- Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying
'It was a squeeze getting my car together' - Senna
Bruno Senna has praised his team for repairing his car in time for the first session of qualifying after he crashed out in final practice at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Senna hit the barriers hard after losing the rear of his car coming out of Spoon corner towards the end of FP3, and his Renault mechanics only got the car back to the garage 90 minutes before the start of qualifying. He ended up with a top ten grid slot, but said it had been a close call ahead of Q1.
"It was a bit of a squeeze getting my car together in time for qualifying but the team did a fantastic job to mend it after my mishap in practice this morning," Senna said. "I haven't been able to get as much track time as I would have liked yet this weekend, however the car performed flawlessly throughout qualifying, and the strategy we deployed helped put us in a strong position for the race tomorrow. I am really looking forward to lining up on the grid, as it should be an exciting race. As I've said several times this weekend, I love this track and I am very well supported here so I hope to be able to give the supporters in the stands something to shout about."
His team-mate Vitaly Petrov said the car felt much more competitive than it did in Singapore two weeks ago where the two Renaults qualified 15th and 18th.
"I'm pleased with lining up ninth on the grid," he added. "We are looking much stronger here than in Singapore, and we're demonstrating the potential of the R31 at high speed corner tracks once again. The car has felt progressively better each time I've taken to the wheel this weekend. It felt good in FP1 and FP2, and then FP3 this morning confirmed my sense that there will be a good opportunity for us to perform well here. The stability of the car improved around the high speed corners and the traction was better too, so I'm feeling confident going into tomorrow. A lot of different strategies will be played out during the race but I'm glad we are back in the hunt again."