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French GP: Racing Point struggle to find sweet spot in qualifying

2019-06-22 23:31
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Sergio Perez of Racing Point on track during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard. Image: Charles Coates / Getty Images

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll of SportPesa Racing Formula 1 team failed to break into the top half of the grid in Saturday's qualifying for Sunday's French grand prix. 

Perez qualified in P14 with a time of 1:30.738 and Stroll was P18 with a time of 1:31.726, this is what the drivers had to say: 

Perez: “It has been a difficult weekend up to now and unfortunately we missed out on Q3. We only need a small improvement to start fighting in the top ten so we need to stay positive and continue working in our usual way. I think my qualifying laps were actually quite strong.

We pulled everything together at a time when conditions were very difficult and put a good lap together in Q1. But in Q2 the other teams were up to speed and had the edge over us.

We did what we could, but realistically I don’t think we had the pace to make the top ten this afternoon. Tomorrow is what counts and we know anything can happen in the race. We need a good start, a strong strategy and good race pace for us to score some points.”

Stroll: “I’m quite disappointed with that. I felt like I did a good lap with the grip that was available under me, but that’s pretty much where we have been throughout practice.

Definitely a frustrating day, but my sights are set on tomorrow. We always look stronger with our race pace and I will give it my all on Sunday.”

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said: "We have struggled to find the sweet spot with the cars this weekend and ultimately didn’t challenge for Q3. Both cars made a good step forward compared to final practice, but this track just isn’t playing to our strengths.

It’s frustrating not to be quicker in qualifying trim, but we looked more competitive with the long runs on Friday and we know we can race well on Sundays. We will study the strategy options tonight, mindful of the fact that this track is especially demanding on the front tyres, and see what we can do to move up the order tomorrow."

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