Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We woke up this morning to rain, as predicted. Not having pole position, this was a welcome opportunity to find a way to win the race. As it panned out, we started under the safety car which lost us one opportunity. And then, once the race did get underway, it soon became clear from Nico’s pace that he had a problem. We’re still trying to analyse what that was – but the initial signs are that it was related to brake temperatures. It came to the point where we told Nico he would either need to pick up the pace or let Lewis past. One lap later, he hadn’t managed to find that extra pace, so we asked him to move aside – which he did immediately. Great credit to Nico for his team ethic and playing for the overall team result. Unfortunately, his pace didn’t recover all afternoon – to the point where he even lost sixth place at the final corner as light rain began to fall once more. We need to look into why that was. Once Lewis was past, he instantly began to stretch away from Nico with pace that was on a par with the leader. Once Daniel pitted for Intermediates, we had a very interesting situation where Lewis was in the lead and we had nothing to lose strategically – thanks to the buffer he had built over Nico in third. We gambled on stringing out the stint until the track was sufficiently dry to change to slicks. Fortunately, the wet tyre clung on at a reasonable pace until we made the switch to the UltraSoft and the rest is history! A fantastic job from Lewis to maintain the lead in difficult circumstances with changing conditions, traffic, VSC incidents and all sorts – and credit again to Nico for the way he handled a tough situation. A word finally to the strategy team – who did a fantastic job today with a bold but brilliant call for Lewis which played a huge role in the win.