Carlos Sainz (STR12-01, Car 55)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:30.799, pos. 13th, 23 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:30.565, (Q2) 1:30.413, pos. 15th
Carlos will serve a 20 grid position penalty tomorrow
"The results on the timesheet look worse than what it really is, because in Q2 we decided not to run any new tyres – we only went out on the ones used in Q1. The reason for this is that we want to have all the strategic options available to us for tomorrow as we'll be starting from the very back of the grid due to the grid penalty. So today's Q2 was a bit weird – we used it just to do some practice starts and ran on the used tyres... Not what we're used to doing! Therefore, it's a qualifying I didn't really enjoy, but it was a sacrifice thinking about tomorrow, when I'll appreciate it more than now. Hopefully we can have a good race and perform another good comeback using the new tyres still available from today!"
Pierre Gasly (STR12-04, Car 10)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:31.353, pos. 16th, 25 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:31.317, pos. 17th
"How annoying, today's wasn't a good qualifying for me... I had quite a big moment during my best lap in Q1 and I locked the car in the first sector, almost going off track. Luckily I finished the lap, but it wasn't a clean one. I expected to improve quite a lot in my second run but in the end we didn't get this opportunity because of the session being red-flagged... So I'm disappointed about the final result because we had the potential to get into Q2. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race and I can manage the tyres well, extract the most out of the car and see where we end up!"
Jody Egginton (Head of Vehicle Performance)
"With dry running a bit limited on Friday, both engineering crews had limited data but very clear feedback from both drivers on what was required in terms of car balance. It's fair to say that a good direction was found for the set up and, as such, both drivers were happier with their cars by the end of FP3, covering their programmes containing both long and shorter runs, while using the soft and supersoft compounds. We headed into qualifying with a clear picture on balance requirements for the race and also qualifying itself but, with the 20 place penalty for Carlos due to a PU change, we decided to allocate less sets to qualifying in order to keep race strategy options open. That's why his final lap time was not representative of the ultimate pace of him or his STR12. With Pierre, the plan was for a more conventional qualifying but, unfortunately, with a snap in S1 on his first lap and the red flag on his second run, he was not able to bring it all together and also his lap time was not representative. We know there was potential for him to be much quicker, which is impressive given that he is driving in only his second GP weekend and has not been able to run a full dry programme here - together with his engineers he is still fine tuning his baseline set up. As you would expect, we are not happy with our grid positions but, importantly, we know there is a good opportunity tomorrow so, as always, tonight will be focused on formulating the strategy options ahead of the race in order to ensure we maximise any opportunities that may present themselves in the race. The target is still to score points in what is going to be a very tight mid field battle."