Stroll: The car has come such a long way from where we were

Racing Point enjoyed one of their finest qualifying sessions when they annexed the second row for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix with a top drawer performance in qualifying on Sunday in Budapest.

The ‘Pink Mercs’ were only bettered by Mercedes – the folks they lease their PUs from – with Lance Stroll finally starting to look as if he may justify his father’s substantial investment with an impressive session in which he finished third.

There is a line of thought that with mediocre equipment the kid is terrible, but with good kit he is actually pretty handy, Saturday gave some credence to that theory.

“The car has come such a long way from where we were this time last year. We had a 17.5 in qualifying last year, explained Stroll after his best lap of 1:14.377.

“Of course there are some track differences this year and all, but we improved more than three seconds from our qualifying time last year, which is really good. So hats off to them. They’ve been working extremely hard at developing this car and brining this package to the first race. So really happy.

“I didn’t really have too many expectations coming into qualifying. I knew there were a few things I had to work on going into qualifying. At the end on the last lap I pieced it all together and it was really a good lap. I’m really pleased. Qualifying is always fun when you nail it at the end and that’s what happened today.

“It was definitely a gamble to try to make it into Q3 on the medium tyres, but it proved to be the right call. We’re in a good position tomorrow to try and score some big points for the team.”

Teammate Sergio Perez, who will line in P4 on the grid, added, “Locking out the second row is a great result for everyone in the team. I’m happy with P4, but I felt my Qualifying could have been slightly better and that I could have had a tidier [final] lap.

“The important thing is that we’ve kept the momentum going this weekend and we’ve shown strong pace in every session. If we can show the same pace tomorrow, then we can target a big result.

“Being able to start the race on the medium tyre is what we wanted, so it’s great that we had the speed to make that happen. I hope it pays us back tomorrow,” said the Mexican.