A strong showing from Haas was blighted slightly by reliability issues as both Force Indias crept into the top 10.
Sergio Perez: “I’m feeling happy with our performance today. I think it was one of my best qualifying sessions when you consider how difficult things have been leading up to the session. I was P17 in second practice and P18 in final practice this morning. So to end qualifying in eighth place shows the mega steps we have taken to improve the car. It’s been a huge effort by the whole team. I was a bit unlucky with the yellow flag at the end of the session because there was an opportunity to improve my time. I’m really looking forward to this race and I think we will be even stronger in race conditions. We need to keep an eye on the weather, but wet or dry I think we can have a great race tomorrow.”
Esteban Ocon: “I am not completely happy with ninth place, given all that happened in the session, but it’s still a good starting position. My fastest lap in Q3 was set on used tyres, but the yellow flags meant I couldn’t finish my attempt on fresh tyres. I feel I could have been a couple of places higher up, but it’s the way racing goes sometimes – you have to take your chances when you can. We need to review if there is something we could have done better, but I am still feeling positive about the weekend. We improved a lot since yesterday and the feeling I have with the car is much better now than it was during practice. I enjoy this track and it’s a place where you can overtake so hopefully we can bring home some good points tomorrow.”
Carlos Sainz: “A good qualifying! Before the weekend started, we knew this track was going to be quite tricky for us, but we found a really good set-up in FP3 that made me feel really confident with the car. As soon as the qualifying session started, we put in very competitive lap times and a P10 is a good place to start in tomorrow’s race. It’s just a shame about the yellow flags at the end of Q3 – I wasn’t able to set a time on new tyres; my Q3 lap time was done on used tyres and we’re only a tenth behind the Force India’s and Grosjean. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to improve, but after a tricky start to the weekend I’m happy with today’s result and I look forward to tomorrow’s race: we have a good chance of scoring points and we need to make the most out of our chances!”
Danil Kvyat: “How frustrating. In this afternoon’s qualifying we lost all the balance and therefore all the confidence I had in the car up until now was gone; it just felt the worst it’s been all weekend: I felt I had no grip anymore and my rear was sliding a lot; it’s really disappointing! Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, the good thing is that anything can happen on race day – we now need to evaluate all the options, look into the data and understand what’s best for us.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “I’m satisfied with eleventh place, it’s a good effort. I put in a sweet lap at the end of Q2 and it was equally good fun to look for the last few thousands of a second. Tomorrow will be a tough race but we will get a free choice of start tyres and that’s a good position. It was a good job from the team.”
Jolyon Palmer: “I knew qualifying was going to be tight. The car feels better and the performance is closer this weekend so it’s a shame that we couldn’t hook it up in end but there is overall progress. We’ll look to have a good start and aim to get in the points tomorrow.”