Indian Grand Prix Race
• Pastor Maldonado finished 12th with Valtteri Bottas 16th in today’s Indian Grand Prix.
• Pastor started on the soft tyre, had a strong first lap, moving from 18th to 12th, and managed the medium tyres well to finish just outside the points.
• Valtteri started on the medium tyre but a radio failure and traffic in his second stint lost him time.
• Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on clinching the drivers’ title today.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: We decided to split our strategies running the tyres in a different order across the cars due to the big difference in tyre life and performance between the compounds. We planned a two-stop race for both drivers with Valtteri starting on medium tyres and Pastor on softs. Pastor had a great start, gaining positions and had good pace during his first stint. The option tyres were degrading quickly so we needed to pit him quite early in the race. He then maintained good pace on the medium tyres, coming on strong towards the end as the cars ahead began to struggle and he was fighting in the group of cars chasing the final point. Valtteri was looking after his medium tyres in the opening stint, but shortly before his first pitstop we lost radio communication to his car, which resulted in him pitting later than we had wanted and this lost him time and track position. All-in-all our pace and consistency has improved since Japan. Considering the radio problem we had and that our pitstop times were compromised to ensure safety, the end result was the best we could have hoped for today.
Pastor Maldonado: This was a better weekend for us, with the car showing better race pace which is encouraging. I had another strong start and made up a good number of places on the first lap. I was fighting hard at the end of the race to try and get us in to the top ten but unfortunately we didn’t quite make it today. We can take positives from this weekend and I feel we are getting closer to the points so hopefully we can score some more in the final three races.
Valtteri Bottas: The first lap was very slippery for me and I was sliding a lot more than other cars and lost some positions, but my pace in the first stint was getting better and I was getting more and more grip from the tyres. However I had a radio failure which meant my first pitstop was later than planned and I lost track position, and in the second stint I was fighting closely with a lot of other cars and that traffic cost us a bit of time. Our race pace was stronger than in the last few races and I felt that I was on the right strategy, but the lack of running in free air meant that I wasn’t able to capitalise on this and challenge for points.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: The strategy seemed to work in the first part of the race and Valtteri was in a very strong position for a lot of the GP but unfortunately we fell back in the second part. We can look forward to Abu Dhabi that should suit the strengths of the engine a lot more. Congratulations to Red Bull and to Sebastian, who were crowned worthy champions today.