• Suzuka, Saturday – Ross: “A challenging day for us and we’re obviously not happy to see both cars knocked out in Q2”

Michael and Nico qualified in 13th and 15th positions today for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.

Knowing that he would take a ten-place grid penalty, Michael took an aggressive approach to qualifying. He made a single Q1 run on the prime tyre, and a single Q2 run on the option, to finish the session in P13.

Michael will have four fresh sets of tyres (two prime, two option) available for tomorrow's race. Nico finished P15 but will start further up the grid, with a free tyre choice, once penalties have been applied.

For Ross, “today has been fairly challenging for us and it goes without saying that we’re not happy to see both cars knocked out in Q2. We’ve done a lot of work in the last few races exploring the performance variables of the car and whilst that has increased our understanding, it’s still not enough to be competitive.

The balance of the car isn’t too bad though, and we seem to have stronger race pace, so we will try to race well and see what we can achieve. “

“We struggled to get further than the second part of qualifying, when the fastest time was a little less than a second quicker than Michael's best” commented Norbert after qualifying. “He was missing two-tenths of a second to proceed to Q3 and Nico four-tenths. As a consequence, we will not be in the grid positions where we would have liked to start the race from.”