Qualy quotes: Renault, Sauber, Haas, Force India


Carlos Sainz was best of the rest, with Charles Leclerc in a career-high P8. Both Haas’ made it to Q3, before Romain Grosjean span, while Force India made P11.



Carlos Sainz: “I am very happy with today’s result! It is a very positive qualifying performance. We did not expect to be best of the rest but we managed to do a great job and grab the chance. We look forward to the race where we will aim for a clean start and try and have a bright outing. We will see about the weather first. Mixed or wet conditions always makes it more interesting and I always enjoy it. Hopefully we can get a strong result in front of the team’s home crowd.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It is a disappointing position, but I was pretty happy with my lap. I lost a tenth in Turn 9 with some oversteer, which you have sometimes when you’re on the limits. I haven’t found the harmony I usually have with the car so it has been a little difficult. We are starting P12 tomorrow so we can do something with the strategy as we have some flexibility. There is a lot of love and support from the home crowd so we will give it our best shot and recover as much as we can.”


Charles Leclerc: “It is just unbelievable. It is probably the best recovery I did in my career from one day to another. Yesterday was a disaster. The car didn’t feel great and I was not driving very well. I went to bed very late because I worked quite a lot with the engineers to find out what were the issues and I think they have been very good to identify the exact issues and they understood really what I wanted from the car and that is what we did today. It is going to be a very difficult race for us because by the rule we have to start with our qualifying tyre which are the softest ones which are not great for us. So it is going to be difficult but we are going to try and maximise and hopefully we can get some points.”

Marcus Ericsson: “It is the first time that we have got into Q2 for a while so that is a great feeling. I am so happy for Charles and his performance today as well. I feel like there was still a bit more I could have got out of the car this afternoon, but I feel like I was never able to get a clean lap in. Something was always disrupting me, whether it was another car or the weather conditions. However, from P15 we can try and get some points in the race tomorrow.”



Kevin Magnussen: “It was looking good. We got both cars into Q3, but then we didn’t get anything out of the session. It was a good performance up until Q3. I didn’t get a lap in Q3, I had Kimi (Räikkönen) overtake me on my fastest lap, then he let me by again. I had no idea what he was doing. It meant I didn’t do a lap in Q3.”

Romain Grosjean: “I went into turn three and lost the rear end. There’s no obvious reason, so we’ll investigate to understand a bit more. We’ll look at the data. I was pretty much doing as I was before, so it’s a bit strange. It’s frustrating. We haven’t had much luck since Australia. I was hoping this weekend would run smoothly, and that was the case. It’s not what we wanted, but there’s the race tomorrow, and we’re going to do our best to come back and get seventh, where we should have qualified.”


Force India

Esteban Ocon: “I am a bit disappointed to miss out on the top ten by such a small margin [0.02s], but I am happy about my lap and how we came back as a team from a difficult Friday. We came into qualifying a bit blind after missing track time yesterday, but we were able to improve the car a lot and found a good balance. P11 is the next best thing to a place in Q3 and at least we will have free choice of tyres. Hopefully it’s going to be very hot tomorrow and the strategy can play in our hands, or perhaps it’s going to rain – I’d welcome anything that can mix things up. I have to thank the fans for all their support. I could see them with their flags and it was a special feeling to drive in front of my home crowd.”

Sergio Perez: “I don’t feel we maximised the qualifying today. We could have been much further up the grid. I think we were unlucky with the conditions because we were expecting more rain towards the end of Q2. I went out too early and did my laps, and then the track improved. We need to see what happens with the weather tomorrow because if it’s wet it will open up some opportunities. The track is very tricky in the wet, but it can also dry very quickly, just as we saw today.”