Austrian Grand Prix 2019 – Race
- George Russell finished 18th and Robert Kubica 20th in the Austrian Grand Prix
- Robert lined up 17th on the grid with George starting from the pitlane, both drivers on the medium Pirelli tyre
- Both drivers ran a one-stop race to change on to the hard Pirelli tyre, with Robert pitting on lap 19 with George stopping on lap 28
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: Having found some damage to George’s front wing following qualifying, we opted to fit a spare, and, due to a small specification change, we were forced to start from the pitlane. Despite this, George drove very well and was able to race with the Haas and Toro Rosso cars at the beginning of the race, whilst everyone started to manage their brakes and power units. Robert meanwhile had a strong start and opening corners, gaining several places. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on to them beyond lap one.
Once Magnussen had pitted and taken his drive-through penalty, we were able to pit Robert for new tyres and emerge ahead of him. We hoped that straight line speed and power unit temperatures might allow Robert to stay ahead of the Haas but this wasn’t the case and Robert had then to endure a difficult race as he absorbed a lot of blue flags.
George was able to complete a good opening stint on the Option tyre and stay close to Kvyat. We pitted into a decent track position and began to close the gap to Kvyat. Thanks to another excellent effort from our crew, George’s pitstop was much better than Kvyat’s and we almost emerged ahead. Unfortunately, once Kvyat had the track position, he was able to pull away and George’s race became one of defending against Magnussen. He did this very well whilst managing his Prime tyre to the end, finishing 18th.
The whole team did a good job of managing the car in the demanding conditions of Austria and again get two cars home.
George Russell: I managed to fight the Toro Rosso’s and the Haas at the beginning, hold them up for a bit and I managed to hold off Magnussen in the closing stages. We’re still a long way off, but there’s a few positives in there. Those opening laps were good. I managed to take Robert and Daniil Kvyat at once, which was surprising and nice. I was pushing absolutely flat out every single lap, and I’m glad it was noticed. We need to be patient now and wait for some more downforce to come to the car.
Robert Kubica: It was a difficult race. The pace was not there. I gained a few positions on the opening lap, but then the handling was very bad. I tried to defend but it was so difficult to keep the cars behind. I am lacking overall grip and in these conditions when it is hot, when there is a lot of overheating and the tyres are suffering a lot, I am just sliding even more.