BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s weekend got off to the worst possible start with driver Sergio Pérez testing positive for COVID-19. This started the rumour mill of who was going to replace him for the British Grand Prix weekend with racers from all different drives offering their services for the weekend.
Come Friday morning, just before Free Practice 1 was about to start, F1 veteran Nico Hülkenberg was confirmed to cover for Pérez.
Lance Stroll – “I’m disappointed to finish ninth and we need to go away and look into the reasons why.”
Lance Stroll’s race pace wasn’t at all what was expected from him. After topping second practice and qualifying in sixth, the Canadian was looking strong to climb the field and challenge for a podium.
Stroll’s race did not get off to a good start after losing places to Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniel Ricciardo on the first lap. For most of the race, Stroll sat in eighth, a position he was defending well from Esteban Ocon until lap 46. Ocon had already had one go at overtaking when the Canadian was shown the black and white flag for moving under braking and pushing the Renault driver wide. Ocon persevered and overtook Stroll, demoting him to ninth.
In late drama, Stroll was struggling to keep his pace and was overtaken by Pierre Gasly and a charging Alexander Albon. However, Valtteri Bottas and Sainz Jr tumbled down the field due to tire punctures meaning Stroll was promoted back up to ninth when he crossed the finish line.
Stroll added “We were able to keep up our run of scoring points in every race this season, but I’m disappointed to only finish in ninth and we need to go away and look into the reasons why.
“The balance of the car was better today and I expected us to be more competitive, but we slipped back in the race. It wasn’t our day today, so now we need to focus on next weekend and make sure we come back stronger and show what the car is capable of.
“It’s a shame Nico couldn’t start the race because he’s done a good job this weekend.”
Stroll sits eighth in the drivers’ championship, equal on points with Renault DP World F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo at twenty. He also continues his record of points at every race so far this year.
Nico Hülkenberg – “It’s a real shame that I couldn’t start the race”
Stroll’s stand in team-mate, Nico Hülkenberg, unfortunately had a worse weekend. Hülkenberg couldn’t make it out of Q2 in qualifying and was starting Sunday’s race in thirteenth.
The German was then unable to take the start of the race after a technical issue was discovered on the car he was borrowing from Pérez just before the race start. Racing Point are still investigating what the issue was and have yet to release any more information.
Speaking of the events, Hülkenberg added “It’s a real shame that I couldn’t start the race and I feel for the team because they did everything to get me onto the grid. I’m very thankful to everyone for their help.
“It’s been a jump into the deep end this weekend, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with the team again. It would have been great to score a good result in the race as a reward for all our hard work.”
Otmar Szafnauer – “We need to understand where we lost out today so we can be stronger next week.”
Much like Stroll, CEO and Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer understands that they need to look at what cost them this weekend and what they can do to be stronger at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix next weekend.
“A tough afternoon – starting with a power unit or gearbox issue, which meant Nico didn’t even make the start of the race. The first indication of a problem was when we tried to fire up the car to go to the grid.
“There was basically a drivetrain seizure, the cause of which is still being investigated. It’s a shame for the entire team after such a huge effort to get Nico in the car. With Lance, we were especially unlucky with the timing of the safety car, which also ruled out any strategic benefit of starting on the medium tyres.
“After that, we were stuck in the train of cars and struggled with our race pace – certainly compared to the long runs we did on Friday. We need to understand where we lost out today so we can be stronger next week.”