Sirotkin Left to Rue Yellow Flags: “We had the pace to get through into Q2”

by Paul Hensby
Sergey Sirotkin - Williams Martini Racing

Sergey Sirotkin felt he had the potential to get into the second phase of Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, only for yellow flags to force him to abort his effort, with the Russian only able to set the eighteenth fastest time as a result.

The Williams Martini Racing driver was less than a tenth of a second away from a Q2 appearance at the Red Bull Ring and was on course to better his lap only for yellow flags to fly as Charles Leclerc ran off track through the turn four gravel trap.

Sirotkin bemoaned the traffic on his out lap in the closing moments of the session, but he will move up a spot on the grid as Leclerc drops to eighteenth following a gearbox penalty.

“It was a disappointing qualifying,” said Sirotkin.  “I think it was one of those cases where we could improve from practice and put the car more together and still improve it through qualifying.

“We had the pace to get through into Q2 even with the tiny margins in it, but my out-lap was strongly compromised with the traffic. Despite this, I was able to improve my time on the first half of lap, before the yellow flag.

“After the yellow flag we had to abort the lap as there were a lot of cars ahead of me.”

Sirotkin feels there is potential to move forward on Sunday thanks to the long run pace shown during practice on Friday afternoon, with the Russian still seeking his first top ten result of his Formula 1 career.

“Looking ahead to tomorrow, our long run pace in FP2 was promising so I am ready for tomorrow,” said the Russian.

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