Sakhir GP: Qualifying team notes - Racing Point


Sergio Perez: "I'm happy with qualifying today; I think it was a strong result. I don't think P4 was possible because it was a good lap from Charles [Leclerc] and it would have been difficult to match that. It's not been an easy challenge finding the perfect set-up for the car at such a different and challenging track, but I think we found a rhythm in qualifying and that was a big positive. We made good choices in qualifying by running just the one set of softs in Q1 and saving two sets for Q3 because that helped us get P5 on the grid. Overtaking might be a challenge here, we'll find out tomorrow, but the strategy will be very important because even in qualifying we could see that tyre degradation was a factor. The key could be making the soft tyre last longer in the first stint and, hopefully, that will open up some opportunities through strategy. I think we're capable of making that work and the race could come to us, but we need to focus on putting everything together until the final lap and making sure we score good points."

Lance Stroll: "I'm a bit frustrated with qualifying today. I think it was clear that we had good pace, but on my second run in Q2, I picked up damage to my floor on the kerbs at Turn 8. We've seen this weekend that Turn 8 is a really crucial corner and that the middle sector can be punishing on the cars. But thankfully, we'd already secured a time good enough for Q3, but it cost us any chance of starting higher than P10. We need to look at the floor in greater detail because it wasn't a hard hit - and I'm surprised it was damaged. It meant that we lost a lot of load on the rear of the car, which was costing us significant lap time as a result. The positive is that the traffic wasn't too bad out there, so if we get a strong start to the race and settle into a good pace, we can fight for a good amount of points tomorrow. We know the pace is there, so we'll go away and review today's work and come back stronger in the race."

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "It's a very tight grid, just as we expected, but I'm pleased we got both cars through to Q3. On such a short lap, with so much traffic, the session had the potential to become a bit of a lottery and every tenth was critical. P5 and P10 is a solid effort and we are well-placed to score points with both cars. We've got a competitive car here and I'm confident our race pace is a match for our qualifying speed. Lance picked up some damage in Q2, which had a knock-on effect in Q3, and we will need to see if repairs are needed ahead of the race. It's going to be an interesting Grand Prix because there are quite a few unknowns on a new track layout, but we've done our homework and feel well prepared heading into the race."

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Published: 05/12/2020
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