Carlos Sainz (STR11-01, Car 55)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:20.325, pos. 10th, 22 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:20.457, (Q2) 1:20.169, (Q3) 1:20.378, pos. 10th
"I'm very pleased! It's being a tricky weekend because of the challenging track conditions. If I say the truth, at the start of Q1 I thought it was going to be difficult to get into Q3... And here we are, P10 again for the second consecutive time in one week! It's a massive achievement for me and the team! I'm feeling very confident in the car lately and I think this is part of the reason why we are achieving these positive results: I can push straight away, develop my weekend well and make it to these positions. I'm going through a good moment and both the team and I can be extremely proud about this – what we've been achieving during these two couple of races is not easy! I'm very happy. Tomorrow it will be tough: We don't have the tyre-strategy advantage and we will need the supersoft tyre to work well during my first stint, as the guys behind will be pushing to get past me. We need to be cautious but we will for sure have some fun!"
Daniil Kvyat (STR11-03, Car 26)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:20.586, pos. 12th, 20 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:21.454, pos. 18th
"What a shame... I suddenly lost power because of an electrical issue after my first Q1 lap, so unfortunately my qualifying session ended early today. I have to say that up until that point I was feeling good in the car, even if the track was constantly changing – I'm sure I would've easily got through to Q2. Let's see what happens in tomorrow's race – it should be an interesting one and we will definitely try and do our best!"
Jody Egginton (Head of Vehicle Performance):
"It has it been all about tyres today, managing them in an FP3 programme with the lower track temperatures and also in qualifying with higher track temperatures. Both cars completed FP3 programmes using the supersoft tyres, with Carlos finding a good balance straight away, whilst Daniil's engineers conducted a further set-up adjustment after the baseline run in order to improve the balance further. Changes to both cars ahead of qualifying were limited to fine-tuning for the track temperature change, which meant we headed into qualifying being able to focus on tyres and any required aero balance fine-tuning, run to run. Q1 passed without incident for Carlos, while Daniil suffered an electrical issue on the in lap of his first run, which resulted in PU power loss. His mechanics worked hard to isolate the fault and rectify it but, with Daniil's first run unfortunately not being quick enough to make the cut for Q2, the available time was too short to get him back out. With Carlos we elected to run a used supersoft tyre for the first run of Q2, following this up with a new supersoft tyre, this run being good enough to make Q3. We applied the same approach to Q3, running used then a new tyre. However, in line with a few other runners, we were not able to improve the lap time on the new tyre so ended up P10. It is a good reward for the effort put in by the team but it also means we need to consider our strategy options carefully, as there are a lot of cars ahead on the soft tyre. Our focus now shifts towards the race, trying to construct the best strategies to try and get Daniil forward in the race and, in the case of Carlos, consolidate his qualifying position and then try to move forwards, if the opportunities present themselves. We have seen a lot of track improvement so far this weekend and we expect this to continue into the race. Therefore, there should be opportunities to make good use of the available compounds."