It was a disappointing Saturday for Renault, who joined Sauber and Manor at the bottom of the timesheets.
Kevin Magnussen: “It wasn’t a brilliant qualifying lap from me and we struggled to get the tyres into their correct operating window, so not a perfect set-up for the car either. FP3 earlier in the day was much better for us as we were able to get a more even balance with the front and rear tyres working well together, however qualifying proved to be more of a challenge. There was more possible from the car if we’d been able to find that sweet spot.”
Jolyon Palmer: “Today the car has been really good. I think we’ve found the problem that’s been hurting me the last couple of Grands Prix. We’ve changed something and it’s working well so it’s good to be back on track! I’m pleased because I can now demonstrate what I can do as a driver whereas before it was frustrating. We’re not super quick as a team but I’m happy with the car and I think we can look forward to a good race tomorrow. Our race pace tends to be better than in qualifying; we should be able to move forward quite quickly, we’ll definitely aim to challenge the guys in front of us and take any opportunity on offer.”
Felipe Nasr: “Starting in P19 is surely an unsatisfying result. It is a pity as I was on a good lap at the end of Q1, but then I braked a bit too late into Turn 13. Anyway, I feel more comfortable in the car this weekend and this is what counts. In terms of the car set-up, we made good improvements from session to session, so I will now work on some details for tomorrow. I am positive I can fight for some positions in the race.”
Marcus Ericsson: “Obviously a disappointing result. I felt that FP3 was a little step forward for me, but then again in qualifying I was struggling with the tyres. I had issues during the whole weekend to bring them into the right working window. I also had some traffic in qualifying, which did not help. Nevertheless, we were just not fast enough today. Tomorrow we will try to fight back.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “Qualifying was a bit frustrating today. This morning the track temperature was much hotter and the sun was out, so it was easier to bring the tyres to temperature. This afternoon it was harder to get them into the working window. We were hoping for more to be honest, because in FP3 we looked good. I think the race will be a different story; you can see from today that my lap times have improved so I think after 5 to 10 laps we’ll be okay. In qualifying you only have one or two laps and when you are just sliding; it’s hard. So, I’m focusing on tomorrow and hopeful that we can have a good battle with Sauber and Renault.”
Rio Haryanto: “It was an interesting session for us; it feels like we’ve made a step up and we’re closer to those around us versus previous races. My last lap could have been better. I suffered a bit with traffic and lost about two tenths in the last sector, so it was frustrating not to get a clean lap. As for tomorrow, I can’t wait. The aim is to get a good clean start, especially with such a long run down to the first corner, then get the maximum from the car. Our long runs on Friday looked positive so with good tyre management I’m looking forward to a strong race tomorrow!”