There was also another impressive showing from 21-year-old Kiwi driver Liam Lawson, who guided his Scuderia AlphaTauri to an 11th place finish in his second grands prix. At the same time, teammate Yuki Tsunoda had a mechanical issue with his car on the formation lap and could not start the race.
A couple of things went wrong today. We need to look into the start, as I could have done a better job, and that’s where we lost the chance. The pace wasn’t too bad then, but the race slightly distracted us. I’m still learning the procedures and starting to feel more comfortable in the car, but I’m just slightly disappointed with my race, as I think we may have had the pace for points today. I’m unsure, though, so we must look into it. These races are longer than I’m used to, so I’m adjusting, but I felt much more prepared than last weekend, so I’m happy about that.
I heard a weird sound from the car, and after that, I felt no power. We don’t know the exact reason yet, but we’ll investigate. No reliability issue would’ve been excellent, but it’s only the first time this year, so we stay positive and return stronger. I wanted to race, especially starting so close to the points at our home race, so it’s a shame because our pace looked quite strong during practice, but there is a lot we can take from this weekend. The car performance has been looking consistently solid the last couple of weekends, and even if we struggled on some days, we were able to come back more vital the next day. To extract the maximum is one of our strengths, so I’m not worried about the future.
CLAUDIO BALESTRI – Chief Engineer – Vehicle Performance
Today, the target was to score points, and we didn’t. Yuki started in P11, but his race was over before the start due to an issue with the Power Unit during the formation lap, which stopped the car on track. As for Liam, who was starting in P11 at the restart, we put him on medium tyres, which turned out to be the main compound chosen by almost all the cars on the grid, to allow some flexibility with the strategy. At the end of Lap 1, Liam was in P12 and could keep up with the car’s pace around us, but the tyre degradation, which is critical in Monza, especially at the rear, was high. Therefore, we pitted him on Lap 13 to fit the complex compound. We wanted to push more on tyres for a two-stop strategy, so we called him again on Lap 33 to do another set of medium tyres. The lap times were good in the last stint, and Liam was closing the gap compared to some one-stoppers. We overtook Sargeant on the final lap while Bottas stayed in front, so Liam finished the race in P11, just outside the points. We now need to go home and analyse what we could have done better to return stronger in Singapore and beyond.