Lance Stroll: “Today was incredible and one of the best moments of my Formula 1 career. When I was told over the radio that I had taken pole position, I was thinking: ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming!’. I’m still a little lost for words: I’ve dreamt of days like these and it’s a special moment. The conditions out there were incredibly slippery and it was very tricky to drive, but my confidence in the car was just building throughout qualifying and I was piecing it all together. Precision, concentration and finding the flow is absolutely key in the wet because it can always be unpredictable from corner to corner on the track. When the car is feeling this good and the tyres are switched on, it’s like a dance and I love driving in those situations. The session showed that it was so important to be on the right tyre at the right time and we definitely made the correct call by being on intermediate tyres at the end. It worked out perfectly. We knew it would come down to the final lap and we put it all together for pole. I’m going to let this sink in and enjoy it before thinking about tomorrow. We know it’s going to be tough with Max close by and the Mercedes will probably make progress, but we have both cars in great positions and we can aim to score important points for the team to make it a really special weekend. I’d never been to Istanbul before this weekend, but I definitely love it now!”
Sergio Perez: “It’s a great day for the team and I’m very pleased. In Q1, I had to abort my best lap under yellow flags and that almost cost me a place in Q2, especially as others didn’t abort their laps under double waved yellow. But we narrowly made it through. Once we were in Q3, we decided to go for the intermediate tyre because I was confident we could get the temperature into it and make it work. It paid off and lap by lap, we were improving and looking quick. I think I could have taken pole today, but on my final lap when my tyres were at their best, [Antonio] Giovinazzi was in front of me at Turn 5 and he went off and came back onto the track in front of me, and I had to back off. But still, I’m very happy with P3, especially because it means we will start on the better side of the grid than we would have in P2. We can be proud of how much we improved the car overnight and we were very strong in the wet conditions. We’ll have to see what is possible in the race tomorrow – anything could happen. We know the Mercedes are going to come through the field and Max will be strong, but hopefully we can have a good first lap and go from there. I expect it will be a tricky start to the race because it’s going to be difficult to get the tyres up to temperature quickly, but hopefully we can take advantage and bring home a special result for the team.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “It’s a great day for us and it’s amazing to see Lance Stroll and a Racing Point on pole position. Tyre performance was the story of the day and Lance with his team made the call in Q3 of switching to the intermediates at the end. He said at the beginning of the session that the conditions would play out the way they did, which is not an easy thing to call. Lance was very quick on the wet compound and once we bolted on the intermediates, he went out there and did the job fantastically. Congratulations to him on his first pole position. Checo also put in a great performance to take P3 on the grid, which sets us up nicely for scoring well tomorrow. Today’s result is the reward of a lot of work overnight to understand the tyres and, while we didn’t expect it to be as wet as it was today, the work paid off. I think in both dry and wet conditions, we can be strong tomorrow and we’ll do our best to capitalise on it and score a great result for the team.”
Check out our Saturday gallery from Istanbul, here.