Brazilian Grand Prix 2019 – Race
- George Russell finished 12th and Robert Kubica 16th in the Brazilian Grand Prix
- The Brit started 18th and Robert 19th on the grid, both on the medium Pirelli tyre
- George ran a three-stop race, pitting first for the medium on lap 23 and then twice again for the softs on laps 54 and 66
- Robert ran a four-stop race, pitting on laps 20, 36, 53 and 66 for the medium, hard and then for two sets of the soft Pirelli tyre
- Robert served a five second time penalty for an unsafe release at his first pitstop
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: Once again, the Interlagos track produced a thrilling race, and while we weren’t in contention for points, it presented us with a great chance to practice our race operations. The team did a fantastic job around both safety cars and put our drivers in strong positions to race the cars around them.
The tyre compounds and track temperature today permitted multiple strategy options and while the safety cars meant that we didn’t get to see the baseline strategies play out fully, it did lead to an exciting race. We opted to start both cars on the medium compound before splitting tyre strategies once we saw the hard tyre behaving well on some of the early adopters. The safety cars then gave us opportunities to switch to fresher soft tyres towards the end. Unfortunately, the hard didn’t perform as well on our car and this, coupled with an aggressive pitstop release, compromised Robert’s race.
The strategy allowed us to beat a Haas on merit and we then benefited from others’ misfortune and penalties as we finished the race in P12 with George and P16 with Robert. After a long and challenging season, this was a thoroughly enjoyable race, which we managed well and gave ourselves the best chance of making up places. This is fair reward for the tremendous effort that everyone has put into a difficult season.
George Russell: It was definitely crazy in those last few laps and that gave us half an opportunity. I gave it my everything to take advantage of the situation and overtake a car here or there. It wasn’t meant to be though and that’s the maximum we could do. However, it was nice to be in the mix and fully fighting in the closing stages.
Robert Kubica: The first lap of the race was good, I was able to fight with some quicker cars in the first stint. Afterwards I lost the pace, especially with hard tyres. We had to protect the rear tyres, but, by saving these, we were unable to put any energy into the fronts, making them ice cold with no grip.