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James Allison: The race may not be as frantic as we expected

James, a mixed session for the team. What is your verdict? We’re all very pleased with sixth on the grid for Vitaly, but sad for Nick that a troubled session in Q1 saw him eliminated early on. P18 is certainly not a reflection of the pace he has shown throughout the weekend. Did the pace shown by Vitaly confirm what you had seen during testing? It was very hard to judge from winter testing exactly where we stood in the pecking order. However I was really pleased with the way Vitaly improved the car steadily through the weekend and produced really consistent results in each part of qualifying. Still, there is a big gap to pole position and we need to work on reducing that. Looking ahead to the race, what are you expecting? From what we could tell during the pre-season, our car seemed to run pretty well on its tyres, so hopefully we can make good starts with both cars and move forward during the race. It’s too early to have a feeling on race pace, but I think we will be able to maintain and improve on our qualifying competitiveness. Will it be a race all about tyres? So far this weekend the tyres have proved durable and consistent – much more so than we saw during testing – and that’s the case for both the hard and the soft compounds. So perhaps the race might not be quite as frantic as we expected before we arrived here.

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