We've confirmed that we have improved our MR01 package this weekend, but a positive qualifying performance for Charles in particular is tinged with a little disappointment that we were unable to extract more from the car today.
A long night of data evaluation for the engineers gave way to a more positive morning in Free Practice 3 and we were optimistic of carrying this progress through to qualifying. Hot and sunny conditions prevailed throughout the day’s running.
This afternoon, things didn’t quite come together for Timo, who encountered traffic and yellow flags on his flying runs and lost his rhythm as a result. Charles, on the other hand, had a more straightforward time of it and will line up in 21st place for the start of tomorrow’s race, ahead of Timo in the 22nd grid slot.
Charles Pic #25
“I am quite happy to be honest. I think for me all round it is quite a good qualifying. We managed to improve the package for this weekend, but the gap to the cars in front today did not reflect that. I don’t think we really know where we are yet because the car was not 100%. I feel there is more to come for sure. We always seem to be better in the race versus our competitors and I hope that will be true for tomorrow. For now though I am happy with my position and I look forward to the race.”
Timo Glock #24
“A much better day today than yesterday. I think we got on top of the problems a little bit and in Free Practice 3 this morning I had a good feeling. Unfortunately qualifying wasn’t great for me. I made a mistake on my first flying lap, which was then not quick enough, and on the second flying lap on the first set of tyres I ran into yellow flags at turn 3 where one of the HRTs spun, so I couldn’t do much on first set of tyres. On the second set of tyres I just couldn’t get the lap together. The first sector was good; in the second sector I got a bit of traffic; and for some reason I dropped tyre performance in the last sector. It just didn’t come together today and I will have to sit and analyse it and hope for better things in the race tomorrow.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“We approached Free Practice 3 this morning somewhat hesitantly. For the last two race weekends we have found, on Timo’s car in particular, that a good balance on Friday has somehow translated into a car that is not behaving as it should have done for the rest of the weekend. A lot of analysis has taken place over the past week - and at the Mugello test prior to that - and some new parts that we brought to both cars seem to have solved these problems. Timo reported a much improved balance on the car today, even with respect to Friday. Given this, our confidence built in FP3 but was then knocked slightly by a mechanical issue on Timo’s car at the end of the session. We quickly diagnosed the fault on what was a new part and were able to apply a fix to both cars in readiness for qualifying. Unfortunately for Timo, he never really found his rhythm in the qualifying session, so I’m sure there’s a lot more to come from him tomorrow. Charles on the other hand performed brilliantly, as was the case last week, and he is certainly exceeding all the expectations that we had of him for this stage of his debut season. The guys in front still have a little margin on us if we put our best laps together, so tomorrow we will perhaps not be able to enjoy the fight we had hoped for. However, by setting the clear goal of trying to be as close to them as we possibly can, we will at least be able to learn more about where our car development needs to go from here.”