Felipe Massa split the two Red Bull drivers in P6, both Force India cars qualified in the top 10 as Jolyon Palmer crashed out.
Felipe Massa: “It was a great qualifying for us. It's so nice to see that we are in the middle of the two Red Bulls. They were better than us in the first three races, on qualifying and race pace, but this is a good track for us and we are fighting with them. I'm happy with the position we're starting, but I'm also happy that maybe tomorrow we can fight with them again. I will try everything I can, I'm very motivated and I hope everything will be right for us to have a good race tomorrow.”
Lance Stroll: “It was a bit unfortunate at the end as I think Q3 was possible, but I just missed out at the end of my lap in Q2. I didn't get to do the warm up lap I wanted, and around here it is quite important to get the tyre working properly. I had a good start to the lap and then I lost a lot of grip in the last sector, made a couple of mistakes and just lost the rear, which wasn’t great. I was a couple of tenths up but didn’t manage to hold it. There is more in it. I think this weekend is quite tricky with tyres and getting them to work properly, but we can race from P12 (P11). It is a long race tomorrow, we will see what happens and hopefully luck is going to be a bit more on our side.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “I think that was the best we could do with the package we have currently, so it’s been a satisfying afternoon from that point of view. The challenge will be in the race; our pace then has been trickier so far this season so tomorrow will be the true teller of where we are in the car with our recent upgrade. We’ll push, as always, and hopefully come away with some nice points.”
Jolyon Palmer: “I have to say a big thank you to all my crew and everyone in the garage who has worked so hard over this weekend, they really have been amazing and now they have a bit more work to do. I was pushing hard and took too much kerb which pitched me into the barriers. I was on the back foot slightly with missing FP3, but anything can happen in the race, so I hope for a better day.”
Sergio Perez: “It was not an ideal qualifying session for me, but in the end we got a good result and we can be pleased to be in Q3. I didn’t get the perfect lap; I feel I have left something on the table and when the margins are so close a tenth of a second would have put us a couple of places further ahead. It was not easy to get the tyres in the right operating window and to keep them working for the whole lap. Also, the track conditions changed a lot from yesterday and I think this affected everyone. The key for tomorrow’s race will be having a good start and a clean run into turn two: it’s a tricky one and in the past there has been plenty of action there at the start. I am optimistic for the race and I think we can aim to make up some positions from where we start.”
Esteban Ocon: “It’s the first Q3 appearance of my career and I’m pretty happy with our performance today. The team has done an awesome job to improve the car during each session and I felt very comfortable by the time we started qualifying. I made a few small mistakes on my Q3 lap so I’m a little bit frustrated because there was the opportunity to be even higher up the grid. If I can make a clean start in the race, there is all to play for tomorrow. It’s important that I make the most of my best qualifying position in Formula One to score some more points.”
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