Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Nico Hülkenberg has qualified seventh - his best-ever qualifying performance in Budapest - under the searing sun at the Hungaroring. Jolyon Palmer matched his second-best qualifying performance of the year with the eleventh-fastest time. Jolyon will start tomorrow from P10 on the grid - equalling his best starting position since joining the team - because of a five-place gearbox penalty for Nico, who will start from P12.
Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04, Q : P7 1:17.468 FP3 : P7 1:18.699
"I’m very happy about the performance of the car today, in fact it’s been really good all weekend long. We’ve found a very good harmony and balance and it was a pleasure to exploit this in qualifying. Of course, the gearbox penalty is far from ideal, but it happens sometimes ; there was no option other than changing it. The long runs looked quite promising yesterday so there’s good potential for the race, we have a strong car so we should recover well."
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03, Q : P11 1:18.415 FP3 : P10 1:18.956
"The car’s been working well. I’m a bit disappointed not to be in Q3, but I will start from P10 on the grid tomorrow, which is a decent position to score some points from. I was in the top ten yesterday in FP1 and today in Q1, so we’ve seen there’s good potential from the car. We’ve got some new tyres available, so we have options ; all we need is a good rhythm in the race."
Alan Permane, Sporting Director
Pretty straightforward qualifying session for the team.
How was qualifying for the team ?
"The team had a fairly simple and stress free session. Nico only needed one set of tyres to get through Q1 and another set to go through Q2. We are happy to be P7 or the ‘best of the rest’. The gearbox penalty is unfortunate, especially on a circuit like this, without it we would have been looking forward to a nice simple race – as it is we have some work to do to get Nico up into the points, but we have decent pace over the cars in front. If Jo had a better day on Friday, I’m sure he could have made in into Q3 and this is key for him. If he can have calmer Fridays, there is no reason he won’t be a regular Q3 visitor."
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race ?
"Our goal is to have a very strong race and getting both cars in the points."