Team

Report: Checo into the points in tricky Tuscan GP

September 13, 2020
2020
Race Report
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Checo battles his way into P5, Lance OK after crash

Checo overcame two red flags and multiple Safety Car periods to secure an impressive P5 in the first Formula 1 Tuscan Grand Prix, as Lance’s podium-hunting pace went unrewarded after a late crash.

Thankfully, Lance is OK following a high-speed shunt caused by a puncture while running P4 and closing on Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

At the beginning of the race, our boys looked sharp as they duelled the Red Bulls and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, keeping out of the mid-pack trouble to run P5 and P7 when the first Safety Car was called.

It proved to be a false start after several cars were caught up in a collision on the restart, which led to the first Red Flag of the day.

It was all about keeping it cool and collected during the Red Flag before we restarted on Lap 10 of 59 – with Lance wasting no time in charging up to P4!

Checo settled into P6 as Lance began to hunt down the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, gaining time lap after lap before launching a successful move into Turn 1 and moving into the top three.

When the pitstop window opened, Checo swapped from his used Softs onto a set of New Mediums, returning to the track in P10.

He would soon move back into P6 after a great pass around Leclerc as Lance went longer into his stint, stopping on Lap 31 and returning to the track in P4.

Lance really hit his stride in the second stint, using his new set of Mediums to chase down Ricciardo – who had jumped ahead on the undercut – in the battle for P3.

After reeling the Renault in, Lance was setting up a grandstand finish until a sudden loss of the rear caused by a puncture cruelly led to our Canadian crashing at Arrabbiata 2.

Following another Safety Car and Red Flag period, Checo restarted the final 13 laps in P5, expertly holding onto the place at the restart.

He then created a buffer to the cars behind and took a comfortable P5 that helps continue our Constructors’ Championship charge in P4.

While our race proved difficult, Checo’s racecraft and Lance’s speed with the upgraded package gives us a boost going into the Russian Grand Prix.

But before we head off for a well-earned break, our boys and the boss sum up the day.

Checo: “I think we did really well to maximise the situation to get to P5 considering how crazy the race was, and it’s good points for the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.

“I’m also relieved to hear that Lance is OK after his big crash. The key to our race was keeping our focus and staying calm in all the incidents and red flags, which we managed to do.

“I think the podium was a possibility for us today, but we just didn’t quite have the pace or the balance to make it into the fight for the podium.

“It was tough to come to a new race circuit and adapt quickly, but I think we did well to fight inside the top five this weekend.

“We also saw today that the upgrade Lance ran was promising throughout the weekend, so I’m looking forward to trying it out for myself in the coming races.”

Lance: “First of all, I’m OK after what was a big impact. We’re still investigating the cause of the crash. It all happened so quickly, but it felt like a puncture.

“We need to go away and look at the data and fully confirm the reasons for it. There were some really strong points on the table and we were closing on Ricciardo for the final podium place before the accident, and it was all set up for an exciting finale.

“I’m pleased with how the upgraded package performed this weekend, and it gives us a good platform for the coming races.

“We were able to make a good start to the race and get a good launch in the restart to keep out of trouble until late on.

“It was an unfortunate result and sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles, but I’ll take the positives!”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A challenging day for the team on many fronts with two race stoppages, including a big accident for Lance caused by what looks like a puncture.

“It was very bad luck because Lance was fighting for the podium all afternoon. He was running in fourth place and the failure happened just as we asked him to push up and overtake Ricciardo for third.

“Fortunately, he is OK after a significant impact with the tyre barrier at turn nine. As for Checo, he raced well, but we couldn’t quite match the race pace of Albon and Ricciardo in the end.

“So we leave Mugello with ten more points and having closed slightly on third place in the Constructors’ Championship. A day of mixed fortunes in every sense as we cross the mid-way point in the season.

“After three triple-headers in a row, I have to say a huge well done to the team for their efforts in such a condensed period.

“We will aim to be even more competitive in the second half of the season and there were promising signs from the upgrade package, so we're looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”

Checo battles his way into P5, Lance OK after crash

Checo overcame two red flags and multiple Safety Car periods to secure an impressive P5 in the first Formula 1 Tuscan Grand Prix, as Lance’s podium-hunting pace went unrewarded after a late crash.

Thankfully, Lance is OK following a high-speed shunt caused by a puncture while running P4 and closing on Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

At the beginning of the race, our boys looked sharp as they duelled the Red Bulls and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, keeping out of the mid-pack trouble to run P5 and P7 when the first Safety Car was called.

It proved to be a false start after several cars were caught up in a collision on the restart, which led to the first Red Flag of the day.

It was all about keeping it cool and collected during the Red Flag before we restarted on Lap 10 of 59 – with Lance wasting no time in charging up to P4!

Checo settled into P6 as Lance began to hunt down the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, gaining time lap after lap before launching a successful move into Turn 1 and moving into the top three.

When the pitstop window opened, Checo swapped from his used Softs onto a set of New Mediums, returning to the track in P10.

He would soon move back into P6 after a great pass around Leclerc as Lance went longer into his stint, stopping on Lap 31 and returning to the track in P4.

Lance really hit his stride in the second stint, using his new set of Mediums to chase down Ricciardo – who had jumped ahead on the undercut – in the battle for P3.

After reeling the Renault in, Lance was setting up a grandstand finish until a sudden loss of the rear caused by a puncture cruelly led to our Canadian crashing at Arrabbiata 2.

Following another Safety Car and Red Flag period, Checo restarted the final 13 laps in P5, expertly holding onto the place at the restart.

He then created a buffer to the cars behind and took a comfortable P5 that helps continue our Constructors’ Championship charge in P4.

While our race proved difficult, Checo’s racecraft and Lance’s speed with the upgraded package gives us a boost going into the Russian Grand Prix.

But before we head off for a well-earned break, our boys and the boss sum up the day.

Checo: “I think we did really well to maximise the situation to get to P5 considering how crazy the race was, and it’s good points for the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.

“I’m also relieved to hear that Lance is OK after his big crash. The key to our race was keeping our focus and staying calm in all the incidents and red flags, which we managed to do.

“I think the podium was a possibility for us today, but we just didn’t quite have the pace or the balance to make it into the fight for the podium.

“It was tough to come to a new race circuit and adapt quickly, but I think we did well to fight inside the top five this weekend.

“We also saw today that the upgrade Lance ran was promising throughout the weekend, so I’m looking forward to trying it out for myself in the coming races.”

Lance: “First of all, I’m OK after what was a big impact. We’re still investigating the cause of the crash. It all happened so quickly, but it felt like a puncture.

“We need to go away and look at the data and fully confirm the reasons for it. There were some really strong points on the table and we were closing on Ricciardo for the final podium place before the accident, and it was all set up for an exciting finale.

“I’m pleased with how the upgraded package performed this weekend, and it gives us a good platform for the coming races.

“We were able to make a good start to the race and get a good launch in the restart to keep out of trouble until late on.

“It was an unfortunate result and sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles, but I’ll take the positives!”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A challenging day for the team on many fronts with two race stoppages, including a big accident for Lance caused by what looks like a puncture.

“It was very bad luck because Lance was fighting for the podium all afternoon. He was running in fourth place and the failure happened just as we asked him to push up and overtake Ricciardo for third.

“Fortunately, he is OK after a significant impact with the tyre barrier at turn nine. As for Checo, he raced well, but we couldn’t quite match the race pace of Albon and Ricciardo in the end.

“So we leave Mugello with ten more points and having closed slightly on third place in the Constructors’ Championship. A day of mixed fortunes in every sense as we cross the mid-way point in the season.

“After three triple-headers in a row, I have to say a huge well done to the team for their efforts in such a condensed period.

“We will aim to be even more competitive in the second half of the season and there were promising signs from the upgrade package, so we're looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”

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