For a week now, we have tried our best to revive the spirit of 2008. We evoked and relived that epic one-two finish that gave us our maiden win, bringing to light stories and little known anecdotes from more than a decade ago. All of this, to no avail – as we have seen today.
So let’s leave our memories of glory behind, and focus on the present. It was a qualifying of two halves for the team. We have to say “bravo” to Antonio, who qualified in P13 and was improving his lap when the red flag came out at the end of Q2. As for Kimi, he showed in the post-session interviews that he wasn’t best pleased with P17: when asked whether this performance was a hangover from the last few races, all he could muster was “I wish at least I would have a hangover.”
Well, at least we sorted those interviews quickly.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: “We have mixed feelings about today’s session. On the one hand, Antonio had a positive day and recovered well from yesterday’s lack of running. He finished qualifying in P13 and he’s in a good position to aim for the points. On the other hand, Kimi had a tough day and missed out on Q2 for the smallest of margins. Starting towards the back is never ideal, but at least overtaking is possible here. We need to come up with the best strategy for both cars to exploit tomorrow’s conditions and make up some ground towards the top ten.”
- 3rd practice: 16th / 1:12.708 (19 laps)
- QF: 17th / 1:12.230 (10 laps)
“We tried twice but we were just not fast enough over the two laps in Q1, it’s as simple as that. Yes, the track was slippery but that’s not an excuse as it is the same for everyone. And yes, the performance in FP3 was better but unfortunately FP3 is FP3 and qualifying is qualifying.”
- 3rd practice: 15th / 1:12.627 (24 laps)
- QF: 13th / 1:12.122 (16 laps)
“It was a positive qualifying session. P13 is not a bad position to start and we are close to a place in the top ten. This is a new track for me and every lap gives me more confidence; I was improving my final lap in Q2 when the red flag stopped us. We’re in a good position but tomorrow’s race will be long and difficult. It’s a track where you can overtake, so strategy will be very important. We need to keep working hard to improve and come home with some points. We have free choice of tyres so now it’s up to us to put everything together and have a good result.”