Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2017 – Race
– Lance Stroll finished third at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to become the youngest rookie to secure a Formula One podium, and the first Canadian to do so since 2001
– Felipe Massa retired, while running third, with suspension issues
– Both drivers had a clean start to the race, despite a frenetic opening few corners. Felipe was able to gain three places and move into P6, with Lance maintaining position in P8
– Felipe pitted under the safety car on lap 12, with Lance doing so on lap 13. They emerged in P5 and P7
– Another safety car period ensued shortly after. On the restart Felipe was able to pass Raikkonen into Turn 1 for P4. Another safety car period followed
– On the second restart of the race Felipe was able to move up to P3, while Lance jumped up to P4 as a result of the Force India’s colliding with each other. Due to large amounts of debris around the track the red flag was soon waved on lap 22
– When the race resumed Lance passed Felipe, but Ricciardo was able to squeeze past them both, which put Lance in P4 and Felipe in P5
– Felipe, however, was suffering with suspension issues and began to fall down the order rapidly. The issue was unable to be resolved and he was forced to retire
– Lance remained in P4 until Hamilton pitted on lap 31 to replace his loose headrest, which moved Lance up to P3
– By lap 34 Lance was up to P2 as Vettel was handed a 10-second penalty
– Lance maintained P2 right until the very last second of the race, when Bottas, with the help of DRS, was able to beat Lance across the line by a tenth of a second
– Felipe remains 10th in the Drivers’ Championship, while Lance moves up to 12th. The team moves up to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship with 37 points
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: Who would have expected that podium at the beginning of today? It’s a terrific result for Lance to become the youngest rookie in history to score a podium. He’s had a brilliant weekend. He’s been faultless in every session, he’s stayed out of trouble, didn’t have any incidents and that carried into the race. He kept it clean, had good pace and managed the car and the tyres well. It was good battle at the end and we were very unfortunate to lose second place. The critical moment was that Valtteri got DRS on the last lap, that lost Lance second place. But we’re very happy with third. However, the day was far from perfect. We got both cars in under the early safety car, and the red flag set us up well for what looked like a double podium, as we predicted there would be fallout from the Hamilton and Vettel incident. So we were feeling good at the red flag. But, Felipe had an internal suspension failure that emerged just after, which I’m very upset about. Without that issue we really believe that Felipe could have won the race today and we could even have had a double podium. Felipe’s had a fantastic season so far and he’s been a great support to Lance, so it’s a shame that he can’t celebrate with us today. But, we’ll build on this and come back stronger next time.
Lance Stroll: I’m just lost for words right now. It was such a hectic race and so much happened, but the team kept me cool on the radio, the pace was good, we took it to the end and stayed out of trouble. I can’t quite believe what’s just happened. We just lost out to Valtteri at the end there in one of the closest finishes of all time going side-by-side across the finish line. Coming into this weekend I never thought I would be standing on the podium. It’s an amazing feeling and, for me, a dream come true. However, what happened today was a team effort and I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen. I am just so sorry that I could not celebrate with Felipe, as that would have been the icing on the cake. I am sure without his problems he would have been up there with me.
Felipe Massa: I’m so disappointed about the result today. The race was going perfectly. I was overtaking cars and I had really good pace. On the restart the car just started shaking on the straight and I didn’t have the speed, other cars were passing me so easily. I also couldn’t do the corners because it was shaking so badly. Today we had the opportunity to have both cars on the podium, and maybe even a victory. I do want to say a massive congratulations to Lance. I’m so happy for him getting his first ever podium in Formula One.