Team

Report: Bouncing back with double points in Eifel GP

October 11, 2020
2020
Race Report
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After a challenging Saturday for the team at the Nürburgring, Checo and Nico were the stars of the field as they scored a double-points finish in Formula 1's Eifel Grand Prix.

Checo was in contention for a podium late on, despite an ill-timed safety car, and finished P4, while Nico charged to P8 from P20 after displaying strong racecraft in an attritional race.

At the start, Checo was able to move up a place into P8 and was quick-witted to avoid a lock-up from Esteban Ocon at Turn 1. Further back, Nico fought his way up to P17 on the opening laps.

Both our drivers were able to extend the life of the Soft tyre for a long opening stint to put the team firmly into contention.

Checo spent the early stages battling Lando Norris, eventually clearing him for P7. He then rose to P4 after his rivals took earlier stops and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas retired.

Stopping at the end of Lap 28 of 60, Checo returned to the track in P7 and ahead of Nico in P8, after the German avoided several nervy moments.

Earlier in the race, Nico was right behind a collision between Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon that left debris at the final corner and the super-sub also battled Charles Leclerc late in the first stint as he climbed the order. A lap later, Nico stopped from P8 and returned in P13.

Checo’s second stint began with a battle with Charles Leclerc, the Mexican initially getting by at the final corner before the Ferrari driver hit back. Checo then had the final say with a move on the run to the last chicane on Lap 36.

That left Checo with a 15-second gap to the early-stopping Daniel Ricciardo ahead, and he began to make inroads in pursuit of the podium before Norris stopped on track and caused a Safety Car.

Both drivers switched from their Mediums to a set of Softs and on the restart, Checo pressured Daniel into Turn 4 but was just unable to sneak past.

Checo chased him to the flag, crossing the line in P4 – while Nico finished P8 after overcoming Haas’s Romain Grosjean on the Safety Car restart to gain a further place.

The points scored lifted the team into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, with Racing Point proving to be the only team to get both cars into the Top 10 at the flag!

Checo: “I’m a little bit frustrated because I felt the podium was ours if we didn’t have the safety car. Until that point, I was catching Daniel [Ricciardo] and he was on older tyres – so it was set up for a close battle for the podium in the final laps.

“Once again, the first stint was crucial to our result. We made a good start and gained a place, and we were able to manage the tyres to run longer, so we had an advantage for the second stint.

“After the safety car, I was able to pressure Daniel and I almost got him into Turn 4 but I wasn’t able to make it stick. To finish P4 is a strong result and the team did a great job to go into a race full of unknowns and read the conditions so well.

“I’m pleased to see Nico score points as well and we’ve ended up turning what could have been a really difficult day into a strong result. The car is performing well and we can be proud of our recovery today.

“I’m going to catch up with Lance on the phone later and we’re looking forward to him returning.”

Nico: “What a race and a story that was! I really didn’t think we could go from last to eighth – I’m not sure many thought it would be possible before the race!

“A lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too, but I’m really pleased with our performance and it’s a real credit to the team. I went out there with the goal of driving as hard as I could and avoiding any incidents, and we managed it well.

“It felt strange at the start as I’ve not raced around a lot of cars like that for a while, but I made up a couple of places and I started to get into a good rhythm halfway through the first stint, which was crucial because we were able to extend it and it helped me get up to speed.

“I’m feeling it now: it’s a very bumpy track and I’m a bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there.

“I’m very happy with the result and it was great to play a part in the team moving up into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go in the season, but I wish the team all the best in the coming races.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “After a challenging weekend leading up to the race, it feels very satisfying to leave Germany with 16 more points and to reclaim third place in the Championship.

“Sergio was in the hunt for a podium and, with a tyre advantage, was closing quickly on Ricciardo until the safety car levelled things. Still, fourth place is an excellent result for the entire team.

“On the other side of the garage, Nico was fully deserving of being voted driver of the day by the fans. He was up against it, having only done ten laps in the car prior to the race, so to finish in eighth is a tremendous effort.

“We thank him for standing in for Lance, who is feeling a bit better today and has now returned home to continue his recovery. We’re hopeful he will be back to full health in time for the next race in Portugal.”

After a challenging Saturday for the team at the Nürburgring, Checo and Nico were the stars of the field as they scored a double-points finish in Formula 1's Eifel Grand Prix.

Checo was in contention for a podium late on, despite an ill-timed safety car, and finished P4, while Nico charged to P8 from P20 after displaying strong racecraft in an attritional race.

At the start, Checo was able to move up a place into P8 and was quick-witted to avoid a lock-up from Esteban Ocon at Turn 1. Further back, Nico fought his way up to P17 on the opening laps.

Both our drivers were able to extend the life of the Soft tyre for a long opening stint to put the team firmly into contention.

Checo spent the early stages battling Lando Norris, eventually clearing him for P7. He then rose to P4 after his rivals took earlier stops and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas retired.

Stopping at the end of Lap 28 of 60, Checo returned to the track in P7 and ahead of Nico in P8, after the German avoided several nervy moments.

Earlier in the race, Nico was right behind a collision between Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon that left debris at the final corner and the super-sub also battled Charles Leclerc late in the first stint as he climbed the order. A lap later, Nico stopped from P8 and returned in P13.

Checo’s second stint began with a battle with Charles Leclerc, the Mexican initially getting by at the final corner before the Ferrari driver hit back. Checo then had the final say with a move on the run to the last chicane on Lap 36.

That left Checo with a 15-second gap to the early-stopping Daniel Ricciardo ahead, and he began to make inroads in pursuit of the podium before Norris stopped on track and caused a Safety Car.

Both drivers switched from their Mediums to a set of Softs and on the restart, Checo pressured Daniel into Turn 4 but was just unable to sneak past.

Checo chased him to the flag, crossing the line in P4 – while Nico finished P8 after overcoming Haas’s Romain Grosjean on the Safety Car restart to gain a further place.

The points scored lifted the team into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, with Racing Point proving to be the only team to get both cars into the Top 10 at the flag!

Checo: “I’m a little bit frustrated because I felt the podium was ours if we didn’t have the safety car. Until that point, I was catching Daniel [Ricciardo] and he was on older tyres – so it was set up for a close battle for the podium in the final laps.

“Once again, the first stint was crucial to our result. We made a good start and gained a place, and we were able to manage the tyres to run longer, so we had an advantage for the second stint.

“After the safety car, I was able to pressure Daniel and I almost got him into Turn 4 but I wasn’t able to make it stick. To finish P4 is a strong result and the team did a great job to go into a race full of unknowns and read the conditions so well.

“I’m pleased to see Nico score points as well and we’ve ended up turning what could have been a really difficult day into a strong result. The car is performing well and we can be proud of our recovery today.

“I’m going to catch up with Lance on the phone later and we’re looking forward to him returning.”

Nico: “What a race and a story that was! I really didn’t think we could go from last to eighth – I’m not sure many thought it would be possible before the race!

“A lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too, but I’m really pleased with our performance and it’s a real credit to the team. I went out there with the goal of driving as hard as I could and avoiding any incidents, and we managed it well.

“It felt strange at the start as I’ve not raced around a lot of cars like that for a while, but I made up a couple of places and I started to get into a good rhythm halfway through the first stint, which was crucial because we were able to extend it and it helped me get up to speed.

“I’m feeling it now: it’s a very bumpy track and I’m a bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there.

“I’m very happy with the result and it was great to play a part in the team moving up into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go in the season, but I wish the team all the best in the coming races.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “After a challenging weekend leading up to the race, it feels very satisfying to leave Germany with 16 more points and to reclaim third place in the Championship.

“Sergio was in the hunt for a podium and, with a tyre advantage, was closing quickly on Ricciardo until the safety car levelled things. Still, fourth place is an excellent result for the entire team.

“On the other side of the garage, Nico was fully deserving of being voted driver of the day by the fans. He was up against it, having only done ten laps in the car prior to the race, so to finish in eighth is a tremendous effort.

“We thank him for standing in for Lance, who is feeling a bit better today and has now returned home to continue his recovery. We’re hopeful he will be back to full health in time for the next race in Portugal.”

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