Abu Dhabi GP: Qualifying team notes - Racing Point


Lance Stroll: "It wasn't the easiest qualifying session this year because I found the car a little bit tricky to drive out there. It's too early to explain exactly why it was difficult, but I'm confident we can go away tonight and find the answers we need. We started strongly in Q1 with a good lap time but we just weren't able to make progress relative to our rivals in Q2 and Q3. The positive is that we are starting comfortably inside the Top 10. It's a long race, it's the end of the season and anything can happen in the Grand Prix. The two McLarens might be ahead, but If we make a good start and make the right calls on strategy, I think we can move forward and fight hard to keep hold of P3 in the Constructors' Championship. We'll go away and look over the data tonight and find improvements in the car, but also look into how the race is likely to play out tomorrow. We'll come back strong tomorrow and aim for good points."

Sergio Perez: "Today was my last qualifying session with the team and it was definitely a bit emotional. It's a shame that we couldn't do qualifying properly but there's no point using up tyres or taking risks when we will start at the back of the field anyway. I think we have really strong pace this weekend and I felt great on my Q1 lap, so I'm confident we could have fought for a very strong result in normal circumstances. We knew this penalty was coming so our focus has been entirely on making sure we have a strong package for the race tomorrow. The goal has to be to work our way up well into the points because today has shown just how close the battle for P3 in the Constructors' Championship will be. My fresh powertrain is a couple of tenths per lap quicker than those towards the end of their life, which should be of big benefit in the race. McLaren has both cars in the Top 10 and Renault has the free tyre choice, so it's going to be a long race tomorrow where anything can happen. It's now sinking in that tomorrow is going to be my last race with the team. I'm determined to leave here on a high with a great result for myself and everyone in the team. There's a lot to play for and I'm excited to get going tomorrow."

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "A very close fight in Q3 tonight with Lance ending the session in P8. He's shown strong pace all weekend and can take the fight to the cars around him to score good points tomorrow. Sergio will start near the back of the grid due to the power unit change [and resulting grid penalty] so there was no sense in doing unnecessary mileage in tonight. There's a really close battle in the Constructors' Championship so we need to help Sergio move through the pack and score points too. There's plenty at stake and a long race ahead of us, but we will do all we can to bring home the results we need tomorrow."

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Published: 12/12/2020
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