Pascal Wehrlein drove superbly to secure Manor Racing’s first point of the season at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, finishing on the tail of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas having gained time on the Finn in the closing laps.
The Mercedes-protégé drove the last forty laps of the Austrian Grand Prix on the same set of Soft Pirelli tyres, having at one point been a lap down after being caught out by the safety car that was called upon when Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the race.
Wehrlein even managed to make amends for lining up in the wrong grid slot at the start, reversing into the correct position just in time to save himself from a penalty, but nothing could taint his afternoon when he secured his maiden point in Formula 1.
“It’s incredible. I’m so happy!” revealed Wehrlein. “It’s just been one of those weekends and to end it this way is a fantastic reward for everyone.
“At one point I was feeling quite dejected, because we were a little unlucky with our strategy in relation to the safety car. I’d just pitted, so when I came out after my second stop, I was last.
“That wasn’t such a great feeling, but we just had to work with what we had, which was Soft tyres all the way to the finish – 40 laps! To finish the race in the points from that position by running for more than half a race distance on a single set of tyres is an incredible achievement.
“It’s very important. Not just because of what it means for our position in the Championship, but it also shows that we have made real progress. It’s been a step by step process, and one that hasn’t always been visible to people outside of the team, but today is a good day and a really great reward for all of us.”