Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We knew coming into today that it was going to be a tough race. Not just because we were starting from the back, but because tyre endurance on all three compounds was very low and we didn’t feel we had a great performance margin to several of our competitors. As it turned out, a dramatic start to the race ruled several of the main contenders out of the running straight away. Meanwhile, Nico immediately showed good pace from the start and, with all the incidents ahead of him, Lewis made good progress. We lucked in with the Safety Car because many teams stopped and lost position, while we deliberately chose to stay out on a two stop plan. We then lucked in again with the red flag, which effectively created a fresh race and sealed our positions in first and fifth. Going into that with two sets of the medium compound available for Nico, we had a safe two stints to the flag. With Lewis, we chose a three stint strategy as we knew he had to push to improve on his fifth place and he only had one sets of mediums available having started on that compound. We’re delighted to get two cars on the podium this weekend, as it didn’t look like it would be an easy task earlier in the weekend. Nico drove superbly to manage the tyres in difficult conditions and take a dominant win. And, regardless of the circumstances, it was a really great drive from Lewis to come from 21st to third. We leave Belgium thoroughly satisfied and with a tantalising battle in store with our drivers separated by such a narrow margin.