Lance Stroll qualified 14th and Sergey Sirotkin 17th for the Japanese Grand Prix. Both Lance and Sergey qualified on the supersoft Pirelli tyre. Both drivers set their first timed-laps with Lance P14 and Sergey P16, before a crash for Marcus Ericsson brought out a red flag. Both cars went quicker when the session got back underway, with Lance setting a 1:30.317 to take him through into Q2. Sergey just missed out on getting out of Q1 with a 1:30.372 to go P17.
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: It was a tricky session because dry-wet mixed conditions in qualifying sessions are the biggest test of team operations in Formula One as we indeed saw today. Some difficult choices had to be made but we’re very pleased to get the best we could from the car today on both sides of the garage. It was very close, and Sergey was unfortunate to narrowly miss out on Q2 but congratulations to Lance on getting out of Q1 with a brilliant lap. We were a little bit down on power by the time we got to his final run, otherwise we could have potentially secured one more place on the grid than we have, but we’re very happy to be starting this race 14th and 17th. Our race pace is good enough to fight from those places, so we’ll look forward to doing our very best tomorrow.
Lance Stroll: Although the rain came at the wrong moment in Q2, I am still very happy and really satisfied to get through and into it, as we didn’t expect that today. The car felt like it was working beneath me and I knew it was going to be a big step from my first run to my second run. I tidied up my mistakes from that first run in Q1, and then it was a combination of everything. I had a good engineer to set-up the car well, used every bit of the road, committed to every corner, the lap was pretty good, and the car felt alive beneath me. All those key points came together, but we didn’t expect to be able to compete with the other teams. I know we have got some quicker cars behind us, Ricciardo for example is going to fly through the field, and I am not going to spend too much time trying to keep him behind. I am going to do my race and hopefully we can pick up some positions at the start and go from there.
Sergey Sirotkin: I think it was a good session. We weren’t the luckiest with the traffic we had on our out-lap, so when I started my lap, the tyres weren’t the best prepared but apart from that I think I should be very happy with the lap I did. It was one hundred percent from my side and the same for how we optimised the car and how we put everything together operationally. We got the car at its best for the last run so, I’m not too happy with the fact that we’re not through, but I’m happy with how it felt and the job that we did.