After a bit of rain in every session, the first done with the qualifying were both McLaren drivers.
Stoffel Vandoorne who qualified last, said: “It’s not been the best weekend for us so far. We saw in practice this morning that we were never really on the pace, and it’s unfortunate to confirm that in qualifying today. We can never seem to really benefit from wet conditions in qualifying as it never rains at the right time for us.“
His teammate Fernando Alonso hasn't had a better qualifying as he finished P18.
He said: „My qualifying lap was still enjoyable, and with new tyres and light fuel these cars feel good, although obviously not quick enough to go through the sessions. We need some rain or a crazy race to benefit from, as in terms of pure pace we are maybe not quick enough. We’re starting from the back, so we can take some risks and gamble on strategy.”
A little surprise today was Sergey Sirotkin who made it to Q2, the Williams driver explained: „It was a good session with tricky conditions which is always good for us. When it’s cloudy and damp, we always perform better. The car felt very good, I had one run less than everyone else in Q1 and managed to get through which is positive for us. We went into Q2 thinking the rain would come, and when I exited the pits, due to the changeable conditions the scrubbed tyres were cold meaning I had to push hard to generate temperature. On my lap, I had to slow down to avoid Lewis, which in turn meant putting a wheel on the grass and ruining the lap. Overall, it was a good session and we are happy with the performance.“
With both drivers out in Q2, Force India will start tomorrows race from 12th and 13th.
Perez who qualified on P12 analyzes: “It was a challenging session and it’s disappointing to miss out on Q3 by such a small margin. It’s been a difficult weekend so far, losing out on so much track time on a circuit where half a tenth can make a big difference. The truth is we weren’t as competitive as we expected to be, but I think we can still recover to have a strong race tomorrow. We really struggled in Q1 where we had to use an extra set of tyres just to make Q2.”
Esteban Ocon who qualified 13th said: “It wasn’t a great qualifying session. For various reasons things just didn’t come together for us. We made a set-up change between final practice and qualifying and it didn’t really bring the benefit we needed. So the car didn’t feel ideal for qualifying. I’ve also got to take the grid penalty so I will be starting near the back and it’s going to make the race even more difficult. Perhaps some rain tomorrow would work in my favour and allow me to catch up and fight for points.”
Also Renault seemed to struggle a bit. Carlos Sainz who qualified P16 said: "Today it was not a good Saturday overall. We have worked on our set-up throughout the weekend and we finally switched back to the configuration we used in Free Practice 1, since I wasn’t happy with the car after Free Practice 3. We made the car better for Qualifying, but we lacked a bit more experience on that configuration. Our race pace is a bit better, so we will see what happens tomorrow. Now we have to work on our race strategy and fight for points as always".
Both Red Bulls seemed quiet strong yesterday but they couldn't get it done today.
Daniel Ricciardo who quliafied 6th said: “I think we have a good car and in qualifying to be half a second off pole around here, where from memory we haven’t been that close in the past, is positive. Obviously, with the penalty I start a bit outside of the front pack in 11th but I will hopefully make my way through quickly and have some fun once I join the fight at the front. The rain passed pretty quickly but it did force us to use the supersoft tyre in Q2. Ideally, we wanted to start on the soft tomorrow but fortunately it was only Ferrari who made it work and Mercedes are in the same position as us. Maybe this mixed strategy will also force a two-stop race through the field and mix things up.”
His teammate, Max Verstappen just finished in front of Ricciardo on P5 and analyzes: “We did the best we could, which was fifth, so I think we should be happy with that. Conditions were a bit tricky but everyone handled it very well in the garage and we came through with a good performance. We tried to get a quicker lap on the soft tyre in Q2 but just missed out. The balance of the car wasn’t ideal, we were missing some front grip. If we had it spot on we may have had a small chance of challenging a Ferrari, but when you are losing so much time on the straights it is always going to be a difficult.”
After claiming another pole position Lewis Hamilton said: “That was a tough qualifying session. Obviously the weather was going up and down and we didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously Ferrari are incredibly quick this weekend. I’m just really happy to be here in Brazil, knowing I’ve got Senna’s design on the back of my helmet, so I mean I didn’t know I had the pole, the last lap wasn’t that great, if I’m honest, I had a bit of understeer in a few places but I was so grateful when I heard I got pole.”
Sebastian Vettel, who became P2 today said: “I think it was good fun. In the end I had a tiny lock-up in Turn 8. I got a good start to the second attempt in Q3 and I thought I’d go for it, but it was a little bit too much, so I lost some time and didn’t improve. It was very close, so it was a fun session.”
Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas finished in 3rd. He said: “Not far away but here the margins are small. I knew this weekend I did have the pace to be on pole. I think it was there for me to grab but I couldn't take it today. I was more than two tenths up in the second run but lost everything in the last corner on the back straight without any tow, so it was quite disappointing.“