RAIN ON OUR PARADE
What to say? There are hardly words. We’ve been holding onto that precious Austrian point for 10 races. Then on the 11 th – disaster! Rain brings excitement and opportunity, but it also brings risk. Today, we were all out of luck as the lone Sauber won the day. Our boys Pascal and Esteban performed admirably in ‘the worst race conditions of their careers’ to bring both cars home without incident. We fought the good fight and will do the same in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time.
The Race, Formula 1 Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2016
Sunday 13 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo
Pascal MRT05-01 P12 1:27.796
Esteban MRT05-02 P15 1:27.919
So, Esteban. A lot to be proud of with the way both you and Pascal handled the treacherous conditions out there today. But obviously not the result any of us were hoping for.
“No, I’m really disappointed and sad for all of us. It was such a difficult race and though I have my own feelings on whether the race should have continued, that doesn’t matter. If the track is declared fit to race on, we have to race and do the best job we can. There were some pretty scary moments out there; I was so lucky to react so quickly to the Kimi incident.”
You were looking on target for your first point in the closing stages of the race. It wouldn’t have changed the situation with Sauber, but we would still have been very pleased for you. What happened there?
“Well obviously I was pushing as hard as I could – throughout the whole race in fact. In the third race stint – after the second red flag – it was clear I just had to push to catch Felipe because the chances of him coming back down the order to a position of safety were diminishing. The race was going his way, not ours. I did what I could but the cars behind me were closing and in the end they just had the pace to get by. There are so many reasons to feel disappointed today that I can’t just single that one out, but, yes, my first F1 point would have been nice.”
Pascal, a whole range of emotions going on in the cockpit today, matched only by those in the garage and the pitwall. Just give us an insight into how things were out there.
“Conditions were terrible – all the way through the race. Even when the rain subsided, the track was holding so much water. It was such a gamble for anyone making the switch from the Extreme Wet tyres to the Inters. The conditions were close at times, but not close enough. I was aquaplaning still and then the risk was that we could be brave, yes, but if we end up in the wall, we’ve gained nothing. Plus, the visibility was quite bad. It was a very nerve-wracking race with conditions I’m not keen to experience again anytime soon.”
“Well, it’s happened, but we have to keep working hard and pushing. Today showed that anything can still happen, although I’m not expecting any rain in Abu Dhabi. Racing can be unpredictable, so we’ll keep fighting.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“We were pretty apprehensive in Austin and Mexico, with Sauber hovering on the cusp of a point in both races, but we knew coming into this race that Interlagos carried a much greater risk. With conditions like we’ve seen today, it was always going to come down to luck. At one point things had fallen in our favour and we were looking at our first double points finish. Nasr was still ahead on track but we could have achieved more points if things had continued like that. But the race was evolving with every lap, every safety car and both red flags and in the end, things went Sauber’s way, not ours. Esteban put up a great fight to try to pull things back and actually both of our drivers did an incredible job in conditions that really tested even seasoned world champions. We’re down, but not defeated. The whole team is disappointed to say the least, but there is one race remaining and we have to keep pushing all the way to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.”