Austrian Grand Prix 2023 – Sprint

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Despite a reasonably good day, the result in the end was very frustrating. Alex qualified well in the shootout and had an excellent opening lap in the damp conditions. We should’ve left him out on the inters but we were expecting more degradation than there actually was. We could’ve got a point or two today, so we need to have a look at what we did. With Russell finishing so close to Ocon, it would’ve been a very tight finish, but we should’ve had more confidence in our ability to manage the intermediate tyre.

Logan had a frustrating formation lap, stuck behind Bottas who was on the slick tyre, and this prevented him from getting a good sense of the conditions. Nonetheless, he had a good race and showed some strong pace. Crucially, it gave some more valuable experience on running the Pirelli slicks in damp conditions, which build on his experience in Canada, and will serve him well in the future.

We now return our attention to the Grand Prix, which looks likely to be held in dry conditions. Alex qualified well on Friday and we now have another chance of a strong result.

Alex Albon: It’s a frustrating way to finish what started as a good sprint race, with a great start. I was comfortable, managing quite a lot with Ocon behind me as he was fighting with Charles, so I had margin to save my tyres with a nice buffer. With tyres left on the inters, whilst obviously not being as quick as the cars behind us, I felt comfortable enough to stay there. I think with the Mercedes’ performing well on the slicks, we thought it was the right choice to pit but it didn’t work. At the end of the day, Ocon finished P7 so we could’ve had two P7’s in a row and 2 points is a big deal for us but it didn’t work, so we’ll look ahead to tomorrow and try refocus.

Logan Sargeant: It was honestly a decent race. The first lap was tricky with the amount of spray from starting at the back but I managed it. I made a few good overtakes and felt comfortable in the wet. I think we boxed a little bit too late for the slick tyre at the end to really make it count. It was good learning and I have reference for next time of when I can switch off that tyre. Nevertheless, a good fight with the AlphaTauri guys towards the end of the race. Starting from P20 was always going to be tough but it was a fun race. I think we have a good race car going into tomorrow, so we’ll do our best to make something work with the strategy. I’ll also do my best to make some good moves, and hopefully we can get as far forward as possible.

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