• Valtteri Bottas qualified ninth with Pastor Maldonado 18th for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix.
• Pastor’s qualifying was hindered by traffic in Q1 which meant that he just missed out on Q2.
• Valtteri was able to put a great lap together in every session to progress through to Q3.
• The team will be aiming to maximise the opportunity for points in the race tomorrow.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: The Circuit of the Americas is quite unique in terms of track layout, roughness and temperature which, mixed with the fact that the tyre compound choices are on the conservative side, makes getting the tyres working well the key to a good qualifying lap. We had better performance in FP1 and were working to bring this back in practice this morning. We had both cars on similar configurations targeting the same optimum operating window for the tyres, and knew if we could achieve this then there was potential for a good result with both cars. Valtteri got the tyres working well and put in a consistently strong performance throughout qualifying to get into Q3. We didn’t quite get the tyre performance with Pastor, but despite starting 18th he always makes a good start and fights through on the opening laps, so we still expect him to move forward in the race. Overall, it was great to have Valtteri qualify in ninth and we now aim to convert a good result today into points tomorrow.
Valtteri Bottas: I really enjoyed today and I am happy with that performance. To be honest I expected a bit more in Q3 because we were competitive in Q1 and Q2. I’m very happy for the team; they’ve all done a great job and improved the car a lot from practice to qualifying. We are in a good position for tomorrow and we need to try and gain from this and score some points in the race.
Pastor Maldonado: We have struggled this weekend and today showed that; the car doesn’t feel right in terms of the tyres pressures or temperatures so we need to take a closer look at that. We got held up by a bit of traffic, which meant that we weren’t able to get into Q2. We will try to do our best in the race tomorrow from the position we’re in.