Brazil GP: Qualifying team notes – Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly: “I’m really happy with how Qualifying went today! I’d like to pass on a massive thanks to the team for giving me a competitive car. It feels like pole position for us today as P7 in the midfield is the best we can expect. We knew it was going to be a tight Qualifying, so it feels great to get my fourth Q3 in a row. I felt good in the car all weekend, now we need to stay focussed for tomorrow and finish the job by scoring as many points as possible in the race.”

Daniil Kvyat: “It’s just a shame today. I was feeling really good in the car during FP3 this morning and I was positive going into Qualifying. Then in the afternoon, the car wasn’t in the right balance window anymore. On the second run I made a couple of mistakes which didn’t allow me to improve on my time, I’m not sure what happened, but I lost the rhythm and I couldn’t put everything together. However, my race pace is generally strong, and even if P16 isn’t ideal let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Claudio Balestri (Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance): “Following an eventful Friday, we worked hard to prepare both cars for Saturday. This morning in FP3 we mainly focused on Quali, optimizing the car setup and tyre preparation, and we showed some good lap times with both drivers. We went into Quali very well prepared but unfortunately, we were not able to get through to Q2 with Daniil, while with Pierre we extracted the maximum from our package, adapting the car to the changes in track conditions. We were able to be the 7th quickest car in Q3 and now, due to Charles’ penalty, we’ll start the race from P6, equalling our best grid position this year (Azerbaijan Grand Prix – KVY). We now need to do our best to maximize our opportunities to score points with both cars tomorrow, in what we expect to be a tight midfield battle.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): “A brilliant result today! Max was competitive all weekend and took his and our second pole position of the season. Alex was also competitive to finish sixth on his first visit to this technically tricky track. Pierre Gasly ensured we have three Honda-powered cars in the top ten. Daniil was unlucky to make a small mistake and get no further than Q1, but his long run pace looks good, so everything is in place for us to have an excellent result tomorrow. It’s worth noting this was Pierre’s fourth consecutive top ten qualifying result. It will be a long race, over the 71 laps and we will now ensure we are as well prepared as possible in the hope of converting today’s strong performance into another one tomorrow.”