Williams Racing’s Jack Aitkin outqualified Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Formula One Team’s Kimi Raikkonen in his first Grand Prix Aaturday as he starts the race 18th place.
Speaking following the action he said:
The aim for me has been to make a step every time I get in the car, and I have achieved that. I am a little bit gutted that the last run didn’t go as well as I had wanted it to, but I can’t complain. I think tyre management is going to play a bigger factor than we originally thought coming into the weekend. With it being such a short lap, how you play the blue flags and how that affects how many stops you make will be quite interesting. I am going to be trying my hardest every lap, so let’s see how tomorrow goes.
Nicholas Latifi starts the race from 17th place and speaking following the session he said:
I was pretty pleased with the majority of my final effort as it was looking like quite a strong lap. I said to myself that I wasn’t going to leave any margin and I was going to go for it, but sadly I made a big mistake in the last corner. We made some changes to the car from yesterday to try and improve other areas and I just couldn’t get the right rhythm through that last corner all day today. I am disappointed I didn’t put my own lap together as there was definitely more in there.
Dave Robson Head of Vehicle Performance with Williams Racing said:
Both drivers had fairly clear sessions considering the short nature of the track. We knew that progressing to Q2 would be difficult and so gave each of them three sets of tyres with which to try and set a laptime. They enjoyed a close battle, with Nicholas eventually coming out on top. His final lap was very strong and but for a small time loss in the final corner, would’ve been good enough for Q2.
Having been asked to drive the car just a few days ago, Jack and his team have worked extremely well to get him to this point, and he was able to demonstrate that today with a very professional and accomplished performance. We now look forward to enhancing his experience further tomorrow when he will be able to put into practice the tyre management skills that he worked hard on yesterday.
There is still opportunity for this short and tricky track to throw-up a few surprises tomorrow and we are looking forward to exploiting anything that comes our way.