotive you can push round this place, you actually really feel the F1 automobiles coming alive. And getting a clear, good lap, you already know whenever you nail it. And yeah, that Q3 run one was fairly a superb soar. I had a superb soar from all my earlier laps. And that meant that I used to be capable of get the pole, as a result of my second lap, I did not handle to get it. I simply had a entrance lock going into Flip 1. That has been actually difficult. Flip 1 and Flip 2, at all times beginning the lap into 1 and a couple of, it was really easy simply to lose two tenths straightaway there, particularly with the low downforce that we’re operating. And simply nailing that mixture of corners would require numerous temperature on our tyres as effectively, so yeah, simply usually, simply getting that lap, nailing that lap, was very nice.
Q: Had you completed that second lap in Q3, was there extra time within the automotive?
SP: I believe it is simply tiny. I went a little bit bit deep into Flip 4. However no, nothing main. It was already a really clear lap. However I believe, yeah, the observe was bettering, there ought to have been a little bit bit extra to come back.
Q: The place has the automotive been particularly sturdy round this observe?
SP: Effectively, I believe simply usually, you already know. I really feel like it will likely be attention-grabbing to see, as a result of some automobiles are operating very excessive downforce others decrease downforce, like us. So it will likely be very attention-grabbing to see tomorrow within the race, what we’re capable of get via and yeah, that will likely be very attention-grabbing.
Q: Let’s discuss tomorrow’s race, then. First up, you are in all probability hoping to get the rub of the inexperienced with the Security Automobile, which you did not get final yr, after all. However how do you assume it will play out? Do you’ve got reliability considerations, given what’s occurred to Max, and I imagine there was a little bit little bit of a difficulty in Bahrain as effectively. Simply how do you view the reliability of the automotive?
SP: There’s at all times reliability considerations, particularly round this place. It’s so simple to make harm to the automobiles and on the finish of the day, there’ll at all times be reliability considerations. However hopefully not tomorrow.
Q: Very effectively performed. Thanks. Charles, coming to you. Now, after all, you are going to drop 10 locations on the grid tomorrow due to the penalty. However how a lot encouragement does this efficiency provide you with by way of the Ferrari’s tempo?
CL: Not that a lot. Within the lap, I am actually, actually glad. It was actually on the restrict. Then again, I really feel like Crimson Bull are fairly far forward. And that’s our objective, to beat them. So there’s nonetheless numerous work to do. Having mentioned that, I believe it is a bit higher than what we anticipated for this qualifying session. We anticipated to be a bit additional again. However there’s numerous work to do.
Q: You mentioned a second in the past that it has been a troublesome weekend for the crew. Simply what have been the problems with the automotive?
CL: Effectively, to be trustworthy, should you ask me to pinpoint one factor, it is very troublesome. It is simply that we have been fairly sluggish. And yeah, simply general grip to be trustworthy.
Q: OK, so what are you able to do from the center of the grid tomorrow?
CL: I believe our race tempo is stronger this weekend. So it is a good factor. Then, I do not understand how simple it will be to overhaul on this observe as a result of the midfield appears to be all extraordinarily shut by way of race tempo. And when you’ve got a DRS prepare, then it makes issues very troublesome. However I will give my greatest, attempt to come again to the entrance as rapidly as potential. And we’ll see what occurs.
Q: Thanks for that. Fernando coming to you. You are going to begin on the entrance row tomorrow. First time since Canada final yr. Let’s begin along with your quali lap. How good was it?
FA: Yeah, it was good. The factor that in all probability we did not enhance a lot from Q2 to Q3. Q2 we have been P1 with 28.7, and roughly we repeat the identical lap in Q3, so we nonetheless miss a little bit bit that soar from Q2 to Q3 and comply with the observe evolution. However, yeah, all in all, I believe we’ve got to be very glad. We begin on the primary row of the grid, on the second race, very completely different circuit in comparison with Bahrain. So yeah, I believe it has been a really constructive weekend for the crew.
Q: How a lot did the observe evolve in the course of the course of the qualifying session?
FA: I believe it did. However in all probability we have been anticipating extra. To be trustworthy, I believe the expectations for the Q1 cut-off and the Q2 cut-off have been a bit quicker. So the observe was not mega quick, as an example, tonight. However the identical for everyone. I believe we optimised our lap and our package deal. Our energy thus far has been the lengthy runs and the way we deal with the tyres on the lengthy runs. So yeah. Let’s have a look at tomorrow what we are able to do.
Q: Effectively. Look, how shut is your race tempo to the man in your proper? Do you assume you possibly can beat him?
FA: I don’t know. I believe we’re not in that place but. I believe on pure tempo, I believe Crimson Bull is in one other league. And I believe we’ve got to pay attention extra on the groups behind. So Ferrari will likely be very sturdy. Mercedes, they’re sturdy, and in addition Alpine, they’re quick right here. So I believe our race is simply behind us. However we noticed at the moment, Max in all probability was in his league at the moment in qualifying and he couldn’t full the qualifying with a mechanical challenge apparently, so we’ll attempt to take the chance for positive.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Fred Ferret – l’Equipe) Fernando, aside from the beginning and the primary nook, is there another probability you can beat Checo?
FA: I do not assume so. I do not assume so. I do not need to sound pessimistic but when we see the tempo the entire weekend in free observe, we see the Bahrain race, we’ve got to be trustworthy with ourselves and know that Crimson Bull is a little bit bit forward of everybody. In order that’s not, as an example, the goal tomorrow, you already know, to battle for the win with Checo. However as I mentioned earlier than, Components 1 just isn’t actual arithmetic, you already know, something can occur and at the moment no certainly one of us will put Verstappen P15, you already know, however this stuff occur typically. So, for us, a very powerful factor is to attain factors. We’re beginning each automobiles within the prime 5. We attempt to end each automobiles within the prime 5 and hold accumulating factors for the Constructors’ Championship. That is the principle objective for Aston Martin this yr.
Q: (Niharika Ghorpade – Sportskeeda) A query for Fernando. Fernando, given your lengthy runs on the medium tyres, there was a few two tenths distinction between you and Checo. Do you assume that form of hole will be lined tomorrow? And in addition, you’ve got the Alpines and Ferrari, that are lower than a tenth away on the identical tyres. So how do you assume that is going to play out for you tomorrow?
FA: Yeah, very tight race, I count on. And that will likely be outlined by small particulars. One would be the begin, one would be the tyre administration. The opposite one would be the technique. And doubtless the ultimate one would be the luck, as a result of we noticed even final yr with Checo, you already know, how luck and the Security Automobile can play an enormous issue right here. So, you already know, we’ve got to nail all of those factors. I believe as a crew, we’re able to handle all the things that’s in our arms. The automotive appears to carry out effectively on the lengthy runs. Appears very simple on tyres, as we noticed additionally final yr with the outdated Aston Martin, but additionally in Bahrain, it appears good. So yeah, let’s attempt to maximise our strengths. And hopefully be fortunate as effectively.
Q: (Jesus Balseiro – Diario AS) Fernando, what sort of race do you count on by way of technique and in addition security automotive is kind of widespread right here. And in addition, do you assume Max will attain you in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the race?
FA: Yeah, I believe so. I believe Max will come finally within the race, you already know. They’ve this benefit. I do not know which race it was final yr that he began final, so he modified the facility unit and nonetheless completed P2 and even received the race. So, I believe tomorrow, there isn’t any doubt that he will likely be within the podium, in all probability, minimal. So yeah, as I mentioned, this isn’t our objective. , once we launched the automotive on the thirteenth of February, I keep in mind very effectively a dialog with Mike Krack, with Lance, with the senior administration of the crew, setting the objectives for this yr, and the objectives weren’t combating Crimson Bull for the win tomorrow. So let’s hold it easy. Let’s hold the ft on the bottom, and do not make any errors, you already know. Even when we’re aggressive we can not depart these sorts of weekends that they’re so good for us with no factors, you already know, that may be our largest mistake. So no matter is offered tomorrow, I am positive we’ll take.
Q: Checo, can I convey you in right here. How far do you assume Max can climb tomorrow, within the automotive that you just’re driving?
SP: I believe we definitely have a superb race automotive. I believe it is the place in all probability we’re a little bit bit higher than the competitors. However yeah, it relies upon. Like Fernando says, so many issues can occur in a race, you already know, however I do count on him to come back again. Our automotive, our race tempo, was very sturdy on Friday, so we’ll see. We’ll see what… hopefully for the crew, we’re capable of come again and get most factors as a result of these weekends are essential. The competitors, it is solely going to get nearer. So, to have the ability to maximise most factors will likely be essential.
Q: (Pedro Fermín Flores Martín – TheGodFlores) Congratulations to all of you. Two brief questions for Fernando. First one, how do you’re feeling now Fernando, as a result of in Spain at this second, it’s loopy time. And second, tomorrow, anybody can inform there’s two Crimson Bulls on the entrance line? Thanks.
FA: I really feel good. Clearly, I got here to Jeddah with some query marks about our efficiency in Bahrain. It was superb – however we did our winter testing in Bahrain and race one in Bahrain, we did not take a look at the brand new ’23 automobiles in another circuit, so it was essential to come back to Jeddah and see if we saved being sturdy within the order. So, you already know, to really feel aggressive once more, right here, clearly, is a big reduction for the crew. And that is, once more, an additional motivation for everybody within the manufacturing unit to maintain pushing – as a result of the automotive appears to carry out in any circumstances. After which for the primary row, I do not assume, as I mentioned already on Thursday, I do not assume, you already know, two Crimson Bulls are on the primary row tomorrow. I believe they’re very completely different. Crimson Bull mentioned that the automobiles have been the identical, however they’re very completely different. And in addition Toto mentioned that the automobiles have been the identical: the Mercedes and the Aston as a result of we share 50 per cent of the automotive or one thing like that. However evidently everyone seems to be an Aston Martin now.
Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS) For Checo. You’re driving a inexperienced Crimson Bull tomorrow?
SP: Effectively, it’s not what Fernando says, so…
Q: I simply questioned, is there something in your head that okay, it feels snug, you in P1, Max in P15, however do you’ve got a foul dream tonight about him approaching after 15 laps in your mirror? And what’s going to occur then?
SP: Effectively, I’m not going to strategy the race tomorrow enthusiastic about Max. To begin with, I’ve to ensure I will hold the lid on the preliminary laps. And if I am ready to try this, to maintain this lion behind, it will likely be good, as a result of I believe I can deal with my race.
Q: (Frédéric Ferret – L’Equipe) Query to Charles and Fernando. Are you fearful concerning the tempo of the Mercedes of George?
CL: Effectively, I am beginning within the again, so I first must get to that stage earlier than worrying about something. However let’s say that I have never seen something that worries me from George. I believe it is extra the tempo of Crimson Bull that may be very, very spectacular. And the Mercedes tempo is kind of in keeping with ours, I believe.
FA: Sure, I’m the identical. We all know that they’re very shut, and George significantly, he was very quick right here final yr as effectively. I believe we have been quicker than him in observe and Qualifying after which within the race he was very, very sturdy in 2022. So yeah, I believe tomorrow goes to be very shut with him and, as I mentioned earlier than, with Alpine as effectively. So, it’s going to be tight.
Q: (Jake Boxall-Legge – Autosport) Query for Charles please. We noticed you and Carlos doing a little bit bit of labor on the Mediums earlier on at the moment. Has this typically simply been a race-focused set-up given your penalty for tomorrow – and with that in thoughts, does maybe your Qualifying end result come as a little bit little bit of a shock? And lastly, is a podium potential for both you or Carlos tomorrow?
CL:I believe for Carlos, it is undoubtedly potential. He is beginning a bit additional up. On my facet, realistically, I believe it’s going to be a bit tougher, particularly as soon as I arrive across the prime automobiles – as a result of there, the race tempo is similar to everyone. The Medium this morning, we did few laps on them simply to have a bit extra info – however it’s not like we sacrifice numerous our Quali tempo for our race tempo tomorrow. Nonetheless, our race tempo seems higher than Bahrain. So, I believe we’ll be a bit higher on that. However yeah, for me, we’re nonetheless too far in Qualifying in comparison with what I wish to be, particularly in comparison with the Crimson Bull.
Q: (Niharika Ghorpade – Sportskeeda) A query to Charles and Fernando, how life like is Alpine’s tempo in the case of a risk, to both of your groups? They appear to have gone from P20 to P9 in Bahrain, and even in FP2, they appeared sturdy. So, what’s it that your groups can be strategising to maintain them at bay? How will it play out with their methods?
FA: I imply, nothing actually that we should do particularly to them. I believe we’ve got to focus on our race and let’s examine what is feasible. , if they’re quicker than us, they usually end in entrance of us, that is one thing that possibly it isn’t in our arms. What we’ve got to do just isn’t make any mistake and execute the race to perfection. And that perfection, if it’s sufficient to complete in entrance of a few of these groups, okay, if it’s not sufficient we’ll attempt to enhance for the subsequent one.
CL: Yeah, precisely the identical. Alpine appears to be very fast, particularly coming race day. However yeah, let’s see tomorrow. I haven’t got any specific plan for beating the Alpine.
Q: (Mat Coch – Speedcafe.com) Oscar Piastri was ninth quickest, he’ll begin eighth, clearly. What are your ideas on his efficiency within the early levels and significantly in that session?
SP: I have never had an opportunity to correctly take a look at it. I used to be targeted primarily on getting my lap performed. I believe we will definitely have a superb look in a while. It is a very distinctive place and yeah, you possibly can actually see one thing that stands out between teammates as effectively. , typically your automotive won’t be acting at a really excessive stage, however you’ll be able to get these further two-tenths from your self by nailing an ideal lap right here.
CL: Effectively, I believe it is, it is spectacular, particularly after a yr off, and second race in a road observe – and a really difficult one, in all probability one of the crucial difficult of the season – to see him have such a efficiency, is nice. Nonetheless, it is not likely a shock with what he has proven previously. I used to be fairly positive that he was extraordinarily gifted. And he has proven that at the moment so it is good. I believe the grid is in a extremely good place in the mean time with all of the drivers there.
FA: I imply, identical. We did not have a lot time to essentially take a look at the opposite’s efficiency. However yeah, Oscar, you already know, I believe there’s nothing new. He has this big expertise. Very difficult place. So, I am glad for him and glad for McLaren as effectively. We’d like, you already know, a powerful McLaren as effectively within the battle.