Pascal Wehrlein was happy to out-qualify both of the Sauber F1 Team drivers during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, but felt there was still time to be found that could have seen him progress through to Q2 for a fifth time in 2016.
The Manor Racing MRT driver set his best time on the first of his three runs during qualifying, with a mistake costing him in his second run and traffic forced the abandonment of his final run, meaning he was 0.168 seconds down on advancing and nineteenth on the grid.
With rain predicted for Sunday’s race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Wehrlein is hopeful Manor will be able to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, whilst hoping that Sauber continue to miss out on a points finish.
“It was a tough day yesterday, so to get in the car today and find it was more or less where we needed it to be was a huge relief, given the job ahead of us for this afternoon,” said Wehrlein. “We lost some time and important preparation along the way, but it’s nice to recover from that quite quickly and be in a good position for qualifying.
“On the one hand, we’re in front of both Saubers, so that’s important and the box ticked for what we needed to achieve today. But there was more to come and that’s a little frustrating.
“My best lap was on my first set of tyres and with three runs, that should have been two more opportunities to improve. On the second set I made a small mistake, which cost me a couple of tenths.
“We were only a couple of tenths away from Q2 today, so it’s disappointing that we had to abort the final run, but there was so much traffic in the last corners. Conditions were quite tricky today; could be the same tomorrow also. I’m looking forward to making the most of that.”