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Jenson Button: “I hope everyone is in the same situation and that we probably won’t have any issues. But, yeah, of course, if one guy is lifting off 180 metres before the corner and another is lifting off 90 metres before, it does make the racing a little bit more difficult.”
Hamilton: “The race is to finish. We have done race simulations in testing but they haven’t been easy. It’s going to be a challenge for fuel, for tyres. It’s a learning process. By no means is it going to be easy.”
Magnussen: “I am proud about myself, yes, but also proud about the team for doing such a good job in the preparation. But by all being thrilled I have not forgotten that the race is tomorrow, the points are tomorrow so what really matters is having a good day tomorrow.”
Alonso: “We need to improve a little bit the speed of the car in general: the traction, the top speed…we are a little bit down here compared to the others on the finish line. There are finally some areas where we can finally see our competitors when we’re racing because in the testing you never know what the others are doing.”
Maldonado: “I think it’s possible [to finish]. We need to put it all together. Even in the race you’re not pushing that hard, even though it will be our first long run, race distance. So it will be very important for us to finish to be honest.”
Johnny Brownlee: “Where else can you ride on a F1 circuit and bike in the pits and chicanes? The Yas Marina Circuit was a highlight and, due to the smooth tarmac, allowed me to get up to 65km/h on my bike which I really enjoyed.”
Amateur footage showing the final moments of yesterday’s tense qualifying finale taken from the pit grandstand.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) March 15, 2014
So it was double points for the last race and reverse grids all season right? pic.twitter.com/6ywLqhCrw3
— Lotus F1 Team (@Lotus_F1Team) March 15, 2014
— Jean-Eric Vergne (@JeanEricVergne) March 15, 2014
#F1 In first interview after qualifying, Helmut Marko hadn't realized Ricciardo was beaten for pole by Lewis. Marko was told eventually.
— Tobias Grüner F1 (@tgruener) March 15, 2014
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) March 15, 2014
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Comment of the day
Needless to say, we’re in for a brand new racing experience when the five lights finally go out later today and reader @timi cannot wait for it to begin.
The Tortoise transforms into the Hare! This should be great to watch. Too often in recent seasons has the action only lasted the first quarter-ish of the race, before petering out into a spaced-out field cars and maybe one or two final battles for position.
This is what a race weekend should be, in my opinion. The excitement and sheer captivation starts on Thursday, rising slowly to a great qualifying session, before calming down. The calm before the storm that is Race Day. Sunday arrives, the lights go out… No-one is 10seconds ahead in as many laps. The cars are still together for now.. but soon.. soon the Gladiatiors will go all-out to the flag.
A mad dash to the finish line will be great, there are so many talented drivers on the grid. The cars are much harder to drive, and they’re surprisingly evenly matched! 2014, here we go!
From the forum
Happy birthday to Rob Wilson!
On this day in F1
On this day last year qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix was postponed due to severe rain. It was held on the morning of the race instead.