McLaren report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Started 19th, Finished 8th
Fastest lap 1m08.117s on lap 53 (+0.642s, 6th)
Pit-stops 1: lap 41 [Medium/Hard] (2.5s)
“What a race! I’m really, really happy with how we recovered from a tough weekend, and from P19 on the starting grid. Up until yesterday, I had this feeling of frustration due to the [PU] penalty, but this morning I turned all that frustration into motivation for the race.
“I think we executed a very strong race today, with a long stint on the Medium tyre and then pitting for the Hard compound in the right moment. From that point onwards it was overtake after overtake, and I made my way into the points. The only setback of the day was that my front wing got damaged 10 laps from the end when I was starting to attack Gasly.
“With the pace I had, I think I could’ve taken P7, but I really had to drive the car carefully to avoid any mistakes and finally managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen. Very happy for everyone in the team. Great race, great comeback and congrats for another double points finish.”
Started 5th, Finished 6th
Fastest lap 1m08.699s on lap 69 (+1.224s, 8th)
Pit-stops 1: lap 25 [Soft/Medium] (2.35s)
“It was a fun race! A good start, managed to go forwards and battled the Mercedes and the Ferrari for a lap or so, but had to concede those positions and think of my own race. The Alfa got past me on the first lap, around the outside at Turn Four.
“Not much I could’ve done and dropped back to fourth and then fifth, then had Max behind me for a little bit, so I was in there. I saved my tyres for the first few laps, had it under control then pushed and did what I needed to do, pulled a gap, boxed, and managed the pace from then on.
“I was on the Medium, so was a little bit unsure about what we could do, or what the tyres would do towards the end of the stint. Gasly was pushing me for the last few laps, but I was just doing what I had to do in terms of saving the tyres and not taking any risks – there was a lot more in it if I really needed to push.
“A massive thanks to the McLaren team at the circuit and back at the factory. Looking forward to my home race now!”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “Congratulations to the entire team here at the track and back home. It’s a great result for McLaren, scoring important points to establish P4 in the constructors’ championship. Today P6 and P8 were well-earned, confirming us for the second time in a row as the fourth fastest team. Great work from both drivers, great pit-stops, and great strategic decisions.
“Lando had a great start and an exciting first lap before he was then able to control his pace in P6 on Soft tyres. After the pit-stop we switched to Medium tyres and just did enough to match the times of [Pierre] Gasly to stay in front of him.
“Carlos made a great start from last position and then had to do a long first stint on the Medium tyre to create the opportunity to attack on the Hard tyre in the second half of the race. He made brilliant overtaking moves and his charge only ended when he ran wide once and broke the front wing when he was in sight of overtaking Gasly. After this he did an excellent job to bring it home in eighth.
“We’re looking forward to Silverstone and our home grand prix now but this was a brilliant race for Formula 1 today, not just in the midfield but also at the front, which was important after the negative comments of the last week.”