Japanese Grand Prix 2022 – Race

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today was hectic and enjoyable, and in the end provided a very good race. Track conditions were fine at the initial race start but the visibility made it incredibly difficult for all but the leader. Both Alex and Nicholas had excellent starts and made places initially but were unable to capitalise fully due to poor visibility at T1. Alex was unfortunate to suffer contact from the Haas, which damaged the radiator and forced him to retire.

When the race finally restarted, Nicky did an excellent job in tricky conditions. He was part of the decision to make the early switch to intermediates and this paid handsomely as he soon got into a potential points scoring position. Although Russell was able to overtake, Nicky had the measure of the McLaren’s and managed his car really well to collect his first points of the season.

It was great to be back in Suzuka to race at this superb circuit. As a team we had some ups and downs over the course of the weekend, but we fought hard today and gave both drivers a good package for the conditions. It’s disappointing that Alex was prevented from capitalising but great for Nicky and his team to score some points.

Nicholas Latifi: The beginning was quite tricky with the red flag and the delays. We made the right decision to pit straight away for the Inters which was critical in jumping the cars ahead of us. I really struggled at the end with the front tyres but I’m extremely happy to hold on and get my first points of the season. Overall, I’m really happy for the team and it’s a nice morale boost.

Alex Albon: It’s definitely a shame as I felt like today was a chance to maybe score some points. I actually had a very good start and was really pleased with it but then with the visibility being so poor, I couldn’t see the car next to me; I couldn’t even see the track. I had a light touch with Kevin [Magnussen] but where we hit it touched the radiator, we lost water pressure and it was leaking, so we had to stop the car. It was extremely dangerous out there and so bad in terms of visibility, in fact it’s the worst I’ve ever experienced in my career so far. We are driving over 200kph in that weather and, whatever you are seeing on external or onboard cameras, it’s a hundred times worse from the cockpit.

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