Red Bull Racing ending qualifying for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit as best of the rest behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Max Verstappen will start the race from third place behind Rosberg after setting a qualifying time of 01:33.420s and speaking following the session he commented by saying:
I thought it was going to be a tough race for us before we came here. Now it seems like the balance of the car is there, the long runs seem good and we have improved our short run pace a lot. We were pretty close to the Mercedes on the front row and I’m really enjoying the new surface here, the car is working very well on it. For both of us to be on the second row, in front of Ferrari, means we can be very pleased with today’s work. Out of the past three or four races this has been my best long run pace on a Friday, we haven’t changed much on the car so it should be similar tomorrow. After Singapore I talked with the team and we changed some things on the car and it seems to have worked, hopefully we can keep improving in this way. We have made some changes to the clutch so we shall see if it has improved tomorrow, so far everything looks positive. The set up feels really good here and we will no doubt check everything tonight to make sure we are in the best position possible on race day.
Red Bull go into Sunday’s race in second place in the Constructors championship 15 points ahead of Ferrari. Speaking following qualifying, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner commented by saying:
A great performance from both of our drivers in qualifying, extracting everything possible out of the car to lock out the second row of the grid. Max absolutely nailed his first run in Q3 and there was very little to choose between the guys today. To be ahead of both Ferraris and to get as close as we actually managed to get to Mercedes is a positive to take into tomorrow’s race.
Daniel Ricciardo starts the race from fourth place after setting a time of 01:33.467s and speaking following the session, the Australian commented by saying:
It was quite an exciting quali session and my lap was pretty clean. I pushed quite a bit in the first two sectors; I think I got more out of the tyres compared to the last sector where I struggled for traction and lost a little bit of time. From where we were yesterday, I am pretty happy. We made quite a few changes overnight and they definitely helped me out today, so I was feeling a lot more comfortable in the car. Our race pace is looking good too as we saw from Max’s sessions yesterday. We should have a nice battle for the podium tomorrow and we’ll try to stay ahead of the Ferraris. They are normally pretty good on their tyres here but we have an extra set of soft tyres for the race which should work well for us. As a team we are pumped to lock out the second row at this circuit and we should have a good race on our hands for tomorrow.