Malaysia Grand Prix 2017 – Race

Race Notes:

– Lance Stroll finished eighth and Felipe Massa ninth in the final Malaysian Grand Prix
– Lance and Felipe both started on the supersoft tyre
– Both drivers had strong starts, gaining a number of positions on the opening lap. Contact with Ocon at Turn 2 pushed Felipe back to 10th, whilst Lance moved up to eighth
– By Lap 12, Felipe had moved up to eighth before coming into the pits for a set of soft compound tyres
– Lance pitted the following lap for softs, exiting the pitlane just behind his teammate before retaking the position. This left Lance and Felipe in 11th and 12th, respectively
– The relatively early stop worked out well for both drivers, to claim a double-points finish for WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
– Felipe is 11th in the Drivers’ Championship, ahead of Lance in 12th. The team also holds position in 5th in the Constructors’ Championship with 65 points

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: We had some rain just before the race but it had almost completely dried by the time we got to the start. Both drivers made very good starts and were in good shape to make up some places by Turn 1. Unfortunately, Felipe, having got as far as fifth position, got squeezed by the two Force Indias and lost some of those gains, dropping behind Lance. He damaged part of the floor on the left hand side so there will have been some performance loss. Once the race had settled, Hulkenberg stopped very early so we felt obliged to cover him to save position, first with Felipe and then with Lance. Since Lance, who previously had the lead, ended up behind Felipe after the pitstops we felt it was correct to swap the places. We also knew Felipe’s car was carrying some damage. Unfortunately, in the execution of that we lost a potential position to Vandoorne coming out of the pits. It was a very long second stint for Lance and Felipe, but the tyres lasted well and we held position to finish with good points in eighth and ninth, so congratulations to both drivers for a strong weekend and a double-points finish for the team.

Lance Stroll: It was hot and now I know what everyone was talking about what it is like racing here in Malaysia. I am very happy with the end result, which was fantastic, coming eighth from 13th, having great pace throughout the race, having a good fight all through the race, managing my tyres, and eighth and ninth being a great result for the team. Then at the end I was on the in lap, on my normal line, picking up rubber, doing all my switch changes, shutting down the car and Sebastian came flying by me, pushing round the outside like the race was still on.

Felipe Massa: I had a fantastic start, and overtook many cars, so I was really disappointed about the incident at Turn 2, where I got pushed out by Ocon. I lost a lot of places and damaged the floor of the car. I feel like I could have got higher up if it hadn’t happened. But overall the result was positive for the team. We scored points whilst Renault and Toro Rosso didn’t, so that helps us in the Constructors’ Championship.

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