Lance Stroll won’t hold fond memories of his first qualifying session with his father’s Racing Point team, with the Canadian biting the dust in Q1.
While Stroll had run in the thick of the second half of the field in free practice, the 20-year-old was confident of making the Q1 cut.
However, as he was on his ultimate flyer in the first segment of qualifying, the Racing Point charger stumbled upon the Haas of Romain Grosjean who was on an out-lap and eager to reach the finish line in time to complete one last fast lap.
“My best lap today was affected by traffic,” explained Stroll. “I came across Grosjean, who was on an out lap, at turn nine.
“I was in his bumper in the corner and that cost me easily a couple of tenths.
“It’s a real shame because I really felt good with the car today and we had the speed to progress to at least Q2.”
“All I can do now is try and make up some positions at the start and see how things play out in the race.
“I think we look quite competitive with our race pace so we can still come away with a good result.”
However, Racing Point may stand a stronger chance of achieving a top-10 finish with Strol’s team mate, Sergio Perez who will launch his race from P10 on the grid.
“Making the top ten is a great way to start the season,” said Perez.
“We did a great job throughout qualifying and I was really pleased with my lap in Q2.
“The key today was to avoid mistakes and be consistent. It will be interesting to see where we stand in the race but it’s never easy to overtake on this track so starting in the top ten is important.
“Hopefully we can hold position and make up some ground at the start. As I always say, it doesn’t matter where you start the season, but where you finish.
“There is great potential in this car and I’m confident we can keep improving as the year goes on.”
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