Felipe Massa qualified 6th and Lance Stroll 12th for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix
Both drivers cleared Q1 with no issues, Felipe in P10 and Lance in P13
Lance set his fastest times in the first two sectors of his final lap of Q2, but a snatch of oversteer at Turn 15 cost him time and the lap was only enough for P12
Felipe’s first run of Q3 put him P7, but he improved again on the deciding run to move ahead of Verstappen into P6
Lance will be promoted from 12th to 11th, due to a three-place grid penalty for Carlos Sainz for an incident in the last race
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: It is absolutely fantastic to get sixth place on the grid with Felipe. We have split the Red Bulls which should make things interesting tomorrow, especially since we think our race pace looks competitive. On Lance’s side, given that this is a new circuit and there was a lot of learning to do this weekend, he has done a very respectable job to get the car to 12th. The tyres have been very tricky for everybody, as they have been every year here because of this smooth surface, so there has been a lot of learning along the way to get that final lap in qualifying. We look forward to an exciting race tomorrow. Well done to the team for what has been a trouble free weekend so far. Finally, congratulations to Ferrari for their first front row lockout since the 2008 French GP, back when Felipe and Rob Smedley were still part of their team!
Felipe Massa: It was a great qualifying for us. It's so nice to see that we are in the middle of the two Red Bulls. They were better than us in the first three races, on qualifying and race pace, but this is a good track for us and we are fighting with them. I'm happy with the position we're starting, but I'm also happy that maybe tomorrow we can fight with them again. I will try everything I can, I'm very motivated and I hope everything will be right for us to have a good race tomorrow.
Lance Stroll: It was a bit unfortunate at the end as I think Q3 was possible, but I just missed out at the end of my lap in Q2. I didn't get to do the warm up lap I wanted, and around here it is quite important to get the tyre working properly. I had a good start to the lap and then I lost a lot of grip in the last sector, made a couple of mistakes and just lost the rear, which wasn’t great. I was a couple of tenths up but didn’t manage to hold it. There is more in it. I think this weekend is quite tricky with tyres and getting them to work properly, but we can race from P12 (P11). It is a long race tomorrow, we will see what happens and hopefully luck is going to be a bit more on our side.