Nico Hulkenberg has a five-place grid drop, both McLaren-Hondas inside the top 10 and more trouble for Daniil Kvyat.
Nico Hulkenberg: "I’m very happy about the performance of the car today, in fact it’s been really good all weekend long. We’ve found a very good harmony and balance and it was a pleasure to exploit this in qualifying. Of course, the gearbox penalty is far from ideal, but it happens sometimes; there was no option other than changing it. The long runs looked quite promising yesterday so there’s good potential for the race, we have a strong car so we should recover well."
Jolyon Palmer: "The car’s been working well. I’m a bit disappointed not to be in Q3, but I will start from P10 on the grid tomorrow, which is a decent position to score some points from. I was in the top ten yesterday in FP1 and today in Q1, so we’ve seen there’s good potential from the car. We’ve got some new tyres available, so we have options; all we need is a good rhythm in the race."
Fernando Alonso: “It’s been a positive weekend so far for us as a team. We knew the top three teams would effectively be out of reach, so fighting for seventh and eighth was the maximum target we could aim for today. And, indeed, that’s where we’ll start tomorrow. There are no points to gain on Saturday, so hopefully we can convert those positions in the race and score some good points. They’re very much needed by the team at the moment. In terms of race pace we should be okay. This is a circuit where it’s difficult to overtake; the tyres are very stable and have low degradation so I think that, if we have a good start, we should have a good chance to maintain our positions – that’s the target for tomorrow.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “We pretty much got everything out of the car today. We’d been looking strong all weekend, so it was good to get both cars in Q3 and to carry our pace through into qualifying. My car felt quite strong – it felt pretty good in the corners. I think we maximised the package we had today. But the race tomorrow is the most important thing: I hope we can get both cars into the points. Our pace has been inside the top 10 all the time so we’re looking strong.”
Carlos Sainz: “We can be extremely happy with today’s result. It’s been a very tough weekend up until now, especially after this morning’s FP3, where we saw that we were lacking a bit of pace compared to our direct competitors. So qualifying was looking like a difficult session for us, but I got into a good rhythm, managed to put a very good lap together and got into Q3 – something I wasn’t expecting this morning! We can be proud about it; it wasn’t easy at all! Hopefully tomorrow we can do a good job, hold on to this position and fight for points!”
Daniil Kvyat: “Unfortunately, I’ve been penalised with a three position grid penalty for tomorrow’s race, so I will now be starting from P16. There was a bit of a miss-communication, so I didn’t know that anyone was coming behind and we’ve now got a penalty for blocking another car… It’s a shame, because today had been quite a good day: our overall performance and my feeling with the car was okay, even if the balance changed a bit throughout the qualifying session. I just missed out on Q3 by a couple of tenths but we ended up more or less where we expected to be. My feeling with the car is quite good and now all I can hope for is a different type of race, an eventful one, otherwise it will be difficult to overtake here. We will obviously try and do our best, make our tyres last and see where we end up.”