Lewis Hamilton cruised to an 11th pole position of the season; Sebastian Vettel recovered to P2 while Max Verstappen was not happy with his performance in P6.
Lewis Hamilton (P1): "The track was very difficult today with the wind picking up, you've got a head wind down to Turn One and through the fast section there was a tail wind, then a head wind through the nine – it was shifting through the lap. But that's why I love this track. It's a great circuit to drive especially with a car like that "The last lap was not spectacular, but up until then very, very strong. The team has done an exceptionally job all weekend to filter all the data and put the car in the right place. The last lap I got caught out by a bit of a gust, but that's how it goes. But so happy, especially in front of such a great crowd."
Valtteri Bottas (P3): "It was not easy session, every lap a bit different. There was no big mistake, there was just this big gap. The first run felt okay. Lewis managed to gain more from Q2 to Q3, but I couldn't find any track improvements and I couldn't improve in the second run. It was quite tricky session with the wind, we have been making big set-up changes in the weekend, have been making car quicker, but tricky to drive – for me at least. The laps felt good, but just couldn't go quicker."
Sebastian Vettel (P2): “My final lap in Q3 was good enough for the front row and in the end we got closer than we had expected. I am looking forward to the race, and then tomorrow we’ll see what we can do. The car is good and generally we have a better pace in racing, so it should be better tomorrow. Again, the team did a splendid job in rebuilding the car around a different chassis overnight and not even breaking the curfew! For tomorrow we need a good start first of all and then we need to put pressure on our competitors. I’m not too concerned about starting on the less rubbered-in side of the track, as we’ve seen in the past here that you can attack. We have the car to do so and we can fight."
Kimi Raikkonen (P5): “Today the car was better than it had been so far this weekend. After the Friday session we made some changes and in qualifying I had a good feeling. We tried our best, but fifth position was the maximum we could get. I think there was more to take out of the car, but in some places it was a bit tricky to get it right. I struggled to put all the corners together, some laps were good and in some others it was more difficult. It was a decent qualifying, but for sure it could have been better, so I can’t be satisfied with the result. At the start tomorrow it will be quite tight; we’ll try to make a good getaway from the line and see what we can achieve at the first corner."
Daniel Ricciardo (P4): "I was happy when I crossed the line and could see I was fourth. But then I was only a hundredth off Valtteri so I was kind of happy but then I was like: a hundredth is nothing, but I felt with what I had that was all I could do. Q1 I was miles off the pace and even this morning in FP3 so it hasn't been the easiest weekend up until now. The wind was a big struggle for everyone today. The track is really open and the wind blows from all directions so it's quite strong. That factor combined with the track being a bit bumpy and slippery is why the lap times are not crazy fast this year. But then towards the end of Qualifying on the last lap we managed to find a little bit more so that was positive and I'm happy to end there. Second row is good enough to fight tomorrow."
Max Verstappen (P6): "Today did not go as planned. The car balance was good so it was definitely possible to go quicker but I made a mistake. I'm not happy with that so I would class this as a very disappointing qualifying. In the last sector I lost a lot of lap time which is really frustrating, I think if not I could have been up with Sebastian in P3 which makes it even more disappointing. I had a new engine which felt ok; I need to check the data but everything seemed to work well. I qualified on the Supersoft so we will have to wait and see what I can do on that tomorrow. We have the car and the performance is there so even though I am starting at the back of the grid I'll try to overtake as many cars as possible and move through the field. To get back to sixth would be good and anything higher would be great. My long runs have felt strong all weekend so we will see how the degradation goes and start from there."