Singapore Grand Prix 2019 – Qualifying
- George Russell qualified 19th and Robert Kubica 20th for the Singapore Grand Prix
- George set his best time of the session, a 1:40.867 to finish P19
- Robert posted a 1:41.186 on his only flying lap of the session to finish P20
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: Qualifying was ultimately frustrating as neither driver had the best opportunity to demonstrate the pace of the car. For George, his final out-lap was compromised by being in traffic, which hindered his tyre preparation. Meanwhile, Robert had a small issue with the car during the quick garage turnaround following a visit to the FIA weighbridge. The short delay meant he left the garage later than intended. His out-lap was good and he was able to prepare the tyres as he wanted but he was further delayed in the final corners by the traffic ahead. Although the TV footage shows that he started the lap before the lights went red, the official timing, which is the final arbitrator in such matters, unfortunately showed that he had missed the end of the session by 0.2s. Reluctantly, we had to tell Robert to abort his lap as taking the chequered flag twice would have led to further sanction from the stewards.
It is frustrating for everyone in the team, but we knew that to have a chance of progressing from Q1 we had to take some risks. On this occasion, we were not rewarded. We will analyse what happened and improve as a result. However, tomorrow there is still an opportunity to race the cars ahead of us on the grid and our immediate focus is on how best to achieve this.
George Russell: We decided to risk it and go as late as possible to get the best from the circuit. Unfortunately, lots of other drivers were trying to do the same and my warm up lap was 20 or 30 seconds slower than every other I have done this week. When I started the lap I almost spun off as I had no temperature in the tyres, so from the first corner I knew that the lap was pretty much ruined. It was a shame as we had a small chance of a good result, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Robert Kubica: We improved the car balance for qualifying and I was a bit surprised, so probably under drove a few corners on my first lap. I knew I had a second set of new tyres and the track evolution was pretty big, but we had a problem with the refuelling between the runs and left the garage too late. Unfortunately, I took the chequered flag before opening my final lap. It’s a shame but that’s how it is. The race will be a big challenge. The track is demanding both physically and mentally. It is also hard on the tyres and the car, so it will be a tough one.