Those missed opportunities weren’t just on Sunday, either. We made our life more difficult in the race with a mixed result in qualifying. A strong lap in Q3 from George put him P3, but Lewis didn’t make it to the top 10 shootout and was 10 places further back.
Even on Saturday, while there were signs of promise and pace (even on a single lap, which is where we’ve typically struggled more), we didn’t get everything together. That put us on the back foot for the Grand Prix.
Sunday was further proof of that. At times we had one of the quickest (and for parts, the quickest) car on the track. The W14 was working well at Zandvoort and the recent upgrades we’d brought were producing lap time. The potential was there but we just didn’t maximise them across the full span of the race.
“I didn’t really know how the race was going to go,” Lewis said. “I sat there the night before racking my brain, where did we go wrong, how did we end up in this qualifying position and then working to figure out how I could progress.”
In among the chaos of the Dutch Grand Prix, it’s easy to forget George briefly led the race! Those first laps were mayhem and far from easy to navigate. Rain started to fall just as the race began. It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting it to persist for much more than five minutes.
We opted to stay out on slick tyres, hoping the shower would pass. Meanwhile, many other cars were already diving into the pits for intermediates. We clearly reacted to the weather too slowly and made the wrong call.
“It’s annoying because the car had great pace,” said Toto. “From then onwards, it was just about recovering as well as we could.”