Saturday 14th October 2017, 04:02
The team returned to Fuji Speedway for the seventh round of the 2017 World Endurance Championship. The weather was very wet for all practice sessions which resulted in limited running heading into Saturday’s qualifying.
The qualifying session started early due to bad weather. Matt started in car 24 while Roberto started in car 25. The driving conditions were very tricky and so it was decided to start both cars with the full wet tyres.
When it was time to switch drivers JEV took over in car 24 and Vitaly in car 25. With conditions looking to have improved the team switched to intermediate tyres for both cars. Car 25 kept the intermediate tyres ending up qualifying in P7 but after one lap, car 24 decided that it was still too wet and changed back to full wet tyres eventually ending qualifying P8.
Graeme Lowdon, President and Sporting Director
“A very disappointing qualifying for us. We made a strategy call and it ended up costing us dearly so we will have a tough race ahead. The weather conditions for tomorrow are looking very unpredictable so anything could happen I hope that we get the chance to race and make up ground after a disappointing qualifying. We have to analyse the data tonight and see where we can improve.”
Vitaly Petrov, Driver Car 25
“I think it was a difficult decision today of which tyres to use because the conditions were changing. I think we made the wrong decision today for the choice of tyre because the car was really good for FP3 and ready to fight for a good position in qualifying. Tomorrow it is a long race, I hope the weather isn’t like it was in 2013 and that we get the chance to race, I think we will be able to fight for a good position.”
Roberto Gonzalez, Driver Car 25
“It has been a frustrating day for me, especially because I think we could have done a lot better in qualifying, we didn’t get up to speed or work the tyres correctly so we didn’t get the maximum out of the tyres. It has been difficult with the weather I haven’t driven in the wet for 16 years or been to this circuit before so was hoping to get more track time but haven’t really had the opportunity with the weather over the weekend.”
Jean Eric Vergne, Driver Car 24
“It was a tough qualifying, the car was very difficult to drive and felt like I had no grip.”
Matt Rao, Driver Car 24
“Disappointed with qualifying today, I thought we would do better but hopefully if the race does go ahead and we get some good laps, our race pace looks good.”