2018 Formula One Honda Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying – Saturday
Unstable weather conditions added an extra challenge to today’s sessions at the highly technical Suzuka Circuit, where strong wind paired with periodic rain made it difficult to achieve consistent performances. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team headed into FP3 feeling confident of its potential, and both drivers used the session to practice short runs in preparation for qualifying. For Marcus Ericsson, Q1 took a sudden turn after he spun off track and touched the barriers, bringing his session to an early end. Charles Leclerc had a more positive qualifying, giving a consistent Q1 performance to finish in P6. He then headed into Q2 with strong pace, however, he had to abort his last push lap due to rain. The Monegasque driver finished qualifying in P11. Despite a tricky qualifying, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team remains confident of its potential for tomorrow’s race.
“It is disappointing to finish like this after a strong weekend. Unfortunately, qualifying did not go as I would have liked it to. It was a tricky day with the weather making it quite challenging to drive. I was carrying a bit too much speed as I approached turn 7, and with the wind being quite strong in that section I spun off track. It is a shame to have a qualifying like this. We will do our best to recover as many positions as possible during tomorrow’s race.”
“Overall, it was a positive day and we see the potential is there for a good performance tomorrow. The pace was there in qualifying, and it is a shame that we did not make it to Q3 today. I made a small mistake on my first push lap in Q2, and it was not possible to improve my lap time after the rain started again, however it means we can gain an advantage by starting the race on the tyres of our choice. I look forward to being back on track.”