It was possibly the best lap of the day, but Manor couldn’t improve on their P9 in the first part of qualifying due to a lack of supersoft tyres.
Pascal Wehrlein did the most incredible job to get the Manor car into the top ten, and ahead of many of the established teams including McLaren thanks to the powerful Mercedes engine in the back and having less downforce than some others. It was highlighted given that his new teammate Esteban Ocon was knocked out outside the top 16, although it was his first ever Formula One qualifying session.
Talking after the session the German said:
“Well, I’m very happy that we made it through to Q2, of course; Q1 was incredible for us with P9. But unfortunately we had no new Supersoft tyres for Q2, so it’s a bit of shame, and I had to do my lap on used tyres.
“Q1 felt so good with new tyres, so you can see what was possible today; that last run was not our true pace. So it was a bit of a shame, but that decision has to be made much earlier in the year.
“We’re actually in a very good position for tomorrow, in terms of our position on the grid and also with the tyres we have available for the race. Degradation will be high at this track, so we’ll be okay I think. And, yes, I’ve been very happy with the weekend so far. It’s all gone pretty much to plan and I’m looking forward to the race.”