Spanish Grand Prix 2017 – Qualifying

F. Massa 1:22.138 (14th)
L. Stroll 1:22.411 (18th)
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:20.511
F. Massa 1:21.222 (8th)
L. Stroll –
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:20.210
F. Massa 1:21.232 (9th)
L. Stroll –
Quickest time: L. Hamilton 1:19.149

Qualifying Notes

– Felipe Massa qualified ninth and Lance Stroll 18th for the Spanish Grand Prix

– Both drivers struggled for grip throughout Q1 with Felipe making it through to Q2 following his second run on the soft tyre. Lance was in P8 following his opening run on the softs, but fell to P18 as others set their times. He improved on his second run but it unfortunately wasn’t enough and he remained in 18th position.

– In Q2 Felipe jumped from P13 to P8 with his second, and final run of the session, where he set a 1:21.222

– In Q3 Felipe set a 1:21.232 on his one and only run on soft tyres which was good enough for P9 after a closely fought session

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: It was a tough session and very close across the whole midfield with tenths of a second making differences of five or ten places. We were forced to do two runs in Q1 with both cars, and even with that it was quite close for Felipe to get through to Q2. Unfortunately Lance didn’t get through, although his time was not far off Felipe’s at that moment. Going into Q2 we made a few changes to our approach to the lap to try and find more time. That proved helpful and we managed to get Felipe into Q3. We made further improvements, but unfortunately Felipe made a mistake in the last corner and didn’t get the place we wanted, which really goes back to Q1 where we had to spend the extra set, otherwise he could have had another go. In terms of strategy for tomorrow, as we came into the weekend it could have been one, two or three stops, but I think the one-stop is out of the question and it’s between two and three now.

Felipe Massa: It wasn’t a fantastic qualifying, because we knew the best we could achieve today was seventh, and we’re ninth. I struggled with overheating on the tyres throughout qualifying, especially in sector three. It was quite difficult even to get into Q2, and Q3, because the tyres were getting too hot. I was really slow on all of my out-laps, slower than all the other cars, but it just wasn’t working. I then decided to go even slower to see if the tyres could survive for the last sector. It helped, because I picked up some pace, maybe four tenths, and I managed to make it through to Q2. In Q3 I was the slowest car on my out-lap again, but the tyres were too hot in sector three and I lost a bit of time and maybe a couple of positions because of the issue. But, the race is tomorrow. We will try to do the best we can and fight with the teams around us, even the McLaren is in the mix. Fernando did a great job today.

Lance Stroll: It has just been tough for us today and all weekend to get the tyre working properly. The low grip situation is hard for us. But I was actually not too disappointed by my lap. I was three tenths off Felipe and for me at this stage that is not too bad, but it has definitely been tough to get our car where it should be and working the way it normally does. We can only focus on tomorrow now, as today was not what we were hoping for. The pitstop strategy will be a tricky call as it’s difficult to overtake here, but we will look into that tonight and see which way we go.

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