“I drove as hard as I could but just could not find any grip at all,” Priaulx conceded. “I don't know what happened but in the three hours between free practice and qualifying the track changed completely. All I can say is that I got caught out and now I have some hard work to do. However, on the positive side in the past at this track I have scored a point after having to start at the back of the grid.”
Jaap van Lagen, who suffered engine problems earlier in the day with his LADA 110, was the only driver not to set a time although it was a troubled time for the Russian outfit as Kirill Ladygin also ran into issues with his car.
"It's not been the best start, but we can all understand the reasons why," team leader Viktor Shapovalov said. "After the last round in Pau just two weeks ago, we only had very limited testing with the new engine. The engines have come straight out here to Valencia, and we haven't had the chance to do the running that we need to test them.
"Effectively we are doing all of our development in public now, but it is through competition that the most valuable lessons are learned. We've certainly made a step forwards with power: now we need to work on reliability. I'm sure that we will come away from Valencia with a much clearer idea of what we need to do to continue making progress."