Following an incredibly difficult Friday for McLaren, they turned it around superbly and will have both cars starting in the top 7 for Sunday’s race. Sainz’s effort was particularly impressive. Thanks to a 5-place grid penalty for Max Verstappen, Sainz will start in 5th.
Carlos Sainz – P6
“Good day today! Improving every time we went on track and adapting to the circumstances. I couldn’t have done that lap without the help of the whole team. Thank you. To line up fifth tomorrow on the grid feels great after our initial struggles from yesterday. We managed to adapt, progress and find a way to recover from that, which shows we’re also doing a great job this year in understanding the car.
I look forward to starting P5 tomorrow. I’m confident we’re capable of putting together a strong result. Congratulations to everyone today.”
Yes! Feels great to take P6 and start P5 tomorrow. Great turnaround after the struggles of yesterday. Thank you to the whole team. Fantastic job from everyone today! Eyes on tomorrow now.#carlo55ainz #RussianGP@McLarenF1 @EG00 pic.twitter.com/xU7vf57Ngs— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) September 28, 2019
Nico Hulkenberg showed strong pace throughout the weekend and continued that in qualifying. The German was 0.3s quicker than team-mate Ricciardo in Q3 and just missed out on beating Sainz by less than a tenth of a second. Like his former Renault team-mate, he gains a spot on the grid because of Verstappen’s penalty.
Nico Hulkenberg – P7
“I’m pleased with that today; my laps were clean and tidy, we progressed through the sessions well and deservedly qualified well inside the top ten. I’ve felt comfortable in the car since the beginning of the weekend and I’ve been driving well. It would have been nice to be ahead of Carlos [Sainz]. It was tight in the midfield again, but we’ll take it and fight tomorrow for some strong points. It was a decent day’s work.”