Spirits are high at Manor after Pascal Wehrlein reached Q2 in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix on pure pace, but the team admit they were hoping for more than 16th.
Wehrlein clocked the ninth-fastest time in the first session to easily secure a place in Q2, but after a loose wheel drama early in the second session the team were unable to do better than 16th on the grid.
?I?m very happy that we made it through to Q2, of course; Q1 was incredible for us with P9,? says Wehrlein. ?But unfortunately we had no new Supersoft tyres for Q2, so it?s a bit of shame, and I had to do my lap on used tyres.
?Q1 felt so good with new tyres, so you can see what was possible today; that last run was not our true pace. So it was a bit of a shame, but that decision has to be made much earlier in the year.?
Manor?s Racing Director Dave Ryan admits that the team?s joy at making Q2 is also laced with frustration.
?Funny, isn?t it? Everyone has worked so hard to get to the point where we can get through to Q2 on pure pace, yet while we have achieved this with Pascal?s fantastic performance today, there is also a sense of frustration,? Ryan says.
?Perhaps if we had believed in ourselves a bit more we might have managed our tyre usage slightly differently, such that we could have competed in Q2 with new tyres rather than reuse the same sets from Q1. However, that was how we chose to play it and as a result we?re looking very good for the race tomorrow, which is when it really counts.?
After qualifying 17th on the grid for his Formula 1 qualifying debut, Esteban Ocon says he is looking forward to making his first career start tomorrow.
?Tomorrow I will be the happiest guy on the grid,? says Ocon. ?It?s my first race and I can?t wait for the whole experience of preparing for the race, the grid, lights out, pit stops ? everything.
?I?m happy on the Medium and Soft tyre, and with the long run pace, so I?m just going to stay focused on the goal, which is to have a strong clean race, get a good result for the team, learn a lot and have fun with it too.?
2016 Belgian Grand Prix
Browse all Belgian Grand Prix articles