GOOD START FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON WITH TOP TEN FINISHES IN BOTH FRIDAY SESSION ALBEIT WITH ENGINE PROBLEMS FOR PEREZ
Spa being one of the most beautiful circuit in the world, you would think it is THE favourite for drivers as well.
“Spa has never been my absolute favourite circuit – which is quite unusual because I know most drivers love racing there,” says Lance Stroll. “It’s obviously a legendary track with some special corners and it’s very high-speed. Eau Rouge is the corner everybody talks about, but it’s a flat-out corner these days so you just need to be very precise to carry as much speed through it as possible. Getting a clean exit out of turn one is also really important because you’re on full throttle all the way up the hill to turn five.”
“I always say that Spa is the perfect place to restart the season because it’s such a special track,” mention Sergio Perez. “It’s one of the best races of the year and I love the high-speed corners such as Pouhon. It’s a long lap, too, so when you hook everything up it’s very satisfying.”
Qualifying was also very promising for the race with both cars making it into Q2 with Sergio ahead of Lance laptime wise. Sergio ended up making it into Q3 and ended up finishing ninth. Where as Lance opted to save some for Sunday as he had a grid penalty waiting for him following qualifying. It would have been interesting to see what Lance could have done otherwise as the times we’re very close to get into Q3. Lance having completed only his first run, he was only three tenths of a second off Q3.
The official starting grid saw Perez start in seventh place and Stroll in 16th. The race was highly competitive in the midfield all race long with lots of battles going on. In the end Sergio Perez, who also has a brand new three year contract in his pocket with Racing Point F1, crossed the line in sixth place and Lance came from 16th to finish in 10th place.
Sergio Perez reflecting on the race: “It’s obviously a very sad day for our family, our community. I don’t think any of us have really enjoyed being here today – but all we can do is give this race to Anthoine. It’s no less than he, his family and his friends deserve. It was a good result for the team – especially considering the issues we had on Friday. It was a hard race, from the beginning to the end, but we came away with a good amount of points and some positive momentum to take into the next few races. There was a bit of chaos at the start, which I had to avoid by running wide, which lost me two or three places. From there we were fighting all the way through to make it back. I went into attack mode with lots of overtaking and P5 looked possible – but at the end Albon was very strong and we had no chance to keep him behind. Our strategy was quite aggressive, so we paid the price at the end of the race. It always hurts to lose a position on the final lap, but we did all we could. Overall a positive performance for us. Spa is a place where we generally go well, so it will be interesting to see how we go at the coming races.”
For Lance Stroll, although happy with the finish, there was an opportunity for more. “It has not been an easy weekend for all of us and our thoughts remain with Anthoine’s family at this time. I think we put on a good race in his memory and for us it was a competitive afternoon. Both cars in the top ten means good points for the team. I am quite pleased to score a point from P16 on the grid, but it was a bit frustrating because I spent the whole race stuck in traffic, behind cars on different strategies, so it was tough to get clean air and really push on. In hindsight, I think that’s where we lost a lot of race time compared to other drivers, such as Kvyat and Albon, who managed to get in front of us during the race. We gave it a good go though: I was right behind Gasly towards the end and I almost got him. If it wasn’t for the yellow flag on the last lap, I think I could have got him. But it was a great race: very exciting from start to finish and I enjoyed it.”
Image: Racing Point F1
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