Esteban Ocon will start in P11 and Sergio Perez in P13 in tomorrow's Mexican GP, both drivers having a free choice of tyres.
P11 Esteban Ocon Chassis 03
Esteban: “P11 is an interesting place to start the race. We went into qualifying knowing that we really didn’t want to start the race on the hypersoft tyres and that’s why we ran on the harder compound [the ultrasoft] during Q2. Being P11 means I can choose my tyres for the start of the race and we have more flexibility with our strategy. So I hope our approach to qualifying will pay us back tomorrow. We could have been higher up the grid if we had used the hypersofts, but I am happy with the way we approached the session. It’s going to be a big fight tomorrow against the Renaults and the Saubers, but they will be starting on hypersofts and they should run a different strategy compared to us. Let’s see how things play out tomorrow.”
P13 Sergio Perez Chassis 02
Sergio: “We had the pace to go into Q3 with the hypersoft tyres, but we didn’t think it was worth the risk to start on those tyres. We knew it would be hard to make it into the top ten on the ultrasofts, but starting on a harder compound should give us an advantage tomorrow – we basically chose a better strategy over grid position. My only regret is that Fernando [Alonso] is ahead of me: I lacked a bit of grip in the final part of my Q2 lap and he was able to be ahead of me on hypersofts. I am confident about our chances tomorrow. We believe our strategy is the correct one and we can move forward in the race.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO
“We chose to play the long game in today’s qualifying session being well aware that it’s the final result tomorrow that counts. We’ve seen very high degradation on the hypersoft tyres during practice and we were keen to avoid starting the race on them. So we ran the harder compounds, knowing that it would be more difficult to make Q3, but also aware that it should help us in the race. As we didn’t progress to Q3, both cars will start the race with a free choice of tyres. When the strategies play out tomorrow, we hope to move into the top ten and score good points.”