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Italian GP: Qualifying team notes - Toro Rosso

NEWS STORY
01/09/2018

Pierre Gasly: "Today was unbelievable, we didn't know if we would get through to Q2 before Qualifying, and then we made it to Q3! It's an amazing feeling to be starting in P9, everything went super well during Qualifying, I managed to get a good gap and slipstream and put one of my best laps in for the season. I think this was clearly the best result we could have achieved in Qualifying, and it's fantastic to have done it at Toro Rosso's home race. I didn't feel so great with the car yesterday, but we made some good progress overnight and now I feel much better with it. Today was half of the job done and now we need to finish the other half tomorrow. It's a really long way from the grid to Turn 1 so it will be crucial to really nail the start, then after that just try to be at the right place at the right time because it's going to be tight. When you start further up the grid it's a bit less risky, so I'll try to put my car in the right place to keep it clean, then push as much as possible."

Brendon Hartley: "It was an incredibly tight Qualifying session today, my last lap wasn't too bad, I made a bit of a mistake in Turn 1 but the rest of the lap was clean. We could have used a bit of rain this afternoon as we saw yesterday we were quite competitive in the wet. The car didn't feel too bad and the team's done a good job to tune the car to something Pierre and I both like. The midfield was incredibly close today which is amazing for F1, but frustrating for me to be on the wrong side of that. There was around one-tenth of a second between Pierre and I, and that made the difference of six positions. It's a bit disappointing to be 18th because it gives us more work to do tomorrow, but after a couple of penalties we should start higher on the grid."

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): "We had an afternoon of mixed emotions. Pierre had a fantastic Qualifying session to qualify in P9 at another track where we thought it would be difficult for our car. Unfortunately, Brendon just missed out on Q2 by half a tenth. Q1 was extremely difficult as everyone knows the importance of the tow, so drivers bunched up as no one wanted to lead the queue. Pierre managed to get a good lap together at the end of the session to make it through. Q2 was another extremely tight session and difficult with the tow, but we got it right for the run that counted and Pierre made it through by only 0.002s. Q3 was a very good lap and we extracted the absolute maximum from our package. The changes we made to the cars from yesterday to today worked well, our straight line speed is competitive and the drivers were much happier with the balance. Race pace during the Friday long runs was reasonable, so we're remaining optimistic for the race. It was also great to hear the cheers from the Tifosi on the pit wall after today's Qualifying results. Given the weather they endured yesterday, it's what the fans deserved as they have made the atmosphere electric!"

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "Spa and Monza are both circuits where power is very important and we were very happy to be eleventh fastest in Belgium one week ago, but to be ninth here in Monza is fantastic. It was down to a great performance from Pierre, aided by a tow from another car and by the team sending him out on track at the perfect time. Everything has gone smoothly on the PU side so far this weekend and we got everything possible out of it for qualifying. But it's tomorrow that counts and we will do all we can to ensure Scuderia Toro Rosso has a good result at its home race."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Monza, here.

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