Carlos Sainz had a wonderful debut for Renault in P7, while Daniil Kvyat also clinched a points finish on his Toro Rosso return.
Esteban Ocon: “Sixth place feels very satisfying because it was not an easy race with so much pressure from Sainz in the final stages. I spent a big part of the race just managing my pace and looking after the tyres to make the one-stop strategy work. The team told me when to push and when to manage the pace, and to finish sixth shows we judged this almost perfectly. Before the race there was an issue on the grid with a control unit in my car, but the team did a really good job to make the repairs in time for the start. The car was strong today with good pace and it’s another race where we have come away feeling we achieved the maximum result that was possible.”
Sergio Perez: “It was a difficult race and I am very happy we managed to score some points. We tried a very aggressive strategy to make up ground after yesterday’s qualifying session and we made a very early stop to undercut Massa and Sainz. We managed to do so and I passed Alonso on track, and then got close to Esteban. At the time, I thought I had much better pace because he was saving his tyres, but being in traffic really damaged my tyres and I fell back. It’s hard to know how things would have gone if I had got past Esteban – maybe I could have saved my tyres a bit better. When Sainz was behind me, I couldn’t do anything because his tyres were much fresher. Towards the end, I had a hard time defending from Kvyat and Massa, and I really struggled to keep Felipe behind in the last few laps. My tyres were on the limit, but I am happy I was able to finish eighth. It’s been a good result for the team so we can be happy.”
Felipe Massa: “It was definitely a good result. It was a good race, and points were always what we were looking to achieve. We lost a few points to Renault, but it was a positive race and I’m happy with the result. Unfortunately, the blue flag took away my opportunity to overtake another car at the end and take eighth instead of ninth, but I’m happy with the race and the job I did. That’s the most important thing.”
Lance Stroll: “It was okay and a decent race from where we were starting on the grid in 15th, but it is always disappointing to finish 11th with no points. There were a lot of tyre problems and I had to stop twice as I had a lot of degradation, which was a lot more than expected and not ideal. We did gain some positions, unfortunately not enough to get us into the points, but passing the two cars of Grosjean and Vandoorne at the end of the race was quite positive. Now I am looking forward and hoping for a trouble-free weekend as this one proved tricky after what happened in qualifying.”
Carlos Sainz: “It was a great debut for me with Renault and I really enjoyed myself out there. Right from the beginning, every lap I was feeling more confident with the car, so I was able to push harder. I was able to attack the Force Indias, which have been out of reach for the team for the past few races, so to overtake one and attack another was a great result. Everything has gone very smoothly the whole weekend; I knew I could be quick and I had confidence in myself. The whole team has really helped me out and that was key to adapt quickly. To have such a good qualifying and race makes me really happy and I have great thanks for every single member of the team.
Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s too bad things happened the way they did, I really enjoy it here but unfortunately my record hasn’t been great. We had a problem with the oil pressure, it dropped so that forced us to retire and stop the race. Sometimes it just goes against you and that’s the way it is. We’ll turn it around next week in Mexico.”
Daniil Kvyat: “My best race of the season for sure! I’m very happy about the result and I did everything I could to bring the points home. I really enjoyed myself, it was a very clean and enjoyable race and overall a good job by the team. We kept it together with limited running and we still managed to get into the points. It’s a pity I couldn’t defend from Massa, but I had less grip with my soft tyre and we had some energy deployment issues so my straight-line speed was down. I came here with a fresh mindset, we shuffled some things in the team to give everyone some new motivation and some new focuses. Everything has been working fantastically this weekend and the race was just great.”
Brendon Hartley: “It was tough out there, but it’s been an awesome debut Grand Prix! It’s all starting to sink in now and it won’t be until I go to bed tonight and put my eyes at rest that I’ll start to process everything… I didn’t do the best of standing starts, but it’s been a long time since I did one of those! After that, I was in many battles and I’m satisfied with my race – the pace was pretty strong, especially at the end. I think the only small mistake I made was getting overtaken by Stroll a quarter into the race, as I couldn’t pass him back and he held me up a bit. So there’s been lots of challenges, lots of things to learn and I hope I get another shot at it to put all these experiences into practice! I’ve enjoyed every single moment of this race weekend and I’d like to thank the whole team for this, it’s been amazing!”