Pierre Gasly: "I felt really good with Qualifying, it's a great achievement to get into Q3 today. I'm happy with my performance and P9 is a good position to start from tomorrow (due to Ricciardo's penalty). It was quite stressful and exciting at the same time for the whole session. The rain increased in Q1, but we managed to put everything together to make it through to Q2 and then Q3. It was tricky, because in these weather conditions you never know what to expect, how much grip you will have when you approach the corners, how wet they are going to be, but I think we did really well in the end. Even if we finished today's Qualifying in the top 10, it won't be an easy race as our competitors around us are very fast. I hope we will have some good battles and I will certainly push flat out to score some more points tomorrow."
Brendon Hartley: "I was two-hundredths of a second from going through to Q2 today, which is annoying. I made a mistake on my lap with a big front lock into Turn 8, it caused a small flat spot and I lost around one and a half tenths which made the difference of a shot at Q2. It was tricky out there with the rain, but I had good information from the pit wall and my engineers about the track conditions. I was happy with the car and I want to thank the team for the good work over the last days, after I wasn't too happy with balance in free practice. The margins were tight today and we just missed out. It's going to be a tough race for us, but the car felt decent and anything can happen tomorrow, especially if we have mixed conditions which are forecast."
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): "Our main focus overnight was to work on the long run pace, we felt yesterday our short run pace was good but our long run pace wasn't there. So for FP3 we made a number of setup changes to the car which will improve our performance for the race tomorrow. The priority for FP3 was to make sure we still had good short run pace with the changes, which we were quite confident in, and we thought we had the potential to get one or even both cars into Q3 based on our pace from FP3. We could see there was rain coming for Qualifying which made the session quite difficult and busy on the pit wall, but especially in the garage! Unfortunately, in Q1 Brendon made a mistake locking up into Turn 8 and just missed the cut for Q2 by 0.016s, without that he would have made it comfortably through. The conditions remained tricky in Q2 because we had a mix of dry and wet conditions, although it wasn't wet enough to run the intermediates. The aim was to be on the track with the Supersofts at the right time, which we managed to achieve and we progressed into Q3. Now we need to understand what happened in Q3 as we didn't seem to have the pace we should have had. We only had one new tyre left while many of the others had two, which meant they had a bit of an advantage. Even so, we were just lacking pace and couldn't improve. We could already see in Q1 and in Q2 that the pace wasn't where we expected, so we elected to take a risk and be the last car crossing the line. This worked and our track position was good, but if anything it looked like Pierre tried to extract more from the car than it was capable of and we couldn't get a competitive lap together. On the positive side, we made it into Q3, and the changes we made to the car overnight should help us in the race for a strong position."
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "Based on data gathered yesterday in free practice, the team made the necessary changes to the set-up for today's sessions. We saw in FP3 that these changes went in the right direction, so we were optimistic about Qualifying. The session was affected by occasional light rain and the team timed the runs very well. Combined with a strong drive from Pierre, this was good enough to get us into Q3. Rain is forecast from the middle of tomorrow's race onwards, so we will now prepare for that and any other possible scenarios."
Check out our Saturday gallery from Interlagos, here.