Formula 1

Aston Martin’s Otmar Szafnauer: “The result was ultimately a disappointing one for us”

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Credit: Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team

Otmar Szafnauer admits the result of the Russian Grand Prix was a disappointing one for the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel both missing out on points in eleventh and twelfth.

Stroll ran as high as fourth in the opening laps and was managing his tyres well, with the Canadian on course for points only for him to pit a lap too late when the rain began to fall in the final half dozen laps that ultimately cost him his place inside the top ten.

Team-mate Vettel also pitted too late for the intermediate tyres and fell to twelfth at the chequered flag, with the two drivers also finding time to collide.  Stroll also tangled with Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Pierre Gasly, which earned him a ten-second time penalty, although it did not affect his finishing position.

Szafnauer, the CEO & Team Principal at Aston Martin, says luck deserted the team during the closing stages at the Sochi Autodrom, which meant they left Russia pointless.

“Lance made a fantastic start to move up to fourth place on lap one, and he held that position comfortably on the Medium tyres until we brought him in for Hards on lap 12 – the first tyre stop of the race,” said Szafnauer.  

“He then managed his tyres well in very difficult conditions, until the heavens opened a few laps from the end, which made the last part of the race something of a lottery.

“There was almost no grip at all, and he and Sebastian even made contact at one point, but the track surface was incredibly slippery and both our drivers did their very best. The result was ultimately a disappointing one for us – 11th and 12th – but, when it rains suddenly like that, luck often plays as big a part as judgment.

“Finally, on behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, I would like to say a big congrats to Lewis [Hamilton]. To win 100 Grands Prix is a truly extraordinary achievement. Well done!”

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