Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer have qualified a mere 0.024secs apart for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix. Kevin was the faster driver with a 1min 07.941secs lap around the Red Bull Ring, set during a red flag-affected Q1 session.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-01, Q: P17 1:07.941. FP3: P15 1:08.569
“There was a little bit more time in the car as I made a mistake in the last corner on my fastest lap but, generally, this is about where we are for qualifying. We’re working to improve that but for now, we did what we could. Tomorrow, I have a feeling we will be a little bit closer, and hopefully something out of the norm will happen like rain or a safety car at the right time and we will be ready to maximise the opportunity if it comes. So fingers crossed!”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-02, Q: P18 1:07.965. FP3: P17 1:08.939
“Without the red flag and then the yellows flags, and with a fresh set of tyres, I think we could have had a nibble at Q2 with a perfect lap. Certainly the car has felt better this weekend, more consistent and stable but we just didn’t have quite enough to qualify better. Race strategy is a bit unknown due to the track resurfacing which has meant higher degradation, and the ultrasofts lose their bite pretty quickly, so we’ll be looking for every chance to move forwards.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
There’s scope for an interesting race tomorrow
How was qualifying for the team?
It was a solid effort but it was frustrating to have the red flag late in the Q1 session and then the subsequent waved yellows for the flying lap when the session restarted. Both drivers had potential to squeeze out just a little more pace from their cars and with the lap times so close here, Q2 could have been achieved.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
An interesting race should be in store. The resurfacing has seen a higher level of tyre degradation at what has been traditionally a one-stop race. In addition, we have the ultrasoft tyres here so different strategy permutations are available. Yesterday’s rain means that teams have less tyre data than otherwise, so there’s potential for strategies to evolve as the race goes on. The weather is likely to be cooler without the rain we’ve seen in the last two days too; there is lots to think about.