George Russell qualified 19th and Robert Kubica 20th for the Australian Grand Prix.
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer:
We got through some good work last night building on the experiments we did yesterday. FP3 was good, with both drivers were reasonably happy with the car towards the end of that session. Going into qualifying the pace of the car was where we expected it to be, but nonetheless we did a good job getting everything out of it. George was pretty happy with the car throughout qualifying and made the most of what we had, steadily building up throughout Q1. It was an extremely good qualifying for his Formula One debut. Robert’s run plan was also to complete three runs in Q1, but was a real shame that he had a puncture on his final lap which meant we couldn’t get to see his ultimate time. He was a good step up when he got the problem, I have every reason to think that he would have been very close to George come the end. Overall a good day operationally for us considering the pace of the car, as we got everything that we could out of it. We are ready to build on that tomorrow and see whether some luck comes our way.
It felt like a really good lap, driving round a mega track at full beans. I got in three tidy laps and I am happy with my own performance but obviously we are a team and we want to push for more. The guys around me, the engineers, and myself, we did a really great job to get everything out of the package we’ve got. All I can do is drive as fast as I can, and I felt like I did that.
It wasn’t the best start of the season especially because I am last on the grid. I made a mistake on the last run when I had a good feeling and could drive the car better. I apologise for that, but that is how it is. It has been a difficult situation, but I am back on the Formula One grid and I would like to thank everyone that has made it possible, as well as the team.