Carlos Sainz (STR11-01, Car 55)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:38.710, pos. 15th, 6 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:37.744, (Q2) 1:37.175, (Q3) 1:37.326, pos. 10th

Carlos Sainz:

“I can’t be happier than what I’m feeling today after that qualifying session! After quite a complicated FP3, where I didn’t get much track time due to the two punctures, to suddenly put such a great lap together in Q2 and get through to Q3 is just amazing – I was really happy when I was told my position over the radio! I’m sure the team was also very pleased, it’s definitely something we needed after some tough race weekends. Today is one of the days I will always remember of my 2016 season! Tomorrow will be a tough race but we will certainly try our best to fight for points!”

Daniil Kvyat (STR11-03, Car 26)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:38.691, pos. 14th, 16 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:37.844, (Q2) 1:37.480, pos. 13th

Daniil Kvyat:

“Not a bad qualifying session. The car was a bit difficult for me to drive today, with some small balance issues… Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad lap time considering this and we were very close to Q3 – we only missed out by a tenth and a half. On the positive side, we get to choose the tyres with which to start tomorrow’s race, something that’s important from a strategy point of view. Many things can happen in the race and the midfield is very tight, so we can try and fight for points.”

Jody Egginton (Head of Vehicle Performance):

“As a team, we are quite pleased with the qualifying result today following a solid day yesterday. However, FP3 was not straight forwards for both drivers: Carlos suffered two punctures which severely limited his running and forced him to go early on his supersoft set; while Daniil had to conduct a bit of rebalance work to get the car optimised for the change in wind direction. Overall, both drivers were happy with the car balance on Friday, so we knew the pace of the car was sufficient to be competitive in the mid field – qualifying was just a case of keeping out of traffic and making the most of the new tyre. Q1 passed without incident and we were able to abort the second run with Carlos once it became apparent that our direct competitors were not improving sufficiently. Both drivers used scrubbed tyres in Q2 run 1 to get a measure of track conditions and followed this up with new tyres runs. Carlos had an almost perfect lap on his second run, whilst Daniil was strong in parts of sector 2 but struggled in a couple of sector 3 corner entries, costing some time and resulting in him not making Q3, which is a pity as he had been competitive in this sector all weekend. The Q3 lap for Carlos was not as good as his Q2 lap. Having said that, the benchmark was set quite high, which is again a shame as 8th was possible. However, 10th is a good reward for the team’s hard work this weekend, with everybody happy to see our car back in Q3. Our thoughts now move to the race, where we will be able to put what we learned during Friday long runs to good use and hopefully fight for points.”