Williams suffered a disastrous qualifying with both cars out in Q1, while Fernando Alonso pushed his McLaren on the brink of the top 10.
Fernando Alonso: “A positive Saturday. I feel we did the maximum today – I’m happy with our laps, our result and our performance in general this weekend. We had an unexpected change of engine, and I reverted back to the old spec today, so finishing P12 and feeling competitive all through quali was positive news. The team is working very hard to improve our situation: we bring aero updates to every race, we bring new engine specs whenever we can, and we’re definitely moving forwards. We still need to improve our reliability, but hopefully we’ll see further signs in the next couple of weeks. From 12th place, with a good start or a good strategy, we could be in a position to score points. There’s some possible rain forecast for tomorrow – if that turns out to be correct, it’ll probably open up more opportunities for us. We need to be ready to take them…”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “I think it’s been a pretty good weekend for us so far. The practice sessions have gone well and qualifying was more or less what we expected. This afternoon’s times were extremely close: it all came down to a couple of small details – with another couple of tenths, we’d have been into Q3. So today really shows that every improvement we bring to the car is very valuable – it all helps. We’re definitely headed in the right direction – every new piece of performance we bring is welcome, but we need to keep pushing.”
Felipe Massa: “We definitely struggled to make the tyres work and get the best lap out of the car, so it was a disappointed qualifying for me and the team. I had a lot of oversteer in Turn Six, which cost me a couple of tenths. But we need to concentrate on the race tomorrow. We know that the race pace is much better than qualifying pace, but starting 17th definitely makes our life tricky and quite difficult for the race, so we need to concentrate 100 percent on that.”
Lance Stroll: “It is not the best day for the team as we just didn’t improve from yesterday. We have been struggling with the car all weekend and have been trying to work on the balance to improve it. We are simply losing time in the high speed corners to some of the other cars. On the positive side, we are better on our long runs than we were in qualifying on our short runs and that gives us hope going into the race. Tomorrow the race will be long and all we can do is see what happens.”
Marcus Ericsson: “Although today has been a slightly better day for us, we cannot be satisfied with P19 and P20. Regarding my fastest lap in Q1, in comparison to yesterday, I was able to reduce the gap between myself and our direct competition. We made some progress, however, we have to continue improving. The race tomorrow is going to be particularly demanding for the brakes.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “Unfortunately, there was not much more that could be done during qualifying. After yesterday’s practice, today I continued to have power unit issues, and that made me lose pace, especially on the straights. As usual, I will do my best during the race tomorrow. The weather could also play a defining role at this GP.”