2018 Azerbaijan GP: McLaren Fail to Improve Qualifying Pace in Baku, Alonso to Start 12th

Even after promising Friday pace, McLaren have not managed to improve the McLaren McL33’s qualifying pace – altough it’s disappointing, it’s not unexpected.

Stoffel Vandoorne did not even manage to get into the second part of qualifying, he’ll start from 16th place in Baku.

Fernando Alonso qualified in 13th position, but will start 12th, taking advantage of Nico Hülkenberg’s gear-box change penalty. Both McLaren’s will ofcourse have free tyre choice for tomorrow’s race.

2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Qualifying Results
1.germany Sebastian Vettel FerrariFerrari1’41.498 
2.united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton MercedesMercedes1’41.6770.179
3.finland Valtteri Bottas MercedesMercedes1’41.8370.339
4.australia Daniel Ricciardo Red BullTAG1’41.9110.413
5.netherlands Max Verstappen Red BullTAG1’41.9940.496
6.finland Kimi Raikkonen FerrariFerrari1’42.4900.992
7.france Esteban Ocon Force IndiaMercedes1’42.5231.025
8.mexico Sergio Perez Force IndiaMercedes1’42.5471.049
9.germany Nico Hulkenberg RenaultRenault1’43.0661.568
10.spain Carlos Sainz RenaultRenault1’43.3511.853
13.spain Fernando AlonsoMcLarenRenault1’44.0192.521
16.belgium Stoffel Vandoorne McLarenRenault1’44.4892.991

Fernando Alonso:

“Qualifying still isn’t the strongest part of our weekend, but a lot usually happens during a street race, and at this track in particular.”

“There’s no room for mistakes around this circuit: it’s very windy, dusty, the walls are very close, and you cannot push or over-drive the car. It’s also a mentally tough race, so I think tomorrow is going to be both crazy and fun at the same time.”

“This weekend, we seem to have improved our top-speed compared to previous races, but we’ve also compromised some grip in the corners. Still, during Q2, the wind picked up a little, and we were losing speed along the straights due to the headwind. Tomorrow, that wind should be even stronger, so it’s going to be important to race among a group of cars to stay in the fight.”

“This is the third time in a row where I’ve qualified 13th, and we normally seem to score good points from that position. Hopefully tomorrow will be another one of those good days.”