Esteban gets a good clean qualifying and will line up P20 for tomorrow’s 56 lap race. Pascal struggled with traffic but will come back fighting for his Malaysian debut.
Qualifying, 2016 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix
Saturday 1 October
Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
Esteban MRT05-02 Q1 P20 1:36.451 9 laps
Pascal MRT05-03 Q1 P21 1:36.587 9 laps
Esteban, a lot of work went into qualifying today. How was that?
“It was really good. I’m pretty happy with everything. The team did a fantastic job to build up a strong car and we can be very proud of our performance today. I got good clean laps and improved with each run, so all good.”
We remember after your first qualifying session, back in Spa, you said it was an area you needed to work on. Everything seems to be coming together in that department?
“Yes, that feels like a long time ago, my first qualifying in Spa. But it got better and better each race and today I felt very comfortable. After all the work that has gone into getting the car working well here, it all just came together. I’m really happy.”
A frustrating day today. First, a compromised practice session, now a qualifying we know you won’t be happy with.
“Yes, I’m a little disappointed today. This morning was a lot of stop-start trying to fix the electrical problem, so we couldn’t really set the car up. It’s a shame, because at the start of the day I felt we had finally got some things working that we were less happy with yesterday. In qualifying, I had a lot of traffic and couldn’t improve on my second set of tyres. Twice there were cars in front of me in sector 1.”
Your plan for the race?
“I think we will be better in the race but we’re starting from a long way back and we have to hope for some opportunities to move through the field.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“We’ve put a lot of work into this weekend and we’ve definitely taken a step forward in a few areas to address some of the issues we’ve faced in recent races. On the face of it, not all of the progress is visible, particularly as we had a problem in FP3 this morning that compromised Pascal’s progress. While he struggled with traffic in qualifying, the actual car performance is better and Esteban had the opportunity to show that a little more. It will be a tough race tomorrow but potentially an interesting one. So we’ll do our best to make sure we’re there to benefit when opportunities present themselves.”