British Grand Prix 2018 – Qualifying
- Sergey Sirotkin qualified 18th for the British Grand Prix
- Lance failed to set a time after going off into the gravel on his first flying lap, bringing out a red flag
- Once the session resumed, Sergey suffered a similar incident but managed to get out of the gravel and returned to the pits
- On his second attempt, Sergey set a time of 1:29.252 to go 18th fastest
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: Unfortunately, we had a big problem in qualifying which caused both cars to spin. In Lance’s case it ended his session, but in Sergey’s case, he managed to recover to the pits and was able to post one laptime on the board. We have a phenomenon which we have not seen all year, or indeed ever before, whereby the DRS activation intermittently causes a complete loss of aerodynamic floor loading which does not recover at the entry to the subsequent corner. In the case of both spins, the cars entered the corner with no load in the floor which had obvious consequences. We came to this event with a number of new bodywork items which we evaluated during FP1 and FP2. This new DRS-related phenomenon was seen only once in FP1 on one of the cars but was incorrectly diagnosed to be related to a particular configuration which we chose not to carry forward into FP2 and for qualifying and the race. We must now understand exactly what change in the cars caused this phenomenon which is entirely related to the use of DRS.
Sergey Sirotkin: Today was very disappointing for us. The progress in the team is very visible as in certain conditions we are able to put things together and get better pace out of the car. In qualifying, we had the worst possible track and air conditions for us as the sun was out and it was hot. We knew the conditions weren’t going to be ideal, which was obvious when you can see the car behaving how it was. It’s difficult to put together a nice balance around the corner. Lance and I were caught out by spinning, but it’s part of the story. This weekend, even with an ideal lap, we would still be six tenths off making it into Q2. That is the probably the most disappointing thing for us.
Lance Stroll: I did the exact same thing I had been doing all weekend into corner six and the car just snapped, really aggressively. We have been fighting stability problems all season as the car is very unpredictable and we have to look into it in more detail. It was just odd, as it was so aggressive and I was quite shocked at how it happened so suddenly. Then, I was buried in the gravel and there was nothing that I could do.