Esteban Ocon qualified on the fourth row of the grid on a day when Sergio Perez was eliminated in Q1.
P8 Esteban Ocon
Esteban: “It was a very close session and I was actually hoping for a bit more than P8 because I think P6 was achievable today. Unfortunately I didn’t maximise the slipstream at the right moment on my final run and that cost me some top speed. Hopefully we can make up those positions tomorrow because our car pace is strong and there should be some overtaking opportunities.”
P16* Sergio Perez
Sergio: “I am very disappointed to go out in Q1. It’s frustrating because we had so much potential to be right behind the top three teams this weekend and instead we are out after just one run. It’s very hard to digest: we thought we were safe but we underestimated how much the track would evolve in just a few minutes. We were only two tenths behind Esteban in P7, but with such a close field the margins are very small and we lost out by just one thousandth of a second. We have to admit we made a mistake as a team: the call not to go out was wrong, but I also should have done a better lap during my first run. I lost some time and that left us vulnerable. The plan for tomorrow is to minimise the damage we’ve done today. We’re still going to try to make it back into the top ten and bring home some points. Our car has pace, just like last week, but it’s going to be hard work to get through the field.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO
“We didn’t maximise our performance today. In Q1 we underestimated the track evolution and power of the slipstream, and simply got caught out with Checo. We thought we had done enough to progress to Q2, but missed out in the very final moments. Esteban was able to better demonstrate the speed of the car and progressed comfortably through to Q3. We have a quick car and showed good pace over the long runs yesterday so I think we can be strong in the race and bring home some good points.”
*Sergio is expected to start P14 due to grid penalties.