Quotes from Toro Rosso after qualifying for the French Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet.
Alexander Albon: “I had a bit of a slow start to Qualifying as I finished Q1 in P15. I knew the car had a lot more potential and I had a much better lap in Q2, although the wind picked up a bit and I just missed out on Q3. The car was good today – it came down to such fine details which made the difference to make it into the top 10. Obviously, I would have liked to be in Q3, however, starting from P11 is quite good for us because we can choose which tyre we start on for the race. Looking at Friday practice, our long run pace is stronger than our short run, so we’ve got the chance to score some points tomorrow.”
Daniil Kvyat: “I’m happy with how my Qualifying went today, it was fun to get a good lap out of my run in Q1. We knew that my race was compromised coming into the weekend due to the penalty, so we focussed primarily on the race setup and put in the most laps we could to be in good shape for Sunday. We can look at this as an opportunity and I hope the hard work we’ve put in for the race will pay off. I’ve had good races from the back of the grid in the past, so tomorrow I’ll try to do the same!”
Guillaume Dezoteux (Head of Vehicle Performance): “After a reasonable FP3 session where we improved our balance and tyre management compared to yesterday, we went into Qualifying with the target of getting Alex into Q3.
“The target for Daniil today was to out-qualify George Russell, who will also receive a power unit penalty. He was able to comfortably put in a time to beat Russell’s during his second run which saw him finish the session P16.
“Alex did a good job in the hot conditions and was able to progress to Q2. During his last lap, the wind picked up and we were a little bit too close to Ricciardo in front. This compromised his first sector, but the rest of the lap was strong. We narrowly missed out on Q3 today, but starting P11 doesn’t put us in a bad position for the race as we have a free tyre choice and several strategy options on the table.
“A very hot track temperature is also expected tomorrow which will play an important role for the car performance and tyre degradation. With that in mind, we hope we will have an edge on our direct competitors and bring home some points.”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “Since Friday, we have made progress with our overall package and Albon missed out on Q3 by a very small margin, but eleventh is a good place to start, with a free choice of tyre. So far, our first weekend running the Spec 3 Power Unit has gone smoothly on Kvyat’s car and it is performing as we expected. We must now look at the data as usual to prepare for tomorrow’s race.”