Brendon Hartley (STR12-04, Car 28)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:11.085, pos. 17th, 30 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:10.625, (Q2) no time, pos. 15th
Brendon will serve a 10 grid position penalty for tomorrow's race
"Not a bad day, I'm pretty happy to have got through to Q2 today! We then didn't go out to set a time in Q2 in order to save all the tyres and keep all the options available for tomorrow's race, so we just used the session to do a couple of practice starts – something I needed considering my first two starts in F1, which haven't been the best... Hopefully this pays dividends tomorrow! It's going to be quite a tough ask to finish in the points, but we're definitely going to try, do our best and push for that – I'm really looking forward to the race!"
Pierre Gasly (STR12-01, Car 10)
Third Practice Session: 1:10.981, 16th, 32 laps
Qualifying: Best lap: (Q1) 1:10.686, pos. 17th
Pierre will serve a 25 grid position penalty for tomorrow's race
"I think today was pretty ok. Obviously it hasn't been a perfect weekend for us but at least we had some proper running in FP2 and FP3. We knew at the beginning of the weekend we would start at the back of the grid, so we tried to mainly focus on race simulations. This morning I was pretty happy with the long runs even if we knew it wasn't ideal for qualifying: in terms of downforce we put less than what we would have wanted to maximise our overtaking opportunities during the race. Hopefully it will pay off tomorrow. The track is so exciting! There's so much rhythm in the second and third sectors... it's really good to drive, but the most important thing is to be competitive tomorrow for the race, and hopefully have some good overtakes during the race."
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):
"The mechanics were very busy last night: they had to swap the E-Turbo and change the engine on Pierre's car after the issues in FP1, so there was an awful lot of work to do but they did a great job getting all of that work done in time so that we were able to leave before the curfew...that was really good. In FP3, because we knew we were taking penalties, we didn't have to just focus on qualifying performance in the session; we had a combination of long and short runs to test some different setup ideas that the engineers had prepared from yesterday. After not having the perfect balance yesterday, we could test those ideas this morning and they all work well. Final practice went well and trouble-free, we learnt some things for the race and qualifying so that was useful. The track temperature today was significantly different to yesterday and the predicted race temperatures, so we need to take that into account with our learning from today.
"Moving into qualifying, because we knew we were taking penalties we really just focused on Q1 and we didn't save any tyres for Q2. Both drivers did a great job. Pierre was very unlucky as the cut off was so tight that he just missed out on progressing to Q2 by around half a tenth. Brendon did a fantastic job to get the car into Q2. Since we took the decision to not have any new tyres for Q2, we instead focussed on some procedural work for him - mainly starts practice, pit entry, pit exit. Obviously the work that we were able to do in FP3 puts us in a better position for the race, and also the fact that we've managed to save tyres means we can keep all of our options open to give us much more of a chance and more strategic opportunities tomorrow."