Hear from Fernando, Lance and Team Principal Mike Krack following a dramatic 2023 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.
Saturday’s Sprint saw both drivers take points and finish in the top five to bring home nine points, and the pair added an extra nine to the tally on Sunday – in our ninth-straight points-scoring weekend of 2023.
Fernando began the race on Hard tyres, and after a solid start, he pitted during the Virtual Safety Car for a set of Medium tyres – and was swiftly followed by Lance into the pits for a slick double-stack stop. Fernando rounded out the race on another set of Mediums and finished sixth, having started seventh on the grid.
Lance started sixth on a new set of Medium tyres, pitting for Hards during the early Virtual Safety Car on Lap 15. He worked his way back up into the top 10 and pitted twice more: on Lap 36 for another set of Hards and on Lap 54 for a set of Mediums. Despite a challenging day, Lance recovered back into the top 10 and took the final point.
I think it was more or less the maximum we could achieve today. We were very close to Lando [Norris] in terms of pace and also the Mercedes. We tried something different by starting on Hards, but then the VSC meant our advantage of going longer in the first stint wasn’t possible anymore.
This circuit didn’t suit our car last year, so maybe there is something for us to look into. Overall, we’ve scored a number of points over the Sprint weekend, and we’ve made some ground on second position in the Constructors’ Championship. It’s a long season, and we have our home race at Silverstone next week. It’s an incredible track, so we will give it our all.
It was a tough day today, but we still came away from the weekend with some decent points for the team. We slightly mistimed our stop under the VSC this afternoon and lost several places in the pits, and that decision dictated the strategy for the rest of our race. In hindsight, we probably should have pitted during the first lap of the VSC rather than the second, so that’s something we’ll need to review and learn from.
I had a few good battles on track while fighting back through the field; taking [Yuki] Tsunoda at Turn Three was especially fun. Our focus now shifts to Silverstone. It’s one of the best tracks on the calendar, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there in a few days’ time.
Mike Krack, Team Principal:
Today was not our strongest performance, but we still managed to score nine important points. The podium fight was out of reach, but there was the opportunity to finish higher up with both drivers. We lost some track position early on when we chose to pit and stack both cars just as the VSC was ending, and that proved quite costly for both drivers.
Lance kept his head down to recover into the points, making some important overtaking moves when it mattered. With Fernando, our race today was with Mercedes and our pace, combined with some rapid pitstops, allowed us to come out ahead in that battle. Our attention now turns to our home race in Silverstone next week, where we look forward to putting on a strong performance in front of passionate British fans.