Brendon Hartley: “We knew it was going to be tight today, but I was P12 this morning so we thought at least Q2 was possible. To be 16th and just missing out on Q2 two weekends in a row is frustrating. The track conditions were really different compared to a few hours ago, so we probably couldn’t get the most out of the car in Qualifying. We’ve put a lot of focus on race pace this weekend and there wasn’t much between me and Pierre today, but I think we just weren’t quite quick enough and I wasn’t particularly happy with the balance of the car. Hopefully we’ve done some good work during the practice sessions so we can have a strong car for the race tomorrow.”
Pierre Gasly: “This was not the last Qualifying for Toro Rosso I would have wanted. Out of the last corner I came back on the throttle and lost power on the exit, I’m disappointed because the lap was coming together well. The car felt great and I was sixth-tenths faster, but then for the last two to three hundred metres there was no power. We had the pace to be around P12, so maybe not Q3, but to fight just out of the top 10. It’s an important race for me tomorrow because the team has done so much for me since I’ve arrived, they gave me my first opportunity, so I’ll do my best to have a strong performance and finish the season well. It would be a nice way to thank everyone and, even if we’re not going to start in the position we were expecting, I will give it my all.”
Guillaume Dezoteux (Head of Vehicle Performance): “Brendon had a pretty smooth FP3 session, although it was a bit more complicated on the other side of the garage. Pierre had to back off his first run due to an electrical issue on the PU side, which was fixed very quickly, and then got hit by Grosjean in the exit of Turn 16, which forced him to abort his last timed lap.
“As for our Qualifying session, it didn’t go to plan as we were definitely expecting something more today. Brendon struggled with car balance and unfortunately couldn’t make it through. Pierre ran into another problem as he lost power out of the last corner while he was 0.6s up on his previous lap. That would have put him in a comfortable position for Q2 and we think we had the car today to fight for P10 – P11. We are not sure what happened at this stage and we need the car back to investigate in detail. For tomorrow, some interesting situations could arise from the cars that will start on the Hypersofts, so we will look into all of the options tonight to make our way through the field and target some points.”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “It is very disappointing that Pierre stopped on track with a PU issue in Q1, especially as this is our final qualifying session of the year. Brendon was also unable to get out of Q1 and so we will start tomorrow’s race towards the back of the grid. Overnight, we will investigate the cause of the failure and prepare for tomorrow’s race.”