The Racing Point F1 Team have had a ‘disappointing weekend’ thus far, after only one of their drivers was able to progress into the second stage of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Mexican Sergio Pérez managed to qualify in fifteenth place for the race on Sunday, setting a 1:17.886. His team-mate, Canadian Lance Stroll was down on his luck after being pushed out at the end of Q1, only managing a 1:18.471 which put him seventeenth.
“It’s been a disappointing weekend so far and I don’t have the answers as to why at the moment,” said Pérez. “This track demands a lot from the car – it has a bit of everything – low, medium and high speed corners – and it’s never been our best circuit over the years so I’m not too concerned.”
Nevertheless, he remains positive that they will be able to turn this poor result in qualifying around in the race.
“In any case, I’m looking forward to tomorrow – that’s the day that counts and hopefully we can some points. It’s going to be tough because track position is very important here, but we will try our best.
“I think our race pace is looking better than our qualifying speed so that’s a positive. Let’s see what we can do with the strategy to move forward in the race.”
Stroll is confident that despite the team’s poor performance on Saturday, they will be able to maximise their result in the race, recognising that their race pace is better than their qualifying pace.
“It is frustrating to be out in Q1. I didn’t maximise the lap, but we knew this weekend would be tough. It is still very tight in the midfield and were fighting with Renault for space in Q2, but every little detail counts when it’s that close.”, he said.
He added: “We usually race better than we qualify so we will analyse the data overnight and see what tomorrow brings.”
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer believes that although the team have struggled so far this weekend, things are moving in the right direction with the development of the car, and as such they will be able to maximise their performance in the race.
“We’ve been a bit on the back foot throughout practice and I think that showed in the qualifying result this afternoon. It’s one of those tracks where you need the drivers to be totally confident with the car balance, and it’s fair to say we haven’t found the sweet spot,” said Szafnauer.
“With such a close midfield, if you drop a tenth here and there, it’s costly. We made some steps forward overnight, but it wasn’t enough to get us through to Q3. I think we always knew this was going to be one of the more challenging circuits for us – as it always has been over the years – but looking at the bigger picture we are happy with the development curve of the car.
“Anyway, it’s tomorrow that really counts so we will do our best to race well and get both cars into contention for points.”