Sergey Sirotkin finished 16th and Lance Stroll 17th in the Japanese Grand Prix. Both cars started the race on the soft Pirelli tyre, with Lance 14th and Sergey 17th. On the opening lap, both cars lost positions, while Lance made contact with Alonso which resulted in both receiving a five-second time penalty – Lance for causing a collision and Alonso for gaining an advantage. The Safety Car was deployed on lap four when Magnussen left debris across the track, prompting Sergey to pit for the medium tyre, with Lance waiting until lap 14. Both cars struggled to make progress during the race, and pitted again for the supersoft tyre, with Sergey coming in on lap 38 and Lance on lap 39.
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: A disappointing day. We had the pace and grid positions to beat some cars today, but we didn’t manage to do so overall not the result we hoped for. We had good reliability with both cars coming home. Lance received a penalty for an incident at turn 16, and on top of that in his second stint, which needed to be a good, long stint, he flat spotted one of his tyres, so effectively that ruined his opportunity today. On Sergey’s side, he lost quite a few places in the opening laps, therefore, we chose to gamble with an earlier stop, but for various reasons that didn’t work out, so we had to make a second stop.
Sergey Sirotkin: Today was a difficult day. We had to turn our strategy around to a two-stop, which in the end looked like it could be the quickest strategy to the flag. However, with traffic and other things happening on the track, we didn’t really get chance to fully exploit it, so it was a difficult race. We were able to avoid some of the trouble on the track and gain some positions here and there, so it’s been good in these terms, but at the end of the day we didn’t finish as high as we probably wanted. A very difficult race but I think we as a team did the absolute maximum from what we could today. With our situation, none of us could do any better, so with this in mind I’m very proud of all the boys effort.
Lance Stroll: With Fernando, I just went around the outside of 130R, I got on the grass and then back on the racing line, we made some contact and then he just went straight on, so we both got penalties. It was just a typical first lap racing incident when things get heated. I just wanted to say to him I didn’t push him intentionally or anything like that. After that, the race was quite bad. Nothing went our way today, as races go, it was just a really bad one.