• Austin, Saturday – Ross: “Today has been about getting the tyres into the right working zone”

Michael qualified in sixth place today for the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. Team-mate Nico had a more difficult afternoon with a different car set-up and will start from P17.

Both drivers used option tyres throughout and completed just one run in the sessions in which they took part. Michael will start from P5 on the clean side of the grid due to a five-place penalty for Romain Grosjean.

Nico ran with the standard exhaust system and struggled to find grip which resulted in his qualification in 17th.

“Today has been about getting the tyres into the right working zone” said Ross, “and the unusual number of laps that everyone ran in qualifying reflects that.

With Michael, it worked very well today. He was able to get his tyres working exactly how he wanted, and it was a great effort from Michael and the team to post the sixth fastest time.

The extra place gained from Grosjean’s penalty means we’re on the right side of the grid so an excellent job all round. Nico ran the standard exhaust this afternoon as part of our programme to ensure that we go into the winter fully understanding our exhaust system.

Consequently he found it difficult to get the tyres working and that led to the result we got. Whilst it’s disappointing to qualify in 17th, and we know that Nico could have done far better in a different car, we will get the full picture of the changes made in the race tomorrow and then have all of the data that we wanted to collect.”

Norbert saw “a good performance from Michael today who posted the sixth fastest time and will start from fifth place on the grid.

Unfortunately Nico did not have the set-up in today’s qualifying with which he could achieve a similar or better result. But let’s see whether he will be better up over the race distance.”