Sergey Sirotkin qualified 18th and Lance Stroll 20th for the Russian Grand Prix. Both cars qualified on the Pirelli hypersoft tyre. Both drivers set personal best first sectors on their second runs, but failed to improve. Sergey suffered a spin on his final timed-lap which brought out yellow flags and compromised Lance who was following close behind.
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: It’s a very challenging circuit particularly with the hypersoft, trying to get a lap and the best out of the tyre around all sectors. There’s a bit of a game here in that you have to leave a bit on the table in sector one to get the best time through sector three. Sergey set a reasonably good time on his first run. Unfortunately, Lance made a mistake; he improved on his second lap with the same tyre set, but this still wasn’t a representative laptime. Both drivers went out for their second run and were on much improved laptimes but unfortunately Sergey spun at turn eight and this caused a yellow, disrupting Lance’s lap so neither driver improved. We will benefit from a range of penalties around us and get some better grid positions than where we qualified today. Our race pace has been a bit stronger relatively than our qualifying pace so we still see some opportunity for a better outcome tomorrow.
Sergey Sirotkin: It was a tricky session and I’m quite disappointed with my mistake at the end. I think we’ve been struggling quite a bit. I don’t think we really had that impressive performance today and I just tried to do more than was physically possible. I just didn’t want to do another steady lap, I tried to do something special and I didn’t get away with it. Unfortunately, I made a mistake which I’m very sorry and disappointed about. I wanted to do something more than just a good lap.
Lance Stroll: I did my first run but locked up so had to abort that. Then I was on a pretty good lap, but I didn’t get a final run because there were yellow flags due to Sergey spinning. We are off the pace, like we have always been, so nothing has really changed. It is frustrating, but we weren’t very quick. We will see what we can do tomorrow.