Daniel Ricciardo: (Q3: 1:20.641, pos. 8th): “It was good to get into Q3 again. We seem to make a habit of finding a little bit extra for qualifying, although ideally, I’d like to be on the pace right from Friday and chip away at the lap times within the top ten.
I think we got the most out of the car this afternoon. I was happy with the way I drove and I am pleased with my form at the moment. But now comes the bit of the weekend that counts and we will try to get it right, beginning with making a good start.
I am not too concerned about starting on the “dirty” side of the grid and with all the various support races before the Grand Prix, I am sure it will be fine.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (Q2: 1:21.029, pos. 14th): “I’m not really sure how I ended up several tenths slower than my team-mate in Q2, so I am keen to see what we can learn from the data. We did not have too many actual problems, apart from the fact that since Friday I appear to lack downforce on my car.
Tomorrow will be very difficult in these conditions, especially for the Soft tyres and so, getting the strategy right will make all the difference.
The car has improved since Friday, so given all the uncertainties we can face tomorrow, I am still in a reasonably optimistic frame of mind and hope to get myself into a position where I can fight for some points. My state of mind with all the paddock gossip? It has absolutely no effect on what I have to do this weekend.”
James Key: “It’s great to get a fifth consecutive Q3 result, dating back to Jean-Eric’s tenth place in Monaco. We have a lot of new aero parts here which needed validating and we worked on that very hard overnight. Despite a difficult Friday, we realised looking at the data, that they were working pretty much as planned, so everything we brought has stayed on the car.
We looked carefully at where we most needed to improve. Part of the reason we struggled on the first day is that we need to tune the car to suit the new tyres. Everyone did a great job to find a new direction for the drivers for this morning and both of them were much happier with the balance of the car today.
The car was not 100% in FP3 but we made some minor tweaks before qualifying and they helped to get nearer the sweet spot on the car. As for Jev, he also improved and Q2 was very close so he ended up in P14, but certainly we can do well from there and knowing that he is a good racer, we will obviously be targeting a points finish for him too.
We know it will be a very tough race in this heat tomorrow and we must wait and see how long the tyres last and it’s going to be quite exhausting for the drivers.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso