Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne mastered the tricky conditions today at China to get through to Q3 and qualify in 9th. Team mate Daniil Kvyat struggled to realise the pace shown in practice and qualified in 13th place.
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR9-04, 9th: “I'm really pleased with my qualifying, it's been a great lap. I'm happy with myself as all my qualifying laps this year so far have been good laps, without mistakes. This car is pretty difficult to drive in the wet condition, so to make it into Q3 even today is a big satisfaction for me and the team. You really have to make your perfect lap and I think I did. As for tomorrow, the weather forecast says it's going to be dry, which is a much more suitable condition for our car, so we can expect a good race. In the long runs our pace looks competitive, so I will do my best to make a good start and from the ninth position on the grid, if everything comes together, we can definitely aim for some more points.”
Daniil Kvyat, STR9-03, 13th: “This was a very tricky qualifying session today and even though I gave it my all, I was not able to go any faster than this. It seems that I have lost a lot of grip between this morning’s FP3 and Qualifying, so I’m eager to have a look at the data later on. Overall I’m disappointed with how things went today, but I’m confident we can still have a good race tomorrow, especially if it is going to be dry.”
James Key, Technical Director: “The conditions for today’s qualifying were clear but totally unpredictable. There seemed to be a micro climate around the circuit so it was difficult to tell what was going on where. We had a plan but remained flexible and in the end this helped us cope well with the tricky conditions and the guys on the pit wall did a very good job. Q1 turned out as we had hoped for, even though we took a bit of a gamble, as we started on used Intermediates. Jev did a great job getting through to Q3, as it was a tight battle in difficult conditions. Sadly, Daniil didn’t make it through to Q3, which is disappointing as he showed good pace so far today. We will have a look at the reasons for this, but still, P13 is more than adequate to start the race from. Assuming the weather will stay dry tomorrow, we should be able to have a strong race as we are more competitive in the dry than in the wet.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “The team did a great job with the timing and everything went very smoothly in conditions where it could all go very wrong. JEV was impressive and I’m pleased we could give him all the energy performance to capitalize on the opportunities. Daniil also did well and we are in a strong position for tomorrow’s race with both cars.”