Jean-Eric Vergne: "...the race is tomorrow and everything can happen, especially here. I’ll do my best!”
Daniil Kvyat (Q2: no time, pos. 14th - 7 grid position penalty): “Tomorrow I will start from the back of the grid because of the penalty we got at the United States Grand Prix, but in Monza and Austin we proved that we can fight for points even in difficult starting situations. I did a good lap in Q1 but, considering the grid penalty, we decided not to go out during Q2, even if I think I could have definitively fought for Q3. Sometimes there are difficult decisions to make but that’s also part of racing. Everything can happen during the race and I’m confident that we still have a chance to fight for points tomorrow.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (Q1, 1:12.040, pos. 16th): “Not having completed a lot of mileage in preparation for today’s qualifying session, I couldn’t get the best out of the car, which was very difficult to drive today. This is not an easy track and there are a few corners in which you really lose a lot of time if you do not have the right balance.
If you consider the lack of mileage and the fact that we’ve struggled with the tyres for the whole weekend, we just didn’t manage to set up the car to my liking. But of course, the race is tomorrow and everything can happen, especially here. I’ll do my best!”
Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer): “Not an easy day today for us. Daniil had a 7 place penalty, which we knew about already, so we had a decision to make: to run for Q2 trying to go into Q3, knowing that we would have been dropped back anyway, effectively using another set of tyres - considering his good performance today, or just save tyres for tomorrow. He drove very well in Q1, so to keep him in the garage was not an easy decision to take.
We are very pleased with his performance and without a penalty he could have had a great day today. For Jev it’s a different story. He didn’t run in FP1, we had a technical problem in FP2 so he started the day facing an uphill battle. He is not particularly pleased with the car, but hopefully we will make the right decisions for tomorrow and look after the tyres, as tyre management will be a key point in the race."
Ricardo Penteado (Renault Sport F1 track support leader): “Daniil’s penalty was always something we had to factor in, and as we’re expecting a lot of tyre degradation tomorrow it was a strategic decision not to run him in Q2. I’m also disappointed for Jean-Eric, who completed just two laps throughout Friday’s two practice sessions. FP2 was especially important due to the hot conditions, so the ERS issue at the start of the afternoon really hurt him. But at least we know that neither driver’s starting position is representative of their true pace, so fingers crossed for a better Sunday.”