Qualifying - Chinese GP report: Williams Mercedes
Wet weather was the story of the day in Shanghai as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez qualified in eighth and sixteenth places respectively for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix.
“A top ten result is always what we are aiming for in qualifying, so from that perspective I am happy to be eighth. It was very wet out there and I was struggling a bit with the car balance under braking, but all in all I think we’re in a good starting position for the race. Tomorrow’s weather should improve and we ran in the dry yesterday so we know what to expect and will adapt to any conditions. It will be interesting to see the tyre development through the race because graining is a classic feature of this track, but I’m confident we can work around it and make the tyres last.”
"It was not an easy session and the truth is that I’ve been struggling with the car balance all weekend. I think the wet weather today exaggerated those issues and it leaves me P16 and feeling a bit disappointed. I found it hard to generate enough temperature in my tyres and I was sliding around in each corner and especially under braking. The weather is expected to be better tomorrow so I am sure we can recover some ground and move up into the fight for points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“The wet weather has become a recurrent theme on Saturdays with three out of four qualifying sessions taking place in the wet already this season. We hoped the rain might play into our hands, but both cars struggled under braking and didn’t really find the rhythm in the wet conditions. So in that regard it was quite a disjointed session and Nico did well to make Q3 and qualify in P8. Sergio has not been comfortable with the car balance all weekend and the wet conditions today made things even more challenging. I think we can be strong in race conditions tomorrow and points will be the target, but it’s clear the battle for the top ten will be especially competitive here.”