Alex Albon produced an excellent drive at the Sakhir Grand Prix as he battled his way from 12th at the start to sixth at the chequered flag, while Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen crashed out on lap one.
Daniil Kvyat once again impressed for Scuderia Alpha Tauri as the Russian claimed seventh, with teammate Pierre Gasly finishing in 11th place. Next up is the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi next weekend.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
ALEX ALBON – 6th
“It was a very strange and scrappy race and I’m not really sure how it all unfolded but climbing from 12th to sixth isn’t too bad but we hoped for more today. We expected to be slow on the straights and we only just about to managed to stay with the other cars when we had DRS but it was so hard to overtake and I was having to dive bomb into Turn One to get the moves made. It was very hard to race with the configuration of downforce we had, and we were quick in parts of the track like sector two where you just can’t overtake. Now it’s full focus on Abu Dhabi in a few days’ time.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN – DNF
“I had a good start but got boxed in so was trying to stay out of trouble but everyone around me was being so aggressive and risking things like it was the last lap of the race. Especially Charles going up the inside at Turn 4 and braking so late when the track is so dusty. I understand he wanted to pass a car but it was just too optimistic. I respect Charles a lot and he is a great driver but I think that was a bit too much. Checo couldn’t see what was happening on the inside, Charles hit him and then he was spinning backwards across the track. I tried to go around the outside to avoid any damage to my car but ended up in the gravel and then the barrier. It’s frustrating to retire so soon in a race where we had a racy car and a good chance of doing well.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal
“An incredibly frustrating end to the weekend with Max’s race being cut short on the opening lap through no fault of his own. He managed to avoid Valtteri who had a slide at Turn 2 which cost him a lot of momentum and then unfortunately Leclerc misjudged his braking and hit Perez. Max was forced to take avoiding action and subsequently hit the barrier, which was a great shame as he would have been a real contender for the win today. Alex Albon survived contact in the opening lap but struggled for pace in the initial stint. He pitted for the hard tyre which he seemed more comfortable on and we then took a bit of a risk under the last safety car to put the soft tyre on which he used to good effect to move up to P6. It was an entertaining race for the fans at home and congratulations to Racing Point and Sergio Perez for their first victories in Formula One.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
DANIIL KVYAT – 7th
“This was a very good weekend for me and I was hoping for an even better result today – when the safety car came out I thought ‘this isn’t great timing for us’ but still, 7th is not bad. We did everything right today as a team, I had a perfect Quali yesterday, I drove really well for an almost perfect race today and I’m very happy with my performance. It was a strongly executed race and the best weekend of the year for me. The pace was there and we were close to the top of the midfield, there was one point where it was Carlos, myself and Ricciardo separated by just a couple of tenths, it was very on the edge and entertaining. It’s great to bring home some much-deserved points.”
PIERRE GASLY – 11th
“It was a very tough race today. We lacked pace and I just didn’t manage to do what I wanted inside the cockpit, I struggled with the rear and had a lot of understeer. In addition to that, we were also pretty unlucky with the timing of the virtual safety car. It was a crazy race and looking at the final podium, there were big opportunities today and it’s just a shame not being able to be in the mix for this fight. We need to have a look at the data to understand why it was so different today in comparison to Friday and what we could have done better, to try again and finish the season on a high in Abu Dhabi.”
FRANZ TOST – Team Principal
“Both cars had a good start and we finished the first lap with Daniil in P5 and Pierre in P7. The first stint on the Option went as expected, we decided to pit both drivers on lap 26 and change to the Prime tyre. The drivers reported some understeer but nevertheless, the pace was reasonably good. We then stopped them again to move onto the Base tyre. We were a bit unlucky here, especially with Daniil, pitting just before the virtual safety car, and as a consequence, we lost a position to Ricciardo. Daniil’s pace was good at this point, but Pierre on the other side wasn’t happy with the car, so we will need to investigate the reason for this. Unfortunately, he was only able to finish P11. Daniil drove a fantastic race, one of his best races with us, fighting for seventh position. He wasn’t able to catch Albon, but he could keep Bottas behind. I think his seventh position is something the team deserved, we had the speed to be within the top seven, maybe even fifth or sixth with a bit more luck. As for the strategy, it was a disadvantage for us to start with the Option tyre because the cars in front were on the Primes, giving them the choice of a one-stop strategy. However, this was, in general, a good weekend for us and we’re looking forward to the final race in Abu Dhabi, where we hope to bring home some more points.”