Stoffel Vandoorne completed his full scheduled run plan with no issues and reported back optimistically on the work done overnight to improve the balance and handling of his McLaren Honda. Stoffel did three runs as he focussed on race set-up rather than qualifying pace, and ended his session with practice starts and pitstops.

Since the Belgian driver has incurred grid penalties for a PU change again this weekend, that will result in a 35 plce grid drop, the team opted to prioritise race preparation over qualifying performance – the latter of which would have done nothing to influence their starting grid positions.

Given Stoffel's limited running on Friday, he ran with higher fuel in Q1 to provide the engineers with further data ahead of the race, yet he still put in a solid lap in Q1 for 13th place and passed comfortably through to Q2, where he didn't set a time. He will start from 19th due to penalties for [Pierre] Gasly

“We're taking penalties this weekend so our focus today was preparing for the race and definitely not on qualifying. Even in Q1 I was running on high fuel to prepare for the race and fine-tune the balance. After the struggles I had with the engine yesterday in FP1 and FP2 – which made it a very difficult and complicated day – today I felt a lot more comfortable in the car from the first moment of FP3, and actually our package is getting stronger and looks reasonably competitive here,” he said.

“Today was a lot more positive for me and a big step forward, and I feel like we're in a decent shape for the race tomorrow. We'll be starting from the back so it will be tough, and where we will finish is hard to say. Overtaking in a straight line will be difficult for us so we'll have to be aggressive, thoughtful and ambitious in the way we drive, and hopefully we can have a strong race.Qualifying was never really a priority for us today so I'm looking forward to the race.”