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FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2017

Round 15: Malaysia Grand Prix

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Malaysia
Malaysia
October 30, 2017

“A PLEASANT SURPRISE”

Stoffel Vandoorne will start the Malaysia Grand Prix from a career-best position of seventh. His team-mate Fernando Alonso joined the Belgian in Q3, and will line up 10th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

FERNANDO ALONSO
#FA14 MCL32-02

Q1 1:33.049s (15th) Option tyre
Q2 1:32.010s (10th) Option tyre
Q3 1:31.704s (10th) Option tyre

“I’m satisfied with this result, and with how the weekend has gone in general, but it’s going to be tough to maintain our qualifying position tomorrow. We know that our race pace is not as strong as our qualifying pace, so we’ll probably struggle a little bit more if conditions remain dry.

"However, maybe some rain will affect the race – some mixed conditions would improve things for us.

“I think performance was there for us this weekend, and getting both cars in Q3 on this circuit is a very good sign. The new parts we brought here worked well yesterday but maybe didn’t work as well today, so we will have a close look to that.

“It’s a very close field: it’s going to be tough to maintain our position tomorrow, but we’ll do our best, as always.”

STOFFEL VANDOORNE
#SV2 MCL32-03

Q1 1:32.838s (13th) Option tyre
Q2 1:31.848s (9th) Option tyre
Q3 1:31.582s (7th) Option tyre

“We weren’t really expecting to be so high up the grid. We’d hoped to get into Q3, but fighting for seventh was a pleasant surprise.

“In fact, my whole qualifying session went really well. I didn’t make any mistakes and pulled every sector on every lap. To qualify seventh on a circuit like this is probably about as good as it gets for us, so I’m very happy with my performance.

“We generally tend to be better over a single lap than across a race stint, so I think tomorrow will be tougher for us, but at least we’re in a position to race. And nobody really has any race preparation runs under their belts [due to yesterday’s FP2 red flag], so hopefully we can go into the race a little bit more prepared than the others and benefit from that.

“Hopefully we can make a race of it tomorrow.”


Eric Boullier

MCLAREN-HONDA RACING DIRECTOR

“Both drivers have worked very well together to develop and refine our car package across the weekend, and today’s qualifying result really justifies their efforts.

“Stoffel has driven superbly all weekend, and absolutely nailed it in all three qualifying sessions, achieving his best F1 qualifying position so far. Fernando wasn’t particularly happy with his final lap, but he still has a very good opportunity for tomorrow.

“Everyone’s preparations for the race have been affected by the weather and yesterday’s shortened practice sessions. We know we might not be as rapid in the race as we were in qualifying, but we’re aware that there are a lot of questions marks still remaining about everyone’s race pace.

“That’ll hopefully make the grand prix more interesting and unpredictable, and we’ll certainly be hoping to profit from that uncertainty tomorrow.”


Yusuke Hasegawa

HONDA R&D CO LTD HEAD OF F1 PROJECT & EXECUTIVE CHIEF ENGINEER

“Today was a very positive day for everyone in the team. After yesterday's unstable weather, today's conditions were boiling hot temperatures with bright sunshine – the complete opposite to yesterday – therefore during FP3 this morning we focused on adjusting the settings ready for qualifying.

“In qualifying, both of our drivers did a great job to secure their positions in Q3. Stoffel in particular showed a great performance with P7, the best qualifying result of his career to date. I think it is a very good result that we were able to show competitiveness at this power-hungry circuit.

“Once again we did not have any issues on our PU today and we'll try our best effort to maintain this condition in tomorrow's race.”

 

FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2017
Round 15: Malaysia Grand Prix Practice3
Rank Driver Team
1Kimi RäikkönenFerrari
2Sebastian VettelFerrari
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull
4Valtteri BottasMercedes
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes
6Max VerstappenRed Bull
7Sergio PerezForce India
8Felipe MassaWilliams
9Esteban OconForce India
10Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda
12Lance StrollWilliams
13Kevin MagnussenHaas
14Nico HulkenbergRenault
15Carlos SainzToro Rosso
16Pierre GaslyToro Rosso
17Jolyon PalmerRenault
18Romain GrosjeanHaas
19Marcus EricssonSauber
20Pascal WehrleinSauber

Qualifying
Rank Driver Team
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2Kimi RäikkönenFerrari
3Max VerstappenRed Bull
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull
5Valtteri BottasMercedes
6Esteban OconForce India
7Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda
8Nico HulkenbergRenault
9Sergio PerezForce India
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda
11Felipe MassaWilliams
12Jolyon PalmerRenault
13Lance StrollWilliams
14Carlos SainzToro Rosso
15Pierre GaslyToro Rosso
16Romain GrosjeanHaas
17Kevin MagnussenHaas
18Pascal WehrleinSauber
19Marcus EricssonSauber
NCSebastian VettelFerrari

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