Romain closest to Q2, Pastor takes 18th
The track temperature dropped in Interlagos and the pace followed as Romain narrowly missed out on Q2 by taking fifteenth, while Pastor qualified eighteenth for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Both drivers had demonstrated points potential in the practice sessions, but the duo couldn’t unlock the pace of the soft compound tyres in today’s running.
In contrast, there was some comfort on the harder, medium compound tyre as the lap times on the E22 showed prospective improvement for tomorrow.
While the grid placings are far from ideal for the drivers, the pair were in agreement that the car has continued to improve in recent race weekends.
“We knew this afternoon’s qualifying would be very close and it looks like some teams found more pace today than we did which means we didn’t quite make it through Q1,” said Romain. The team has done a lot of work on my car overnight and it felt a lot better this morning – it’s not yet 100% where I want it to be, but it’s going in the right direction. Everyone in the team is working hard and it’s great to be part of it.”
His team-mate shared the Frenchman’s sentiments and was quick to turn his focus to the race tomorrow.
“It might not look like it from the lap time in qualifying, but I think we have a good car here, and certainly for the race,” said Pastor. “We were not able to put everything in the right place today and it’s a bit disappointing for qualifying, but the race is where it matters. It’s a very long race, and it’s usually quite a challenging one. With the way our car has been performing during the practice sessions I think we can fight for the points.”
The rain predicted for qualifying never showed and while some racers may fear rain, the Venezuelan embraces the possibilities of tomorrow’s potential rainfall.
“If it rains, I think we can still be competitive and starting from where we are on the grid, maybe rain is good for us!”
Dry conditions wouldn’t dampen expectations either, with Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane confident in the E22’s strengths.
“There are two main permutations for tomorrow,” he said. We could have a dry race, in which case we believe our long run pace, particularly on the medium compound, will prove to be beneficial. The alternative is a wet race, with all the variables that entails. Either way, we’re confident of a far better race performance than we saw today in qualifying.”