There were top ten times in Saturday's qualifying at the Sepang circuit for Max Verstappen, both Williams drivers, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson…
Max Verstappen: "I’m very happy, it was a good session this afternoon, especially Q3. In Q1 and Q2 I wasn’t totally comfortable with the car, but we had a good end of Q2. I was smiling when it started to rain, because that’s what I like. I’m Dutch so I’m used to driving in the wet, even though here it’s a completely different story. P6 is a really a good position to start tomorrow’s race. I’m really looking forward to it and even if we seem to struggle a bit in the longer runs, I’m not worried and hopefully we can score some points."
Carlos Sainz Jr:
"I’m disappointed with today’s result, as getting into Q3 was more than possible and we could’ve ended up with a great result. We were looking very good, very sharp, but unfortunately I made a rookie mistake at Turn 14 and I locked-up when it was starting to rain, losing all chances to get through to Q3. If this rain hadn’t arrived, we would’ve surely been up there. But these things can happen, we need to stay positive and learn from mistakes. I look forward to making up some positions in the race tomorrow as we know that we can fight for a good result."
Felipe Massa: "It wasn’t the easiest day today, I think in the dry we can both be in the top five. We still have some of the issues in the wet that we had last season, hopefully we can now look to solve a few of those. Tomorrow looks like it will be dry though, so we hope for a better race."
Valtteri Bottas: "I am a little disappointed with how the day turned out. I felt like I did a good lap so was a little surprised to be in P9. I wanted to be the last car across the line and so was pleased to be, we just have some work to do on the wet weather performance. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow, but it will also be hot and so nothing will be easy, especially from ninth."
Romain Grosjean: "We had never driven with wets on the car before so it was a bit of a discovery mission but everything was good. It wasn’t an easy qualy, but the team made the right calls. It was a safe choice to go out on extremes wets first. We then went onto inters but the timing didn’t allow us to finish our lap so we had to pit. We only did one timed lap in those conditions but we made it and I think we got the best we could.The race is going to be interesting; we have quite a mix of cars around us but it’s a long race, it’s a hot race and even without rain, it’s quite a demanding race on the cars and on drivers. It’ll definitely be interesting!"
Pastor Maldonado: "The performance was there today and we could have made it to Q3 had it not been for the weather changing. We got to the track a little bit late on my last run and that penalised us, but we showed we had good pace in Q1. I felt like we had already made a step forward. Overall the car was quick and consistent so hopefully we can recover some places tomorrow. We’re targeting points."
Marcus Ericsson: "It has been a great weekend so far. I was able to finish every session in a top ten position, and we can be satisfied to have repeated that in Qualifying. In dry as well as wet conditions I felt comfortable in the car. At the end of Q3 we were quite close to our competitors, which is positive. It was another good day for us, so we can be happy with today’s result. Tomorrow we have a promising chance to again score points."
Felipe Nasr: "After the third free practice session we saw that we were still struggling with the rear tyres. In qualifying we seemed to have found something. However, on my second run on the medium tyres the rear wheels locked in Turn 4, and I lost time there. It has not been an easy weekend for me. We need to review what happened and learn for tomorrow. I’m already looking forward to the race. We know our car is competitive in race conditions, so I am confident about making up some positions."