It was a difficult day for Scuderia AlphaTauri, whose drivers Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda both finished outside of the points, with de Vries finishing the race in 15th while Tsunoda finished in 18th after struggling with damage sustained on the opening lap of the race.
Nyck de Vries
I think it was a solid race today. We made some overnight changes to the car to find more performance, which meant we started the race from the pit lane. It certainly played out well for us as the early Virtual Safety Car closed the gap between all the cars. In terms of execution, I think we did a good job and extracted the maximum out of our package. We just lacked the pace to fight further towards the top 10. I’ll take the penalty that the stewards gave me, we’re just trying to find the limit, but thankfully we made a sufficient gap not to lose any positions. I still have a lot to improve on, and I’m certainly not yet at the level I want to be, but collectively we’re trying to consistently improve.
At the start, I was aggressive, trying to make up as many positions as possible. It could’ve gone well, but unfortunately, we damaged the car going into Turn 1 and went off-track at Turn 4. I don’t know if I sustained damage on the floor from this, but afterwards, I didn’t have pace, so it was a super difficult drive. I couldn’t keep the car within the track limits, and I can definitely learn from this in the future, but overall, it was just a challenging race.
JONATHAN EDOLLS – Chief Race Engineer
With Nyck qualifying P20 on Friday, we elected to remove his car from Parc Ferme and make setup changes, including the rear wing level and suspension, which meant he started from the pit lane. Magnussen did the same, so we were racing with him from the pit exit at the start of the race. Yuki lost a large part of the front wing in turn one and subsequently ran off-track in turn four. Therefore, he had to pit on the first lap, which put him on the back foot. It was clear in the first stint that tyre degradation was on the high side and would result in a multi-stop race. Unfortunately, we pitted Nyck on Lap 12, the lap before the Safety Car was deployed, while others benefitted from the opportunity and were able to jump him, which was very unlucky. After the Safety Car period, Yuki struggled with understeer, which we corrected a lot at the next pit stop with a large flap adjustment, so we need to understand if there was damage to his car. From then on, and for both cars, it was a case of splitting up the race with pitstops to optimise tyre degradation and track position.
Overall, we didn’t have the pace to challenge for points. Track limits were also costly for Yuki, with him receiving a total of 15 seconds worth of penalties, which put him in P18 at the chequered flag. Nyck made some progress in the race and finished five places higher than he started, which is encouraging to see. Our focus now turns to Silverstone, where we are bringing a further aero update, addressing some of the weaknesses of the AT04. We will keep pushing hard and remain positive for the upcoming races.