Team

Report: Checo into Top 10 on challenging Eifel GP Saturday

October 10, 2020
2020
Race Report
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Checo qualifies P9 as Nico adapts impressively in Germany

A whirlwind Saturday ahead of Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix ended with Checo securing P9 for Sunday’s race, while Nico’s late arrival into the team preceded an impressive Q1 effort.

With Lance unwell, the decision was made for the Canadian to sit out the weekend to ensure he’s in the best shape for the upcoming double-header, leading to the return of super-sub Nico for Qualifying and the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

That meant Checo tackled FP3 on his own, conducting 25 laps of running on the Soft compound tyre ahead of Qualifying – a tricky feat made all the more challenging by Friday’s washed-out FP1 and FP2 sessions.

Checo was able to post a best time of 1.27.245 in FP3, underlining the Top 10 credentials of the RP20 ahead of Qualifying.

With Nico having had just under an hour of preparation time with the team ahead of Qualifying, Q1 was inevitably a challenge.

Checo was able to comfortably secure Q2 on his second run, having initially lapped on the Medium tyre during his opening effort.

A lap time of 1.27.120 secured P10, while Nico was down in P20. While the result was far from ideal, Nico’s best time of 1.28.021 across his 10 laps was just under five tenths off Q2 – despite those being his only laps of the weekend so far!

Checo took up the mantle in Q2 and while some teams took the gamble of attempting to qualify on the Mediums – the choice of Softs proved to be correct.

The Mexican would set a best time of 1.26.330 and take P8 at the end of Q2.

In Q3, the team was only able to send Checo out for a solitary run due to the fact the team only had one new set of Softs available.

While some teams used older sets, there was little to be gained in doing so – and Checo posted a best time of 1.26.704 to initially move into P6, before he was shuffled down into P9 at the end.

Saturday challenged the team, but Checo responded strongly and we’re keen to fight back for points tomorrow!

Checo: “It was a tough day for the team. Not only did we have the Friday washout affecting all the teams, but we were without Lance and that limited what we could learn this morning in practice.

“I definitely think there was more on the table in qualifying because we didn’t have another set of softs for Q3 to make a second run.

“But the positive is that we secured a top 10 starting position for the race tomorrow. It’s going to be a race of unknowns, so if we have some good luck at the start – we can still aim for a strong result.

“I also hope Lance feels better and we have him back in the team soon. Nico did an excellent job in jumping into the car without any practice and getting familiar with the car and team again in a short amount of time.”

Nico: “Well, that was one for the storybooks! It’s certainly been an interesting Formula 1 season. I got the call from Otmar at 11am: I was sitting with a friend having a coffee! I then ran to the car and got here as quickly as I could!

“I did the required COVID testing and I probably had around 40 minutes with the engineers before jumping into the car for qualifying. Obviously, the result wasn’t amazing, but I had fun and I learned a lot of useful information.

“I know the track, but it’s been a while since Formula 1 has raced here – and the RP20 has evolved a lot since I drove it at Silverstone too. I had to go out there and learn the car, feel the grip levels, and then find the limit as quickly as I could.

“To do all that in just a few laps is a big ask, but it’s good experience for the Grand Prix. We’ll let all of that sink in and come back tomorrow, go racing and give my best in this very unexpected home race!”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “It’s been an incredibly busy and challenging day. Lance was taken unwell this morning and we took the decision not to run him for the rest of the weekend.

“He’s under the weather, but not showing symptoms to suggest COVID-19, but it was sensible to give him time to recover to full health so he can be ready for the next double-header in Portugal and Imola.

“Fortunately, Nico was in nearby Cologne and was able to easily step in for Lance. He was the logical choice given that he drove for us at the Silverstone races.

“He was always going to face a mammoth task to progress beyond Q1 because his first laps back in the car were during qualifying.

“With Checo, we had a pretty routine session, progressing to Q3, and ended the session P9. With such limited running for all the teams, there is limited data, and so it will be a bit of a step into the unknown tomorrow.

“I’m confident we can still score some good points.”

Checo qualifies P9 as Nico adapts impressively in Germany

A whirlwind Saturday ahead of Formula 1’s Eifel Grand Prix ended with Checo securing P9 for Sunday’s race, while Nico’s late arrival into the team preceded an impressive Q1 effort.

With Lance unwell, the decision was made for the Canadian to sit out the weekend to ensure he’s in the best shape for the upcoming double-header, leading to the return of super-sub Nico for Qualifying and the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.

That meant Checo tackled FP3 on his own, conducting 25 laps of running on the Soft compound tyre ahead of Qualifying – a tricky feat made all the more challenging by Friday’s washed-out FP1 and FP2 sessions.

Checo was able to post a best time of 1.27.245 in FP3, underlining the Top 10 credentials of the RP20 ahead of Qualifying.

With Nico having had just under an hour of preparation time with the team ahead of Qualifying, Q1 was inevitably a challenge.

Checo was able to comfortably secure Q2 on his second run, having initially lapped on the Medium tyre during his opening effort.

A lap time of 1.27.120 secured P10, while Nico was down in P20. While the result was far from ideal, Nico’s best time of 1.28.021 across his 10 laps was just under five tenths off Q2 – despite those being his only laps of the weekend so far!

Checo took up the mantle in Q2 and while some teams took the gamble of attempting to qualify on the Mediums – the choice of Softs proved to be correct.

The Mexican would set a best time of 1.26.330 and take P8 at the end of Q2.

In Q3, the team was only able to send Checo out for a solitary run due to the fact the team only had one new set of Softs available.

While some teams used older sets, there was little to be gained in doing so – and Checo posted a best time of 1.26.704 to initially move into P6, before he was shuffled down into P9 at the end.

Saturday challenged the team, but Checo responded strongly and we’re keen to fight back for points tomorrow!

Checo: “It was a tough day for the team. Not only did we have the Friday washout affecting all the teams, but we were without Lance and that limited what we could learn this morning in practice.

“I definitely think there was more on the table in qualifying because we didn’t have another set of softs for Q3 to make a second run.

“But the positive is that we secured a top 10 starting position for the race tomorrow. It’s going to be a race of unknowns, so if we have some good luck at the start – we can still aim for a strong result.

“I also hope Lance feels better and we have him back in the team soon. Nico did an excellent job in jumping into the car without any practice and getting familiar with the car and team again in a short amount of time.”

Nico: “Well, that was one for the storybooks! It’s certainly been an interesting Formula 1 season. I got the call from Otmar at 11am: I was sitting with a friend having a coffee! I then ran to the car and got here as quickly as I could!

“I did the required COVID testing and I probably had around 40 minutes with the engineers before jumping into the car for qualifying. Obviously, the result wasn’t amazing, but I had fun and I learned a lot of useful information.

“I know the track, but it’s been a while since Formula 1 has raced here – and the RP20 has evolved a lot since I drove it at Silverstone too. I had to go out there and learn the car, feel the grip levels, and then find the limit as quickly as I could.

“To do all that in just a few laps is a big ask, but it’s good experience for the Grand Prix. We’ll let all of that sink in and come back tomorrow, go racing and give my best in this very unexpected home race!”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “It’s been an incredibly busy and challenging day. Lance was taken unwell this morning and we took the decision not to run him for the rest of the weekend.

“He’s under the weather, but not showing symptoms to suggest COVID-19, but it was sensible to give him time to recover to full health so he can be ready for the next double-header in Portugal and Imola.

“Fortunately, Nico was in nearby Cologne and was able to easily step in for Lance. He was the logical choice given that he drove for us at the Silverstone races.

“He was always going to face a mammoth task to progress beyond Q1 because his first laps back in the car were during qualifying.

“With Checo, we had a pretty routine session, progressing to Q3, and ended the session P9. With such limited running for all the teams, there is limited data, and so it will be a bit of a step into the unknown tomorrow.

“I’m confident we can still score some good points.”

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