Manor racing director, Dave Ryan has hailed the team's performance in qualifying for Sunday's European Grand Prix as its strongest of the year, “demonstrating just how far we have progressed”.
Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrelin finished Q1 in 17th and 18th, ahead of both Renaults, as well as Marcus Ericsson's Sauber and Jenson Button's McLaren-Honda, with Haryanto just 0.116secs slower than Felipe Nasr and a place in Q2.
“This has been our strongest qualifying session all year and to have both cars so close to getting through to Q2, ahead of both Renaults, a Sauber and a McLaren, is quite an achievement. It demonstrates just how far we have progressed, so well done to the entire team and especially Rio and Pascal who have been absolutely on it all day,” Ryan said.
“Strange to say, but while we are very happy with where we are on the grid, at the same time there is also a degree of frustration as both drivers were slightly compromised on their fastest laps.
“That's the way it goes though and now we are focused on the race, which promises plenty of action and great opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Haryanto was delighted to finish ahead of Wehrlein for the second time in the last three races, 0.085secs the difference.
“It was a good lap for me so I'm really pleased. We made some changes on the car for FP3, which worked well,” Haryanto noted. “We were also very close to Q2 but unfortunately I only managed one timed lap on the second set of tyres and when I tried to go again there was a yellow flag.
“We need to be very focused now for the race; although the GP2 race showed that anything is possible, we have to make sure we have a good start and a strong, clean race without any mistakes if we're to take advantage of opportunities.
“We will try our best and hope everything goes our way but for now this is a nice moment to enjoy.”
“I'm a bit disappointed with qualifying as Q2 was definitely possible,” Wehrlein added. “The DRS was disabled on my quickest lap when the yellow flag came out in turns 3 and 4, so I lost a couple of tenths there.
“My second lap was better from that point of view but I lost a couple more tenths due to tyre degradation. We had good pace for sure and our package is working well here. That's how it is but Sunday is a new day and I'll give it my best shot. The most important thing is to finish the race, as I'm sure there will be some good opportunities after seeing how GP2 went on Saturday. With Safety Cars, and a strong performance for us, a really good result is possible."