Qualifying for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix saw Force India's Sergio Perez qualify in P12 ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg in P14. Both drivers were disappointed with their runs, with Hulkenberg especially frustrated by his mistake in the last corner of his final lap.
Sergio Perez, 12th, VJM07-02: “I’m feeling disappointed not to be higher up today. My first run in Q2 was good, but for my second attempt, when the track was improving, things didn’t work out for me. On my out lap I came across a lot of traffic in the final chicane so I had to slow down and lost temperature in the tyres and brakes. So I arrived at turn one on the next lap and didn’t have the grip. It’s a shame not to maximise our performance today because we managed to improve the car before qualifying and I felt more was possible. I’m hoping for better things tomorrow.”
Nico Hulkenberg, 14th, VJM07-04: “Starting from P14 will be difficult and will make the race a bit more of a challenge. We lost a very good lap at the final chicane when I locked up and I have to kick myself for that. I think we would have been on target for Q3, which would probably have been the optimum result considering our performance throughout the weekend so far. Starting 14th complicates things, but Suzuka is one of the trickiest circuits, so tomorrow there will be everything to play for. With the threat of rain, a lot can happen."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “Going into qualifying we certainly felt that Q3 was a realistic prospect and we should have ended the session a bit higher up the grid than P12 and P14. Nico made a mistake on his final lap in Q2 going into the chicane and that cost him the chance to move up. It was a similar situation with Sergio, who did a great first lap in Q2, but didn’t get his timing correct on his second lap and was compromised by traffic. So we didn’t extract the maximum from the car today. How this will impact the final result in the race remains to be seen. The question mark over the weather remains at the front of our minds and will present its own challenges and opportunities tomorrow.”