Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2018 – Race

Race Notes

  • Lance Stroll finished eighth in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix whilst Sergey Sirotkin retired from the race
  • Both cars started on the supersoft Pirelli tyre, with Lance starting 10th and Sergey 11th after Hulkenberg was awarded a gearbox penalty
  • Several incidents on the opening lap made for a chaotic start to the race, with Ocon’s crashed Force India bringing out the Safety Car
  • Lance emerged unscathed on lap one to climb to P7 however Sergey suffered contact and retired
  • On lap 23, Lance pitted for soft tyres and re-joined in 12th
  • The Safety Car was deployed for a second time on lap 40 when both Red Bull’s collided into turn one. The Safety Car period was then prolonged when Grosjean crashed his Haas into the wall, elevating Lance to P8
  • Lance made his second and final pitstop under the Safety Car, changing to a set of ultrasoft tyres
  • At the restart, Alonso moved ahead of him, but he was promoted back to P8 on the final lap due to Bottas picking up a puncture and retiring from the lead
  • Lance’s eighth place secures the team’s first points of the season

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: Firstly, it was very disappointing to lose Sergey at the start after a coming together with Alonso and Hulkenberg put an early finish to his race. As usual, we had a highly eventful afternoon with lots of incidents right to the very end, so it was great to get eighth position with Lance. I’m happy in one way but disappointed in another, because I think there were many more points possible for us today. Even so, it was a great drive by Lance, all weekend in fact. He kept the car in one piece which is actually one of the key things at this circuit. It is great to get our first points on the board this season and we need to keep this momentum going. 

Lance Stroll: It was a crazy race. So much happened. I am pretty happy with the race, there were perhaps one or two more positions if we did everything perfectly, but no one had a perfect race today. In that battle with Fernando at the end I think I should have held him there, but he surprised me into turn three. I didn’t really see him coming back on the inside and he just managed to sneak through, but that was probably the only little bit we missed today. The wind was strong, I could feel the car getting pushed around a bit so it was definitely noticeable. All in all, I am happy with P8 and it was a good race for the team. We can’t assume this pace will carry on to Barcelona, we have to understand our issues and keep working but that is just what we are doing.

Sergey Sirotkin: It was such a mess in the first few corners. I was between two cars heading into turn three and I was just slowly and progressively squeezed between the two cars, as I was in the middle. At a point I saw I was not going to avoid a crash so I just lifted, hoping they would squeeze me but not hit me that much, but then already there was nothing I could do. We touched, my car jumped and when I landed, I broke my front suspension and my wing. I am just really sorry for this, as it is such a long race, but I understand that we all want to gain positions at the start, which is important. It is a shame in a race in such conditions. Parking the car in turn three is not the best feeling. This was the best weekend so far for us and I am sure we could have squeezed some points out of it.

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