Renault recorded another impressive qualifying performance, as both Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov managed to break into the top-ten shootout.
Kubica, who had impressed all weekend in his R30, was satisfied with his sixth place on the grid and is hopeful that future updates may well improve his car even further.
Meanwhile, Petrov may well have have been faster had he not made a number of errors on his fast laps. Despite this he will start tenth.
Robert Kubica – 6th: It has been a pretty good qualifying and the car was especially strong on the prime tyre. On the options I had a lot more movement so the car felt quite different and we didn’t really gain the lap time, but we made a decision that it would be better to start the race on the options. Although I finished higher in the first two parts of qualifying, I think the end result reflects our true position. The new updates on the car this weekend are bringing us some gains, but we still need to work to get 100% from them, which I hope we can do in the coming races.
Vitaly Petrov – 10th: It’s fantastic to get into Q3 because the times were very close today. Unfortunately I made some mistakes on my fastest lap in Q3 so I could maybe have been even higher on the grid. In the race anything can happen so I will try and look after my tyres and make up some positions. There are a lot of new parts on the car this weekend and I have had to adapt my driving style, but I can feel a big improvement with the car.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: It’s always good to see both cars in Q3 because it’s not something we have managed that often this season. After Q1 and Q2 we were expecting an even better result in Q3, but we didn’t find the performance that we expected with the soft tyres. For the race tomorrow we have a good strategy and hopefully we can get both cars in the points and make up some ground on Mercedes.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: I’m pleased to see both cars in the top ten for the second time in three races and it’s nice to be well ahead of both Mercedes, our closest competitors in the championship. We were actually hoping for a better position with Robert today, but we struggled more than we expected with the option tyre. Although it’s the softer compound, the car was moving around more and felt less together on the option. You might expect a softer tyre to have more grip, but you can’t use that extra grip if the car isn’t easy to drive. However, we felt that we needed to start the race on the option, so that we don’t have to do a long stint on it in the race.