2018 Brazilian Grand Prix
The team endured a challenging Brazilian Grand Prix, with Stoffel finishing in 15th and Fernando in 17th positions.
Stoffel had a tough start to the race from the back of the grid, and initial progress was tricky over a short lap with a close pack. However, he managed his pace well and executed a one-stop strategy, which enabled him to overtake cars ahead of him in the final stages to finish in 14th, although he was given a five-second time penalty after the race for ignoring blue flags, dropping him to 15th.
Fernando had a difficult race. After a strong start, the team decided to take advantage and pit Fernando early with the aim of performing the undercut on the cars in front. However, an issue in the pit-stop meant he was stationary for over 12 seconds, negating any chance of progress for the remainder of the race. However, thankfully the issue was spotted by the crew, which otherwise could have meant a retirement had Fernando been allowed to leave the box earlier.
Fernando, by then in 18th and last position, set about trying to catch the pack ahead, which was tough given the relative pace compared to the cars in front. However, he managed to overtake a couple of competitors, and was set to finish in 16th position, until he too was awarded a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags, leaving him in a net 17th position after the chequered flag.
Started 17th (due to penalty for OCO)
Finished 17th (due to five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags)
Fastest lap 1m12.643s on lap 57 (+2.103s, 14th)
Pit-stops Two: laps 15 (12.50s) [Soft/Medium] and 54 (2.60s) [Medium/Supersoft]
“It was tough today. We gambled a little bit on the strategy, stopping very early to overtake some cars in front, but it didn’t work out for us. As it turned out, the Medium tyres blistered and we weren’t competitive in the second part of the race.
“Also, my pit-stop was not clean and smooth, and we lost some time there.
“Overall, we’ve been too slow all weekend. We just didn’t have the pace to be in the top 10 so today, no matter what strategy we had done or whatever we had tried today, I think points were unreachable.”
Finished 15th (due to five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags)
Fastest lap 1m12.968s on lap 68 (+2.428s, 16th)
Pit-stops One: lap 28 (2.30s) [Soft/Medium]
“Today was a good race from my side. I’m really happy with how everything went, even though the result today wasn’t really what we were hoping for.
“It was a strong race from my side, and I felt like I maximised everything today. I had a few good overtakes and some nice fights with Fernando, and we overtook the Williams as well, so I think we did the most we could today.
“We played the strategy well. We did a good job to go a little bit longer in the first stint to make the tyres last longer than the others, came out on fresh tyres and had a good couple of battles, and from there on we did a good race. It might not look on the timing board today that it was a great race, but overall, I’m quite happy with what we did. Today, looking at where the pace has been all weekend, that was the best we could have done.”
Gil de Ferran
“This was a difficult race for us. Fernando had a good first lap, which put us in a better position. We decided to box him relatively early to enable him the opportunity to undercut some competitors, but unfortunately we had an issue during the pit-stop, which essentially killed his race, as any progress was marred by traffic and blue flags. However, had it not been for the experience of our pit-crew, who spotted the issue with the right rear wheel, the result could have been race-ending. Credit to the crew for their hard work, as always.
“On Stoffel’s side, the beginning of his race was clouded by traffic, however, as the race went on he made steady progress, showing good pace in the closing stages, and finished in striking distance of 11th place.
“As it transpired, we didn’t have the pace this weekend to fight for points. We leave Brazil obviously disappointed, but also heartened by a great Brazilian Grand Prix and all the support we felt throughout the weekend from our McLaren fans.”