Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix saw Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg qualify inside the top ten with teammate Sergio Perez setting the 11th fastest time.
P10 Nico Hulkenberg VJM07-04
Q3: No time
Nico: “It’s quite an interesting grid so it looks like there are all the ingredients for an exciting race. I felt pretty good through all of qualifying and was building up my speed nicely for Q3. It’s a shame my lap in Q3 was disallowed, but it’s difficult when you’re pushing so hard and I obviously ran a little bit wide. At the end of the day losing the lap only changed the result by a few positions so I’m still in good shape for the race. It’s been a long time since Formula One was last here so there are a lot of unanswered questions going into the race. We don’t know how the different strategies will unfold, or how the tyres will behave, but I think we’ve shown recently that we have a very strong race car. Points will be the goal tomorrow.”
P11* Sergio Perez VJM07-02
Sergio: “We tried to do just one flying lap on my last Q2 run but unfortunately it was not possible to put together the perfect lap. This is a very tricky circuit and we struggled to get the tyres working at their best, but I don’t think that will be so much of an issue tomorrow. It will be a very challenging race and starting five places back from where we qualified won’t be easy, but we need to look ahead and see what can be done to improve our position tomorrow. The first lap will be important and strategy will be crucial to get a good result because overtaking looks to be difficult around here. We have a lot of tyres available for the race so we should try and use this to our advantage to move up into the points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It’s been a very solid afternoon by the team, which sets us up nicely for tomorrow. The progress made overnight and this morning solved a lot of the balance problems we experienced yesterday and we were in good shape going into qualifying. Checo was close to making Q3, but Nico made the cut only for his quick lap to be disallowed. He will line up in P10, but with the long run pace we showed yesterday both cars have every chance of moving forward and coming away with some more important points.”
*Sergio Perez is expected to start the race from P16 following a 5-place grid penalty.