Back-marker Romain Grosjean had a day to forget in the Haas, as McLaren continue to struggle for pace in Sochi.
Kevin Magnussen: “As a team we’re struggling a bit more this weekend than in the first races. It’s not perfect, but I think P14 for me today was the best I could do. I think with a perfect lap P11 could’ve been possible, but it’s very close from 11th to where I am, very close. I don’t think any of these guys probably had a perfect lap. It is what it is. To be in that group is a good effort from our side. We’ve been a bit unlucky this weekend having to go back on the brakes in the middle of the weekend, but I think we’ll still have a good car for the race. Hopefully, we can get through the first corner well and have a good race.”
Romain Grosjean: “I’ve been very unhappy with the car since yesterday morning. Something is just not working, and then today we had the yellow flags on my last lap while I was trying to improve. We need a solution for those yellow flags. Three races now we’ve had at least one Haas (car) out because we get a yellow flag on our last attempt, so that’s a bit too much. Kevin has been pretty happy with his car and I haven’t. It was nothing in the brakes, it was just the car wasn’t doing anything I wanted. I think tomorrow will be very hard.”
Fernando Alonso: "It was a good qualifying in terms of the performance of the chassis and aerodynamics – the balance of the car felt quite good; quite grippy in the corners. I felt competitive, and my Q1 lap was very good. The tyres are tricky around here, as you need to warm them up quite hard, but everything went okay today. The sunny weather helped – and I think it’s going to be a good tyre for the race. Points tomorrow are our target, we need to have a good start, a good strategy, and a good race. Even then, we won’t be fast enough to get into in the points so we’ll need some help from the guys ahead of us.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “After receiving the grid penalty yesterday for changing power unit components, we chose to direct our focus more towards tomorrow’s race. We knew we’d more or less be starting from the back, so our main aim will be to try and get the most out of tomorrow’s race. Although we know it’s going to be difficult for us to overtake around here, I still think that a lot of things can happen over a race distance. Even if it turns out to be a one-stop race, it’ll be a long afternoon – and, hopefully, there’ll be some incidents or a Safety Car, which could create some scenarios that might play into our hands. We expected to have another difficult weekend, but I’m hoping for a better day and the opportunity to make something happen in the race.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “I cannot be satisfied with this result. I made a mistake on my last lap in qualifying, which definitely cost time. Overall I am having difficulties with the balance of the car. Also, our topspeed on the straights is not good enough. The tyres behave differently compared to Bahrain, but this is the same for everyone else. Nevertheless, we will do our best for tomorrow’s race.”
Marcus Ericsson: “A disappointing result. I think we have made some progress today in FP3 and then in qualifying. Unfortunately we identified a power unit issue in FP3, and we were not able to fully fix it for qualifying. I am sure we will sort this out for tomorrow. On top of that I got yellow flags on my last lap in Q1. We could have been close to Q2 today without having these issues but that’s how racing goes sometimes. However, I am still positive, as we are moving in the right direction.”
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