French Grand Prix Qualifying
- Sergey Sirotkin qualified 19th with Lance Stroll 20th for the French Grand Prix
- Both drivers qualified on the ultrasoft Pirelli tyre
- Sergey set three consecutive personal best lap times during Q1, but failed to progress into Q2
- Lance set a 1:34.221 before pitting for fresh tyres. He was forced to abort his first flying lap on the new tyres after running wide but improved on his second run with a 1:33.729 to remain P20
- Both Sergey and Lance will gain a place on the grid for tomorrow’s race after Brendon Hartley serves an engine penalty which demotes him to the back of the grid
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: Both drivers made two runs on the ultrasoft tyre. The circuit had actually dried by the time we got out there following the rain during FP3. Both drivers managed reasonable first runs to plan. On his second run, Lance got a little bit out of sync with those around him and then he hit a kerb heavily, but he did manage a final lap and got his best time on the board. Sergey meanwhile, did a good first lap and then was improving on his second lap but locked up into turn eight. Overall, we could have actually gone quicker on the timesheet with both drivers, but unfortunately it wouldn’t have made any difference to our grid positions.
Sergey Sirotkin: It’s tough. The car didn’t feel that bad. The conditions weren’t as hot as we predicted. It was just about to rain, so the track was cooler with less sun. Throughout the lap, the car balance was much more together, as was the corner balance. It was not bad, but today is where we are and it’s the limit of what we can achieve. The race pace yesterday was better than the qualifying pace. The car felt better, but we’ve said this before and it has turned out completely different in the race, so I don’t want to say too much. What I can say that’s right is that we’re working and investigating, but there’s not much we can do from where we are.
Lance Stroll: It was a tough session for the team, but I have to be honest and say I expected us to be where we are. Unfortunately, the situation is we are missing about six tenths to 18th and the next team. That is not ideal, so we have to keep our heads down and keep pushing. I had a snap when trying to get more speed, went wide and the rear went away from me. I hit the sausage kerb and the car went up into the air. It was a pretty hard landing and I think there could be a bit of damage there. Anything can happen tomorrow, maybe a bit of rain, so we will see what happens. Looking forward, it is a long season, so a lot can change.