7th APRIL 2018

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 5th* 1:28.398 (Practice 3 – P3 1:30.452)

“That was really close. Part of me is disappointed that we are so close but still at the tail of the lead pack in Qualifying, but I don’t think I could really have done much better. Lewis was still a couple of tenths ahead of me. There was maybe a tenth left on the table but I think the Mercedes still had some extra pace. It’s almost frustrating to be so close but actually it’s encouraging that the top five cars are within about four tenths. I’m always excited for the race. Practice and Qualifying are ok but Sunday is my favourite day of the week. Yesterday our race pace didn’t look bad but I think our car in FP2 wasn’t as good as it is now, so it’s encouraging to know that our car should be even better tomorrow and hopefully it puts us in the fight. We will start in fourth place now with Lewis’s penalty so I think it is going to be exciting. Hopefully, in 24 hours we can do a pretty cool interview after a good race. I’m also pleased for Pierre, Toro Rosso and Honda today. Not taking anything away from Pierre, but in my first year at Toro Rosso I also qualified sixth here and he has done the same. I can see him doing the interviews and he is super excited, so it’s good for the team and I’m happy for him.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 15th 1:29.374 (Practice 3 – P2 1:30.393)
 “I was very surprised at what happened in Q1 so I wanted to try and understand the cause before commenting on it. What we can see in the data is a sudden power increase, just like an on/off switch. It looks like roughly 150 Horse Power was suddenly switched on during the corner which of course is not easy to anticipate, this caught me out and meant I lost the rear and spun. The damage to the car was just the front left corner so we don’t have any major concerns for tomorrow. I was disappointed to crash not just because it ruined Qualifying but also as the car is looking very quick here so has made the job tomorrow hard. At least at this track you can overtake. My race pace looks good so if I can have a clean first stint and get past a lot of cars it could still be an exciting race. You always need a bit of luck so a safety car to bunch up the field would help and make the race open again. We have a quick car so that is always good, let’s see what I can do tomorrow.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “After a Qualifying session with plenty of action, it’s interesting to see the top five cars qualify within four tenths of each other. Daniel got the best out of the car today to finish in fifth, which will become fourth on the grid with the penalty for Lewis. Max who was doing another lap in Q1 gathering information on engine settings unfortunately lost the rear, the reasons for which we will have to look at, but frustratingly it ended his Qualifying early. However, the damage is superficial and hopefully from 15th on the grid he will put his head down and make some progress through the field as our race pace has looked encouraging here. It is set up to be an exciting race tomorrow.”
*Will start grand prix in P4 owing to penalty for Car 44
Dark Matters
Beyond the obvious luminescence, there’s something a little more sparkly about night races, a little more glitzy. In fact, it all changes when the sun goes down. To prove it we’ve put together a little list of the best of the dark stuff.
1. None more black – You’d think that the colour black is what it is. But as legendary Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel once remarked there can be a shade of black that is ‘none more black’. That shade is called Vantablack, which is the trademarked name (owned by Surrey NanoSystems Limited) for a chemical substance, which, as any fool knows, is made of vertically, aligned carbon nanotube arrays. It’s one of the darkest artificial substances known, absorbing up to 99.965% of radiation in the visible spectrum.
2. Dark stars – What’s the least light polluted place on the planet? Hard to say, as despite artificial light reaching a lot of places, there are still plenty of remote areas where stargazing remains a truly amazing experience due to their remoteness. However, when people talk about dark spots that really bring the night sky to vivid life, South America’s Atacama Desert is normally the first name to trip off the tongue. It’s combination of altitude, clear skies and little light pollution that does it. Indeed, to rubber-stamp its credentials, in 2015 the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) observatory in the Elqui Valley of northern Chile’s Andean mountains was designated the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), a non-profit organisation based in Tuscon, Arizona in the US.
3. As a matter of fact there is no dark side – Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is an avowed classic but despite the fact that this year it will reach the ripe old age of 45, (bet that makes you feel old, right?) the album still holds the record for most consecutive weeks on Billboard’s weekly Top 200 albums chart. On March 17, 1973, the band’s eighth album made its chart debut (at No 95 before rising to No 1). And on the chart it stayed, week after week, year after year, until eventually, in July 1988, a mammoth 736 weeks after its debut, Dark Side finally dropped into the shadows. It’s been back several times since and now has a total of 937 weeks on the chart. How big a number is that. Well, its nearest rival is Bob Marley’s Legends ‘Best Of’ compilation, which lags some 422 weeks behind Pink Floyd’s behemoth.
4. The deep dark – The ocean is divided into aquatic layers, with the top bit known as the Pelagic zone and the very deepest bits known as the Hadal or Hadopelagic zone (named after Hades). These are normally trenches in the Abyssal plain, the floor of the Abyssal zone. The very deepest of these trenches is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and the deepest, darkest part of it is Challenger Deep, which has a depth of around 36,070 feet (10,994 m). As you can imagine, life there is pretty tough, almost as tough as a middle seat in economy between two hungover mechanics on a long-haul flight home from Australia. It’s so deep that it is in perpetual darkness and animals living in the deepest parts of the Mariana Trench (mostly microbes, tiny shrimp and translucent sea cucumbers) survive in complete d