Bahrain GP: Quali Reaction

All the Team reaction to qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 5th* 1:28.398
*Will start in P4 due to penalty for car 44

“That was really close. Part of me is disappointed that we are so close but still at the tail of the lead pack in Qualifying, but I don’t think I could really have done much better. Lewis was still a couple of tenths ahead of me. There was maybe a tenth left on the table but I think the Mercedes still had some extra pace. It’s almost frustrating to be so close but actually it’s encouraging that the top five cars are within about four tenths. I’m always excited for the race. Practice and Qualifying are ok but Sunday is my favourite day of the week. Yesterday our race pace didn’t look bad but I think our car in FP2 wasn’t as good as it is now, so it’s encouraging to know that our car should be even better tomorrow and hopefully it puts us in the fight.

"We will start in fourth place now with Lewis’s penalty so I think it is going to be exciting. Hopefully, in 24 hours we can do a pretty cool interview after a good race. I’m also pleased for Pierre, Toro Rosso and Honda today. Not taking anything away from Pierre, but in my first year at Toro Rosso I also qualified sixth here and he has done the same. I can see him doing the interviews and he is super excited, so it’s good for the team and I’m happy for him.”

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 15th 1:29.374 (Practice 3 – P2 1:30.393)

“I was very surprised at what happened in Q1 so I wanted to try and understand the cause before commenting on it. What we can see in the data is a sudden power increase, just like an on/off switch. It looks like roughly 150 Horse Power was suddenly switched on during the corner which of course is not easy to anticipate, this caught me out and meant I lost the rear and spun. The damage to the car was just the front left corner so we don’t have any major concerns for tomorrow.

"I was disappointed to crash not just because it ruined Qualifying but also as the car is looking very quick here so has made the job tomorrow hard. At least at this track you can overtake. My race pace looks good so if I can have a clean first stint and get past a lot of cars it could still be an exciting race. You always need a bit of luck so a safety car to bunch up the field would help and make the race open again. We have a quick car so that is always good, let’s see what I can do tomorrow.” 

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “After a Qualifying session with plenty of action, it’s interesting to see the top five cars qualify within four tenths of each other. Daniel got the best out of the car today to finish in fifth, which will become fourth on the grid with the penalty for Lewis. Max who was doing another lap in Q1 gathering information on engine settings unfortunately lost the rear, the reasons for which we will have to look at, but frustratingly it ended his Qualifying early. 

"However, the damage is superficial and hopefully from 15thon the grid he will put his head down and make some progress through the field as our race pace has looked encouraging here. It is set up to be an exciting race tomorrow.”