Qualifying is over and the pilots reflect on what's been a demanding day of flying...
"The run was really nice and I was happy with how I flew it. We weren't trying to win Qualifying today, there were just too many unknowns out there with Matthias and I heard that Mike had over-G'd on his first run, so you don't want to be in the top couple. So we didn't risk an over-G, we had a lower G run, but flew the line we wanted. It was also the first time we've flown with the full system. We've been holding a few things back, so it's good to know we're within half a second and not pushing as hard as we could."
"I just got a little bit behind on the south part of the track going towards the Chain Bridge and then the vertical pull was more of a reaction than a planned pull and that's all you can say. The raceplane was going fast, I had it going fast, it was super clean up until that point and I just pulled too hard and that's all there is to it. It was over in a fraction of a second and tomorrow I'll just have to fly hard and go do it."
"It was very good today, I think we've done the best run and I'm happy with the result, but let's see tomorrow. Tomorrow we will do the same and keep doing the same until the Race Day ends."
"I'm more or less happy, still there were some little mistakes, I still have to confirm them with the data after we've analysed the flight. But not bad for us for the Quali day, but let's see tomorrow. We will stay concentrated for tomorrow and fly fast and clean, it's a great starting point for the race tomorrow, but one little mistake and you're out. The energy from the fans is pushing me forward. It's a great thing to have them all here."
"I didn't feel this well this week. Especially flying in the racetrack, you need to be 100 per cent fit – this is what I want and this is not the case, so we took the decision not to race here. We are already preparing for the next race in Kazan, so it's not anything major, we just are not 100 per cent yet."
"Qualifying went well today and we are quite happy with the performance. I am quite happy with the track. We can still find a little bit of improvement for tomorrow in the Round of 14, but being sixth in Qualifying is a good point, being in the top half of the table is good. Pretty good. You have to push up to the limit in the first run in Quali and post a good time, and then you have to increase the performance, but the engine is hot and it makes it a bit more difficult. Tomorrow we fly second in our heat, which makes things a bit easier and we will be able to push a bit more in the track."
"Qualifying day went well for me, as planned. Yesterday was a bit up and down, but I wasn't worried about it too much. But I eased into it today, put a conservative time down and then tightened it up and I think it was a pretty good time. I took a lot more risk on the second Qualifying run so I wasn't leaving much on the table and the over-G at Gate 7 had me a little bit out of sorts, so I'm finding my way back to the optimum line and hopefully everything comes together for me on Sunday."
"It was a pretty good run. I wanted to go a bit faster on the second one, but collected a penalty. Tomorrow's game is all about where you pull and you're going to have to risk it because everybody else will be doing it. I laid down a good time and I think the second run could've been real fast. We'll push it right up to the edge if we have to, it's going to be a really tight race."
François Le Vot
"Qualifying with a new plane and I did my best but apparently I didn't pull hard enough in the VTM. Tomorrow I will have to be right on the edge of the over-G, but in terms of pure speed, I'm not sure, the ridge was smooth and nice. The time gap between me and the others is almost two seconds in the VTM and that's too much."
"I'm happy with the flight and it was clean. It looked good from inside the cockpit but the time isn't too good so we will have to analyse and see where we can improve, there is a lot of room for improvement. I honestly don't still have a strategy for tomorrow; we have to see all the data and then we can come up with a strategy. It will also depend on the wind – it was quite strong today, but we'll see what happens tomorrow."
"It was a good time in the end, but it certainly wasn't the tactics we had planned. We had a problem with our smoke system with our first run, so when I heard the time and the one second penalty with the smoke, I knew that all the systems in the cockpit that were supposedly working, weren't as they should be. So the second run I knew I was going to try and push it anyway, but knowing that I was going to have an extra second on top of that meant I had to go full force and luckily it worked!"
"We're happy because we don't have the fastest plane so the time is super fast and I didn't expect to be that quick. The engine was cold in the first run, I knew it'd be hot in the second run, so I'm pleased I set the first one cleanly. The major improvement is in my head, we have the right setup and it works. It's the worst conditions I've experienced here and it's a battle in the track, but it keeps you focused. We'll take maximum risk tomorrow and fly as fast as we can."
"I'm highly satisfied it was a good Quali. I made a slight mistake in the last double gate and then hit the pylon. I think the wind played its part a bit. But the second run was great, 59.5s was our goal so we are happy. We would like to be around the 58s mark tomorrow, we have room to improve, but it's a fast track so you have to be careful with the Gs and silly penalties."
"Without the penalty it was 59s, but I'm still not fast compared to the others, and I need to find this. I didn't feel good in the plane today, I felt better yesterday. At the end, I have to find why I'm so slow. To be honest, I don't know why I'm so bad. It's frustrating, because I want to do well, but I don't have the good feeling in the track. And I'm struggling."
The Master Class Round of 14 begins at 13:00 local time, don't miss a moment. Catch all the action HERE.
*Matthias Dolderer did not take part in Qualifying due to illness, and will not race tomorrow – read the story here.