19 March


A tough initiation for the team & our rookies under the new qualifying format

2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Saturday 19 March
Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne

Rio Q1 P21 3 laps 1:29.627
Pascal Q1 P22 3 laps 1:29.642

Albert Park witnessed a rollercoaster ride of a qualifying session today as the new-for-2016 format made its much-vaunted debut. Along with it, an eagerly anticipated initiation for rookies Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein.

Rio Haryanto:

ďAfter the previous Q1 system of having 20 minutes to extract the best from the car and driver, it felt pretty strange to have such a short qualifying. Today we only had time for one lap. It wasnít a bad lap either, but it also wasnít perfect. I could have been quicker and thatís what weíll have to work on but even with a tenth or so to play with we would still have been out of time. Still, I completed my first qualifying, learned a lot and my job is to keep improving in every area. Tomorrow is my first F1 race and Iím very excited for that. Iím sure we can have a better day.Ē

Pascal Wehrlein:

ďNot the result I was hoping for but I canít complain; the system is the system. This was our first shot at it and weíll have to find a way to improve. The window is incredibly tight so while my lap time is key, we have to work hard to optimise the strategy to see where we can gain extra time. I donít think there was too much more we could have done today on the first time out, so weíll have to take it step by step to make it better. Tomorrow is where it really counts though. Iíve waited a long time for this moment so as disappointed as I am today, nothing will take the shine away from lining up on the grid for the first time.Ē

Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

ďA thought-provoking initiation for the new qualifying format, thatís for sure. We left the pits per plan, tried to give ourselves the right amount of gap to minimise traffic and were working towards two consecutive timed laps. We were baulked by the Sauber on the second lap and that cost us time, but the bottom line is we have some work to do in every area to optimise our performance - with the car, our drivers and operationally. Itís about putting all the pieces together better. This is the system we have to work with now and though it has divided opinion today, I donít think we should rush to judgment just yet; it will take a couple more races to see if it delivers against the objectives. For now though, I think we can feel slightly more positive about the race. Our long run pace has been promising and we have clearly made a good step with closing the gap to the other teams. Hopefully tomorrow will give us a better opportunity to understand by how much.Ē

posted at 11:39:44 on 03/19/16 by webmaster - Category: races