Even though he performed brilliantly to take sixth after starting eleventh, Sergio Pérez believes both him and BWT Racing Point Formula One Team lost out massively in last week’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Mexican was called into the pits towards the end of the race, resulting in an inability to contend for the podium positions he was previously running in, just laps before. Although he says he doesn’t want to be “critical of the team”, he admits he was “disappointed” with the result:
“It was clear that we had the podium in our pocket and I’m disappointed we missed out. It’s easy to be critical with the benefit of hindsight, but ultimately we should have tried staying out and keeping track position,” said Sergio. “However, I don’t want to be critical of my team; the important thing is that we learn the lesson for next time.
“We still put in a great performance to go from P11 and into P6 to score some really strong points. It was clear in the race that it was very tough to overtake and we still managed to improve with a tremendous first stint on the medium tyres – and it was a good decision to pit when we did [on lap 27] to gain three places.
“It was very close to being the perfect race for us. We will keep pushing and we’re looking forward to returning to Turkey next time out.”
Even with this frustrating result, Pérez remains the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton to have scored points in every race he has contended this year. With his future still uncertain, Sergio looks to be a remarkable candidate for the 2021 grid for this reason and will be hoping for more strong finishes to solidify his status as a top driver.
Stroll: “It was a really difficult day out there”
Lance Stroll is a man who has had incredibly contrasting fortunes in this year’s three Italian rounds- having scored a podium at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza yet not scoring in the other two races. This week was one of the two in which he hasn’t scored, and it continues his recent streak of poor finishes in 2020.
The Canadian was caught up in first-lap contact which dropped him to the back of the field after pitting for a new front wing, and later on in the race he was the subject of much controversy after hitting one of his pit mechanics. Not only this, but Stroll also went flying mere inches past a marshal on track whilst attempting to unlap himself during the safety car period. Safe to say, it wasn’t a weekend he would want to remember.
Stroll wrote the race off as “a really difficult day” and hopes to experience more luck next time out in Turkey. He elaborated his misfortune in greater detail and explained exactly what it was that hindered him so much, and the dejected Racing Point driver concluded by saying he was focusing his sights on the next race.
“It was a really difficult day out there. The contact with Esteban [Ocon] on the first lap really ruined my race and I had significant damage to the front wing. It’s a shame because I was able to make up a couple of places at the start. After the contact, we came in at the end of the first lap and switched to the hard tyre, but we knew that without a really disrupted race, it was going to be tough to make up many places because it’s so hard to overtake here.
“At the final pitstop, I had really cold brakes and that meant I overshot the pit box. I’m really glad to hear that my mechanic is OK – that’s the most important thing. There’s not a lot of positives to take from today, so onwards and upwards now. I’ll work hard to turn the corner in Turkey.”
Imola “a challenging afternoon that didn’t end quite as we had hoped,” says Szafnauer
Reciprocating the dejected theme of the race for Racing Point Formula One Team, was team boss Otmar Szafnauer, who said it was a ‘challenging afternoon’ that could have been saved ‘with the benefit of hindsight’.
He said that, if he could do it all again, he would not have pitted Perez and thus could have challenged for the deserved podium. Yet, he realises this isn’t possible and accepted it was nothing more than a bad day at the office for the team to learn from.
“Sergio was well placed to finish on the podium after Max [Verstappen] retired, but, with the benefit of hindsight, we shouldn’t have pitted and instead tried staying out on the hard tyre. We chose to pit because we were concerned it would be difficult to switch on the hard tyres after the safety car. Those cars behind could do the opposite and were able to stay out on their very old tyres, gaining track position.
“Unfortunately, George Russell’s crash resulted in an extended safety car and gave Sergio even less laps to use his tyre advantage. In the end, he had to settle for sixth place. For Lance, his race was pretty much over on lap one after the contact with Ocon, which broke the front wing. He had to pit and was playing catch up all afternoon, which made it difficult to score points.”