At Spa-Francorchamps, Fernando and Lance ensure Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team enter the summer break third in the Constructors’ Championship.
Fernando and Lance finished P5 and P9, respectively, in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix to overcome a difficult Sprint and enter the summer break on a high.
I was lucky at the start: I made up a few places into Eau Rouge, but then I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto those positions through the first stint. We were fast – we kept one Mercedes and one McLaren behind us – so we were in the mix. That’s good news for the whole team as we head into the summer break.
The car felt great today – and really gave me confidence. This is a high-efficiency circuit – and after the British Grand Prix, we were a little concerned about our performance coming here. The team changed a few characteristics of the car, and it really paid off.
It’s been an incredible first half to the season: we are third in the Constructors’ Championship and third in the Drivers’ Championship. It was impossible to think of achieving this before the start of the season
It was good to pick up a couple of points today, especially at a circuit where we haven’t been particularly strong this weekend. We made the decision to go for a long first stint on the Medium tyres because we could see some rain coming on the radar. The rain did come in some areas of the track. It was drivable without needing Intermediates, so we boxed for the Soft tyre. It was a bit of a gamble – if the rain had been heavy enough, we could have saved ourselves the extra stop – but in hindsight, two stops were probably the better strategy. The last stages of the race became about managing the Soft tyre, so I didn’t really have the grip to defend when Esteban [Ocon] was closing in.
We’ve had a mixed start to the season, and I think we know there’s some work to do as we head into the second half. That being said, it’s been a huge step up from last year, and I know the team is motivated to keep pushing for more.
The whole team did an incredible job today. Now, it’s time to recharge our batteries over the summer break and come back stronger.
Mike Krack, Team Principal:
We delivered a more competitive performance today, with both drivers racing well and managing different strategies. Lance was one of three drivers to make only one stop – and that required some excellent tyre management across both stints. With the threat of rain in the middle part of the race, we kept his options open as long as we could and really stretched out the final stint on the Softs.
Fernando’s race was a bit more straightforward, and with clean air for much of the race, he was able to show good pace to bring home fifth place.
The 12 points scored today ensure we maintain third place in the Constructors’ Championship. This was an important confidence boost for everyone in the team before the well-earned summer break.