Nico Hülkenberg made the decision to switch on to slicks at the end of the first lap, but the move was premature.
Lance Stroll found himself beached in the gravel during the second lap and forced a Virtual Safety Car to take effect. The new slicks didn’t take too kindly to the reduced speed and thus reduced temperatures, resulting in a car that was practically undrivable.
“We took a risk right at the end of the first lap and came in for slicks as the track was really dry everywhere apart from the main straight,” he said. “As I exited the box though, Stroll crashed and the Virtual Safety Car came out, and in damp conditions if you can’t push, you lose all the tyre temperature.
“I lost all grip; it was like driving on ice and I spun a few times…”
Despite his best efforts and a switch to the supersofts, Hülkenberg failed to recover from him early misfortune. He was also penalised twice for two separate incidents of overtaking under safety car rules.
After starting seventh, the Renault Sport F1 Team driver could only manage a twelfth place finish.
“From there it just went wrong, the VSC pretty much ruined our strategy and so the race,” he added. “It’s a shame because I think it could have worked out very nicely for us today.”