Lance Stroll said it was a good feeling to be back into Q3 for the Styrian Grand Prix, with the Canadian set to start ninth on the grid for Sunday’s race.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team racer says it has been a smooth weekend so far for him, and he went into Qualifying at the Red Bull Ring with confidence that he could make it into the top ten shootout.
Stroll initially qualified tenth after making only one attempt in Q3 as he ran out of soft compound tyres, but a post-session penalty for Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Yuki Tsunoda moves him up to ninth.
And after impressive performances in recent races, Stroll is confident he can score good points on Sunday afternoon in Austria.
“It is a good feeling to be back in Q3, especially when it happens after such a tight qualifying,” said Stroll. “It was good fun out there and I think tenth [now ninth due to a rival’s penalty] was the most we could achieve today.
“It has been a smooth weekend so far. From the first laps in FP1, I have felt really good in the car and it has given me the confidence to really push because the balance has been consistent in every session.
“We have shown competitive pace in the last couple of races, so I think we can fight for some good points tomorrow. Anything can happen, especially with the weather, so let’s see how it plays out.”
“I struggled to put the laps together today” – Sebastian Vettel
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was far less happy with his own performance as the German found himself eliminated in Q2 – he will start fourteenth.
Vettel had shown good pace throughout practice but struggled to put his laps together when it mattered in Qualifying, and ultimately his best was only good enough for a place on the seventh row of the grid.
Despite this, he feels he can make progress and fight for points on Sunday, something he has done in the past three races after starting the year with four races outside of the top ten.
“I struggled to put the laps together today and when the grid is so tight [on a short lap] it can be quite costly,” said Vettel. “So I am not so happy after today’s qualifying and I need to try to understand why I did not find the rhythm.
“It feels like we lost a bit of time everywhere, rather than just one corner. There can still be a good race ahead for us and I am confident we will have decent race pace tomorrow.
“We have a free choice of tyres and it is a track where overtaking is possible.”