Racing Point F1 Team have left themselves with all to do in the United States Grand Prix to salvage a much-needed result.
Lance Stroll will line up fourteenth after the Canadian locked-up on his final run at the end of Q2, robbing him any chance of advancing into the top ten.
Stroll had managed to out-qualify his team-mate Sergio Pérez for only the third time in 2019. He had felt that being in the top ten was what Racing Point deserved after their pace throughout the weekend.
“Q1 went well, but in Q2 I locked up into Turn 1 and that really put me on the back foot for the rest of the lap, which is a shame,” Stroll added.
“I would have liked to be in the top ten and I think that’s where we deserved to be given our overall performance across all the sessions. That can happen in qualifying when you’re pushing the limits, and the midfield margins are so tight that a small error can cost you a couple of places on the grid.
“Now we focus on the race: I’m hoping to pick some places off at the start and race for points. That’s the goal for tomorrow.”
Sergio Pérez’ qualifying was more limited, as it was announced after Friday’s running that he will start the race from the pit lane after missing the weigh bridge at the end of Free Practice 2.
The Mexican qualified nineteenth and did not go out for a final run in Q1, as he had chosen to save tyres.
He quoted that the team have set his car up “totally for the race” to give him the best hope possible to bring home some points for the Silverstone-based squad.
“After missing the weigh bridge yesterday, I will have to start the race from the pit lane tomorrow,” Pérez said.
“It’s a big shame, but I’m determined to make up for the disappointment with a strong race. We have set up the car totally for the race so hopefully that will pay off. With a fresh power unit too, we will push to make the difference, fight hard and see what we can achieve.”
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer was pleased with how his team has done throughout the weekend despite their poor qualifying.
He believes their “encouraging” pace on the long run will put them firmly in the mix for points.
“Lance has been pretty comfortable with the car this weekend and progressed smoothly to Q2,” Szafnauer shared.
“He will start the race from P14 and, with a strong start, he has a good chance of scoring some points. The long run pace yesterday looked encouraging and there are a couple of good overtaking opportunities on this lap. He will be competitive in the race.
“With Sergio, we are obviously carrying the penalty from yesterday, which made qualifying a formality more than anything else. Knowing he will start from the pit lane, Sergio simply set a time to ensure he qualified for the race.”