Romain Grosjean qualified fifteenth and Pastor Maldonado eighteenth after a frustrating qualifying session at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Neither driver was able to unlock the pace of the soft compound tyre which contrasted with the potential seen from laps on the harder, medium compound tyre. The rain which had been threatened for Interlagos never arrived meaning a dry qualifying session, albeit with conditions much cooler than yesterday.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03. Q: P15, 1:12.037. FP3: P14, 1:12.235
“We knew this afternoon’s qualifying would be very close and it looks like some teams found more pace today than we did which means we didn’t quite make it through Q1. The team has done a lot of work on my car overnight and it felt a lot better this morning – it’s not yet 100% where I want it to be, but it’s going in the right direction. Everyone in the team is working hard and it’s great to be part of it. For tomorrow, we’ll do our best and we should be able to improve. The soft tyres don’t seem to like the track too much, so managing them in the race will be an important consideration. After that we just have to push as much as possible on the mediums.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-02. Q:18, 1:12.233. FP3: P12, 1:12.069
“It might not look like it from the lap time in qualifying, but I think we have a good car here, and certainly for the race. We were not able to put everything in the right place today and it’s a bit disappointing for qualifying, but the race is where it matters. It’s a very long race, and it’s usually quite a challenging one. With the way our car has been performing during the practice sessions I think we can fight for the points. If it rains, I think we can still be competitive and starting from where we are on the grid, maybe rain is good for us!”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We have everything to do in the race tomorrow.”
How was qualifying for the team?
Pretty poor. We weren’t able to unlock the pace from the softer tyres in Q1 which meant we didn’t make it into the second qualifying session. Lap times are pretty close here given the short length of a lap so although our starting positions are lowly, our lap times aren’t that far away from those ahead. We have everything to do in the race tomorrow.
Is there more positivity looking to the race?
There are two main permutations for tomorrow: We could have a dry race, in which case we believe our long run pace, particularly on the medium compound, will prove to be beneficial. The alternative is a wet race, with all the variables that entails. Either way, we’re confident of a far better race performance than we saw today in qualifying.