Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2017 – Qualifying
L. Stroll 1:43.613 (12th)
F Massa 1:43.165 (10th)
L. Stroll 1:42.284 (7th)
F Massa 1:42.735 (9th)
L. Stroll 1:42.753
F Massa 1:42.798
– Lance Stroll qualified eighth and Felipe Massa ninth for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
– Both drivers went out early in Q1 on the supersoft tyre and continued to improve throughout the session. Felipe ran in the top 10 for the majority of the session and made it comfortably through to Q2 in P10, as did Lance in P12
– In Q2 Felipe and Lance went out on track early again. They were P9 and P10 respectively after their opening runs, and continued to improve throughout. At the chequered flag Lance improved once more to go comfortably through to Q3 in P7, while Felipe ended the session in P9
– In Q3 neither driver set a time before the red flag period caused by Ricciardo’s stricken Red Bull. With 3:33 left in the session both drivers went out for one flying lap. Lance set a 1:42.752 to qualify eighth on new supersoft tyres, ahead of a 1:42.798 for Felipe in ninth on used supersofts
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: We’re happy to get both cars into Q3. We saw great driving today by both Felipe and Lance to be able to do that. It was a tricky session with tyre temperatures and deciding whether to do warm-up laps or not. In Q3 we had two sets of tyres for Felipe and we were trying to go for one flying lap on each, but it was clear from the first lap that it wasn’t working so we boxed him early to switch and give him two laps on his final set. He went out to start that run and encountered the red flag, which meant he had to finish the session on a cold set of used tyres, having not set a time. So ninth was the best he could achieve. Lance had one set of tyres, which he chose to run at the end. With the way track conditions had changed we really wanted the time to do a warm-up lap, but there wasn’t enough time remaining, so eighth was the best Lance was able to do. Overall, it’s good to have both drivers towards the front, and we look forward to the race tomorrow.
Lance Stroll: It was a good day, and it has been a good weekend. I am comfortable and confident in the car. I like the circuit and today everything fell into place. I missed a bit in Q3, and I think there was some more that was possible there, as we were four tenths off compared to my lap in Q2. In Q3, because the track temperatures had dropped, it was hard to get the tyres ready in one lap and also because of the red flag, we only had time to do one push lap. Sometimes round here it is better when you do one push lap, then another prep lap and then another push lap. But it is still a great result and I am just happy for the team.
Felipe Massa: It wasn’t a great qualifying for me. We struggled to make the tyres work. I just kept locking the front tyres and struggled to get into the corners. The car was better for me on used tyres than it was with a new set. The red flag didn’t help us there either, so my qualifying wasn’t great. I’m very happy for Lance as he did a good job. He managed to get in a good laptime. He was in a good fight today and he managed to make the tyres work better than me. Now we need to concentrate and put everything together for the race tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and I’m confident that the result can be better than today.