Saturday means Qualifying day. It was a mixed session. A lot of drivers finished on lower positions than they were expecting, just like Ferrari, but some other finished higher than expected, like Renault drivers. Nico Hulkenberg finished on P17 during FP3 with a best lap of 1:38.580 but he managed to improve during qualifying and he was able to make his way to Q3 and finished P10. We need to remember that Valtteri Bottas has an engine penalty due to some changes in his power unit so, as he finished on P10, he will start P9 after Bottas’ penalty. The German driver had a best time of 1:36.710.
Daniel Ricciardo was the driver that surprised us all, or at least me. He decided to make a single lap during Q3 so he wasn’t blocked by traffic and other drivers making their way to open their fastest laps. Their strategy worked out exactly as they planned and he was able to finish on P8 with a time of 1:36.456. As we already said, Bottas has a penalty so the Australian driver will start the race on P7. Daniel was only beaten by the six cars of the top 3 teams and the McLaren of Lando Norris.
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“I’m really happy with today’s qualifying. It’s cool for both cars to be in Q3. We’ve made a good turnaround from Friday and that’s what I’m most proud about. The jump we made is really strong and encouraging and credit to the team for working har overnight.” Commented the Australian driver.
“It was close out there again today but we’re in the mix inside the top ten. There’s a bit of pressure in the fight for fifth and there’s a job to do. We delivered today and now we have to deliver tomorrow”.
The fifth place of the Constructors’ Championship is still under dispute between the French team [Renault] and the Italian team [Toro Rosso]. Will Renault secure it tomorrow? Or will Toro Rosso come out in front?