Japanese GP: Qualifying team notes – Racing Point Force India

Esteban Ocon: “Eighth place is okay, but I’m not satisfied because we didn’t maximise our potential today. Our approach to Q3 meant we fuelled up for a few laps because we felt the track would dry up and keep improving. In reality the track was already quite dry right from the start of Q3 and that’s when the track was at its best, but we were heavy on fuel. Then, by the time we started our second run, the rain was getting heavier. Well done to the others who judged it better than us – that’s what can happen in those wet sessions. So I think we had the potential for more and I know we can be strong in the race. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez: “I am not very happy with my qualifying result because I think I should have been in front of quite a few other cars. It was a difficult session from the beginning of Q1. I was completing my lap when the red flag for Ericsson’s crash came out: I was just metres away from the line but I didn’t get a lap and I had to go again. In Q3 I went wide and lost a lot of time on my first lap when the track was at its best so there is definitely the feeling I could have done a lot more today. We need to make up some ground tomorrow. We start in the top ten and we have good pace so good points are achievable.”

Otmar Szafnauer: “The weather made for quite a tricky qualifying session. In one sense it’s good to have both cars in the top ten, but at the same time in Q3 we didn’t show our true speed. We sent both cars out with enough fuel to complete a few laps, but the first lap was the only one that counted in the end. Esteban’s lap was clean and tidy, but Checo made a mistake that cost him a few seconds. Our long run pace yesterday means we should be optimistic for the race, but overtaking here is very difficult and this will place even more importance on the timing of the pit stops.”