Giedo van der Garde achieved the highest qualifying position of his Formula 1 career after setting the nineteenth fastest time in Spain.
A penalty for Esteban Gutierrez means the Dutchman will start the race from eighteenth.
“I’m obviously really pleased with how today’s gone, both in FP3 and qualifying. We made a few changes to the car overnight to try and find a balance with the new parts and it’s worked out really well,” he said.
“I’m not running the same package as my teammate here – I have most of the new package except the front wing so we went a slightly different way than Charles on setup and even though I didn’t get a really quick lap in during FP3 I could feel we were going in the right direction. In qualifying it came good and on the second run I had a clean outlap, got the tyres working well, and then a really good run to set my best quali time of the season so far.”
Team-mate Charles Pic will start from last place and admitted the latest upgrades still need work.
“It’s been a bit of a tough weekend so far. We’ve put a few new parts on the car and have tried several setup options to get the most out of them and find a balance I can use, but it hasn’t worked yet,” he said.