The Dutch driver managed to beat both Marussia cars with his final qualifying effort, a 1m24.661. He also bettered his more experienced team-mate Charles Pic despite his car missing out on the new front wing upgrade.
Speaking in a team statement after being knocked out in the first qualifying session, he was extremely happy with how his session went.”I’m obviously really pleased with how today’s gone, both in FP3 and qualifying.” He revealed that the team made changes to his car overnight to try to “find a balance with the new parts,” which he felt “worked out really well.”
The 28-year-old rookie revealed that he is not running with the same package as his team-mate, saying “I have most of the new package except the front wing so we went a slightly different way than Charles on setup.” Discussing his final qualifying lap, he added “I had a clean outlap, got the tyres working well, and then a really good run to set my best quali time of the season so far.”
He admitted that the performance shows how his “learning curve keeps improving,” and that he is “really pleased” with his performance. On the other side of the garage, Charles Pic was not so ecstatic, admitting that it had been a “tough” weekend for him so far. The Frenchman will line up 22nd and last on the grid, saying that the car was not “working as well as it had in the morning session.”
On the positive side, Pic knows that the car has “good long run pace” and thinks he can “have a decent race” tomorrow. The CT03 is drastically different to its predecessor, the Leafield based team have brought significant aerodynamic upgrades to kick off the European season.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic