Fernando Alonso failed to reach Q2 for the first time this year as a fire prevented Jolyon Palmer from taking part in qualifying.
Nico Hulkenberg: “There was an electrical problem meaning we lost power and then the car couldn’t run at the end of Q2. It’s a super challenging and tricky track here and we’ve seen a lot of issues up and down the pit lane. Tomorrow we’ll push and fight for points; it’s not going to be easy this weekend, but it’s a long race so you just have to stay on the ball and seize every opportunity.”
Jolyon Palmer: “It’s obviously not ideal to miss qualifying, but we had what looks like a fuel leak which ignited, and obviously did too much damage to the car for us to be able to make qualifying. Tomorrow I’ll start from near the back of the grid, or the pit lane, so I should be in a strong position to capitalise if there’s any issue up the front of the field. Hopefully we make a few positions on the first lap, then anything can happen.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “I am happy with making it into Q2. We have certainly made a step forward in terms of the performance of our car since yesterday. My fastest lap was good from our point of view, and we could not have expected to qualify for Q2 on this track. As always, I will try my best to achieve a satisfying result on Sunday.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was a tricky day for me, in particular in regards to the tyre management and the track conditions keeping the high temperatures in mind. We did make some progress during FP3 during which we were able to narrow the gap between ourselves and the direct competition. In qualifying it was positive that we managed to get Pascal into Q2. Unfortunately, it was not enough for me, but it was still a step forward for the team. I am optimistic that we will be able to take some of this progess into the race with us tomorrow.”
Fernando Alonso: “We did a good job today in terms of preparing for the race: we only used one set of tyres, put in low fuel and did some checks. We know we’re not competitive around here, but the race is going to be long and demanding. We’ve seen many mistakes from almost every driver, and we need to avoid making any of those tomorrow. In these kinds of grands prix, we need to try and finish the race, get some data for the team, and keep developing the car. We need to make sure we keep away from the walls tomorrow. Let’s also hope we can end up in the points.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “I think I was always destined to start 19th this weekend! There were no big surprises for us in qualifying today. Our focus this weekend has always been on the race – today doesn’t mean too much, really. We always expected to struggle a little bit around here, we’ve not been on the pace all weekend, so let’s just see what happens tomorrow. This is a tricky circuit – the long straights mean the brakes and tyres get cool, so the braking zones are very difficult to get right. There are definitely some opportunities to be had out on track – we’ve seen drivers going off in every session, so we’ll be looking to benefit from those.”