Saturday 2nd September 2017, 03:00
The team returned to Mexico City for the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship which marked the first of the overseas races of the season.
For this weekend car 24 has a new driver line up with returning Jean Eric Vergne joining Matt Rao and Ben Hanley while car 25 retains its line up of Roberto Gonzalez, Simon Trummer and Vitaly Petrov.
Qualifying got underway early due to the incoming bad weather. Matt Rao was first out in car 24 and Roberto in car 25. Both had a two lap run before handing over to Jean Eric Vergne for car 24 and Vitaly Petrov for car 25.
All drivers had good laps but due to rain starting in the last five minutes they were unable to improve further so will start in P5 and P8.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“Today has been a day of mixed emotions and some occasional set backs but overall I’m pleased for car 25 to be starting in P5 tomorrow. Both cars have shown good race pace consistency which has been our focus, so we look forward to a better race tomorrow.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25
“After Nurburgring, the team have had to analyse a lot of data as we needed to understand why our tyre degredation was much higher than other teams. This weekend we were spending quite a lot time on the set ups. I think we have made quite a big step forward, now we are happy with the balance of the car which is important. The team did a good job today, tomorrow we have another long day so we will see.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25
“I am very happy after qualifying, it was a very positive qualifying for us. Obviously P5 isn’t ideal for my home race, we would have preferred 1st, 2nd or 3rd but we have been struggling all weekend with set up. We took a risk for qualifying and now the car is pretty good to drive, we can now feel the changes we have made. We’re happy and motivated for tomorrow and hopefully we will have a great race. I am going to put in 110% tomorrow for the fans, the team needs a good result tomorrow as the results we have had so far have not been proof of the changes.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24
“That was a difficult qualifying for us, normally we are fighting for a higher position but today was tough and felt like we had used tyres, maybe it is a good sign that tomorrow in the race will be a much better car. I am sure we can make up some positions. We will be back fighting tomorrow.”
Matt Rao, Driver Car 24
“I am a little disappointed with qualifying but we have focussed mainly on race set up so hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow. It is good to be back with the team and hopefully we can have a sterling drive tomorrow.”