Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne finished 14th and 16th in today’s Russian Grand Prix, both completing one-stop races and adopting identical tyre strategies, starting on the Ultrasoft compound before an early switch to the Soft.
For both drivers, the race was a somewhat lonely affair: without the necessary performance in the car, there were few overtaking opportunities, and both drivers ran relatively solitary races to the chequer.
Fernando Alonso: “It was quite a long race for us today. We were the only one with two sets of Soft tyres so we stopped very early trying to undercut some people and push them to pit early too, and some did.
“But the yellow-banded tyre behaved with no issues throughout the whole race, so our strategy didn’t turn out as well as we might have hoped.
“In terms or pure performance, we couldn’t really do much. Unfortunately, today there weren’t any retirements or Safety Cars, so 14th was the position we deserved.
“No points for us today. Let’s look ahead to Japan – hopefully we can score some there…”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “This was more or less what we expected before the start of the race. There weren’t really any incidents, and there weren’t too many overtakes for us.
“I had a bit of fun at the beginning with both Williams drivers; then with Carlos at the end, whom I managed to overtake, but apart from that it was a very lonely race for me.
“I think we pitted later than was really optimal: I lost about 10 seconds on the track, and it was impossible to make that time back during the race.”
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: “We tried everything we could to maximise our finishing positions with both cars today. During the race, we pushed just in case the tyres started behaving in some unexpected way and we could look for an opportunity over the others.
“Unfortunately, our pace just wasn’t strong enough this weekend for us to bring home any points.
“Nonetheless, we’re still looking forward to next weekend. The guys in the garage have a lot of work to do to get everything ready for the Japanese Grand Prix, so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts. The whole team has done a great job operationally all weekend. Suzuka can’t come soon enough!”