Pascal Wehrlein was content with his performance during Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, with the German only just missing out on advancing to Q2 on Saturday.
In what could be his penultimate Grand Prix with the Sauber F1 Team, Wehrlein managed to get within 0.053 seconds of Brendon Hartley in Q1, and he felt more comfortable behind the wheel of his C36-Ferrari after the team changed some parts earlier in the weekend to aid his driving.
Wehrlein will move up to fifteenth on the grid for Sunday’s race thanks to Hartley’s grid penalty, and he hopes to bring the car home in a good position, although a third points finish of the season may be out of reach.
“I am satisfied with today’s result,” said Wehrlein. “I have had some issues with the car balance over the last weekends. Some parts have been changed for this weekend, and the car feels as it should again.
“I feel very confident on track. Today’s qualifying result was a good one. We were very close to Q2. That makes me go into the race with a positive feeling.
“It will be important to have a good start tomorrow, and I will give my all to finish the Grand Prix in a good position.”
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was also eliminated in Q1 at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, finishing just under two-tenths of a second further back, and will start sixteenth thanks to the penalties for Hartley, Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll.
“It was a pretty decent day for us,” said Ericsson. “We were in the fight with the lower midfield.
“We knew that Q2 was possible if we got it together perfectly – it was close, but not close enough. We may move up some positions on the grid because of penalties.
“Tomorrow is a new day, and the race could be a good one.”