Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Nico Hülkenberg has qualified in seventh position for the second Grand Prix in a row whilst Jolyon Palmer qualified in the top ten for the first time in his Formula 1 career, at the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Today’s qualifying result was the first double Q3 appearance for Renault Sport Formula One Team.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-02, Q: P7 1:29.842 FP3: P8 1:32.933
“That was one of my best qualifying laps together with my pole in Brazil 2010. It’s quite a tricky track to get a perfect lap here, but I think I extracted the maximum possible today. The team has done a great job all through the weekend so I’m very proud and happy right now. Looking to the race, I’m a bit cautious with predictions as we had a great qualifying last time out, then the circumstances of the race undid our good work. We just need to get some good Easter egg points tomorrow.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-01, Q: P10 1:31.074 FP3: P20: 1:34.417
“It’s my best ever qualifying; Q3 for the first time, and I’ve seen a full hour of qualifying, which is nice. I’m happy, especially as we had a tough weekend up until now, trying to extract the performance from the car. I got my head down with my engineers and we made some changes before qualifying making the car much better. I didn’t put in a fantastic Q3 lap so it could have gone better, but we do stand a good chance to score points tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
We’re optimistic for a strong race tomorrow with both cars in the points.
How was qualifying for the team?
We’re obviously very happy with today’s performance. Nico put in excellent laps all the way through the qualifying sessions, not only to be ahead of both the Williams, but also in P7 on the cleaner side of the track. Jo staged a fantastic recovery after a tricky weekend so far; following a difficult FP3 by improving steadily all the way through qualifying, for his first top ten grid position.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
The track temperature is unlikely to be as extreme as we’ve seen so far this weekend, which should be kinder on the tyres. The twilight race means cooler temperatures anyway but it will be another step cooler tomorrow. Our cars have been working well so far this weekend, so there’s nothing to fear ahead of the race. We’re hopeful of a straightforward Grand Prix where we secure our first points of the year.