On Saturday at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the first sprint race of the Formula 1 season would not have gone as Aston Martin F1 had wished. Sebastian Vettel, who had a better weekend in contrast to the race in Australia, was unable to keep up and finished in P13.
Team-mate Lance Stroll was locked in traffic and had to settle for 15th place, starting the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in the back field.
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a shame we weren’t able to maintain a top 10 position, but I think the Safety Car didn’t help us and we struggled with some graining on the Soft tires later on. In the first few laps I was able to defend myself strongly, creating a train of cars behind me. Mick [Schumacher] had the advantage of being on the Medium tires and once he got over I lost a few positions pretty quickly. I just didn’t have the pace to keep up. During the Sprint you always learn a lot about the car and what to expect in the main race on Sunday. One thing we have seen today is that the Soft tire will not be the compound of choice tomorrow. “
Lance Stroll: “We did everything we could today, but we just didn’t have the pace to catch up a significant gap. I enjoyed fighting Lewis [Hamilton] – he kept me on my toes! I have enjoyed the return of the Sprint format as it is a great challenge to have just one practice session before qualifying on Friday and then race on Saturday. It helps brighten things up a bit. Now, though, we’re going to go away and look at the data to see where we can improve for tomorrow. There is a chance of mixed weather conditions, so hopefully we’ll get some rain and the race will come to us.”
Mike Krack – Team Principal: “With our current performance, we knew going into today’s sprint that it would be difficult for Sebastian to stay in his starting position. And given the strength of DRS around this orbit, he was then powerless to withstand the attacks from behind. He fell back a few places and will start tomorrow from 13th in the Grand Prix. Lance had bad luck in qualifying yesterday and got stuck in a long train that prevented him from getting any further. As a result, he finished where he started – in 15th place. This has been an eventful first sprint of the season, with a lot of racing up and down all over the field, and there is still plenty to play for in tomorrow’s Grand Prix.”