Lance Stroll felt a top ten finish in the Mexican Grand Prix could have been possible if he had adopted the same kind of strategy as team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, with the Canadian two-stopping on his way to twelfth position.
The Williams Martini Racing driver made one stop more than his Russian team-mate, and he believed that with the same strategy, he could have bettered his finishing position at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and perhaps have scored only his third top ten finish of 2018 on Sunday.
“It was too bad we couldn’t score points today,” said Stroll. “Maybe with a one-stop – I know Sergey managed a one stop – we would have been able to. But we were in a bit of a different position fighting on track in the first stint.
“The Ultrasoft in the first stint went off very quickly, so we had to go to a two-stop strategy. Then we went really long on the Supersoft, and we were just managing that.”
Team-mate Sirotkin finished thirteenth after a mammoth fifty-eight lap stint on the Supersoft tyre, but the Russian conserved them superbly and even had an advantage on other drivers with fresher tyres in the closing laps, particularly over Kevin Magnussen, who he managed to catch and pass, albeit on the second attempt after being denied initially by the Virtual Safety Car.
“A very good team effort today,” said Sirotkin. “The way we managed the final stint doing 58 laps on the prime tyres was absolutely mega. With 10 laps to go I still had better tyres than the cars around me.
“I had a really good rhythm and a lot more pace than the cars ahead. I was side by side with Kevin (Magnussen) but when the Virtual Safety Car came it completely ruined my rhythm, which in turn, cooled down the tyres and reset things. During the restart I was struggling to warm up my prime tyres and it took me three laps to get them back into the window.
“I put a tough move on Kevin and had four laps to catch the cars ahead. In the final few laps I was able to catch the cars ahead of me, but the race was over. We did a really good job of managing the stint, but I’m disappointed I couldn’t be more aggressive in the fightback towards the end of the race. Overall, mixed feelings.”