Pierre Gasly (STR13-04, Car 10)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:18.886, pos. 10th, 17 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:18.550, (Q2) 1:18.463, Pos. 12th
"I'm pretty happy to make it to Q2 and qualify P12. We've got some performance back which was important after the last two weekends in China and Baku, so I think there's positives to take from today. We knew coming here it would be a bit tough because we saw some teams with big updates, but the most important thing for us was to understand our package, and I think we got some good answers. We still need to analyse our performance but overall we're pretty happy. Things have been working better this weekend, we were in the top 10 twice in FP1 and FP3, and in qualifying we weren't so far off the pace, so it's encouraging to see we are coming back into the fight. The race will be long and we know how tyre choice and strategy can make the difference. We will have free choice with the compounds for the start of the race, so I think it's a good position to be in."
Brendon Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:19.428, pos. 17th, 23 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: no time
"It was quite a big impact! We normally run a bit of kerb on the entry to Turn 9, but I took one or two centimetres too much and I just clipped the dirt area which flipped the car around pretty quick. The car was feeling good this morning, I didn't have a clean run at the end of the session, so the lap time didn't show the true pace we had. I'll try and stay positive. I'll have a good sleep and come back tomorrow fresh, anything is possible. I know the team started from the back of the grid last year and scored points, so that has to be the goal for tomorrow."
James Key (Technical Director):
"Some mixed fortunes for us today. Unfortunately, Brendon had quite a heavy accident in FP3 which damaged his car quite extensively and didn't leave enough time to prepare it for qualifying. In any case, with a shunt of that magnitude you want to make sure that you take the time to look at everything in fine detail and ensure that all the stressed parts are accounted for. The most important thing is that the driver is OK, and he will be back in fighting form for tomorrow's race. For Pierre, he was building this morning on some new directions we looked at last night to improve the car's balance, we had our ups and downs during Friday running, but generally the car balance was too inconsistent for both drivers. Pierre was happier with his car straight away in FP3 and was able to push with more confidence than yesterday. In qualifying, we could see it was going to be extremely tight with the teams around us. It looked like the Haas had a little bit of an advantage but otherwise it was difficult to predict. I think we came away feeling that we may have missed an opportunity for Q3. It was really close and unfortunately, Pierre had a bit of understeer in the middle of his final lap and lost a few tenths in the second sector, which left us slightly shy of the top 10. Q3 was possible, but we can't complain, we're just behind the top 10 and we can choose our tyres, so we're well placed to fight for points tomorrow."
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
"It's a great shame that Brendon was unable to take part in qualifying after his accident in P3. However, the most important thing is that he is okay and will race tomorrow. There is extensive damage to the PU and so we have replaced it and sent the other one back to Sakura for a full examination. As for Pierre, I felt he drove well in qualifying and we expect him to have a good race from twelfth on the grid."