Esteban Ocon's fifth-place qualifying finish is his best since the Spanish Grand Prix last year, with his lap time of 1min 29.068secs enough to sit at the front of a five-car pack separated by barely two tenths of a second.
Ocon comments, "First of all, the most important thing is that Mick is OK. That was a big shunt, and I am glad to see that everything seems to be fine with him."
He adds, "On our side, the car felt good and it’s good to see that we are quick around this track. It’s a very fast circuit, very technical and you do have to take some risks. I almost put it in the wall in Q3 but managed to just save it. It’s only the second race with this new car and to qualify in fifth and seventh is great and we should be very happy about today."
He continues, "We’ve built up well all weekend and I am happy how the car has improved during all the practice sessions."
The Frenchman concludes, "We’re in the mix to fight for a solid result tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso's lap time of 1min 29.147secs was just 0.079secs slower than Ocon's, and the Spaniard will start seventh in tomorrow's 50-lap race.
Alonso comments, "It felt good to be in Q3 in Bahrain and now we arrive at a completely different circuit in qualifying trim, and we have both cars in Q3, so it’s a good sign for the team."
He continues, "The car has definitely felt competitive all weekend. With these 2022 cars we keep learning every single time we leave the garage and I think there is still more potential for us to develop."
He adds, "The tyre degradation is still a little bit unknown for tomorrow and now we don’t have to use the tyres we qualified on in Q2, so it gives us more flexibility on strategy."
The Spaniard concludes, "Let’s see what we can do in the race and hopefully we can take a lot of points from it.”