Sat: Force India, Williams, Toro Rosso, Haas

Date published: June 24 2017

Lance Stroll out-qualified Felipe Massa for the first time this season as both Toro Rosso cars failed to reach the top 10 for a second consecutive time.

Force India

Sergio Perez: “I’m quite pleased with sixth place. The red flag in Q3 was not helpful because I had yet to set a competitive time and it meant I only had one chance to deliver right at the end. Normally we do an out lap, a preparation lap, and then push, but there just wasn’t time. So it was not an ideal Q3, but I’m still happy with our performance. There are quick cars ahead of us and also behind us, so it’s going to be a very close battle tomorrow. It’s a street circuit so it will be important to stay out of trouble and react quickly as things happen in the race.”

Esteban Ocon: “It’s the best qualifying position in my career and I am very happy about how the session went. I made a tiny mistake on my fastest lap and that probably cost me a position, but as a team we have been improving every step of the way. Today was all about pushing to the limit: I brushed the wall three times, something I didn’t do yesterday, but I wanted to give everything today. We are in a strong position for tomorrow’s race and we know anything can happen here. It’s a tight track and very tricky to get right. A strong first lap will be crucial, but the most important thing will be to finish the race. If you get to the end here, you can score big points. Our pace is good and I am confident we can get a good result.”

Williams

Lance Stroll: “It was a good day, and it has been a good weekend. I am comfortable and confident in the car. I like the circuit and today everything fell into place. I missed a bit in Q3, and I think there was some more that was possible there, as we were four tenths off compared to my lap in Q2. In Q3, because the track temperatures had dropped, it was hard to get the tyres ready in one lap and also because of the red flag, we only had time to do one push lap. Sometimes round here it is better when you do one push lap, then another prep lap and then another push lap. But it is still a great result and I am just happy for the team.”

Felipe Massa: “It wasn’t a great qualifying for me. We struggled to make the tyres work. I just kept locking the front tyres and struggled to get into the corners. The car was better for me on used tyres than it was with a new set. The red flag didn’t help us there either, so my qualifying wasn’t great. I’m very happy for Lance as he did a good job. He managed to get in a good laptime. He was in a good fight today and he managed to make the tyres work better than me. Now we need to concentrate and put everything together for the race tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and I’m confident that the result can be better than today.”

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat: “I think the only way of getting into Q3 today was by managing to get a massive tow or slipstream from someone, like what happened to me in Q1 – that was a mega lap that put me P5! In Q2 I didn’t get the chance to do this again, but I enjoyed some clean laps. I’m satisfied with P11. For tomorrow, you can never be 100% confident about anything here in Baku, but we will obviously try and do our best and see where we finish.”

Carlos Sainz: “I would’ve preferred to have felt a bit more confident going into this qualifying session. Yesterday we had a very interrupted and rough day and we didn’t get to do some proper running due to the yellow flags and traffic… So it was difficult to tune the car and get it to my liking. This meant that we went into qualifying with a bit of a compromise, not feeling fully confident, and in the end we’ve ended up paying for this. Having said that, I think that even if I had been totally confident with the car, Q3 was still extremely difficult today because of these long straights. Hopefully tomorrow is different and we’re able to get into a rhythm in the race – if we do this, I’m sure we can show some very good pace and move forward. Unfortunately, I have a three-place grid penalty, but this track offers some good overtaking opportunities and we’re going to go for it!”

Haas

Kevin Magnussen: “It was a good qualifying considering our position this weekend. It’s not been our most competitive track – perhaps the weakest track we’ve been to this year in terms of competitiveness. So to be P12, after penalties and all that are done, I think we should be happy with that. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow, but I’ll do what I can.”

Romain Grosjean: “I’ve been struggling with the feeling and struggling with the driving style. The tires are really hard to bite the track. It’s been something I’ve been struggling with since Russia – where the tires are hard and the track is really smooth. I don’t get any feedback from the tires on the grip and what’s in the corners. I need to work on that and be better in these conditions. I just didn’t find the right balance. It’s going to be a long race and looking at all the practices, there’s going to be a lot going on. Hopefully, we get a good race.”