July 28, 2018
What a result in Qualifying! All smiles in the garage today
Pierre Gasly (STR13-02, Car 10)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:18.139, pos. 10th, 22 laps
Qualifying - Best lap: (Q1) 1:18.577, (Q2) 1:31.286, (Q3) 1:37.591, Pos. 6th
"It was a crazy qualifying for us, especially in these conditions but I'm super happy with the outcome! It was very tricky to keep the car on track, but the team made a fantastic strategy with the tyres and I managed to put a good lap in. It was super difficult but I really enjoyed it! When I saw the rain coming before Qualifying I thought there could be an opportunity, and the result of P6 is just incredible, especially after the tough few weekends we've had, it's really an unbelievable result for the team. To get both cars into Q3 was a great job and it's a mega day for Toro Rosso. It's really important to have a good Qualifying here as it is hard to overtake and in the race we'll give the others around us a hard time! I think we have good pace so we need to stay focussed and prepare well for tomorrow."
Brendon Hartley (STR13-05, Car 28)
Third Practice Session - Best lap: 1:18.252, pos. 12th, 19 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:18.429, (Q2) 1:32.590, (Q3) 1:38.128, Pos. 8th
"The conditions were really tricky out there, but I'm incredibly happy to make it into Q3 for the first time! I had a couple of little mistakes at the end of Q3 when I started pushing the limits and I fell just short of Pierre's time, which put us in P8. The whole way through Qualifying the team did a brilliant job with communication and strategy and the car felt good. I think we're always hanging around the top 10, and to get both cars through today is a really big achievement. It's quite hard to pass here so I need to have the best possible start and a good first lap. There might be some strategy in play as it's a little bit of follow the leader around here, so hopefully we can hang on to a points position tomorrow."
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):
"It has been a fantastic afternoon for the whole team, and I want to thank everyone here and in the factories in Faenza, Bicester, Milton Keynes and Sakura for all their support in making this result possible! Coming to this race, we knew the qualifying session here in Hungary would offer potential for a good result with the characteristics of our car, but we didn't imagine we would be lining up in P6 and P8 on Sunday! During FP3, we continued working on optimising the dry qualifying balance and we came out of the session very happy with where we were. Even if we didn't get the cleanest laps we were still competitive, so we were confident heading into a dry Qualifying we would get at least one car into Q3. However, just before the session, the heavens opened, which at the time we were quite disappointed about as we were hoping for a smooth session with good performance. However, in the end it actually worked in our favour and the whole team did an amazing job – the communication was clear and concise, we made the correct decisions on tyres and we all worked extremely well together. It's really in tricky days like today where teamwork and communication make all of the difference. Both our drivers have little experience in Formula 1 in these conditions but they were able to extract the maximum from the car. In Q3 there was only one lap that was going to count: the last one. And both drivers gave it their all. We held the cars in the pit stops with the aim of crossing the line right at the end of the session and this worked well too. It was extremely busy in the garage with multiple sets of Wets, Inters and Dry tyres for both cars but the mechanics did a fantastic job to carry out the stops faultlessly. Thanks to them for their great work! Looking ahead to tomorrow, our forecast is predicting dry weather and our long run pace on Friday was fairly competitive. The track will reset with this rain but we are still expecting hot conditions so it's going to make for an interesting race and our aim is to score good points."
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
"It was an excellent qualifying for us being able to carry forward the momentum we had yesterday, going on to secure sixth and eighth places on the grid at the end of a tough session. The team and drivers did a brilliant job and on the PU side, we got the energy management right in the frequently changing conditions, which were very tricky for everyone.
"We showed a good pace in the morning practice in the dry and I'm looking forward to seeing how we do in the race, especially as overtaking is so difficult here."