Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert believes he and the team are closing the gap to the category’s front runners after recording four strong results in qualifying at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Changes prior to the final qualifying session saw Mostert knock 0.25 seconds off his previous best time, eclipsing the former practice lap record to again qualify in the top five.
After a strong first session saw Jason Bright qualify in the top 10, minor changes and on-track errors put him back in the field before returning to their original setup for the final run.
Both Cameron Waters and Mark Winterbottom recorded mixed results across the four sessions, each commenting on the drivability of the car.
Currently hovering around the 15th place mark overall, changes will be made to both cars overnight to increase their competitiveness for races one and two tomorrow.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 1 Qualifying: 12th – 1m55.67s
Race 2 Qualifying: 16th – 1m56.03s
Race 3 Qualifying: 9th – 1m55.71s
Race 4 Qualifying: 15th – 1m55.61s
“A bit of work to do for us tonight. The car isn’t doing what I want it to do. We tried to make a few changes in the time that we had between sessions but it put us back. The track was constantly changing too, it didn’t get much faster in the second session like we expected. There are a few things we need to look at overnight because the car isn’t quite close to what it needs to be but we have four races to work on it which is the positive.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 1 Qualifying: 16th – 1m55.97s
Race 2 Qualifying: 9th – 1m55.47s
Race 3 Qualifying: 16th – 1m56.18s
Race 4 Qualifying: 16th – 1m55.72s
“A mixed day for us, hovering around the 15th place mark. I’m not that happy with the car at the moment. It’s really hard to drive. We made it better across the day but we’ve still got a bit of work to do. We’ll tune it up for tomorrow and come out firing. Chaz has a better car so we’ll look at what he’s doing and adapt.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 1 Qualifying: 6th – 1m55.15s
Race 2 Qualifying: 4th – 1m55.21s
Race 3 Qualifying: 4th – 1m55.11s
Race 4 Qualifying: 4th – 1m54.86s
“We’re trying to use this weekend as a good platform and put together a setup that we can take forward with us to the next few championship events. To have four consistent results around the top five is great. It keeps us at the front and we can see what the other front guys are doing and when the races come around we will try to stick with them if not give them a little bit of a challenge. We’ll keep chipping away. We know there’s still a bit of work to do but it was another positive day out trying new things. We were still making improvements in the final qualifying session too so any day you get that is positive.”
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Race 1 Qualifying: 10th – 1m55.54s
Race 2 Qualifying: 20th – 1m56.29s
Race 3 Qualifying: 20th – 1m56.82s
Race 4 Qualifying: 11th – 1m55.52s
“I was happy with how we ended up in the first one. In the second run I ended up off the track on my best lap. In the third one I made a bit of a mess of that too but we had made some small changes and then we went back to what we had in the first session for the last run and I popped up back around that 10th and 11th mark so I’m pretty happy. I feel like we’ve made some ground since Adelaide and it’s my first top 10 for a while so it’s good.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“Positives and negatives from qualifying today. There are a few things to look at across the board but to see Brighty qualify in the top 10 and Chaz qualify consistently across the sessions is good. A bit of work to do on the other side of the garage but we know what we’re aiming for. They’re short races but they give us a good base for the next few rounds so we’ll iron out the wrinkles and come out firing.”