2018 MONACO GRAND PRIX – SATURDAY 26/05/2018
Pierre Gasly (STR13-05, Car 10)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:12.761, pos. 8th, 23 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:12.941, (Q2) 1:12.313, (Q3) 1:12.221, Pos. 10th
“I must say I felt good with the car today! I think we made a good step compared to Thursday and to the last few races. We were only a tenth from P6 – which is great and not great – because of course it’s frustrating as you think you could have always found that extra tenth. I’m super happy to get to Q3 and it’s a good starting position, especially on this track. As we’ve seen in the past anything can happen around here! I think it will be super important to get a good start. I’m feeling more and more comfortable in the car, so I need to keep taking that experience and keep improving, Monaco is really particular and we had to setup the car in a different way – I think it was very positive. Every weekend we’re learning more and definitely this weekend it looks like everything is working quite well. We caught back up to the midfield and hopefully we can have a great race tomorrow and score some good points.”

Brendon Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:12.752, pos. 7th, 25 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:13.179, Pos. 16th
“I’m really disappointed getting knocked out in Q1, especially after ending practice this morning in P7 and I was really happy with the car. We’ve been looking strong all weekend, but when it came to qualifying I wasn’t as happy with the car in terms of balance, so there’s a bit to be looked at there. It’s always a tough one around here, it can be a lottery with traffic and yellow flags, and in the last two attempts I had in Qualifying there was a lot of both, so it really wasn’t ideal – especially since it’s very difficult to pass around here. It will be tough tomorrow, but our car looks good so we’ll see what we can do!”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):
“It’s unique in Monaco, where we get the whole of Friday to go through all the data from Thursday. The engineers spent a lot of time going through everything in terms of the car setup, understanding the new aero parts and how to optimise and extract the most from the tyres. We put that into practice in FP3 and the car looked extremely competitive. Pierre had issues on his car Thursday, but was up to speed straight away after we fixed these yesterday. Both drivers were pushing each other throughout the whole of FP3, and, based on the competitiveness, we thought that reaching Q3 with both cars in qualifying was a real possibility. Qualifying was a little bit disappointing in the end, I think overall the drivers had opportunities to put laps together, but we couldn’t quite realise the full potential of the car. The field was extremely tight and unfortunately Brendon was knocked out in Q1, missing Q2 by 0.1s, but it was great to get Pierre into Q3. On his final run with new tyres it was looking extremely positive, and his lap delta was several tenths up until he kissed the barrier at Turn 15, which subsequently lost him some time. It’s a pity, as the car was capable of P6 or P7 without Verstappen participating in Qualifying. It will be a challenge tomorrow as overtaking is not that easy around Monaco, but our car has an advantage; it’s easier on tyres than most of the others, so this should give us opportunities on the Hypersoft. Hopefully we can take home a few points tomorrow as our race pace looked positive.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
“This is always the most important qualifying session of the year, in terms of the advantage a good grid position brings in this race. Getting the timing right to send out the drivers on as clear a track as possible is very tricky. Pierre did a good job to get to Q3. Both drivers have been competitive right from the start of Thursday practice and we were able to find the best settings for the PU.  The gaps in the mid-field are very close and we feel our package has a good potential, therefore, although anything can happen in this race, we can be optimistic about tomorrow.”