Hamilton: ''I think Q1 and Q2 were particularly good and then Q3 was OK. It could always be better. But really, really happy to have the pole. It’s something we have been working on for so long. And the pressure is, as you know, you can see how close it is between us all. It’s really, really great to have this result, and a one-two. Our bosses are here watching us, so I think it’s a good showing for Mercedes and the team.''
Bottas: ''Lewis did again a great job in the qualifying and I think for me missing as bit of track time in FP2 and with limited running for everyone in FP3 it felt like during the qualifying I was catching up all the time and I was finding the gains run by run. In the end it was decent, still not quite perfect but enough to put us on the first run. And like Lewis said, it’s been an amazing job what the team has been doing with the car, with single upgrade we put on the car this weekend making the car better, including the engine of course.''
Vettel: ''For us, qualifying started a bit slow; obviously with the conditions it was a little bit tricky. Starting slow meaning it got better throughout the qualifying and yeah, I was confident I could improve a little bit for the final attempt. But already at the beginning I tried to push hard and probably pushed a little bit too much so I lost a little and yeah, then you’re playing catch-up. I just didn't get a great feeling closing the lap. It wasn’t as strong as the lap before. It was also slower. I thought that there was a tenth or maybe a tenth and a half, maybe enough to pip Valtteri, but obviously both of them improved. I think we can be happy with third. For tomorrow I think we have a good car. Yesterday looked really good, we have a little bit different strategy on tyres, so let’s see.''
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were both very complimentary of Charles Leclerc's stunning qualifying effort today... Hamilton: ''Yeah, I just saw before I went out that he was… I think he was in the top ten going into Q3, I think. So… which was very, very impressive to see. Particularly with the all the pressures you could see. There’s a lot of pressure for him, being here in the South of France, so yeah, really, really good. Really happy for him – particularly in that car, which is… yeah, he’s doing a great job with what he has and probably delivering more, which is what you would hope from a good driver.''
Vettel: ''He was eighth? So… I saw only on the screen that Fréd Vasseur was pretty happy, so I thought one of his drivers did well in Q2. I didn’t see in Q3 but obviously eighth is an impressive result. I think they are still quite a long way behind with the car so I think for him, he’s doing the job. It’s good for him and good for Sauber as well, to be up there. And hopefully for them they have some chance to score points tomorrow.''
Leclerc was smiling from ear to ear after making Q3 for the first time. He told Sky Sports F1: ''It's unbelievable. Yesterday was a disaster, the car didn't feel great; I was not driving very well. We changed completely the car today and then I felt a lot better. I have no words to describe how I feel right now. It's great. We all should be proud, the team and I of what we achieved today.''
Another star of qualifying was Carlos Sainz, who delivered an excellent effort to start P7 in the race: “I’m very happy with today’s result! It’s a very positive qualifying performance. We didn’t expect to be the best of the rest but we managed to do a great job and grab the chance. We look forward to the race where we’ll aim for a clean start and try and have a bright outing. We’ll see about the weather first. Mixed or wet conditions always makes it more interesting and I always enjoy it. Hopefully we can get a strong result in front of the team’s home crowd.”
After a brilliant win at Le Mans last weekend, a painful year in F1 continues for Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was dumped out in Q1: “This was a disappointing session for us.
Our performance has usually been so-so on Saturdays, with our average position in qualifying so far this year being 13th. That said, I have scored points in every single race I have finished, and hopefully tomorrow will be one of those Sundays.
There was nothing wrong with the balance of the car today; our lap-time was just not quick enough to make it into Q2. In our pre-quali meeting, we said we thought we would be around 14th or 15th, so this is more or less where we expected to finish.
We know where we are, and, unfortunately, need to keep improving…”