Toro Rosso's miserable weekend continued as both drivers were knocked out in Q1 at Abu Dhabi.
Kevin Magnussen: “I think we’ve been better here than our average. If you take away the likes of Australia, Austria, Silverstone, this is probably our average position or there about. I don’t think it’s that bad. We’ve done well to get back after missing FP1 which, unfortunately, I’ve had to a few times this year. We’ve gotten to a good point with the car and made some good steps since FP2 and through into FP3 and then to here. We’ve managed things well with the change in temperature with doing FP1 and FP3 in the sun, then FP2 and qualifying in the dark, where track temperature drops a lot and affects the tyres a lot. It’s not an easy one to get right and I didn’t think we did a bad job with it. There’s nothing to lose tomorrow, so we’re going to go for it and give it everything.”
Romain Grosjean: “We didn’t do much in FP2 yesterday, so qualifying was always going to be tough. I don’t have any front end. Kevin (Magnussen) loves it, but I don’t like it. We’ve struggled to find the perfect balance. I’m struggling to drive the car that way and get the last few tenths out of the car. No excuse, but it just doesn’t fit my feelings. We’re going to work hard and try to find out what we can do to improve that. It’s been the case for about the last eight or nine races. We made a step in Brazil, but here with all the low-speed corners, it’s just difficult. Hopefully in the race, with more laps, it should get better. We need a lot to happen in the race tomorrow, but anything is possible.”
Pierre Gasly: “My qualifying lap was good and I feel happy about it because I managed to put everything together, it was a decent lap… The only thing I’m not super happy about is the performance, of course – to qualify only 17th is not what we want to see and it’s a bit frustrating not to be fighting for higher positions. Having said that, I think we made the most out of the potential we had today and that’s important. What I really wish for now is that we hold on to sixth position in the Championship tomorrow – it’s going to be a difficult task, but nothing’s impossible! We’ll keep pushing and see where we end up!”
Brendon Hartley: “I’m not happy, that wasn’t a good session for me… We’ve been lacking a bit of pace all weekend on both cars, but in particular mine. We’ve obviously been making a lot of changes – we had nothing to lose in this session as we were going to start from the very back anyway because of the grid penalty… But it was a pretty scrappy session from my side, I didn’t get it together at all…It’s a little bit frustrating, but it doesn’t really change the result. Obviously, I would’ve loved to have banged in a banzai lap, but it just didn’t work out. On the positive side, all of this is good preparation for next year! All we have to do now is push as much as possible tomorrow – points are going to be pretty difficult and it will be quite a tough ask to defend our sixth position in the Championship, but we’ll do our best and stay optimistic until the very end!”
Pascal Wehrlein: “Qualifying today was alright. Of course, I am not satisfied with the qualifying result – however, we knew that we would have some difficulties getting the tyres into the right operating window due to the drop in temperature that occurs in Abu Dhabi in the afternoons. The race will be at the same time of day as today’s qualifying, so we will see what is possible. I will give my all to finish the race in the best possible position.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was a decent qualifying session. I was not completely happy with the balance of the car in FP3 so we made some changes for qualifying. I felt more comfortable in the car after that, which shows us that we are moving in the right direction. In qualifying, my lap time improved with each lap. The final lap in Q1 was a good one, but in the end it was not enough to make it to Q2 today. I am looking forward to fighting back tomorrow.”