Mexico GP: Qualifying team notes - Toro Rosso


Brendon Hartley: "I think today we definitely had the pace to go through to Q3, but I'm disappointed with that last lap. I had been really happy with the car all weekend and Q1 was great, I was P10 and I think that was representative to where we could have been at the end of Q2. We only had one set of new Hypersofts left for Q2, and in the last run we didn't get the aero balance on the track evolution. I locked the brakes into Turn 12 on my last lap, went off the track and lost enough time to just miss out on Q3 - in Qualifying we are always pushing it to the limit! As for the race, the tyres will be a big topic tomorrow. I need a good first lap like I had in Austin. We scored points last week from P20, so from P14 tomorrow it must be possible! We've been strong all weekend, so I hope to bring home some more points."

Pierre Gasly: "I think our Qualifying today was good, but our main focus was on tomorrow's race after the penalty we have. I was really happy with Q1, I did a good lap which could have been better if Stroll didn't make a mistake. To get through to Q2 was great but it was frustrating not to be able to compete. As we saw high degradation on Friday, the tyre management will be key tomorrow, and we have to be smart with our strategy. I felt good with the car, and starting last tomorrow I hope I can have some exciting battles on track."

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): "First of all congratulations to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team for the fantastic front row lock out today - really well done! As for us, the overnight rain came as expected, and with the cold track temperatures the FP3 session started with a wet track. It was too dry to run on intermediates - particularly as these are our Qualifying and Race sets - but at the same time it was too wet to run on the dry compound, so it was an uneventful first half to FP3. The positive was the track temperature was much cooler, which generally improves the stability and balance of the car. Given his lack of running on Friday, we decided to be one of the first out on the Hypersoft with Pierre and complete a sustainable run to further increase our tyre understanding for tomorrow. The tyre graining was still there although it was slightly improved compared to Friday. Pierre put in a great performance in his Qualifying simulation which was helped by a tow in Sector 1, as well as the overnight changes made to the car. Brendon caught the VSC on his out lap of his first run, so this compromised the tyre temperatures for his push lap and he then made a couple of mistakes on his second tyre.

"Moving into Qualifying, we knew that we wouldn't take part in Q2 with Pierre, so he used the three new Hypersofts in his allocation in Q1. His final run was looking strong, but he got traffic in the middle sector which cost at least 0.2s. Brendon had an excellent Q1, easily making it through on only two new sets of Hypersofts, but wasn't able to match his time again in Q2, which was unfortunate, as he had the pace in the car to make it through to Q3. The race will be tough on the tyres and getting the strategy right to avoid graining, so we have a lot to go through tonight to ensure we have the best plan for tomorrow."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "In today's changing track conditions during FP3 we looked quite competitive and in qualifying, both drivers got through to Q2. However, Brendon was unable to improve on his final run in that session and had to settle for 14th place. With Pierre, because of the grid penalties for PU and gearbox changes, there was no point in him setting a time in Q2. The forecast for tomorrow is uncertain, we have to be prepared for anything and do our best to get a good result."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Mexico City, here.

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Published: 27/10/2018
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