Scuderia Toro Rosso confirmed its Australian qualifying pace as Jean-Eric Vergne again qualified in the top 10 by going 9th fastest. Team mate Daniil Kvyat was narrowly pushed out of Q3 by Vergne and he will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from 11th.
Jean-Eric Vergne, STR9-04, 9th: “I am happy having finished ninth and in the top ten for the second race in a row. But it was a difficult qualifying and the car was not easy to drive. We've never been really fast but in Q2 I could manage to do a very good lap that brought me into Q3. We have to look at all the data now to understand why we were quite slow in the wet. I'm really confident the team and I can do a good job tomorrow and I hope we'll finish in the points here like we did in Melbourne. We definitely have the car to do so."
Daniil Kvyat, STR9-03, 11th: “It was a shame to be knocked out of Q3 right at the end by my team-mate, but Jev was faster than me today and I was too conservative on my last lap. As for the incident with Alonso, the visibility was very poor for everyone and I think he didn’t see me and in the end, he turned into me. I think it was quite normal that he didn’t see me because there was so much spray. Now, let’s see what happens tomorrow, as it really depends on the conditions out there. Q3 could have been possible today, but all the same P11 is a good starting point.”
James Key, Technical Director: "We struggled for some reason this morning in the dry conditions compared to yesterday and the car balance was not quite right. Then everything changed, as it was very wet and we weren't really set up for wet conditions. It was definitely a tricky qualifying session. We got caught in traffic but in any case we didn’t manage to do so well in neither Q1 and Q2 but the team and drivers did a good job in the difficult conditions. It’s a shame that Daniil missed out on Q3 by only 2 tenths of a second. Jev did a great job, securing a strong ninth place, which means we can aim to have a good race with both cars.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “A great result for JEV and yet again a good demonstration from Daniil. We managed to maximise performance in very difficult conditions when it would have been very easy to make a mistake. On the Power Unit side everything worked fine and the energy management was good – the drivers did very well in charging and decharging the battery over the lap. We’re very happy to see the team in the top ten for the second consecutive race.”