In ‘This is what teams think…’ he points out F1Highlight the smallest teams in Formula 1: Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Williams, McLaren, AlphaTauri and Haas. Below you can read what the drivers of the respective racing stables have to say about their recent performance on the track.
The Brazilian Sprint, which took place on the Saturday of race weekend, was anything but boring. In the 24 laps that the race offered, there were many fights, which resulted in beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, a number of teammates collided on the track, which had a negative impact on their starting position for Sunday’s feature race. Several drivers managed to achieve better than ‘normal’ qualifying results, they will want to make the most of the opportunities they got in the race.
The Aston Martin duo were one of two teams that went into battle on the track. Lance Stroll didn’t give his teammate Sebastian Vettel much of a chance, although Vettel was able to pass the Canadian and run his own race. “I was fighting a lot,” the four-time world champion begins. “A few of us stuck behind Esteban (Ocon, editor.), I think he had damage, so it cost us time. I think otherwise I could have caught Magnussen before the end. However, our speed OK, let’s see what we can do in that race,” said Vettel.
Stroll was given a 10-second time penalty for Vettel’s incident, after pushing the German into the grass as he defended hard during their battle. “My start was good and everything seemed fine, but I lost speed in the middle, then I lost the fight in midfield. We have to see what happened there. Tomorrow we go again and anything can happen on this track,” the Canadian concluded.
AlphaTauri enters the weekend’s main competition with mixed feelings. Pierre Gasly managed a good Sprint and took P10. Yuki Tsunoda tried his best to get to the front but was stuck in P15. “I’m happy today, we started P12 and finished P10. Our goal was to make up some places for tomorrow,” the Frenchman begins. “It was a little rough and smooth, but we finished in a good position. We had a good fight and I don’t think we could have done better. We are in the top ten, so we will fight,” said Gasly.
His colleague Tsunoda is not quite satisfied. “I was able to take a couple of positions at the start, but unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough after that and I had a really hard time,” says the Japanese. “It’s been a tough weekend so far, I didn’t have the grip and then there’s not much you can fix after qualifying and before the Sprint, which makes it more difficult. I don’t think the race will be easy, but I’ll do my best and move forward,” Tsunoda said.
All Alfa Rome drivers managed to grab some places during the Sprint, but none of them could pass the field. Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou therefore start in midfield. “I gave everything in the Sprint. We will start in a better position for the race than for the Sprint’, Finn begins. “We were able to make up some places and then make progress towards the end of the race. Ours speed he got better and better, so that gives me hope for tomorrow. Our goal is to be in the top ten and I think that’s the truth,” Bottas said.
Zhou can relate to that. “I think our pace was good and we can be happy with the few positions we won. At first I thought it would be a difficult Saturday afternoon, but in the end the car felt good and I was able to pass the others towards P13. In that race, if we do well on the first lap and maintain our positions At first, I think we have a good chance to fight for the top ten in the race.
Kevin Magnussen was clearly the man on Friday night with his poor position. So he was allowed to start the Sprint from the first place. He didn’t take the lead, but he managed to get points. Mick Schumacher also recovered. “I really enjoyed it, and we also have one point, which is important for our fight with AlphaTauri in P8 in the standings,” said the Dane. ‘I wanted to finish ahead of Lando (Norris, ed.), just behind the top teams, but that didn’t work out. Anyway I am happy with the points and in the race we start from there, in the top ten. I hope we can get points then.’
His teammate Schumacher started last, but managed to get eight places. He finished P12 and is allowed to start the main race from there. “We had a good chance to open, and that helped. Ours speed it didn’t seem too bad, so we had to fight a little. We had a little problem with the engine, so we have to look at that. We started from the back and still scored points, so if everything goes well we are definitely capable’, says de Duister, who is also looking for points in the race.
Lando Norris showed that he is still not completely recovered from his food poisoning, which makes his seventh place in the Sprint all the more impressive. He managed to stand out in the crowd. “It was a difficult day, but our goal was to pass Magnussen, and we managed to do that, so I’m happy about that. We really didn’t have a chance to attack the top teams, so I didn’t expect much more than P7. I really didn’t feel good, it was fire and this track means hard work, but we had a good race. We are in a good position, maybe we can get some points.’, said the Brit.
Daniel Ricciardo had a great time in the Sprint, the Australian finished P11 and will therefore start the feature race from that position. “It was fun for sure, there were a lot of fights. I want to see it again because I won a couple of places and then lost again. I think I could have done things better, but I found my way back. I suspect I will get another tenth somewhere which will help me in the race and to be more involved in the fight. Let’s see what we can do, we have gained some places, and that is positive and brings us closer to the points in the race.”
It was a difficult Saturday afternoon for the Williams drivers. Alexander Albon withdrew from the Sprint and teammate Nicholas Latifi wandered into no man’s land. Drivers don’t expect it to be easy on Sunday. “I don’t know what happened,” Albon says of his anger. “I think it was because of the carbon pieces from Alonso and Ocon directly. In the end the start was not good because of the lack of grip and we kept locking the wheels in the front in the first few laps. We really need to take a good look at the car,” said the driver of Williams.
Latifi was at the back of the field and could not get close to the others. ‘It was a lonely afternoon. We had some damage at the back after VT2 and we fixed that with the sprint race, but after two or three laps it started to feel hard again. I also hit debris, so I also got damage on the floor, “says the Canadian. After a disappointing Saturday, the Williams drivers can join the back of the grid for Sunday’s feature race.