Korean Grand Prix Qualifying
• Valtteri Bottas qualified 17th with Pastor Maldonado 18th for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix.
• Both drivers went out on the supersoft tyre for their second runs in Q1, but a lack of grip hindered their ability to make it through to Q2.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: In FP3 we tried a couple of different things across the cars but both drivers ended the session happier with the balance. Pastor did an especially good lap on the option tyres and whilst Valtteri wasn’t able to get a clean lap in, we were more optimistic for qualifying. However we did not get the same sort of grip levels from the tyres in Q1 as we saw in FP3, which we need to look at to understand before tomorrow. The laptimes were tight and so we didn’t manage to get into Q2. Everyone is so close this weekend so now we need to look forward to the race to see if we can recover some positions and get close to the top ten. There is still chance for light rain in the race which could also give more opportunities for strategy to come into play.
Valtteri Bottas: I drove a good lap but unfortunately we just didn’t have the pace in the car to get us through to Q2, with the car lacking overall grip when I was pushing hard on my final run. Of course the team are disappointed with this result but I am fully focused to work hard with them to improve the car’s performance ahead of the race tomorrow so that we can make up a good number of places.
Pastor Maldonado: I struggled with traffic in my last sector which cost me some time on my final run, but we just didn’t have the speed to get through to Q2 today and I was having trouble getting grip from the tyres. Our long run pace has looked better this weekend so that is a positive we can focus on ahead of the race, and I will be fighting hard tomorrow to improve our position.