Stroll gets first Q3 berth in China, felt he could have gone quicker

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Formula 1 rookie Lance Stroll may have reached the final stage of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday, but the Canadian felt he could have gone even quicker on his lap that was good enough for P10 on the grid.

Stroll, 18, made his debut for Williams in Australia, and endured a tough weekend that saw him crash out in practice and start last before retiring due to a brake issue.

Stroll appeared more at ease behind the wheel of the Williams FW40 during qualifying in China, finishing fifth in Q1 before making it all the way to the final stage, ultimately finishing 10th. Stroll’s fastest lap of qualifying actually came in Q1, going over two-tenths slower in Q3.

“The first run in Q1 wasn’t good. I was just getting into it and didn’t deliver the lap I knew I could deliver. On the second set of tires, I just kind of calmed down and it was an amazing lap; I was really happy with the car,” Stroll said.

“Then moving on to Q2, we had a good session. To get into Q3 the time was a tenth slower than my Q1 lap, but I knew it was good enough. Since I had used two sets in Q1, I only had one for Q3, so I just went for it.

“It wasn’t a good lap, but my goal was to get into Q3. Tomorrow there is a long race ahead of us, so even though Q3 wasn’t as good as I think it could have been I am still very happy with the overall qualifying.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 1am ET on Sunday.