The rain continued to fall at the Circuit of the Americas during Sunday morning’s qualifying session. Times from Q2 were used to determine the grid with Sergio Perez sixth fastest and Nico Hulkenberg in seventh. With a grid penalty for Sebastian Vettel, both Sahara drivers are expected to move up a position on the grid.
P6 Sergio Perez VJM08-02
“I’m very satisfied with my performance this morning, especially because in these conditions things can easily go wrong. Qualifying well in the rain is often a case of being out on a flying lap at the right moment, when the conditions are ideal: every single lap counts, because the next time around the rain could be worse and your chance is gone. It’s important to stay focused and I think we did a fantastic job to get both the cars up on the third row. I believe the call to cancel Q3 was the right one as the track conditions were getting much worse: it is very hard for the FIA and Charlie (Whiting) to take this decision, but the safety of drivers and marshals has to be their priority. I am under no illusion that the race will be easy: there will be a lot of pressure and tension. I hope we will be able to race: the fans have been amazing and they really deserve a great show.”
P7 Nico Hülkenberg VJM08-03
“It was a challenging session, but it was also exciting and good fun. It looks like I will be starting from sixth place, but it could have been even better because I lost my best lap in Q2 with aquaplaning and a spin. Visibility was very poor and the rain got very heavy towards the end of Q2 so it was certainly the right decision to cancel Q3. We’ve looked competitive in the wet conditions so that’s a good sign for the race, which looks likely to be wet.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director:
“Thankfully the intensity of the rain had eased slightly this morning allowing most of the qualifying hour to take place. Conditions were extremely difficult with a high risk of aquaplaning, but both Sergio and Nico performed very well to secure their places in Q2. The decision not to run Q3 was sensible as there was so much standing water on the circuit and the intensity of the rain had increased. With a penalty for another car we expect Sergio to start from fifth place and Nico from sixth. It’s likely to be a wet race this afternoon so the task now is to convert our strong pace into a good result.”