After both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll qualified in the top ten for the Austrian Grand Prix there was cause for optimism, but race day did not deliver to script for Racing Point and although their Mexican veteran at one point looked good for a podium he had to settle for sixth.
Stroll suffered a power loss on his car and was forced to retire, on an afternoon that promised so much than it delivered for the Pinks.
This is what they said:
Sergio Perez: “We had to fight hard today and we had strong pace. Sixth place is a good way to start the season, but we could have finished even higher. We were unlucky with the safety cars, but it’s easy to say after the race that we should have pitted a second time.
“I had to defend from drivers on fresher tyres in the final laps, which was a challenge. However, this was a good race to learn plenty about the car and our performance. The main positive is that we have a competitive package and I think we can be fighting for another strong result here next week.”
Lance Stroll: “It was a good start to the race, but then I began to lose power early on. We tried to make some changes to various settings, but eventually, we had to retire the car. We’ll look into the problem and come back stronger next time. The car felt good at first and I think our pace would have been strong. We could have scored a good amount of points today.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “That was a pretty busy afternoon on all fronts and I’m sure great entertainment for the fans watching on television. After such a long break from racing, it was important to start our season with a handful of points with Sergio in sixth place.
“It’s frustrating to see a podium slip away in the final few laps, but it was difficult to hold off those cars with a tyre advantage. With so many safety car interruptions, we had some difficult decisions to make and we chose to preserve track position rather than pit. The cars behind us effectively had free pit stops and could react to what we did – pitting when we chose to stay out.
“That was certainly the case with the McLarens and Leclerc. It was disappointing to see Lance retire early when the car started to lose power. The investigation is underway on what caused that, but ultimately, after attempting to fix the problem through mode changes failed, protecting the power unit was the priority.”