Heavy rain at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza delayed qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix with Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer unable to repeat the pace seen in the also wet morning FP3 session. In the disrupted afternoon qualifying, Nico set the twelfth fastest time and Jolyon the seventeenth. Both drivers will carry grid penalties for tomorrow’s race through taking on new power unit elements. The nature of the grid will mean these are relatively small though and we expect Nico to start P15 and Jolyon P18 when the final grid is announced.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04, Q: P12 1:38.059 FP3: P3 1:41.491
“Today was tricky and in particular with the Intermediate tyres as it felt like driving on soap as we just couldn’t develop any sort of grip and balance. We had one set of Wets that felt much better and we were on good pace until the start of Q2, but at the end we couldn’t get pace on the Intermediate tyres when we needed it. We’ll do the best we can tomorrow; hopefully we can grab some points.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03, Q: P17 1:40.646 FP3: P5 1:44.369
“The tyre choice was difficult today. I pitted for Intermediate tyres from a lap that could have gotten me through Q2 but then I couldn’t get the tyres working properly. I got one lap in but it was just sliding around and couldn’t get another lap in before I saw the chequered flag. We knew that whatever happened today we start from the back so it’s not a big deal, but it would have been good to get a better crack at qualifying, regardless of where we’ll start tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Sporting Director
Tomorrow is another day.

How was the overall performance for the team in qualifying?
We were rather looking forward to the rain as our car has been working well on the slightly higher downforce level. In this morning’s practice session, a single lap confirmed that everything was working well. Unfortunately qualifying was a struggle to get either tyre into the correct working window. We definitely favoured the full wet and struggled more on the intermediate when the water levels reduced.

What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
Our aim is to make up places where we can and maximise everything. The forecast looks dry so it should be a more straightforward day.