Augusto lines up on the seventh row of the Qatar grid
The first qualifying sessions of the 2021 season started under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday evening, as Augusto Fernandez pushed to show his full potential across one flying lap.
Afternoon temperatures of 38 degrees meant track conditions in FP3 were vastly different to what riders experienced in the qualifying sessions, which started at 18:25 local time.
An electronics issue on Friday evening deprived Augusto of valuable set-up time, meaning he and new crew chief Lucio Nicastro decided to change the settings of his machine ahead of the 15-minute Q1 session.
The 23-year old gave it everything in Q1 while assessing his new set-up and managed to lower his personal best lap time in the session from 2’01.925 to 1’59.667, which was good enough for 21st on the grid.
“Another hard day but we have to take the positives. We are testing all the things we couldn’t try at the test or yesterday evening. The night sessions are the ones that count and we missed the last two, on the final day of testing and last night. That made our job a bit more difficult. We tried some things in qualifying. There were some positives and negatives. We are still a bit far away from a good base. I’ll take the rest of this GP to try and build this base. We have another race here next weekend so it’s important to take some good information from tomorrow and all the weekend. Let’s see if we can still do a good race. I hope we can, so let’s find something tonight and I will really go for it!”