Max Verstappen has taken his 12th pole position of the season, topping the timesheets just ahead of Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris in a qualifying session that saw eight out of the ten teams make it into Q3.
Max Verstappen – Pole
“I’m very happy to be on pole, I didn’t expect it. The weekend so far has been a bit tricky but we definitely improved the car for Qualifying, we did everything we could. From lap one the RB19 seemed more together and we could definitely push more, it felt miles better than in practice. It’s been a very special season, we’ve been enjoying it a lot and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved. We’ll try to have a good start tomorrow, focus on our own race and hopefully end the season on a high.”
Charles Leclerc – P2
‘I’m really happy with my lap, and qualifying on the front row is not something we expected today. It’s not the ideal track for us and considering the high temperatures, it could be a tough one tomorrow.
Our main target is to take second place in the Constructors’ championship. We will give it everything to finish the season on a high!’
Oscar Piastri – P3
“It was a difficult session. It’s been extremely tight this weekend. The pace was there, I just made a small mistake, but it would’ve had to have been quite a last corner to get on the front row. Overall, I’m happy with today, the car is very quick this weekend. It’s a nice turnaround from Vegas for the team and I’m happy to be back in the top three.
“I’m not sure how our race pace will be, but we’ll look into the data this evening. For everyone, it’s probably going to be the same story. I think the most anyone’s done is five laps in a row this weekend so tomorrow is going to be interesting. We’ll work hard to secure positive points to finish the season strong.”
George Russell – P4
‘Ahead of the weekend, we would have taken P4 in qualifying. Having said that, after the performance in FP3 where we were quickest every single lap, we only improved six tenths from that session to qualifying. Considering that track temperatures dropped and we had less fuel in the car, we didn’t extract as much as we should have. That was a little disappointing. I want to end the season on a high so ultimately my goal is to be on the podium and get the most out of the points for the team in the Constructors’ Championship so let’s see what tomorrow holds for us – we will aim for the best result possible. I’m excited for the final race of the season and although Lewis had a tricky session today, I am sure he will move forward tomorrow.’
Lando Norris – P5
“A disappointing qualifying in the end for me. I don’t know if I should have been P1, but I definitely feel like I should be starting at least P2. The pace has been very strong in the car all weekend which is a positive, so it’s frustrating to come away with P5 but I’ll look to gain positions in tomorrow’s race to score good points for the team.”
Yuki Tsunoda – P6
“Today was an enjoyable day, and especially qualifying was fun. The team did a very good job because yesterday wasn’t the easiest day for us. The upgrades we brought looked good on paper, but in terms of balance, it was very different compared to the last races, so we struggled to understand them initially. We analysed the data, made changes, and progressed from session to session. I felt more comfortable in the car as we went on, so in qualifying, it was a really good car. The team was great and without everyone’s effort, I wouldn’t be starting P6 tomorrow. We’re in a good position to score points, and even though we have some fast guys behind us, degradation seems high, so you never know what can happen. I think it’s possible to finish in the top ten, so I’ll do as much as I can, and finish high.”
Fernando Alonso – P7
“I’m pretty happy with seventh. We were not competitive earlier today in FP3 – 14th and 15th – so I had doubts about our overall pace this weekend.
“Then, in Q1, we were stronger than expected: I built up confidence through every session, so P7 is a nice result.
“It’s an art to adjust to the rapid track evolution here and changing from scrubbed Soft tyres to a fresh set means there’s a lot of mixed feedback from the car.
“It made Qualifying tricky. I think tyre degradation is going to make it a race of survival tomorrow night – let’s hope for some chaos.”
Nico Hulkenberg – P8
“I didn’t expect this result to be honest as I hardly drove yesterday, I did one lap on the mediums, which wasn’t a good starting point for today. This morning, I found a good harmony and had confidence in the car straight away, which was nice, and managed to take that into qualifying. I put in solid laps and didn’t leave anything out there – so I’m happy. There’s a lot of fast cars starting behind and we’ll need some racing circumstances to help us, but we’ll give it everything as we have done all season.”
Sergio Perez – P9
“Things were looking really good, we had a very competitive Q1 and Q2, but unfortunately, we ended up not putting things together in Q3 and it made it worse that we got the lap deleted. It was a little bit of a disaster with the scrub set of tyres, we had an issue with the driveability and then unfortunately I got caught out by track limits. I had a moment coming out of turn one and that made it really difficult for me to get a lap together, it wasn’t a very clean lap in the end. The podium will be the target tomorrow, no one really has much information on how they will perform in the race so we will see, as I always say, anything can happen.”
Pierre Gasly – P10
“I’m really pleased with today’s result. We knew it would be tight and very close to reach Q3 and it even proved challenging to make it out in Q1 such were the fine margins. My Q2 lap was very strong, I was happy with that as it meant we comfortably made the top ten. Q3 was slightly messy for us and I feel like we did not maximise the session. We will analyse what happened, what we can do better, but still, I was certainly satisfied to be in Q3 again. We’re starting in a good position for tomorrow and our target is to get some points. It will be a tough race and it’s the last one of the year. I will give it my all and it would be good to end the season with a positive result.”
Christian Horner – Red Bull Team Principal
“Final qualifying of the season and it was certainly a good one. Both drivers performed very well. Checo was unfortunate at the very end with track limits but its a good track to overtake here and he will take every opportunity tomorrow. For Max, it was a text book drive, his 4th consecutive pole here, its a great summation of his year. Obviously this sets us up well as we head into our last race. Its been a phenomenal season so far, lets see if we can bring that home tomorrow.”