Renault Sport Formula One Team endured a frustrating qualifying session for the Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Pirelli 2017 with Nico Hülkenberg qualifying thirteenth and Jolyon Palmer 17th for tomorrow’s race. Qualifying times were exceptionally close over the course of today, with Nico’s best Q2 lap just 0.150secs adrift of the time required for the top ten. Nico earlier set the seventh fastest time in FP3. Today is the first time since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix that the team has failed to reach Q3.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-02, Q: P13 1:21.397 FP3: P7 1:21.670
“The conditions in qualifying didn’t play in our favour this afternoon. It was very windy and together with the higher temperatures, it has had an impact on our aero performance. We didn’t change a great deal on the car from this morning as it was pretty decent, so the main difference from FP3 was the ambient conditions. I didn’t feel as happy with the car as earlier today, but that said, I’m very happy with the laps I put in, especially the last one in Q2 which was pretty sweet, but that was it for today. We will put our heads down, push hard and aim for a good race tomorrow.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03, Q: P17 1:22.401 FP3: P18 1:22.755
“This afternoon was very disappointing, certainly compared to yesterday when we were seventh and eighth. We were definitely missing performance and we need to understand why that has happened. The wind was very strong which certainly affects the cars, so we have to understand why our car seemed more susceptible to this. Now it’s time to work with the engineers in preparation for the best race possible tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director:
A couple of tenths would have put us in a more familiar qualifying position.

How was qualifying for the team?
Frustrating, as a couple of tenths would have put us in a more familiar qualifying position. It’s a very tight midfield battle and we were just the wrong end of it today. We had no obvious issues on either side of the garage or either end of the car, we just struggled for overall grip which meant we weren’t able to show better pace.

What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
There’s more tyre degradation here than we’ve seen at other circuits so there is potential for different strategy permutations. The obligatory Medium compound is notably harder and slower than the Soft tyre so this will present a challenge. As ever, we’ll be doing everything possible to move both cars forwards.