Team

Report: Checo secures best result of Racing Point era

November 15, 2020
2020
Race Report
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The BWT Racing Point F1 Team took its best result in Formula 1 to date with a second-place finish in a wild Turkish Grand Prix courtesy of Checo.

The team led the most laps of any team (33 of 58) on the way to a memorable result that began with a perfect scenario.

Morning rain on a difficult track surface increased the chances of a chaotic start to the race, but polesitter Lance held on through Turn 1, with Checo jumping ahead of Max Verstappen to create a Racing Point 1-2!

The pair would lead the race for the opening 9 laps as the duo pulled well clear of the chasing pack before Lance switched from Used Wet tyres to a set of New Intermediates, with Checo making the same stop on Lap 10.

It took until Lap 13 for the pair to cycle back into the leading two positions and the two RP20s continued to pull clear of the field as the conditions began to catch out their rivals.

Checo would then defend resolutely on Lap 18 when Max Verstappen closed to his rear before the Red Bull driver lost control and spun off the track. The Mexican then repeated his expert defensive driving on Alex Albon.

The two Racing Point drivers held the top two positions right until reports of inclement weather began to influence the strategies of the teams on the pitwall ¬– with question marks over when or if slick tyres could come into play.

While some began to stop on Lap 33 of 58, Lance was reporting a dry line but with plenty of wet patches on the Istanbul Park circuit.

Three laps later, Lance pitted for a new set of Intermediates and he returned to the track in P4 but would soon report excessive graining that was beginning to affect his pace. Following the race, the team discovered damage to the underside of Lance's front wing that was a significant contributor to the graining issues that he experienced in the second and third stints.

Checo then took over the lead of the race, but with Lewis Hamilton chasing him down, Checo would move into P2.

Managing his long-running stint of Intermediates, Checo was able to keep the chasing pack on new tyres behind him until the final lap.

Running slightly wide into Turn 9, the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc dived by – only for Checo to fight back moments later and return to P2 moments before crossing the line!

Lance would battle against his graining tyres and his P9 finished helped regain P3 in the Constructors’ Championship going into the final three races.

Checo: “We’ve come close to a podium several times this year, so it’s great to enjoy the moment now with the team. It was an exciting race and a difficult one all the way to the end. I was trying to look after the tyres, push at the right time to keep the temperatures in the right window, and learn the track all at the same time.

"It’s a great result and we called it exactly right. When I crossed the line, I told the team that I didn’t think the tyres could last another lap! They were vibrating like hell at the end. It was about keeping it on the track and making the right calls, which we did.

“The key was managing the intermediates at the beginning and end of the second stint, it made a huge difference.

"Lewis was on another level today and, once he got by me, he controlled the race. So, second was the best we could achieve and we did a great job to keep the Red Bulls and Ferraris behind. I had no idea Max was chasing me with all the spray and my mirrors being fogged up: I just saw him run wide and then disappear.

"There was also a crazy end to the race with Charles! I made a little mistake into Turn 9 and he got by me, but I was able to cut back in front at Turn 11 and then Seb got through too! We’re all delighted with today’s result and it was a great effort by the team. We’re going to enjoy it tonight!”

Lance: “It’s really hard to understand what happened today and we need to go away and figure it out. I made a good start from pole position and I was able to build up a lead of over 10 seconds in the first stint, which gave us a real platform for the second stint to get a great result.

"Throughout the race, I was struggling with graining on the intermediate tyre. The team made the right call to pit when we did because the graining was extremely difficult and it didn’t look like slick conditions would ever arrive.

“But we then had significant graining on my second set of intermediates, and I couldn’t push to make up places. In hindsight, maybe staying out would have allowed the tyre to clean up, but it’s easy to say that now.

"Getting pole yesterday was a great achievement, but the points are scored on Sunday. It was fun to lead so many laps, but we didn’t lead enough! While I’m frustrated today, Checo’s scored valuable points and we’ll switch focus to the final few races.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A podium is a great result for the team after an excellent drive by Checo. We can be very proud of the fact we led a significant amount of the race in very difficult conditions with both cars.

"As we’ve come to expect with Checo, he managed the wet tyre very well early on and the team timed his switch to intermediates perfectly. To manage the intermediate on a changing track surface for 48 laps was a huge challenge, but he managed it to secure P2.

"It’s a shame Lance didn’t get the result he deserved. He handled the pressure of starting on pole position very well. He was flawless today and carved out a lead of over 10 seconds, when his tyres worked as expected.

“It was tough to judge the conditions, but we made the right call to switch Lance to intermediates, rather than wait for slick conditions that ultimately never arrived.

“We need to look into why Lance struggled so much with graining on the new intermediates because that prevented him from joining Checo on the podium.

"Regardless, today’s result is a memorable one that has lifted the team back into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, which is a real boost going into the final few races of the season.”

The BWT Racing Point F1 Team took its best result in Formula 1 to date with a second-place finish in a wild Turkish Grand Prix courtesy of Checo.

The team led the most laps of any team (33 of 58) on the way to a memorable result that began with a perfect scenario.

Morning rain on a difficult track surface increased the chances of a chaotic start to the race, but polesitter Lance held on through Turn 1, with Checo jumping ahead of Max Verstappen to create a Racing Point 1-2!

The pair would lead the race for the opening 9 laps as the duo pulled well clear of the chasing pack before Lance switched from Used Wet tyres to a set of New Intermediates, with Checo making the same stop on Lap 10.

It took until Lap 13 for the pair to cycle back into the leading two positions and the two RP20s continued to pull clear of the field as the conditions began to catch out their rivals.

Checo would then defend resolutely on Lap 18 when Max Verstappen closed to his rear before the Red Bull driver lost control and spun off the track. The Mexican then repeated his expert defensive driving on Alex Albon.

The two Racing Point drivers held the top two positions right until reports of inclement weather began to influence the strategies of the teams on the pitwall ¬– with question marks over when or if slick tyres could come into play.

While some began to stop on Lap 33 of 58, Lance was reporting a dry line but with plenty of wet patches on the Istanbul Park circuit.

Three laps later, Lance pitted for a new set of Intermediates and he returned to the track in P4 but would soon report excessive graining that was beginning to affect his pace. Following the race, the team discovered damage to the underside of Lance's front wing that was a significant contributor to the graining issues that he experienced in the second and third stints.

Checo then took over the lead of the race, but with Lewis Hamilton chasing him down, Checo would move into P2.

Managing his long-running stint of Intermediates, Checo was able to keep the chasing pack on new tyres behind him until the final lap.

Running slightly wide into Turn 9, the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc dived by – only for Checo to fight back moments later and return to P2 moments before crossing the line!

Lance would battle against his graining tyres and his P9 finished helped regain P3 in the Constructors’ Championship going into the final three races.

Checo: “We’ve come close to a podium several times this year, so it’s great to enjoy the moment now with the team. It was an exciting race and a difficult one all the way to the end. I was trying to look after the tyres, push at the right time to keep the temperatures in the right window, and learn the track all at the same time.

"It’s a great result and we called it exactly right. When I crossed the line, I told the team that I didn’t think the tyres could last another lap! They were vibrating like hell at the end. It was about keeping it on the track and making the right calls, which we did.

“The key was managing the intermediates at the beginning and end of the second stint, it made a huge difference.

"Lewis was on another level today and, once he got by me, he controlled the race. So, second was the best we could achieve and we did a great job to keep the Red Bulls and Ferraris behind. I had no idea Max was chasing me with all the spray and my mirrors being fogged up: I just saw him run wide and then disappear.

"There was also a crazy end to the race with Charles! I made a little mistake into Turn 9 and he got by me, but I was able to cut back in front at Turn 11 and then Seb got through too! We’re all delighted with today’s result and it was a great effort by the team. We’re going to enjoy it tonight!”

Lance: “It’s really hard to understand what happened today and we need to go away and figure it out. I made a good start from pole position and I was able to build up a lead of over 10 seconds in the first stint, which gave us a real platform for the second stint to get a great result.

"Throughout the race, I was struggling with graining on the intermediate tyre. The team made the right call to pit when we did because the graining was extremely difficult and it didn’t look like slick conditions would ever arrive.

“But we then had significant graining on my second set of intermediates, and I couldn’t push to make up places. In hindsight, maybe staying out would have allowed the tyre to clean up, but it’s easy to say that now.

"Getting pole yesterday was a great achievement, but the points are scored on Sunday. It was fun to lead so many laps, but we didn’t lead enough! While I’m frustrated today, Checo’s scored valuable points and we’ll switch focus to the final few races.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A podium is a great result for the team after an excellent drive by Checo. We can be very proud of the fact we led a significant amount of the race in very difficult conditions with both cars.

"As we’ve come to expect with Checo, he managed the wet tyre very well early on and the team timed his switch to intermediates perfectly. To manage the intermediate on a changing track surface for 48 laps was a huge challenge, but he managed it to secure P2.

"It’s a shame Lance didn’t get the result he deserved. He handled the pressure of starting on pole position very well. He was flawless today and carved out a lead of over 10 seconds, when his tyres worked as expected.

“It was tough to judge the conditions, but we made the right call to switch Lance to intermediates, rather than wait for slick conditions that ultimately never arrived.

“We need to look into why Lance struggled so much with graining on the new intermediates because that prevented him from joining Checo on the podium.

"Regardless, today’s result is a memorable one that has lifted the team back into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, which is a real boost going into the final few races of the season.”

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