Scuderia Alpha Tauri also had a difficult race, with Pierre Gasly crossing the finish line in 12th but dropping to 14th after receiving a five-second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit, while Yuki Tsunoda finished the race in 17th place.
I gave everything I could today, and I’m happy with my performance. It’s just frustrating not to be able to fight for points. I had a strong start and was able to get up to P9. We were quite competitive on the Softs, but we struggled on the Mediums. I fought as hard as I could, but we just did not have the pace, and there wasn’t much we could do this afternoon. We’ve got one last opportunity to score points in Abu Dhabi and hopefully finish the season in eighth. It’ll be my last race for the team, so it’ll be emotional, and I hope we can finish our journey together on a high.
After the changes ahead of the race, the car felt slightly better, but I still wasn’t that comfortable in it, and we didn’t have the pace today. Normally, you can unlap yourself under the Safety Car, but today I was told to stay in my position, so we ended the day a whole lap behind the pack, with no opportunity to make my way forward. It’s been a difficult weekend, so we need to go away and investigate why we’ve struggled so much ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi next week.
JONATHAN EDDOLLS – Chief Race Engineer
It was a difficult afternoon for the team. Yuki struggled most of the weekend to extract competitive lap times from the car, so we decided to change the setup and start from the pitlane. Although the changes did give him a better feeling, it wasn’t enough to allow him to move forward and challenge for points. For reasons that we still need to clarify, he couldn’t unlap himself, so not only was he a lap down, but he got the blue flags from everyone and therefore, this put pay to any chances he had to overtake some cars at the end to finish only 17th. Pierre was holding his own at the start of the race, but with that pace our tyre degradation was high, and we had to convert to a three-stop strategy. Even with the extra stops and fitting the new tyres, we didn’t have enough pace to get inside the top 10, although we crossed the line within 3.3 seconds of P10. The five second penalty for speeding in the pits dropped us further down, rounding off what has been one of the more challenging races of this season. In any case, we will regroup before Abu Dhabi, push hard and do all we can as a team to score points in the final race.