A challenging race saw Nico finish the Japanese Grand Prix in eighth position while Lewis retired after seven laps.
“A tough afternoon for us which was made more frustrating by the fact that we had a good car today and unfortunately did not get the opportunity to demonstrate that,” said Ross. “Our lap times were pretty competitive and the tyre durability was good but for various reasons, we weren't able to race well. We suffered a puncture with Lewis off the line and, whilst he managed to recover to the pits, the damage subsequently proved too great to continue.”
“With Nico, we had the issue with the pit stop which led to the drive through penalty,” Ross added. “We're normally a pretty reliable team in the pits and I don't fully understand what happened yet but we will investigate and take any necessary actions. The team has worked extremely hard over the past two weeks and I still believe we have the potential to finish the season in second place in the Constructors' Championship but we have to use the potential of the car to the full in the four remaining races to achieve that aim.”
“It was a character-building afternoon for the team,” concluded Toto. “Lewis suffered an unfortunate racing incident on the run down to turn one and had to complete an entire lap with a punctured right-rear tyre. That seriously damaged the underfloor of the car and it became clear soon after he went back out that the rear brake temperatures were climbing and the car pulling to the right. So the only sensible precaution was to retire the car after seven laps.”
“As for Nico, he drove a strong race but his finishing position was dictated by the drive-through penalty that he received for an unsafe release at his first pit stop,” added Toto. “After that, he recovered well to finish in eighth position and salvage four points.”