Daniel Ricciardo (Q3: 1:30.528, pos. 6th): “I’m really delighted with the way qualifying went and it’s very encouraging to be sixth fastest for the second race in a row, which means we are seeing signs of progress and consistency.
I was particularly pleased with my Q2 lap. I think we did the best we could today and now we look ahead to the race. Last weekend I felt there was a better result than eighth waiting for me and I would like to go for better than seventh, which is my best finish so far.
If there’s a chance of a podium, let’s go for it! Nothing’s impossible. The tyre strategy is going to be very interesting with some of the top ten on the grid starting on Primes.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (Q2: 1:31.104, pos. 16th): “We just weren’t quick enough this afternoon. All weekend my car has been very difficult to drive and that situation hasn’t improved since Friday and I have never really managed to put together a good lap. In qualifying, I didn’t make any mistakes and I was hoping for much better.
Even if we cannot work on the cars before the race, we need to understand exactly what caused this drop in performance. Maybe it is linked to the tyres, their temperature or pressure, but I’m not sure. We will see what we can do tomorrow, where I hope to be more competitive and be able to push harder.”
Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “Daniel qualified in the same position as he did in Silverstone, but today it was more unexpected. It did not look that promising yesterday and we changed a lot of things on both cars and tried different directions on the two cars, in terms of our approach to qualifying, to try and pick up our performance level. Clearly, we had more success with Daniel than with Jev, even allowing for some of the different tyre strategies we saw in Q3, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out tomorrow.
The bottom line is that we did pick up pace today and even if there is a big gap on the grid between our two cars, we expect them to have similar race pace. We will be trying our best on the strategy side to bring Jev up the order tomorrow. As for Daniel, he nailed his lap in Q1 and Q2 and then produced another good lap in Q3 and he was definitely punching above his weight this afternoon.”