Daniil Kvyat (STR12-01, Car 26)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:35.804, pos. 15th, 23 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:34.440, (Q2) 1:34.034, (Q3) 1:33.719, pos. 9th
"We had a lot of things to focus on today and in the end we did a good job. I'm feeling confident and we managed to put some very good laps together – I'm satisfied with my qualifying session! After not the easiest of FP3's – not having run much yesterday, this morning we struggled a bit with the balance of the car – my team of engineers and myself managed to put everything together for qualifying, which ran smoothly. We're satisfied with our performance and getting into Q3 was a nice achievement! I missed out by a tiny bit to P7, but I will try to make up for it tomorrow. If the rain does finally come during the race, it will definitely offer more opportunities, but also more threats – as we know, anything can happen in the rain and we will need to do the best job possible, stay patient and take calculated risks at times. It will be a fun race, whatever the weather!"
Carlos Sainz (STR12-03, Car 55)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:35.223, pos. 10th, 24 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:34.567, (Q2) 1:34.150, pos. 11th
"It's incredible how tight the midfield is! To see two or three drivers within a tenth means that nowadays qualifying is even more important and even the smallest detail can make the difference. I'm honestly really enjoying these fights and today's has been quite an eventful qualifying session – every lap counts and I was trying to find half a tenth here, half a tenth there... It's exciting! Unfortunately I didn't make it into Q3 this afternoon, but I missed out for so little – it was quite a decent lap so I'm not worried about it. Tomorrow is the big day and we start from P11, which is the best possible result if you don't get into Q3 as we can choose our tyre strategy... If it's a dry race! If it's wet, we know we have a strong chassis and I always welcome the rain, so one way or another I think we have opportunities to fight for a good result tomorrow."
James Key (Technical Director):
"I'd say that what today proved to us is what we already saw in Melbourne – that its really close between all the teams around us. Unfortunately, Carlos just missed out from getting through to Q3 after not being able to get the best out of his final lap in Q2. With it all being so tight, the smallest hiccup in quali means that you can lose some places and I think this is what happened today... It would've been great for him to have got through! Having said that, he starts from P11, so we will see what we can do from there. Daniil did a great job to get through to Q3 even with what wasn't a perfect lap: he lost a bit of time in the first and second sectors, but finished off with a strong third sector to pull it together. Unfortunately, in Q3 it was again that same third sector which made the difference, but this time it affected him negatively, as he locked his rear wheels into Turn 14 and that lost him a place or two ultimately. Nonetheless, we can't complain, as we got him through and he's in the top ten to start with; it really is all down to the finest of margins in the current situation. Tomorrow could potentially be a very interesting race, given the likely weather conditions. We look forward to it."
Full Qualifying Results here.