Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
• Pastor Maldonado qualified 15th with Valtteri Bottas 18th for tomorrows Italian Grand Prix.
• Both drivers went out on the medium tyres in Q1 to set a time, with Valtteri just missing out on Q2 by two tenths of a second.
• The Williams Renault FW35’s stronger race pace means that the team will be looking to make up places in the race tomorrow.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: We did some tests with the rear wing level in FP3 and both drivers were happy with the balance of the car going into qualifying. We knew it was important to put everything together in one lap as the times were very close. Valtteri was struggling for grip in Q1, particularly on the option medium tyre. Pastor did a good job in Q1 but then after his warm up run in Q2 we were stopped at the weighbridge. We allow a margin for this, but the length of the stop then didn’t allow us enough time to get the car back and out in time to do the three lap run we had planned to get the optimum grip in the tyre. There is still a chance of rain for the race so even though we are further down on the grid than we would like, it will be about tyre management and we still have a chance to get some points tomorrow.
Pastor Maldonado: We were penalised when we were stopped at the weighbridge during Q2 which meant we weren’t able to complete the extra laps we had planned. Realistically we could have been nearer to the top ten as this more we looked better. Even during qualifying the car still felt quite good but unfortunately that was all we could do today.
Valtteri Bottas: On my fastest laps on the option tyre in qualifying I had a good clean lap with no mistakes which I really thought would be enough to get through to Q2, but the lap time wasn’t there. We need to look at the data tonight because it felt much better than what the time showed. Our race pace looks good for tomorrow and there’s plenty of opportunities to overtake so I still think that we can have a good race.