Team

Report: Checo takes P4 on Sochi Saturday

September 26, 2020
2020
Race Report
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Checo stars, Lance caught out by unfortunate red flag

Checo secured a second-row start for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix in a dramatic Qualifying session in which Lance was unfortunately only P13 after a technical issue.

Our boys underlined the strong pace of the RP20 in FP3 to kick off the day with Checo taking P5 after lapping in 1.34.252, as Lance’s 1.34.732 effort helped our Canadian secure P8.

We carried our good form straight into Qualifying, with Checo able to make it into Q2 after just one flying lap, crucially conserving the Soft tyre.

A lap completed in 1.33.704 initially sent him into the top three on the timesheets, before late improvements from rivals shuffled him down into a secure P7.

Lance’s 1.34.472 opening effort also put him up at the sharp end but improving track positions meant a second flying lap time of 1.33.852 ensured a Q2 berth.

Checo and Lance wasted no time in hitting the track in Q2 and Checo moved into P3 with a 1.33.038 lap as Lance’s 1.33.364 time put him inside the Top 10.

But just as our boys were on their second runs, a red flag was called due to a crash at Turn 4. Thankfully, the driver was unhurt, but it interrupted Lance’s quickest lap in the final minutes of Q2.

With only enough time for one push lap once the session turned green, Lance joined the queue at the end of the pit lane, raring to go for a final attempt to make Q3.

Sadly, there was a tough break for Lance as we had to switch the car off to protect the Power Unit from overheating.

Checo then took up the mantle and breezed into Q3 by virtue of his first flying lap time.

Our Mexican fought for a top-five place throughout Q3 and – after posting a 1.32.410 – he found further time to improve his best effort to 1.32.317 and secured P4.

We’re excited to see what Checo can do from the second row on the grid, and we're looking forward to seeing Lance work his way up the field tomorrow!

Checo: “I’m very happy with our performance today: I think P4 was the maximum I could achieve because Max and the two Mercedes were very strong out there. We were able to qualify ahead of our nearest rivals, which is the main thing.

“It was a really tough session because the wind kept changing and we had the disruption of the red flag too. It’s a credit to the team that we were able to manage the sessions so well and extract the maximum from the car.

“A podium could be difficult to achieve here, but anything can happen at the start with the long run to Turn 2.

“If we make a strong start and manage the tyres well, I think we can fight for a good result tomorrow.”

Lance: “It was a tough day. We were all set for the final few minutes of Q2 and raring to go after the red flag.

“Sadly, the engine was overheating while we were in the fast lane so we took the precaution of switching off the car. It’s frustrating because we’ve made it into Q3 consistently this year.

“I’ve not quite found my rhythm here yet; I just need to put together the finer details and come back stronger tomorrow. It’s not easy to overtake here, but we have a quick race car.

“If we can get a good start and make some early progress, then it’s all to play for in terms of points.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A session of mixed fortunes with small margins making a big difference today.

“A fourth place for Sergio is well-deserved and should allow us to make the most of our competitive race pace tomorrow.

“Lance lines up in P13 – largely due to the red flag, which interrupted his quickest lap in the final minutes of Q2.

“It led to the squabble for track position with cars queueing in the pit lane as we tried to second guess when the session would restart. Unfortunately, the power unit was overheating and we asked Lance to switch the car off.

“He deserved more from today, but he will be strong tomorrow, and at least he will get a free choice of tyres for the start of the race.”

Checo stars, Lance caught out by unfortunate red flag

Checo secured a second-row start for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix in a dramatic Qualifying session in which Lance was unfortunately only P13 after a technical issue.

Our boys underlined the strong pace of the RP20 in FP3 to kick off the day with Checo taking P5 after lapping in 1.34.252, as Lance’s 1.34.732 effort helped our Canadian secure P8.

We carried our good form straight into Qualifying, with Checo able to make it into Q2 after just one flying lap, crucially conserving the Soft tyre.

A lap completed in 1.33.704 initially sent him into the top three on the timesheets, before late improvements from rivals shuffled him down into a secure P7.

Lance’s 1.34.472 opening effort also put him up at the sharp end but improving track positions meant a second flying lap time of 1.33.852 ensured a Q2 berth.

Checo and Lance wasted no time in hitting the track in Q2 and Checo moved into P3 with a 1.33.038 lap as Lance’s 1.33.364 time put him inside the Top 10.

But just as our boys were on their second runs, a red flag was called due to a crash at Turn 4. Thankfully, the driver was unhurt, but it interrupted Lance’s quickest lap in the final minutes of Q2.

With only enough time for one push lap once the session turned green, Lance joined the queue at the end of the pit lane, raring to go for a final attempt to make Q3.

Sadly, there was a tough break for Lance as we had to switch the car off to protect the Power Unit from overheating.

Checo then took up the mantle and breezed into Q3 by virtue of his first flying lap time.

Our Mexican fought for a top-five place throughout Q3 and – after posting a 1.32.410 – he found further time to improve his best effort to 1.32.317 and secured P4.

We’re excited to see what Checo can do from the second row on the grid, and we're looking forward to seeing Lance work his way up the field tomorrow!

Checo: “I’m very happy with our performance today: I think P4 was the maximum I could achieve because Max and the two Mercedes were very strong out there. We were able to qualify ahead of our nearest rivals, which is the main thing.

“It was a really tough session because the wind kept changing and we had the disruption of the red flag too. It’s a credit to the team that we were able to manage the sessions so well and extract the maximum from the car.

“A podium could be difficult to achieve here, but anything can happen at the start with the long run to Turn 2.

“If we make a strong start and manage the tyres well, I think we can fight for a good result tomorrow.”

Lance: “It was a tough day. We were all set for the final few minutes of Q2 and raring to go after the red flag.

“Sadly, the engine was overheating while we were in the fast lane so we took the precaution of switching off the car. It’s frustrating because we’ve made it into Q3 consistently this year.

“I’ve not quite found my rhythm here yet; I just need to put together the finer details and come back stronger tomorrow. It’s not easy to overtake here, but we have a quick race car.

“If we can get a good start and make some early progress, then it’s all to play for in terms of points.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “A session of mixed fortunes with small margins making a big difference today.

“A fourth place for Sergio is well-deserved and should allow us to make the most of our competitive race pace tomorrow.

“Lance lines up in P13 – largely due to the red flag, which interrupted his quickest lap in the final minutes of Q2.

“It led to the squabble for track position with cars queueing in the pit lane as we tried to second guess when the session would restart. Unfortunately, the power unit was overheating and we asked Lance to switch the car off.

“He deserved more from today, but he will be strong tomorrow, and at least he will get a free choice of tyres for the start of the race.”

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