Daniel Ricciardo reached Q3 for the first time in three races to qualify ninth, while Nico Hulkenberg missed out on the top ten by just 0.100secs for eleventh place but will enjoy a free choice of tyres for tomorrow’s race.
Both drivers required two runs to progress through to Q2 with Daniel in eighth and Nico in thirteenth.
Daniel then edged his way into the final part of qualifying by just over two tenths of a second with Nico falling narrowly short despite an improvement on his second effort.
Daniel managed to find some extra time in Q3, improving on his Q2 effort by 0.120secs to claim ninth.
Nico Hulkenberg: “We weren’t quite good enough for Q3 today. I was lacking a bit of pace, some harmony in the car, and I couldn’t quite extract that final tenth, which meant we didn’t progress to Q3. I was happy with my laps, so we’ll have to take that for today. I think eleventh is a pretty good starting position, we have some freedom on strategy, which sometimes works in favour. I’ll be ready to attack and fight again tomorrow.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “We’ve had a difficult few weeks in qualifying where I haven’t been too happy with myself, but today was much better and I extracted more or less everything from the car. We’ll give it a go tomorrow, I’ll get the horns out and look to advance. We’re starting on the Soft, maybe it’s not the best tyre to begin the race, but it is what it is. We’re on the clean side of the grid too, so we’ll be looking to make some places there and get our heads down.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “We can be reasonably pleased with today’s qualifying but, of course, our target is to always have both cars in Q3. Our Friday high fuel pace looked very strong here, as has been the case at the last few races. We’re looking forward to Sunday and we’ll be aiming to maximise our chances to get both cars solidly into the points.”