Vitaly Petrov, R30-02, P10, 1:40.901
Vitaly: The car has felt pretty good all weekend for me. We have made progress in each session, especially with the feel of the brakes, which is very important at this circuit, and it felt like all the parts of the package were working well today. I have been running in the top ten most of the weekend, and it was nice to deliver this potential in qualifying. Looking ahead to the race, it will be a very tough one for the tyres, and we need to think carefully about using the right strategy to cope with this.
Robert Kubica, R30-05, P11, 1:40.780
Robert: I have been struggling with the car since yesterday and we simply didn’t manage to get on top of the issues, especially for qualifying. The rear of the car was sliding a lot this evening, so it was hard to get on the power early enough to set a good lap time. I tried everything, I was sideways in a lot of corners, but that’s how it was today. It’s disappointing to miss out on the top ten, but it’s also the first time this year that I have had a free tyre choice for Sunday – and we will have to see if we can make this into an advantage for tomorrow. The season is still not over, and we will try to finish it with some more points.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
We cannot be satisfied to line up tenth and 11th on the grid: we set our sights higher than this. Robert tried everything he could in qualifying, but he struggled with low grip and an oversteer balance that prevented him from doing any better. As for Vitaly, it’s good to see him in Q3 again, but he made a mistake on his final run and could have gone even quicker. We must now turn our attention to tomorrow afternoon’s race, and aim to conclude our season with a double points finish.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
This was not our best qualifying effort of the year. Robert was not comfortable with the car in third practice, and the changes we made before qualifying failed to improve the situation. He was suffering from an overall lack of grip, and this is why he missed out on Q3. Vitaly had a reasonable day, qualifying in the top ten for the second race in a row. He was generally happy with the car and has steadily improved throughout the weekend. We must aim to get both cars into the points tomorrow, and we are obviously in a position where we can make a free tyre choice with Robert; we will be looking closely at what we think will be best for the race.