Ricciardo and Vergne secure strong qualifying for STR

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo secured a great qualifying result for their team amidst difficult track conditions. They both progressed through to Q3 on intermediates and there made the best of the situation to qualify in 7th and 8th for the Brazilian GP.

Daniel Ricciardo, STR8-01, 7th: “It was tricky out there this afternoon, but even since last year, we have often demonstrated that we can be competitive in the wet. It’s the best qualifying the team has had in a long time and I am very happy that both cars are in the top eight. I don’t think there was much between me and Jev today. Tomorrow? The weather will probably decide the story, but anyway, seventh is a great place from which to start. I will be very motivated to convert today’s work into points tomorrow on what will be my last race with Toro Rosso after two very happy seasons with them.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, STR8-04, 8th: “I am happy for myself and for the team, because to get both cars into the top eight is a great result. We were not really as quick as I had expected to be, because usually, in other races this year, we have a very good car in the wet, but since Friday I have been struggling a bit more than usual in these changeable conditions. However, even if qualifying was not easy, starting from eighth is very encouraging, especially as it was a bit touch and go to get into Q2 at the start of the session, as we didn’t time our first run very well. After that I managed a very good lap to get through to the next part of the session. Points definitely have to be my target for tomorrow and anything can happen here in the rain.”

Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: “A long and complicated session for everyone, which ended in what is overall a very good result for us. Seventh and eighth is our best qualifying of the year and it’s also the first time since Monza we got both cars into Q3. We started a bit on the back foot, nearly getting caught out by going out a bit late for the first run, but both drivers improved on the second run, after which we had a more straightforward Q2. Daniel and Jev both did well to adapt to the changing conditions and make it to Q3. In the final part, we were up against some very quick cars and maybe we had the potential to do a little bit better than this seventh and eighth. Nevertheless, we will start ahead of all our midfield competitors tomorrow, which is important for us in the final qualifying of the season. I hope we can convert today’s performance into a lot of points tomorrow.”