2017 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY 25/03/2017

 

Carlos Sainz (STR12-03, Car 55)

Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:25.948, pos. 8th, 11 laps

Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:25.542, (Q2) 1:24.997., (Q3) 1:24.487, pos. 8th 

“We can call today a good but not perfect day. We definitely started the qualifying session very far off from a balance point of view compared to yesterday; we lacked a bit of stability on the car and it wasn’t giving me as much confidence as on Friday. I therefore had to go little by little instead of pushing straight away from the beginning… That’s why it wasn’t the perfect start but it ended well. Getting into Q3 was difficult, as it was all very tight, but in the end it all came together and I’m definitely satisfied with our result. As a team, we can also be very happy because we got both cars through to Q3. To start tomorrow’s race from P8 is a very decent spot and I think it’s going to be a very exciting one… Bring it on!”

 

Daniil Kvyat (STR12-01, Car 26)

Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:26.049, pos. 9th, 11 laps

Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:25.970, (Q2) 1:24.864, (Q3) 1:24.512, pos. 9th

“It’s good to get through to Q3 with both cars, we can be happy with our Saturday. We missed a bit of test time a few weeks ago in Barcelona, so we came here still improving through the whole of yesterday. We did a good jump overnight and we were able to put a good lap together in today’s qualifying, which was very tight! Q1 was difficult for everyone because the track always does what it wants here, so we had to pick-up information and learn very fast, which we did. The team has been flawless so far this weekend, so I’d like to congratulate everybody for the great job done so far. Therefore, I can say we’re pretty satisfied after today’s result; we’ve made a good step forward, the car gives us confidence, is quite fast and we can look forward to converting this into something positive in tomorrow’s race.”

 

James Key (Technical Director)

“As we thought could be the case, margins looked to be incredibly tight behind the three fastest teams. The first qualifying session of the season is where you begin to see where everyone is and, sure enough, it is really tight between the teams round us. Having said that, to get both cars into the top ten is great, the team’s done a really good job today. We didn’t have the best start to qualifying with a balance that was not as good as it was in FP3 this morning and I think we reacted extremely well to improve the situation with each run. Both drivers did a really professional job too and did what they needed to do – the objective was to get into both cars into the top ten and they achieved that up against very stiff competition. What also is encouraging is that their lap times were extremely close to each other throughout the session – that’s what we expect from them and that’s exactly what they delivered. It’s tomorrow that counts; we’ve got two cars ahead of us that we’d like to take on – we want to be the best of the rest behind the top three teams, so clearly we have a target there. Equally, we have people behind us that we know will be very competitive too, so we’re looking forward to an exciting and I suspect very close race tomorrow.”