Technical Issues and Red Flag Hamper Rossi and Gutierrez Technical issues in the earlier practice session saw Alexander Rossi lose valuable time on track ahead of the qualifying session and with 18 cars covered by just one second competition is as fierce as ever. Traffic caused more delays for Rossi before he set his quickest sector times just as a red flag hindered his fastest lap. With just 3 ½ minutes to go he unfortunately ran out of time to improve his lap time and will start from fifteenth on the grid for Saturday's race.
Team Manager Phill Spencer ″We qualified P4 and P15 so I have mixed feelings about the session. We had a slight problem with the throttle on Alexander's cars this morning which we fixed in time for qualifying but unfortunately he lost some track time. Both cars were on their fastest laps when the red flag came out but it seemed Luiz was making the most of every opportunity and was really happy with the car. All in all I am pleased for Luiz and a little disappointed for Alexander as we all know he is capable of a much better qualifying result. We will fight from where we start tomorrow - a podium is definitely in our reach and as long as we can make some progress I will be happy.″
Alexander Rossi (Best time 1:50.236/ Laps: 22/ P15) ″My practice session was quite disjointed so although my first run in qualifying was clear my lack of pace was down to the fact I still had no real reference points and I was still trying to find my way. On the second set of tires I set my fastest first two sectors but there was a red flag and after that only had time for one lap to put everything together. I am frustrated but we'll see what tomorrow brings. The Pirelli rear tires seem to go away quite quickly but it is the same for everyone so it will all be about protecting the tires and whoever can do that the best will get the best results.″
Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett ″Qualifying didn't go quite according to script, I was expecting both cars to be up there but at least Luiz Razia proved the car is capable of qualifying at the front. Alexander unfortunately had a lot of traffic and was blocked on a very quick lap after the red flag, he was up on both his sectors so it was a shame he wasn't able to have a clear lap - he was just very unlucky. Alexander didn't seem to have the grip on his first set of tires so we will have to look at that. As for tomorrow anything is possible, Alexander is disappointed but he is capable of passing other cars so at the very least if we can get him up to P8 to start on pole for Sunday's race that would be perfect - that and a podium finish for Luiz. It is all very achievable.″
Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez finished 8th in qualifying and will start the first race of the GP2 Series at the Yas Marina circuit of Abu Dhabi from that position on the grid.
Gutierrez was fastest in practice, with a best lap time of 1:50.442, while a transmission problem in qualifying forced him out of the session, preventing him from finishing in the top positions.
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